If you’re looking for a different kind of salad for your buffet table for those upcoming Christmas parties, here’s an alternative that is not only quick and easy – it’s gluten free as well. So many people are switching these days that it’s important to include some gluten free dishes at your gatherings so they’re not left wondering what to eat. There was a time when we had to remember to include vegetarian dishes but that is slowly becoming the norm and now folks are watching the ingredients carefully so as not to include too many preservatives. I love that! One of the reasons I started this blog was to convince others that eating fresh can be easy so it’s a very exciting time with food.
There are many varieties of Tabbouleh (I almost titled this post, ‘Tabbouleh Sorta’) and if I was being true to it’s origins, I should have used much more parsley/cilantro but I just wasn’t in the mood for it. That’s what is great about this dish. You can change up the ingredients you use each time. If you want to ‘winterize’ your salad, include some roasted red peppers and zucchini. If you’re in a rush, use the jarred ones and you’ll have this dish ready to go in under 20 minutes. I included some bean sprouts in there as well and I think water chestnuts could make for an interesting taste and presentation. I also used quinoa instead of bulger to keep it gluten free.
The original Tabbouleh comes from Lebanon and Syria and consists of bulger, tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, mint, garlic, and onion and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. It is included as part of the mezze – a selection of small dishes served before the start of a larger meal.
I loved this dish the first time I tasted it and it’s a great source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Iron. You can make this recipe true to it’s origins or put your own stamp on it for your guests. This is a dish that can be served year round and comes together in just a few minutes. Give it a try – I’d love to hear how you make your own version of this very popular dish in Middle Eastern cuisine.
- 1 cup organic vegetable stock
- 1 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 3 roma tomatoes
- ½ cucumber, sliced thinly
- 1 Serrano chile pepper, diced finely
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- 1 bell pepper, finely diced (red, yellow or orange)
- handful of bean sprouts
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1 stick of celery, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 limes - ½ cup fresh lime juice for seasoning. Use remaining for presentation.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook quinoa with vegetable stock and set aside to cool while preparing veggies.
- Add veggies and mix well. Season with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lime juice.
- Garnish with cilantro and lemon wedges.