Easy Kale and Quinoa Tabouli Salad

~ Just a few simple ingredients yield bold, bright flavors in this Easy Kale and Quinoa Tabouli Salad! With the addition of super-nutritious kale and the swap of protein-packed, gluten-free quinoa instead of the traditional bulgur wheat, this delicious spin on tabouli salad has all the flavors and textures you love, with healthy advantages you’ll feel great about! Plus, it makes a big, big batch that keeps well for several days – a perfect make-ahead for busy weeks! ~

This Recipe Is:     Make Ahead    Vegan (and Vegetarian)    Gluten Free  

Just a few simple ingredients - so easy! This Kale and Quinoa Tabouli Salad has all the bright flavors you expect in tabouli, plus super-healthy kale (you won’t even taste it - seriously!), and gluten-free quinoa instead of bulgur wheat! Makes a big batch and keeps really well – a perfect make-ahead recipe! | www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com
Just a few simple ingredients - so easy! This Kale and Quinoa Tabouli Salad has all the bright flavors you expect in tabouli, plus super-healthy kale (you won’t even taste it - seriously!), and gluten-free quinoa instead of bulgur wheat! Makes a big batch and keeps really well – a perfect make-ahead recipe! | www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com

Just a few simple ingredients - so easy! This Kale and Quinoa Tabouli Salad has all the bright flavors you expect in tabouli, plus super-healthy kale (you won’t even taste it - seriously!), and gluten-free quinoa instead of bulgur wheat! Makes a big batch and keeps really well – a perfect make-ahead recipe! | www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com

“Exploding Good!”

From the mouths of babes … seriously.

I had so many things I wanted to tell you about this Tabouli Salad recipe (because you know I’m never short on stuff to say!) … and along came a little guy named Marcus (maybe six years old, tops) who totally stole my thunder, summing this recipe up in just two adorably perfect words: Exploding Good. Best compliment ever! I’m thinking of hiring the little guy for our marketing department (well … if we had one …).

You see, we “debuted” this recipe last weekend, during a cooking demo Two Healthy Kitchens did at a big, local farmers’ market.

Just a few simple ingredients - so easy! This Kale and Quinoa Tabouli Salad has all the bright flavors you expect in tabouli, plus super-healthy kale (you won’t even taste it - seriously!), and gluten-free quinoa instead of bulgur wheat! Makes a big batch and keeps really well – a perfect make-ahead recipe! | www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com

My sweet Ty isn’t in this shot, since he’s our “staff photographer” behind the lens, but all four of us worked together at the Countryside Conservancy’s Farm Market, talking to hundreds of visitors. We demonstrated how to make this Kale and Quinoa Tabouli recipe, plus our super-popular, spinach-loaded Chicken and Quinoa Salad. Lots of recipe samples, and many great discussions about how to cook quinoa, how to use more spinach and kale in recipes, and even how to finely mince basil and zest a lemon! It was a fun whirlwind – and so truly rewarding to share the joy of delicious, healthy eating!

My very favorite part of the whole, wonderful day was watching lots of little kiddos (like Marcus) as they skeptically eyeballed our samples of this tabouli before finally, cautiously trying it … and then seeing their sweet faces slowly light up with huge, completely surprised, “I like it!!!” grins.

My nutrition-loving-self secretly did a happy dance each time. You know … deep down inside, where nobody could actually watch my dance moves.

Those surprised “I like it!!!” grins are what it’s all about for me … the simple joy of introducing a child to a veggie that tastes better than they’d ever imagined possible.

THK Tabouli5Just a few simple ingredients - so easy! This Kale and Quinoa Tabouli Salad has all the bright flavors you expect in tabouli, plus super-healthy kale (you won’t even taste it - seriously!), and gluten-free quinoa instead of bulgur wheat! Makes a big batch and keeps really well – a perfect make-ahead recipe! | www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com

So I’m not even mad at adorable little “Exploding Good!” Marcus for stealing my thunder. Totally worth it to see his giant smile as he happily chowed down on a mouthful of kale!

Oh, right. Plus I’m still going to tell you all the things I wanted to tell you, anyway!

Like how this recipe all started one day last spring, when my husband and I popped by one of our favorite local Mediterranean restaurants, eagerly preparing to tuck into our usual platters of their delicious hummus and tabouli. But wait … a special little side menu that day offered a different tabouli. Huh. One with kale and quinoa, too. Double-huh. We didn’t hesitate – and we weren’t disappointed!

Just a few simple ingredients - so easy! This Kale and Quinoa Tabouli Salad has all the bright flavors you expect in tabouli, plus super-healthy kale (you won’t even taste it - seriously!), and gluten-free quinoa instead of bulgur wheat! Makes a big batch and keeps really well – a perfect make-ahead recipe! | www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com

In fact, I went home and began concocting my own version of Kale and Quinoa Tabouli straightaway, because we knew we needed this new tabouli in our lives (and our fridge) on a regular basis.

A couple batches and a bit of tinkering later, and it had just the flavor profile, just the balance and brightness and texture we wanted. Plus, it made such a whopping big batch that we gleefully noshed on it for days … so perfect because tabouli tends to just get better and better as it sits.

There’s a lot about this Kale and Quinoa Tabouli that’s the same as regular tabouli … and also a lot that’s different.

So How’s This Tabouli Salad the Same as Regular Tabouli?

Primarily, the flavor. Fresh parsley and bright lemon, juicy tomatoes and spicy-sweet onions. This tastes like … well … like tabouli.

Just a few simple ingredients - so easy! This Kale and Quinoa Tabouli Salad has all the bright flavors you expect in tabouli, plus super-healthy kale (you won’t even taste it - seriously!), and gluten-free quinoa instead of bulgur wheat! Makes a big batch and keeps really well – a perfect make-ahead recipe! | www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com

It’s seriously surprising how much you truly just don’t notice that there’s kale (a whole heaping lot of kale!) in there.

At the Farm Market last weekend, we didn’t just meet skeptical kiddos, but also some pretty skeptical adults, too – and quite a few people who said they simply didn’t like kale. And yet, time after time after time, I was thrilled as they tasted our tabouli, and exclaimed in surprise that they loved this recipe after all – and couldn’t even taste the kale. Surprising … but true!

And How’s This Tabouli Salad Different from Regular Tabouli?

First off, because we’ve swapped in quinoa instead of the more traditional bulgur wheat, this tabouli is gluten free. And quinoa boasts loads of protein, too, so it combines perfectly with all the great fiber in this recipe to offer a terrific, keep-you-full combination of nutrients.

THK Tabouli6Just a few simple ingredients - so easy! This Kale and Quinoa Tabouli Salad has all the bright flavors you expect in tabouli, plus super-healthy kale (you won’t even taste it - seriously!), and gluten-free quinoa instead of bulgur wheat! Makes a big batch and keeps really well – a perfect make-ahead recipe! | www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com

And also kale. Lots and lots of kale. I mean really … A LOT. And when it comes to nutrition, kale doesn’t mess around. It’s rich in vitamins A, C and K, plus oodles of polyphenols and phytochemicals. Kale’s a “superfood” darling for a reason!

But you know what? For all this talk of nutrients and protein and gluten free … it can all be summed up really, really simply: Exploding good.

Just a few simple ingredients - so easy! This Kale and Quinoa Tabouli Salad has all the bright flavors you expect in tabouli, plus super-healthy kale (you won’t even taste it - seriously!), and gluten-free quinoa instead of bulgur wheat! Makes a big batch and keeps really well – a perfect make-ahead recipe! | www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com

That’s really all you need to know! (Thanks, Marcus! 😀 )

Shelley sig

 

 

 

* P.S. Hugs to my best buddy, Gretchen. These photos of the Kale and Quinoa Tabouli Salad are the last that I’ve had stockpiled from the recipes she photographed back before she formally left THK to pursue her dream of working more closely with special needs kiddos. Cheers to so very many fun THK days together, my friend! Miss you bunches! xoxo

More Big-Batch Salads to Love All Week Long …

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Easy Kale and Quinoa Tabouli Salad

Preparation 20 min. 2017-05-29T00:20:00+00:00 Cook Time 10-12 min. for cooking quinoa, plus cooling and optional chilling time 2017-05-29T00:00:00+00:00
Serves About 10½ cups (this tabouli salad settles a bit after refrigeration, so the exact yield can vary slightly)     adjust servings

Ingredients

Tabouli Salad

  • 1/2 cup uncooked red quinoa (any color variety of quinoa will work)
  • 8 cups finely chopped kale (tough stems removed) (see note)
  • 3 cups finely chopped fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsley (from about 2 big bunches)
  • 2 1/2 cups seeded, chopped tomato (about 4 medium tomatoes)
  • 1 cup finely chopped sweet onion (about 1/2 a large onion)
  • 1 tablespoon very finely minced fresh mint

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions and allow to cool completely.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cooled quinoa, kale, parsley, tomatoes, onion, and mint, stirring to mix thoroughly.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper, making sure that all salt is dissolved.
  4. Pour dressing over kale mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.
  5. Although you can serve this immediately, we recommend that you refrigerate it for at least an hour or two to let the flavors meld. Alternately, you can refrigerate this tabouli, covered, for several days.

by

Recipe Notes

Kale: To achieve 8 cups of finely chopped kale, we typically start with about 7-10 ounces of roughly chopped, bagged kale or about 11-12 ounces of whole kale leaves (about 1 large bunch). The wide variance is due mainly to the amount of stems you may or may not need to remove. Once you've removed the tough stems (we generally remove some of the stems, even from the chopped, bagged kale), and you've finely chopped your kale, those starting weights should yield about 8 cups. Note, though, that if you choose not to chop your kale as finely as we did (see our photos for reference), then that will also change the relationship between your kale's starting weight and your ending yield.

We'd love to see your photos of this recipe! Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and tag @TwoHealthyKitchens!
Just a few simple ingredients - so easy! This Kale and Quinoa Tabouli Salad has all the bright flavors you expect in tabouli, plus super-healthy kale (you won’t even taste it - seriously!), and gluten-free quinoa instead of bulgur wheat! Makes a big batch and keeps really well – a perfect make-ahead recipe! | www.TwoHealthyKitchens.com
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Comments

Easy Kale and Quinoa Tabouli Salad — 18 Comments

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  4. This looks delicious! I’d love to try this with my kids and hopefully they’ll like it too! Glad you had a great weekend!

    • I know, right!?!? My husband and I joked with little Marcus’ mom that we needed to hire him to do marketing for us, and maybe just outright adopt him! It was just the most endearing, heartfelt little compliment! 🙂 ~Shelley

    • Oh hi, Abbe! My gosh, it’s so wonderful to hear from you! And thanks so much for the kind words! I know you can appreciate how fast twins grow up, as they zip through every age and stage together! I do truly love that this blog and adventures like the Farm Market are things we can all share as a family! Hugs to you! 😀 ~Shelley

    • The red quinoa really is so pretty in this! Plus, if you like it a little more “al dente” (the way you often see red quinoa served in restaurants) – red quinoa is lovely with a bit more crunch or “bite” left in it (whereas the more typical white quinoa is usually cooked all the way until it gets to that fluffy stage). Anytime you don’t have red quinoa on hand for this tabouli salad, though – definitely feel free to swap in white quinoa, black, or even a blend. It’ll be delicious with any of them! ~Shelley

    • You’re always so cute and funny, Kacey! I would actually totally love to deliver this to you personally, and we could just hang out and chat and nosh delicious tabouli all afternoon! Wouldn’t that just be the best?!?! 😀 ~Shelley

    • Oh, yes, Bintu – you’ve really got to try kale this way! I love sautéed kale, too (actually just made an awesome sautéed kale recipe this weekend!), but this tabouli salad is an entirely different, equally fabulous way to eat it! The flavors are wonderful, and it’s amazing how much super-nutritious kale is jam-crammed in there, without anybody really even noticing it! I really think you’ll love kale this way, now, too! Oh – and actually, if you do really fall in love with chopped kale salads, check out our Kale Chopped Salad with Berries. Super great, too! And hey – thanks a million for popping by! 😀 ~Shelley

    • I’m pretty sure you don’t have any Mediterranean restaurants out your way, but I know you love that type of food – so I definitely think you’ll adore this tabouli salad! It really does taste pretty much like regular ol’ tabouli … but it’s bursting with even more great nutrition (which seems kind of funny to say, since typical tabouli salad is already really healthy!). I’m excited for you to get to try it! And thanks for always leaving such sweet and positive comments! Truly makes it such a pleasure to develop and share recipes! 😀 ~Shelley

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