I am a huge fan of Lebanese cuisine. Tabbouleh was the first recipe I was introduced to back in high school through a Lebanese family friend and I have loved everything she made for us. Traditional tabbouleh uses barley as a garnish, not as the main ingredient like most western versions you’ll find. The lemon really enhances the flavor of the parsley, mint, and onion for just a light, healthy dish.
Parsley is a green that is used as a garnish these days but it needs to become a superstar in our daily lives. Parsley is ah-mazing! It helps prevent cancer, can help decrease tumor size in breast cancer (source), reduces insulin resistance, improves calcium absorption, gives glutathione what it need reduce oxidation in the body (source), incredibly anti-inflammatory, helps remove heavy metals from the body, and on top of all this is rich in folate, vitamin C, K1, and chlorophyll (source). Yet it’s a light and refreshing tasting green versus the bitterness of Kale. (I love kale but it’s true.)
Making It Grain Free
I live a pretty low grain (and 100% gluten free) lifestyle. I feel my best and don’t have blood sugar swings like I use to. So I had to think about what to replace the barley with and decided on riced cauliflower. It has a neutral taste, it’s small, and really the perfect substitute. I decided to leave it raw and let it sit in the lemon juice, salt, and olive oil while I chopped all the other vegetables for the salad, giving it time to soften up a little.
This salad is super simple and easily made while cooking your main dish. You will need one bunch parsley, 6 sprigs of mint, 3/4 cup of riced cauliflower, 1/4 cup diced red onion, 1/2 of an english cucumber, 20-30 cherry or grape tomatoes, 1 1/2 lemons, salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil.
I use my food processor to rice the cauliflower. I usually do an entire head then freeze the rest to use for stir fry or as a side dish later on. I put 3/4 cup of the rice cauliflower in a medium sized bowl. I then squeeze the 1 1/2 lemons on the cauliflower, then add 1/2 a teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Then I dice the red onions in to small pieces and add to the cauliflower in the bowl. Take your cherry tomatoes and slice in half, then half again, then into thirds from there, making the tomato pieces very small. Add to the bowl. Dice your cucumber into small pieces and add to your salad. I use my food processor to chop the parsley and mint. Pulse about 4-5 times. Add to the salad and mix well. Add pepper and if needed, more salt, to taste.
You can eat it right away however it’s great if you let it sit for a couple hours or overnight.
Grain Free Tabbouleh Salad
- 1 bunch parsley
- 6 sprigs mint
- 3/4 cup riced cauliflower
- 1/4 cup red onion
- 20-30 cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1/2 english cucumber
- 1 1/2 lemons
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp pepper or to taste
- Rice your cauliflower and put 3/4 cup into a medium sized bowl.
- Squeeze the juice from the lemons, then add the salt, pepper, and olive oil.
- Finely dice your red onions, tomatoes, and cucumber. Add to the cauliflower.
- Rough chop your mint and parsley. Toss salad together. Add more salt and pepper to taste if necessary.