Brightly colored and full of summer flavors, this quinoa tabbouleh is the perfect way to make those beautiful farmer’s market veggies the star of your lunch or dinner! This dish comes together in the time it takes to cook quinoa and it can easily be made in large batches to be enjoyed all week!
The citrus and parsley really make this salad shine, and it is honestly hard to overdo either of these flavors in this dish. I love to eat tabbouleh over baby spinach leaves and often add some chickpeas in the mix, making it a meatless meal that is still high in protein and fiber. This quinoa tabbouleh is equally delicious with roasted garlic hummus and pita (yum!).
This meal is by far one of my favorites to make ahead for lunches. I typically add my simple salmon over the top and I am ready to go. I dress this salad simply; squeezing the juice of a lime, some garlic olive oil and some parsley over the entire dish. The flavors compliment each other well, without overpowering any single ingredient.
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups water
- Juice of 2 limes
- ½ cup chopped parsley leaves
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- ½ english cucumber, chopped
- ⅛ cup red onion finely chopped (optional)
- 1-2 roma tomatoes diced or ½ pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- Rinse quinoa in a mesh strainer. Add rinsed quinoa and water to a medium sized saucepan and turn heat onto medium high setting. Cover and cook 15 minutes(stirring occasionally). The quinoa is done cooking when all water has been absorbed, so keep an eye on it starting around minute 12.
- TIP: Chop the veggies while you are waiting for the quinoa to cook! Once finished cooking, take off heat, add the juice of 2 limes, salt, pepper, and stir to combine.
- Pour quinoa in a large mixing bowl and add the chopped parsley, red, and yellow bell peppers, tomatoes, optional red onion and cucumbers (see note below on cucumbers and tomatoes ). Taste for seasoning and add any salt, pepper, lime, or parsley according to personal preference.
*Note: cucumber tends to get mushy because of the salt that has been added to the mixture. If you plan on making this to enjoy through the week, chop the cucumber and put in air tight container and refrigerate separately to add to quinoa only as it is being served. If quinoa will be enjoyed in next day or so, add to the mix immediately, as this should not be an issue.
Let mixture sit in the refrigerator at least 1 hour in a covered container. I have found that letting this sit overnight is best for maximum flavor. Serve over greens with a tasty protein (see my simple salmon recipe below) or eat it just as it is with a fork and a smile.
- 1 lb. skin on salmon (I use frozen)
- Cooking spray
- 2 tsp Weber roasted garlic and herb seasoning
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 1 tbs dried dill weed
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
- Place salmon skin down on a parchment paper lined baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray (I use one with sides so there is not any accidental sliding around in the oven). Spray top of salmon lightly with cooking spray so that dry ingredients will stick. Evenly distribute the remaining ingredients over salmon.
Please note: the roasted garlic seasoning tends to brown easily in the oven, so I try to keep it on the fish (instead of all over the baking pan). To make this easier, I normally pack the fish tightly together and sprinkle the dry ingredients over the fish, then space them out for cooking.
Place baking pan in preheated oven and cook for 15-20 minutes (if frozen). If using fresh salmon, cooking time will likely be 12-15 minutes. I have found that salmon is best if you allow the fish to rest on the counter for 5 minutes before serving. Cutting into the fish too soon may cause it to become dry. I personally do not eat the salmon skin but I have 2 very spoiled pups that are more than happy to help me in that department. The skin helps keep the fish from drying out during the cooking process, and therefore I find it beneficial to leave on (if available).
If the salmon feels firm to the touch, it is likely done. I normally give the salmon a few minutes to rest and then press lightly to see if it is firm (this gets easier to test the more you make it). If in doubt, I cut a filet open at the thickest point to ensure the salmon is cooked to my liking. Alternatively, you can flake the salmon to see if it’s cooked thoroughly.
Spotlight on Salmon
Why I think it is worth learning how to cook at home!
Salmon is not only high in protein but is also full of omega -3 fatty acids. Why is this important? Omega-3’s are essential fatty acids, the only way to get them is through diet, as your body cannot make these fatty acids on it’s own. Most people hear Omega-3’s and have heard that they are beneficial for heart health, but some recent studies have also linked Omega-3’s to helping reduce the risk of certain cancers and other diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure to name a few. If you would like to see more on this topic, please see this article (Salmon guide).
Wild caught salmon is not hard to find, and can usually be found on sale at least once a month (check out your frozen seafood area). I stock up on frozen salmon when it is on sale and make sure to freeze it immediately. I learned recently that fish that is sold at the seafood counter in the grocery store may have been previously frozen. Like other meats, it is not recommended to be refreeze fish once it has been defrosted (risk of contamination). If there is any doubt if the fish has been previously frozen, feel free to ask. I buy fish displayed in the seafood counter if I plan on cooking it within 2 days of purchase. If there is something on sale that I want to make later in the week, I ask if they have any that is still frozen that I can purchased at the sales price. I take that fish home and freeze it immediately. I’ve learned that it can’t hurt to ask!
How do you like to make your salmon at home?