I am a huge fan of the prepared foods bar at Whole Foods. There is no place else I can think of that you have access to so many amazing foods in a one stop shop. There is also no other place I can think of where I can easily spend $30-40 for a single carton of food. I like to fill up my cardboard container with everything – from the hummus to the curried vegetables to the salad bar, I love to try it all.
During my last few visits to Whole Foods I have seen a Tabbouleh Salad on the prepared foods bar, only made with lentil and quinoa instead of bulgur wheat. I love the variation so much I decided to make it at home. Tabbouleh, tabouli and tabouleh (all the correct spelling and interchangeable) is traditionally a vegetarian dish in Middle Eastern cuisine, usually as an accompaniment to a larger dish or meal. However, in using both lentils and quinoa, this version can stand on its own as a main course.
To me the star of the dish is the parsley. While normally used as just a garnish, parsley can lend a spicy and fresh flavor when used as an ingredient. Parsley is an excellent of vitamin K and vitamin C as well as a good source of vitamin A, folate and iron, all essential nutrients for optimal health.
Other common ingredients in traditional tabbouleh include mint, tomatoes and onion. In this case I used green onion as to not overpower the other flavors. I also added cucumber for a little more substance. I also added garlic to lemon juice and olive oil as a dressing to toss the ingredients in.
The dish is light and airy enough for a summer barbeque, but also hearty and filling enough to warm you up on a chilly fall evening. Enjoy this Lentil Quinoa Tabbouleh!
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