Want a refreshing high-protein lunch or side-dish that sings of summer and won’t weight you down? Look no further than this lemony, minty quinoa tabbouleh salad recipe with chickpeas.
Quinoa Health Benefits
Quinoa is an excellent source of protein, antioxidants, minerals and fiber.
- A cup of cooked quinoa is about 220 calories, and has more fiber than brown rice.
- It delivers 8 grams of complete protein – all 20 amino acids, including the 10 essential amino acids that we must get from food.
- Since it’s really a seed, it’s an excellent gluten-free option for those sensitive to wheat gluten.
Chickpea Health Benefits
This dish also includes chickpeas, another high-protein, high-fiber food that will help you stay fuller longer and balance your blood sugar.
“Consumers of chickpeas and/or hummus have been shown to have higher nutrient intakes of dietary fiber, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, potassium, and iron as compared to non-consumers . . . Emerging research suggests that chickpeas and hummus may play a beneficial role in weight management and glucose and insulin regulation, as well as have a positive impact on some markers of cardiovascular disease (CVD).” – National Institutes of Health
Parsley – A Powerful Herb
The parsley in this dish offers some notable health benefits beyond it’s fresh flavor profile. This powerful cleansing herb contains volatile oils and flavonoids for cancer prevention. Just 2 Tbsp. of chopped parsley provides 150% of your daily recommended vitamin K for strong bones, proper blood clotting and cardiovascular disease prevention. (Learn more about parsley.)
I used an English cucumber in this recipe, and did NOT remove the seeds. Cucumber seeds have been studied for their cholesterol lowering ability. The seeds are so small in this type of cucumber that I really did not notice them.
There is NO OLIVE OIL in this recipe. (If you have heard conflicting information about the health benefits of olive oil, please read this post for the actual science.)
Leaving out the oil will save you hundreds of artery damaging calories and hip-hugging saturated fat. You won’t even notice it’s gone. And the flavors will be brighter and more satisfying.
Fast and Fabulous
This quinoa tabbouleh salad recipe comes together fast. Quinoa is quick-cooking. Bring it to a simmer and prep your other ingredients. In about 15-20 minutes you’ll have this meal done.
It makes enough for 4 generous servings that are perfect for meal prepping as it won’t go soggy and will actually taste better after the flavors meld.
Ready to dig in?
Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad Recipe
1 cup dry quinoa
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1 (15-0z) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 English cucumber, diced
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or diced
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup finely chopped mint
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 green onions, finely chopped
Rinse the quinoa under running water for a couple of minutes to remove the bitterness. In a medium pot, combine 1-3/4 cups water and rinsed quinoa and bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid, and cook for about 15 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed. Drain and set aside 2 cups for the recipe. Refrigerate or freeze the remaining cup for another use.
While the quinoa is cooking, combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the salad ingredients with the 2 cups of cooked quinoa.
Add the dressing and stir until distributed. Refrigerate for up to 4 days, enjoy cold or at room temp.
Note: Rinsing the quinoa well before cooking removes the bitterness.
Serving Options: Eat alone, with pita bread, or atop a spinach or leafy green salad.