For the last few weeks I’ve been going through one of those times where everything’s felt a bit lackluster and a bit like wading through waist deep mud. So after a mindfully restful weekend I’m starting this week with renewed energy, and to help with the energy super charge I’ve whipped up a some kale quinoa tabbouleh!
Let me start by just stating; if you’re a traditionalist, look away now! This kale quinoa tabbouleh is in fact a dish more inspired by tabbouleh rather than a traditional version, but when the original version is so magnificent it does tend to spark the imagination!
Traditionally this Middle Eastern favourite is made with heaps of parsley and bulgur at it’s heart, and it is absolutely delicious in it’s own right. When I first had the idea of making a variation using kale and quinoa, I must admit I thought I was being pretty clever until I realized that this particular version is actually a super popular one. And no wonder really, with super healthy kale and quinoa both lending themselves naturally to the dish.
So why alter a classic? For me this is simply about variety. I love traditional tabbouleh, and if you compare the nutrition between the original and this version, they’re pretty on par with how the amount of nutrients on offer.
Kale quinoa tabbouleh has a lovely fresh and zingy flavour and is loaded with nutrition. Quinoa provides a complete protein, is loaded with B vitamins -folate in particular, so an excellent choice during pregnancy- and is a great source of iron, magnesium, manganese, and lysene, and is gluten-free. As for kale, it too is packed with nutrition including folate, vitamins A, C, and K and Alpha-linolenic acid which is a type of Omega-3 fatty acid.
When I was thinking about this dish I came across a number of references that showed that a traditional way to serve tabbouleh is scooped up in small lettuce leaves. I had never heard of this before, but absolutely love the idea, and love how it adds a bit of fun!
Whether you opt for the traditional version, or this kale quinoa take, tabbouleh is a lovely, lovely dish sure to fill you full of nourishment and energy. It’s magnificent on it’s own, would be beautiful with a poached egg, or the perfect side for falafel.
What better way to jump into a new week than with a green, grain-filled plate of sunshine like this one?
- 50g or 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 80g kale, about 2 cups finely chopped
- 25g fresh mint leaves, about 1/4 cup finely chopped
- 2 spring/green onions, finely chopped
- 2 tomatoes finely diced, juice reserved
- Juice of half a lemon
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Small lettuce such as little gem, washed, trimmed, leaves carefully removed
- Rinse the quinoa well and then place it in a small pot with 120ml or half a cup of cold water. Place the pot over medium high heat and bring it to the boil. Cover, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes until it’s tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Strain remaining liquid and set the quinoa aside to cool to room temperature.
- Once the quinoa has cooled combine it in a large bowl with the kale, mint, onion, tomatoes, lemon juice, and oil, toss well and season to taste. Toss well again until everything is evenly combined.
- Either serve the tabbouleh in a large bowl with the lettuce leaves on the side for scooping, or scoop the tabbouleh into the lettuce leaves and arrange them on a platter to serve.
- For super quick preparation, rather than chopping the kale and mint you can blitz it in a food processor!