Many years ago I discovered Near East’s boxed Tabouleh Mix Wheat Salad. I followed the recipe on the back for their “Greek Tabouleh Salad.” Rarely do I find a back-of-the box recipe that I think is outstanding. This recipe is so simple and easy….it’s one of my go-to summer side dishes. This week I decided to adapt it a bit and add quinoa to pack a little more of a protein punch. I also added 2 cups of parsley to make it a little more like a traditional tabbouleh. Parsley has some surprising health benefits (check out this brief article from Care2.com that lists them). I thought the ratios worked out nicely and I’ve been happily eating it for lunch all week. It’s great as a side dish (would pair well with Mediterranean Chicken Kebobs or Greek Turkey Burgers) or as a meatless meal on it’s own. Keep it clean by omitting the feta cheese. Serve with extra lemon wedges for my fellow lemon enthusiasts!
Mediterranean Tabouleh with Quinoa (Serves 8)
1 box Near East Tabouleh Mix Wheat Salad (or substitute 1 cup dry bulgar wheat)
1/2 cup dry quinoa
3 Tbsp olive oil
4-5 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon) plus extra lemon wedges for serving
1 cup seeded and diced cucumber
20-30 grape tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup diced red onion
4 oz feta cheese (omit to keep it CLEAN)
1 bunch (yields about 2 cups) fresh curly parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
optional: 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil and/or 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint (it’s no problem to add both of these and the parsley as well….this is a delicious combination of herbs)
Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Prepare boxed Tabouleh Mix Wheat Salad according to package directions. In large bowl, mix quinoa and Wheat Salad together. Add olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper and mix well. Add cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, feta, parsley and other herbs. Add lemon, salt and/or pepper to taste. Serve chilled.