Cilantro, Kale and Quinoa Tabbouleh Bowl
My new favorite recipe is here - my cilantro, kale, and quinoa tabbouleh bowl! It's gluten-free, plant-based, and loaded with goodness. There is nothing better than this tabbouleh bowl over lunch, dinner, or just whenever. I threw it together one night while talking on the phone with my boyfriend and oh man – it was so unbelievably good! This recipe got an amazing reception on my Instagram page, so I decided to formally write it down for the blog. Tabbouleh is a traditional mezze dish most commonly used with parsley, bulgur, onion, and tomato, but there are actually a ton of variations on the dish and the term “tabbouleh” isn’t locked into one set ingredient combination. You can use this recipe as a basic slate and customize as you like with other ingredients for extra goodness! Try it out with some Dreamy, Creamy Classic Hummus!
I get pretty bored of eating the same salads all the time and wanted to make a superfood tabbouleh that I could use as a main or a side. Kale is a great choice for the greens component of a tabbouleh salad because it won’t break down under the acids of the lemon juice. It doesn’t hurt either that kale is crazy good for you. It’s loaded with antioxidants and minerals like iron that help oxygenate your blood to give you a huge amount of energy. Kale also has more calcium than milk (who knew!) and the fact that it’s alkaline means that it will help build bone density rather than robbing bones of nutrients as milk does. Quinoa too is a fantastic superfood that people love so much because it’s a complete protein. That means that it has all nine amino acids as opposed to rice and legumes which only have a portion of those acids and have to be eaten together to get all 9. Quinoa is the only grain to be a complete protein and also contains more fiber than almost any other grain, helping to keep you fuller longer and control blood pressure and cholesterol. Pretty cool!
I paired the tabbouleh mixture with roasted chickpeas and sweet potatoes for some extra color (just look how pretty this is – come on), protein, and a boost of nutrients. Sweet potatoes are especially wonderful. They have a delicate, sweet flavor and are such a versatile ingredient. You can put them in everything from smoothies to lasagnas to salads and they’ll always taste amazing! What makes sweet potatoes so nutritionally dense is the fact that they have such a huge amount of Vitamin A. One cup of cooked sweet potatoes has 4x your daily requirement which helps you build your immune system and get you glowing. Their fiber also helps you regulate your blood sugar and stay fuller longer. The immense dose of the beta- carotene antioxidant in sweet potatoes is also said to help generate cell repair and ward off chronic disease. Pretty sweet!
I also just think these ingredients look very pretty together on your plate. That’s definitely the biggest benefit of this recipe J
Tip: The flavor of the tabbouleh actually gets better as the mixture sits longer, so enjoy all week long! Just keep it in an airtight container.
½ cup raw quinoa
2 cups (packed) shredded stemmed red kale leaves
½ cup almonds
½ cup (packed) cilantro, roughly chopped
½ cup chopped tomatoes
¼ cup chopped red onion
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp kosher salt
Sweet Potato Wedge Ingredients
1 medium sweet potato
2 tbsp olive oil
A pinch of kosher salt
1 tbsp cumin
½ tsp cardamom
Roasted Spiced Chickpea Ingredients
1 15oz can chickpeas
1 tbsp olive oil
A pinch of kosher salt
1 tsp cumin
¼ tsp cardamom
Preheat oven to 350*
It’s always helpful to start with the items that need baking you can work on the stovetop or raw items while they cook. Let’s begin by toasting the almonds. Just put them on a baking dish and toast for 5 minutes or until they become aromatic. Remove the almonds from the oven, roughly chop, and set aside.
Next comes the baked sweet potato wedges and chickpeas. Wash your sweet potato, chop off both ends, and roughly chop into large wedges, leaving the skin on. With the sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl, dust with the olive oil, kosher salt, cumin, and cardamom, toss until the wedges are coated, and spread on ½ of a large baking sheet. For the baked chickpeas, drain the can of chickpeas, pour them into the same mixing bowl used for the sweet potatoes, then add the olive oil, kosher salt, cumin, and cardamom. Stir and spread onto the other half of the baking dish. Put the dish with the potatoes and chickpeas into the oven for 25-28 minutes, then set aside.
Now comes the tabbouleh! Begin by cooking the quinoa according to package instructions. Set aside to cool after finished cooking. It will end up being a little over 1 cup of cooked quinoa.
Next grab your kale. Pull the leaves from the kale stalks, trying not to get any of the main stem, and chop until you have course slices that aren’t too fine. Put the kale in a mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients including the almonds and quinoa.
To make a perfect tabbouleh bowl, add a few wedges of the baked sweet potatoes with sides of the baked chickpeas and tabbouleh, then top with some tahini and enjoy!