Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

A lemony Middle Eastern salad that uses quinoa instead of traditional bulgur to put a twist on a classic. Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad is a great picnic or BBQ side dish that gives you a boost of protein with the quinoa and a bite of freshness with the mint and parsley.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad Recipe

Over the next week I am going to put out some Memorial Day weekend inspiration! Many of us will be barbecuing over the weekend and you shouldn’t neglect your side dishes people. Especially when they are this easy.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

Quinoa is a grain that is very rich in protein and one of the healthier options when it comes to grains. It makes great cold salads like this Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad or could be used in place of white rice in a hot dish. If you think quinoa is bitter than you probably aren’t rinsing it well enough before you cook it. You have to rinse your quinoa and then cook it to get that taste away. Also quinoa will take on any flavor you give it! In this case a lemony herb dressing covers the quinoa to make this healthy side dish or even lunch.

Here is the first of my Memorial Day Weekend Party Ideas!

What makes this Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad even better is the fact that you can make it a head of time. Either put the dressing on before you serve it or you can dress it up to one day in advance, any longer and it will loose it’s texture.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad 

What you need (Serves 6-8):

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of rinsed and cooked quinoa according to package, cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups of cherry tomatoes halved or quartered
  • 1 hot house or Persian cucumber, seeded, unpeeled, and diced small
  • 2 scallions (aka green onions), white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

What to do:

  1. Cook quinoa according to package, don’t forget to rinse. *If the quinoa is cooked and there is excess water in the pot drain it. Once the quinoa is cooked and slightly cooled add the lemon juice, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  2. While quinoa is cooking prepare your vegetables into small uniform cuts: tomatoes and cucumber. Next, chop your herbs.
  3. In a large bowl combine scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add the quinoa into the large bowl and mix well. Can be made up to one day in advance. You can also leave the oil and lemon juice off until right before serving if making a few days in advance. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold.

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad Recipe

Enjoy your Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad!

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Steak and Vegetable Kabobs with Tzatziki

steak kabob with tazikiTender steak and vegetable kabobs marinated in a blend of olive oil, spices, herbs, and lemon juice. Served with cucumber and mint Tzatziki sauce.

I love to go to Greek Restaurants and have lamb kabob with Tzatziki and lots of hummus. Yum! My favorite Greek Restaurant is on Long Island, NY and called It’s Greek to Me. The restaurant is very small and run by a close Greek Family. The first time I dined at It’s Greek to Me I was a skeptic but you know what they say- Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. This small restaurant is known more for takeout but the lamb kabob, gyro, and hummus are all delicious.

Originally this recipe was going to be made with lamb. However, I had the hardest time finding lamb in the supermarket that wasn’t 20 dollars a pound. Lamb cubes are hard to come by I guess. So after visiting like three supermarkets the game plan switched to steak kabobs. The kabobs were inspired by the flavors of my favorite lamb kabob dish and Tzatziki sauce.

Why Tzatziki?

In case you are not sure what Tzatziki sauce is…. Tzatziki sauce is a Greek sauce served with grilled meats or as a dip. Usually made with yogurt, garlic, cucumber, salt, pepper, mint, and parsley. The Greek yogurt and cucumber make the Tzatziki a healthy and light sauce that goes perfectly with grilled steak kabobs and vegetables.
Tzatziki sauceHere’s what you will need:

  • About 1.5 pounds of cubed steak or your preferred protein
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 onions
  • olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cucumber remove the seeds
  • handful of mint and parsley
  • about 1 1/2 cups of plain Greek  Yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

  1. Begin  by marinating steak cubes in olive oil, fresh rosemary, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Let sit for up to 3 hours or as little as 30 minutes. If you are using wood sticks make sure to soak them so they do not burn.
  2. While steak is marinating cut vegetables to go on skewers in medium size cubes.
  3. When ready to make kabobs take meat out of refrigerator and take vegetables out. Make kabobs filling them up alternating between meat and vegetable. Once finished sprinkle with olive oil salt and pepper make sure to coat vegetables.
  4. When finished making kabobs you can let them sit for a minute and start to make the Tzatziki or cucumber sauce. Get a food processor out and prepare cucumber by removing seeds. I left the skin on because I do not mind it. Once you remove seeds put into food processor with plain Greek yogurt, garlic, salt, pepper, and a lot of fresh herbs. Process until it is at your desired consistency. Keep cold in refrigerator.
    Tzatziki sauce
  5. Preheat Grill to high and then grill kabobs for about 10  minutes or until vegetables and steak are charred but not over done on the inside.
    grilled kabobs
  6. Remove from heat and serve steak kabobs with Tzatziki sauce.
    grilled steak kabobEnjoy!!!