Recipe: Quinoa Cauliflower Tabbouleh

Fresh perspective is always a (very) good thing.

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”

~ Mother Teresa

Getting fresh perspective isn’t always the easiest thing. Ever heard of tunnel vision (I sure have!)?

With so many fixed elements in place in our lives it can be difficult to break out of our routine, or look at life through a different lens, never mind through new eyes. Well, it’s Monday, friends – and here’s to the start of a brand new week!

"This is an interesting perspective." At Moma, NYC

With spring here, we feel the urge to renew, and refresh. For me, this recipe represents an opportunity I recently got to do just that!

I was delighted to open my email last week to find a fresh recipe sent just for me courtesy of a favorite blogger – the quirky and extremely clever writer and (dare I say) curator of This Sydney Life.

I simply adore tabbouleh (reminds of potlucks in the 80’s), with its minty freshness and light airy vibes, and this recipe has a twist that honestly knocked my socks off. It’s just so darned fresh!

So I simply had to share it.

“You are forgiven for your happiness and your successes only if you generously consent to share them.”

~ Albert Camus

Fresh takes on old ideas are what makes the world go around according to my favorite clever & inspirational writer Paul Arden in his book “Whatever You Think Think The Opposite”.

So with that, I’ll get right to it – let the celebration begin!

The Less:

Less wheat-based tabbouleh means those with sensitivities can enjoy their favorite fresh-flavored dish. Less focus on the grain as the main ingredient means a lighter experience all around. Less wondering what to do for your next potluck makes planning a snap – because this dish is a winner!

The More:

More cabbage family veggies in the diet mean more disease fighting properties in your foods. More fresh herbs and green leafy veggies means more ways to win without growing bored. More zesty citrus, sweet dried fruits, and bold nutty flavors mean more satisfying tastes for your taste buds. More sharing is good, especially when it’s done among friends.

Cauliflower Tabbouleh:

  • (1) small head cauliflower, washed & cut into small florets
  • (1 and 3/4) cups water
  • (1) cup quinoa, dry
  • (1) bunch cilantro (about one cup chopped)
  • (1) bunch Italian flat leaf parsley (about 2 cups chopped)
  • (1) bunch mint (about one cup chopped)
  • (1/2) to (1) cup walnuts, chopped & toasted
  • (1/2) – (3/4) cup dried cranberries (or to your preference)
  • (2-3) tbsp olive oil
  • (2-3) tbsp of juice from one large lemon & zest
  • (1) tsp salt or to taste

Cook quinoa by combining the grain with the water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn heat to low (without raising the lid) and cook for 20 minutes. Once finished, remove lid and fluff with a fork while it cools in the pot.

Wash and cut the cauliflower into small florets, saving the stem part for soup (or include it if you prefer). Chop to a 1-2 inch dice. This will produce 4-6 cups of chopped cauliflower.

Cook cauliflower in boiling salted water or in a steamer for 6-8 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse quickly with cold water to cool.

Chop the walnuts and toast either in a dry pan over medium high heat (stirring constantly) or in the oven until brown and fragrant. About 6-8 minutes in a 350 degree oven should do the trick!

Zest half the lemon on a fine grater and juice the lemon afterwards. Add to a large mixing bowl along with the cooked quinoa & cauliflower, cranberries, walnuts, olive oil and salt. Gently toss everything to combine.

Next, wash your bounty of gloriously fragrant herbs under cold water and shake any excess water. Chop them all up and throw them in too – this is BY FAR the most wonderful part of this recipe!

Stir everything together and enjoy! This dish will keep in the fridge at least a few days. I served it the first time this week with these millet burgers and a nice green salad. Wonderful!

If an idea’s worth having once, it’s worth having twice.

~ Tom Stoppard

What was wonderful to me was my frame of mind when I first made this – normally I would chop my herbs super fine – but given the amounts of greens and the presence and size of the cauliflower in this recipe, it was liberating and totally refreshing to chop the herbs like I would for a salad – the original recipe called for cup measurements which worked out to roughly a bunch of each of the 3 stars of this dish.

I’ll let you be the judge as to how you’d tackle this, and I sure would love to know!

I simply delighted in this recipe. The smells of the herbs (mint lovers heaven!) – and the combo and the sheer amounts of the 3 thrilled not only my senses but those I have (already) shared it with (I’ve now made it twice).

Cooking and sharing is but one small way we can open ourselves up to outside views, totally fresh perspectives we would otherwise miss.

Thanks to all you bloggers and readers (and dare I say friends!) out there, there is a world of endless possibilities out there…just waiting…

This is one perspective I am happy to build in to the lens kit. I’ve a feeling it just might end up in yours too!

The only way to have a friend is to be one.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

So a very well deserved and huge thanks to my lovely new friend for the share (I’ve yet to try the other delicious sounding recipe but hey, I picked up 2, yes 2, castoff bags of perfectly ripe mangoes yesterday!)!
As always I am casting out a giant wave of appreciation for all of you who visit this site and join the conversation. I’ve a lovely line up for you this week so stay tuned, and I hope you all had a super fabulous weekend!
  • What do you do to get fresh perspective?
  • How do you awaken your senses?
  • Are you a tabbouleh fan too?

I’ve a feeling if you aren’t yet, you will be now 🙂

Yours in Less,


Filed under Food, Gluten Free, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Salads, Savory, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

46 responses to “Recipe: Quinoa Cauliflower Tabbouleh

  1. This looks so yummy, thank you ladies! I have a cauliflower at home that needs to be eaten asap. Sorted!!

  2. This is a must-make recipe! I made buckwheat tabouli recently that was yummy but THIS looks perfect with the cauliflower — YUM! 🙂

  3. Wonderful tabbouleh! I love it! Great post 😀

  4. We live in the Middle-East and I love tabbouleh. But I must admit that I have never had cauliflower tabbouleh! Another must try!

    • Yes, it was such a refreshing combination – a brilliantly current way to make an old favorite seem brand new! I just adore this combo – thanks Ishita, I hope you like it as much as I do..have a wonderful day!

  5. Yum! I love that you added cranberries to tabbouleh! I am going to suggest that to my mom when she makes her next time 🙂

    I’m so happy spring is here too 🙂 Plus it’s sunny out- has me feeling all joyful!

    Lovely post as usual my dear!

  6. Oh my! Serious tabbouleh lovers here. It’s actually a personal favorite for the hubs. I truly can’t wait for my herbs to flourish, but this recipe make me want to cheat and stir up something this beautiful for our weekend ahead to share with family. Thank you for sharing ladies!

    • Fabulous! Yes, in the summer, this combo will be a snap, especially when you can walk out into the garden and put it all together in a few minutes…and just perfect for a family gathering! I love it – and I think they will too! Cheers Hillery, Happy Monday! 🙂

  7. Love the cilantro addition, and the cauliflower. Can’t go wrong with that distinctive taste of cilantro! Thanks for this recipe, great for the upcoming warmer months.

  8. Mmmm, sweet, tart bites of cranberries!

  9. Shira – I wish I could bottle you! You make this lovely yet oh-so-simple recipe sing! Your pics (as ever) are gorgeous and you have re-ignited my enthusiasm for what has been a kitchen staple at our house. You’re a wee legend, my friend. Mwah!

    BTW – I’m looking forward to seeing how you turn my other recipe (sweet AND alcoholic) into something healthy!!!

    Big hugs from Sydney, Jx

    • Oooooh! You are so kind..truthfully I was a little terrified to post about someone else’s creation – you know you just never know if you might just do something wrong! But really, with such beautiful ingredients it was such lovely fun! Thank you so much for sharing – what a treat!
      Love that you love! 😉
      Lots more to come……mangoes and booze? Now THAT’S a match!!!!
      xo back!

  10. madisoncary

    YUM! and lovely pics, too!

  11. what a great meeting of the minds – you two bloggers. This recipe sounds and looks wonderful! Well done on a great reinterpretation, and excellent quotes interspersed!

    • Thanks Marina! Great to hear from you – loving all the wonderful photographs you keep putting out! Loved this exchange – meeting blogging friends is such a blast! Isn’t it? 😉

  12. Shira, I love absolutely everything everything everything about this post! I must try the recipe, love love all the ingredients in tabbouleh and love cauliflower and dried cranberries. your photos are wonderful, and the quotes from the great minds and hearts, perfect. Great post. Great Monday! Good grief, great everything! 🙂 xo

    • Thanks Spree – that is precisely what I thought when I opened the recipe and read through the ingredient list – love, love, love, love! – that’s why I made it straight away, not once but twice!
      I think I’ve even seen a few of these types of foods poking around your sight 😉 Further proof that great minds DO think alike! THAT is such a good thing too! Cheers! 😉

  13. looks fantastic…I am always on the search for Quinoa…and this will be definately a try

  14. Great springtime recipe! I enjoy the fact that it has my favorite herb — fresh mint. I like to make my tabbouleh with a lot of herbs too, with mint being present in the highest proportion. However I have never tried tabbouleh with dried cranberries before, and the thought of cranberry + mint flavor in my mouth is making it water! Excited to try this recipe!

    • We share the same fave spring herb 🙂 It’s such a beautiful combo with the cranberry – love to know how you like it! Cheers Frances! xo

  15. Love your blog, it’s colorful and fun, so here is two awards you can enjoy:

  16. Tabbouleh is my absolute favourite – making it with quinoa is genius, and I’ve never had cauliflower in tabbouleh but seeing as I love cauli that shouldn’t be an issue at all! Great quotes too – and on a totally random note, I love the font you use in your quotes 😉

  17. Hi! Just stopping by to let you know how much I enjoy your blog! Today, I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Please see today’s post for details. Thanks for all you do!

  18. Yum! I’ve actually never made tabbouleh. I need to. The addition of cauliflower sounds great!

  19. This looks VERY nice!!

  20. I just made this, delicious! A big tub of it in the fridge is now waiting for perfect office lunches 🙂

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