Quinoa Tabbouleh

July:Lebanese Tabbouleh Day (First Saturday in July)

We enjoyed attending the annual Lebanese festival at St. George Maronite Catholic Church when we used to live in San Antonio, Texas. The church was less than 10 minutes drive away from our house so we could easily get to the festival and enjoy the cultural and religious presentations. But, of course, we came mostly for the food!

We have also attended Lebanese, Middle Eastern and Arabic festivals in Houston, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma. If available at the food vendor stalls, we would get a full sampler plate so we can taste everything: main entrée, side dishes and a dessert. We had tabbouleh in our combo plates a few times. It’s an affordable side salad to sell and also an easy one to make at home.

Traditionally made with bulgar (cracked wheat), our Arab-American friend Sol S. shared us his recipe version for making tabbouleh with quinoa instead. It is tasty, colorful and healthy and Sol encourages eating this as part of a Mediterranean Diet. Quinoa tabbouleh is also terrific for celebrating Lebanese Tabbouleh Day!


From Sol S.

For the quinoa tabbouleh

  • ½ cup quinoa, uncooked and rinsed thoroughly
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ large sweet onion, such as Vidalia, diced small
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 green onions/scallions, chopped
  • ½ bunch flat leaf parsley, stems trimmed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint, crushed
  • 1 Kirby or ½ cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and diced small
  • ¼ red of green bell pepper, diced small


Rinse the quinoa and drain. Set aside. In a sauce pan, sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil until the onions are translucent. Add quinoa, salt, pepper and water. Simmer for 15 minutes and let rest for 5 minutes (all the water should have been absorbed by the quinoa; if not simmer gently till all water is absorbed). Fluff with fork and let cool.

In a mixing bowl, add the chopped tomatoes, green onions, parsley and mint.

Add the diced cucumber and bell peppers. Stir in the cooled quinoa.


For the dressing

  •  juice of large lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


In a small cup or bowl, mix together the lemon juice, cumin, olive oil and salt and pepper. Pour into the quinoa salad and mix gently. Refrigerate and rest the salad for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.


  • Our friend Sol S. is in the process of writing a cookbook and we are happy to test his recipes for our blog. We are adding a Middle Eastern section under our Theme Menus. Check back soon to see new recipes listed there.

Curried Quinoa Patties

Curried Quinoa Patties

September: National Whole Grains Month

Islander’s brother likes to eat quinoa as an alternative to rice but was getting tired of the same old side recipe. He had some quinoa already cooked so Islander used the leftovers to experiment with a new recipe and make something interesting. She cooked curried quinoa patties with a lime-cilantro dipping sauce. He liked them so much that he started making these healthy snacks to feed his finicky housemates. They enjoyed them, too, and this recipe now has become a regular appetizer at their home.

Try a new recipe with a super seed this September. Cook curried quinoa patties as a healthy snack in observance of National Whole Grains Month.


(Adapted from Epicurious)


  • 2 ½ cups quinoa, cooked
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/3 cup green onions or chives, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1+ cup dry breadcrumbs
  • olive oil (for frying)


Cook the quinoa and let cool for easier handling. Beat the eggs. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa and eggs. Season with salt.


Add the chopped green onions or chives, onions and minced garlic.


Stir in the curry powder, cheese and bread crumbs. Wait a few minutes for the mixture to be absorbed. Shape into 2-inch patties. Place on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Refrigerate until firm.


When ready to cook the patties, heat a little olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Slip some patties into the pan but do not overcrowd. Cook one side until browned, about 5-8 minutes, then flip it over and continue browning for another 5-8 minutes. Drain the patties on paper towels. Serve hot while they are still crisp with a dollop of lime-cilantro dipping sauce. Yield: Approximately 2 dozen.


Bonus Recipe: Lime-Cilantro Dip


  • 1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (low fat or fat-free)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon cilantro leaves, chopped finely


In a bowl, mix the sour cream or yogurt with the lime juice. Add the cilantro. Refrigerate for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Serve a dollop of the dip with the curried quinoa patties.



  • If the patty mixture is too dry, add a little water at a time to moisten. If it is too wet, add more bread crumbs.
  • We use a big ice cream scoop to measure out the mixture in our hand and simply flatten it into a patty.
  • Curried quinoa patties can be made ahead of time. Place uncooked patties on a baking sheet, layering wax paper sheets in between. Cover until ready to cook.