Quinoa Tabbouleh with Halloumi – All the Reasons Why You Should Try It
There are at least three reasons why you should try Quinoa Tabbouleh with Halloumi: quinoa, tabbouleh and halloumi. The salad is also very easy to prepare and delicious. But, maybe, I should start from the beginning.
I have mentioned in one of my previous posts that it was thanks to Tabbouleh that I started appreciating parsley. Before I tried it for the first time in a Lebanese restaurant, I had always thought parsley was an unnecessary addition to soups and sauces. But this fragrant and full of flavour meze changed my approach to parsley altogether. So now I value both its taste and health benefits.
Tabbouleh is usually made with bulgur, but I decided to make it even healthier and used quinoa instead. This grain is of particular importance to people on plant-based diets as it includes all essential amino acids. But this is not the only reason why it is good for all of us. Quinoa has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as well as it reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. It also lowers the total cholesterol level while maintaining the level of “good” cholesterol (HDL). So, it is a perfect ingredient for my tabbouleh.
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And what about halloumi? No doubt, it is the least healthy ingredient in this salad (approx. 25% fat content), but I simply love it! I remember watching cooking programs with Nigella Lawson many years ago who luxuriated over halloumi’s taste and texture. I didn’t know this cheese then and was eager to try it. When I finally did, I had to agree with her. The sensation of biting into fried or grilled halloumi when it makes this squeaky noise is simply not to forfeit. And since both tabbouleh and halloumi come from the same part of the world it seemed so natural to combine them in this delicious, easy to prepare meal.
Quinoa Tabbouleh with Halloumi
Delicious salad with quinoa for extra health benefits and halloumi for extra texture.
Prepare the quinoa: put it in a fine mesh strainer, rinse under running cold water rubbing the seeds with each other with your fingers (for at least 1 minute) and drain well. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pot over a medium heat and fry the drained quinoa for about 1 minute till the rest of water evaporates. Add water, two pinches of salt and bring to boil. Lower the heat and cook covered for approx. 15 minutes. Take it out from the heat and let it rest covered for 5 minutes more. Fluff the quinoa with a fork. The quinoa has to be dry, in case there is still some water left, transfer it to a strainer and let it drain thoroughly.
Wash and dry the parsley leaves, chop them very thinly.
Cut the tomatoes into 0.5-1 cm cubes.
In a bowl mix all the ingredients except for halloumi, season well.
Cut the halloumi into approx. 1.5 cm slices, fry them in a non-stick frying pan till golden (it will take approx. 5-7 minutes)
Divide the salad into two bowls and arrange the halloumi slices on top.
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Hi, I am Agnieszka, and I am passionate about delicious but healthy food. Many healthy dishes are bland and uninteresting. I reject this. So I created my blog Tastes of Health to share my yummy recipes for healthier (often plant-based and gluten-free) versions of family favourites.
I look forward to receiving your feedback after you try them.