Gluten-Free Tabbouleh with Amaranth
Tabbouleh is a flavourful salad made mostly with finely chopped parsley and mint, diced tomato, onion, and bulgar wheat. Bulgur wheat is an ancient grain commonly used in Mediterranean and Middle Easter cuisine. This gluten-free version of the classic Middle Eastern dish uses amaranth rather than bulgur.
Amaranth is a nutritious pseudocereal that is naturally gluten-free and rich in protein, fibre, and packed with antioxidants. Pseudocereals are plants that produce seeds and fruits that are similar to grains and used in virtually the same ways. Amaranth can be used in a similar way to whole grains, despite not being a true grain itself.
How to Cook Amaranth
For 1 cup of cooked amaranth you will need approximately 1/2 cup of amaranth grain. Follow the package directions for stove top or pressure cooker.
You can also prepare the amaranth in a rice cooker. Using a fine mesh sieve, rinse 1 cup of amaranth in cold water then add to your rice cooker along with 2 cups water and a pinch of salt. You may need to add 1/4 – 1/2 cup more water to get to your desired texture.
Amaranth Tabbouleh Recipe
Note: It’s normal for the cooked amaranth to be a bit sticky and clumpy. Once all the ingredients for the salad are combined with the amaranth everything will come together nicely.
- 1 cup cooked amaranth
- 1 cup cucumber, finely diced (English or Persian cucumbers work best)
- 1 1/2 cups tomatoes, finely diced
- 1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped (Italian flat-leaf or curly)
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
- Pinch of ground cumin (optional)
- Cook your amaranth according to the package directions and let cool to room temperature. The amaranth can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge until you are ready to assemble the salad.
- In a large bowl, add the cooked amaranth and the remaining ingredients for the salad. Mix well to combine.
- To make the dressing, add the olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and cumin into a glass jar with a tightly fitted lid and shake vigorously to combine. An upcycled glass jar is great to have on hand to mix up dressings like this, or you can use a small bowl and a whisk.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss together until all of the ingredients are coated.
- Cover the salad and chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
In place of amaranth, you can substitute quinoa or riced cauliflower for more gluten-free tabbouleh options.
Meal prep suggestions
Consider making a large batch of amaranth on your meal prep day. Set aside 1 cup of cooked amaranth in the fridge to make this salad and another portion to use later in the week in the same way you would use other grains. Cooked amaranth can also be stored in the freezer for future use for up to three months. Turn this salad into a main course by adding your favourite protein such as sliced grilled chicken breast, tofu, feta cheese, cooked shrimp, or chickpeas.
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