Years ago, I used to waitress at a fun little breakfast spot. I’d start my shift at 7am and be on my feet for about 7 hours straight, so by the time my shift was over, I was starving, dyyyyying for a big, delicious lunch. Lucky for ne, right next store was a middle eastern restaurant that served the most delicious tabbouleh ever. It was packed with fresh herbs and garlic, and I literally wanted to lick the plate afterwards. I didn’t, though. Okay, maybe just once or twice (wink).
I wanted to recreate that lovely dish I used to enjoy so much, which is something I really enjoy doing (see my Whole30 Kung Pao Chicken or Whole30 Spaghetti and Meatballs), and this is dish is herby, lemony, and fresh, with all the delicious middle eastern flavors of tabbouleh, but made grain and gluten free. Traditionally, tabbouleh is made with bulgar, so I simply switched the grains for cauliflower rice (which is a fabulous and unbelievably easy substitution) and whammo, it’s Whole30 Tabbouleh.
This dish eats more like a salad than anything else, but that’s because I made this very veggie-heavy. It’s just how I like it– when you give me anything crunchy and fresh, I’ll be a happy lady. And if you want to make this a complete meal? All you need is grilled chicken or shrimp to make a perfect lunch or dinner. Or if you have some lettuce, BAM, you’ve got crowd pleasing, super flavorful Whole30 Tabbouleh Lettuce Wraps. I made these for my family and they were gone in about 5 minutes.
Variations: What we have to do is mix things up sometimes — Whole30 will get really boring really fast if you do the same thing over and over. So feel free to customize the herbs and veggies that you add. Some people hate cilantro, I get it (well not really, but I won’t judge you if you hate it). Substitute more parsley or extra mint. You can add in bell peppers or leave off red onion if that’s not your thing. You do you. And fun fact – this actually tastes better the next day.
What we have to do is mix things up sometimes — Whole30 will get really boring really fast if you do the same thing over and over — so the name of the healthy-eating game for me is always fun. I try to find dishes that sound exciting and flavors that seem unique. I’m gearing up for another Whole30 right now, and I’ve already planned out a few weeks worth of dinners. This Cauliflower Tabbouleh recipe is going into the rotation at week 2, which is right around the time I’m ready for a big burst of flavor. Because one thing I’ve learned about being successful in your Whole30 is you have to be intentional about fending off food boredom. Use a different type or cut of meat, try a new flavor combination, don’t just roast or mash every vegetable you eat. Switch it up every so often, and you’ll be doing yourself a big favor and setting yourself up to succeed.
Whole30 Cauliflower Tabbouleh
An unbelievably simple side dish that’s Paleo, Low Carb, and Whole30 compliant. To make it a complete meal, just add grilled chicken or shrimp!
- 2 bags of frozen riced cauliflower rice, about 5 cups
- 1 large tomato
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 English cucumber or 2 garden cucumbers, seeded
- 1 cup any combination of cilantro and parsley
- 8-12 mint leaves (I don’t like a lot of mint in this but feel free to add more if you like it!)
Lemon Garlic Dressing
- Juice of 2 lemons + 1 tsp zest
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Whisk all ingredients together and season to taste.
Prepare Cauliflower Tabbouleh
Prepare the cauliflower on the stovetop or microwave.
Set it aside and allow it to cool, then chill in the refrigerator or on an ice bath.
Dice the tomato, cucumber, red onion and herbs.
In a large bowl, mix it all together with the dressing and season to taste.
Garnish with extra slices of lemon and herbs, and enjoy.
Have you made this Cauliflower Tabbouleh? Tag @cookathomemom on Instagram or leave a comment below!