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Tomato Basil Cauliflower Tabbouleh with Honey Balsamic Dressing [Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Vegan Option]



While we were our honeymoon, we visited a charming juice bar/coffee shop/vegan cafe called Jessie’s Juice. And stayed for 2 hours. And came back again the next day. Single origin coffees, a robust seasonal menu, homemade kombucha and flax chips, as well as friendly, passionate owners set this place apart. Even now that we live in New York – arguably a hippie food hotbed  – we’ve never found a place quite like Jessie’s. We’re counting the days until we can return again.

Long story short, we really dug the food at Jessie’s. And we literally dug into their tabbouleh salad like there was no tomorrow. Their recipe was a bit different than ours, but that’s where the inspiration sprouted. This recipe is light, flavorful, and filling. Tabbouleh, by definition, is an “Arab salad of cracked wheat mixed with finely chopped ingredients…” There’s no wheat here, and the recipe is better for it.

Recipe Time: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients [serves 2 people, as a whole meal]

3 c. cauliflower (roughly 1/2 large head. Ground in blender or food processor.)
1 1/4 c. of cooked quinoa
3/4 c. quartered cherry tomatoes
1/4 c. fresh chopped basil
1/4 c. chopped raw almonds
1 large leaf chopped Swiss chard
1 avocado, sliced
spinach for garnish [optional] 1 garlic clove for cooking quinoa [optional]

Ingredients [dressing]

2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. water
1 T. raw honey (sub with raw agave nectar for vegan)
about 1 t. each sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until later.


Mix the dressing and have it ready for when the tabbouleh is finished.

Cook the quinoa. We first sautéed 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and 1 clove of chopped garlic in the quinoa pot, then added the uncooked quinoa and toasted it in the mixture for about 3 minutes. From there, we cooked the quinoa as the directions suggest. [Added water, heated to a boil, reduced to a simmer, and cooked for 20-ish minutes – stirring occasionally.] This reminds us – we need to post a quinoa recipe. It’s quite simple to make, but there are lots of ways to spice it up!

While the quinoa cooks, thoroughly wash the cauliflower and chop it into smaller, more blender-manageable pieces. Blend or food process the cauliflower until it has the appearance of rice.


Finely chop the basil. Sliver the cherry tomatoes – we cut ours into quarters to make them go further in the recipe. Roughly chop the chard leaf. Slice the avocado into thin pieces. Chop the almonds.



In a large bowl, combine cauliflower, basil, tomatoes, chard, and cooled quinoa. Season with sea salt and pepper, then mix everything together. Pour dressing over the mixture and mix it all up again.



Serve the tabbouleh in individual bowls lined with spinach – or don’t – that’s up to you. [Hint: It looks really fancy if you are serving to guests or if you want to impress a special dinner date.] Arrange avocado slices on top of the tabbouleh and sprinkle with crushed almonds.





What do you think?

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  • Diego
    July 20, 2013

    This looks so delish! Gonna make it for lunch today :D

    • thefitchen
      July 21, 2013

      Hope you enjoyed it!