Can I make tabbouleh ahead of time?
Yes, You can - and should - make tabbouleh ahead of time. Tabbouleh is a refreshing salad best eaten cold, and you would likely store in the fridge at least for an hour before eating.
You can prepare our barley salad and keep in the fridge up to a week before eating. Vegan recipes like this one keep longer than others in the refrigerator, as fruits and vegetables don't decay as quickly as animal products.
We suggest you cover the tabbouleh when stored in the fridge, to keep the flavour and scent from dispersing. Store it in a sealed box, or cover the salad bowl with cling film.
Can I serve this salad hot?
Tabbouleh is typically consumed cold, but nothing is stopping you from eating it warm as soon as prepared or reheating it once taken out from the fridge.
We suggest you don't reheat our barley and tenderstem broccoli tabbouleh in a microwave oven. Add a drizzle of vegetable oil in a skillet instead, and quickly stir-fry the salad for a crispy finish.
Is this recipe suitable for a weight loss or keto diet?
This barley tabbouleh salad is an excellent weight-loss recipe. A single serving has only 360 calories and yet gives you a balanced meal that includes whole grains, healthy unsaturated fats, and plant-based proteins.
Moreover, each bowl covers 2 of your 5-a-day of vegetables and over 50% of your recommended daily intake of fibres. Eating more veggies and fibre-rich foods means consuming low-calorie density meals that also make you feel full for longer.
With only 12% of your RDI for carbs, this salad is relatively low in carbs and thus can be easily included in weight-loss diets.
If you want to eliminate almost all carbs from this recipe, then replace barley with cauliflower rice. If you don't know how to prepare it, check out our crispy cauliflower rice.
Many keto recipes use cauli-rice as a replacement for grains, as the veggie has almost zero carbs, and its shredded florets have both the appearance and consistency of white rice.
Even if you aren't on a low-carb diet, you can swap white rice for cauliflower rice in many recipes and enjoy the numerous benefits of this vegetable. It's rich in fibres and provides essential nutrients like B vitamins, crucial for a healthy metabolism. Cauliflowers also pack disease-fighting antioxidants that promote wellbeing and slow down ageing processes.
Cold salads, like our broccoli tabbouleh, are very well suited for cauliflower rice - give it a try!
Is tabbouleh gluten-free?
Traditional tabbouleh, made with bulgur wheat, is not gluten-free. Even our variation with barley isn't, as this grain also contains gluten.
To turn this Levantine salad gluten-free, we have to find a replacement for these grains.
Here are two smart and easy ways to make gluten-free tabbouleh:
Both options above have advantages besides being gluten-free.
We suggest you choose quinoa if you are also on a vegan diet, or want more proteins. Quinoa is one of the few plants with complete proteins, making it a very welcome addition to vegan nutrition.
If you don't know what complete proteins are, think about it this way: To make proteins and other vital compounds your body needs amino acids which are like building blocks. You system can make almost all the amino acids from scratch, except for nine of them, which are only obtained through diet. Animal proteins have all these crucial amino acids, while most plant-derived proteins don't. Quinoa has all the nine required amino acids, and it's therefore complete. So if you are on a desert island and are vegan, bring quinoa with you, and you'll be fine (protein-wise)!
People following a super low-carb diet - i.e. a keto diet - should instead opt for the cauliflower rice option. We talk a bit more about how to make low-carb and keto tabbouleh in the FAQ above.