Lebanese Tabbouleh | with Gluten-free + Grain-free Options

Michigan brought out my inner Lebanese, and this lemony herb tabbouleh salad is my favorite. The Lebanese version is traditionally made with a little bit of bulgur, but quinoa makes a great gluten-free substitute. When cooked then cooled, quinoa is a rich source of resistant starch which helps feed a healthy gut microbiome. But if you don’t tolerate grain, leave out the quinoa. This star of this show is parsley.

Parsley is full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It acts as a natural diuretic and helps relieve bloating. It’s also a natural antifungal and antibacterial that is good for digestion and detox.

This pairs great with eggplant and lamb dishes. Scoop it up with romaine lettuce boats, or add to avocado halves for a meal.


  • 1 c quinoa (optional) cooked in 2 c filtered water
  • 3 bunches Italian parsley, large stems removed* and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 English cucumber, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 medium-sized vine ripened tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste

*reserve the parsley stems and keep in the freezer for the next time you make broth


If using, rinse quinoa and combine with water in a small pot. Bring to a boil then cover and lower heat to a simmer. Cook on low for about 15 minutes, then fluff with a fork and remove from the pot to cool in the refrigerator.

In your serving bowl, combine lemon juice with an equal part olive oil and minced garlic. Whisk to combine.

Add chopped parsley, mint, cucumber, tomato and scallions to the bowl. If using, add cooled quinoa. Toss to combine with the lemon and olive oil mixture. Season to taste with sea salt. Let sit at room temperature for an hour or more as the flavors combine.

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About Dr. Maren

Christine Maren D.O., IFMCP is a board-certified physician and the founder of a virtual functional medicine practice in Colorado, Michigan, and Texas. She is also the co-founder of Hey Mami, a platform dedicated to helping women navigate a healthy and happy motherhood. She is best know for her work in thyroid, gut and reproductive/ preconception health. Dr. Maren is board-certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and is an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner (IFMCP). Read more

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