Grain Free Tabouli Salad with Hemp Seeds

I am really glad I called my little online world a ‘mish mash’ because WOW do my posts go from one extreme to another! From talking Marshmallows and Coloured Sugar I now swing to fresh green goodness with today’s post on Grain Free Tabouli.

Grain Free Tabouli Salad



Tabouli, or tabbouleh, is a delicious salad typically based on parsley, tomatoes and onions, dressed with lemon and olive oil. It’s often a part of mezze dishes in middle eastern countries. Let me say, if you haven’t already…you must mezze! You will love it. Tons of amazing flavours often served alongside a bevy or two! ?

Since my university days I’ve had a thing for middle eastern cuisine but it wasn’t until I went travelling through Turkey that I really fell in love with it. I still dream about this tiny restaurant called Topdeck in Cappadocia that served the most outstanding mezze dishes. Mmmmmmm.

It’s Healthy Too

Not only is tabouli fresh and delicious it’s actually REALLY good for you. With all the fresh ingredients (and the untraditional hemp seeds) it’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, protein and essential fatty acids.

Here are some of the health benefits of just two of the ingredients….


Parsley is a power house of nutrition…check out these numbers from the USDA Nutrient Database.

Per 60g (~1 cup) of chopped:

      • vitamin K = 984 mcg, 1230% Daily Recommended Value (%DV)
      • vitamin C = 80 mg, 133% DV
      • vitamin A = 5054 IU , 101% DV
      • Folate = 91 mcg, 23% DV
      • Potassium = 332 mg, 9% DV
      • Calcium = 83 mg, 8% DV 



Hemp Seeds

Hemp Hearts

Hemp seeds are well known for their health benefits. Here are the USDA Nutrient Database details for this chewy little number.

Per 30g (~3 Tbsp) of raw hemp seeds:

  • protein 9 g
  • fiber 2 g
  • vitamin E = 15 mg, 77% DV
  • magnesium = 300 mg, 75% DV
  • zinc = 5 mg, 34% DV
  • iron = 4 mg, 22% DV

Don’t forget about the essential fatty acids. 75% of hemp seeds fat content are made up of Omega-3 & Omega-6; including GLA!

Check out this super seed comparison chart from Manitoba Harvest.

Grain Free Tabouli Recipe

When we lived over on Main Street there was this little hole in the wall restaurant (always the best kind ? ) that made the most amazing middle eastern food. One of the greatest things about it was their grain free tabouli. It was fresh and flavourful and I didn’t get the wheat-belly aftermath! Recently, we’ve found a new spot on Lonsdale that does the trick for a quick shawarma plate but unfortunately they don’t have grain free tabbouli. So…. I was inspired to make my own.

Tabouli Salad Ingredients

I didn’t realize how simple tabouli salad was to make. The most time consuming part is the…. chopping. Chop, chop!

Typically, tabouli is made with bulgur or sometimes couscous, both of which are wheat based. By substituting with the hemp hearts you get the chewy and heartiness normally found in a more traditional recipe but without the grain. Umm hmm!

This grain free tabouli salad has only 8 ingredients and takes 5 minutes to throw together.


Although this salad is great when freshly made I prefer to make it ahead of time (even the day before) to let the flavours blend!

Spice Blends

Za'atar Spice Mix

Now, if you don’t have the time or ingredients to put a spice mix together for this dish…don’t worry about it. This salad tastes amazing without it. However, I’m all about pops of flavour and any time I get to add a little extra spice to my life I will!

My favourite spice blend to use in this salad is Za’atar. It’s a blend of oregano, marjoram, thyme, sumac, sesame seeds and salt. You could make your own or buy it from many middle eastern grocers.

You can also use Lebanese 7-Spice which is a combination in equal parts of ground; allspice, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, fenugreek, and powdered ginger.

Whichever spice mix you choose, or none at all, you will not be disappointed with this salad!

This grain free tabouli salad is a great accompaniment to grilled fish or meat and is excellent with vegetarian dishes such as falafels or other lentil dishes.



Grain Free Tabouli with Hemp Seeds
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  • 3 bunches (~150g) fresh curly parsley, stems removed and leaves finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch (20g) mint
  • 1 cup (150g), cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cup (75g) white onion, finely diced
  • 4 Tbsp hulled hemp seeds
  • Optional: 1/2 cup finely diced cucumber and/or red pepper
  • Dressing:
  • 2 lemons, juiced (~3 - 4 Tbsp)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • Optional: 1/4 tsp spice mix (Za'atar or Lebanese 7-Spice)


  • In a large mixing bowl combine the parsley, mint, tomatoes and onion.
  • Mix in the hemp seeds.
  • Combine the dressing ingredients.
  • Pour the dressing over the parsley mix and toss to combine.
  • Add additional salt and spices to taste.
  • Serve immediately or make the day before to allow flavours to blend.

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One Response

  1. Zest Nutrition April 26, 2017

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