Summer Rice and Quinoa Tabbouleh with Beets

Summer Tabbouleh with Beets

Can we talk about how fast life moves after graduating from college? And I’m not even at a 9-5 job anymore. Nor do I have kids…I can’t image how time will feel when that happens. I’m picturing similar to how this 800 mile per hour high speed train would feel, if it ever gets built.

This summer seems like a blur. Late August and evening sweater weather, how did you creep up so fast? Please leave me be for another few weeks. I need some time to contemplate. (i.e., to lay on my back in a pool, and stare mindlessly up at the sky). Ya feel me?

At least I can say the past few months have been entertaining ones, and packed with a tabbouleh salad full of new experiences. This last week, I had the opportunity to teach yoga to a class of senior citizens, a group of former homeless drug addicts, and Temple University’s volleyball team. Man, was each experience different. And tremendously rewarding. Occasions like this really make me reevaluate life. If only I had more time to ponder over those feelings. In a pool. Or a lake. I won’t be picky, summer, if you just stay a bit longer.

Summer Tabbouleh with Beets

So while life has been busy and all over the place, I’ve been making a lot of no-recipe tabbouleh salads. Ones in a huge bowl that will last for the week, and are packed with farmer’s market veggies to keep me charged and thinking straight.

On these occasions, there are no measuring cups or spoons present, excluding the one I’m using to taste as I go. There is no exact science involved. Or open laptop being splattered with veggie juice, tracking every ingredient’s use. While I love recipe development, more often than not, this is how I enjoy cooking the most. Improvisation based off of the ingredients I have at hand.

I hate to snub you guys of a precise directions here, but I want you to simply use this as inspiration to create your own version of tabbouleh. No stressing if you’re missing ingredients from the recipe, well, because there is no recipe. And no freaking out if it doesn’t look like some photo. Below is simply a loose blueprint to get you started. Also, just an FYI, one beet can go a long way. You don’t need much to add that gorgeous pink vibrancy you’ll see in the bowl above.

Summer Rice Tabbouleh with Beets - A loose blueprint


  • -Bulgur Wheat is the traditional grain for tabbouleh, but lately I've been using a ratio of 1 cup dried rice to 1/4 cup dried quinoa
  • -Seasonal veggies (tomatoes, cukes, bell peppers, carrots, radishes, beets, hot pepper, etc.)
  • -Onion, finely diced
  • -Herbs (parsley, basil, mint, thyme, etc.)
  • -Chickpeas, beans, toasted nuts (whatever veg. protein source you're feeling)
  • -Extra virgin olive oil (the good kind)
  • -Vinegar/lemon/a combo. of the two (add some zest if you're feeling zesty)
  • -Feta or goat cheese (optional, of course)
  • -Salt and pepper, fresh from the grinder so you can feel all fancy


  1. In a pot, add water to rice and quinoa, according to package directions/how much you're using. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 40 minutes, or until rice is tender.
  2. Chop vegetables and herbs. Toss with rice/quinoa, once cooked, and beans/nuts/etc. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add two parts olive oil to one part vinegar/lemon juice. (I like my salads on the more acidic side, so I tend to add a little extra vinegar.)
  3. Sprinkle with cheese, if using.
  4. Enjoy. Eat. Repeat.

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  • Reply
    August 20, 2013 at 6:58 am

    Salads like this are the perfect backdrop for improvisation!! Plus yours is a real beauty. It’s like a rainbow in a bowl!

    • Reply
      August 22, 2013 at 7:54 am

      Thanks Joanne. All the vegetables of the rainbow!

  • Reply
    Irina @ wandercrush
    August 21, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Oh man, Grace this is so beautiful. Improv is one of the most fun things about cooking, and apparently the prettiest, too! I feel ya about summer being a blur. Sounds like you got a lot of fulfilling experiences in, though 🙂

    • Reply
      August 22, 2013 at 7:58 am

      Thanks Irina. And yes, agree, improv is what makes cooking fun, especially with summer ingredients!

  • Reply
    Jen @ The Scrumptious Pumpkin
    August 21, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    Such a pretty, colorful summer dish! And so healthy too – I’ll have to Pin this one for sure 🙂

  • Reply
    Elizabeth M-B
    August 21, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    This looks AMAZING. I weirdly made a tabbouleh-style dish with beets today (there’s a post about it on my blog!). It’s much more “amateur”/loosely thrown together than your very polished dish, but I hope you’ll check it out all the same.

    I totally love your blog. It’s so inspirational to see other young women who are passionate about clean eating and all that entails. I’ll keep checking back!

    • Reply
      August 22, 2013 at 7:50 am

      Thanks Elizabeth! I’ve been eating SO much tabbouleh this summer. It’s so easy to throw together. Yours looks great too!

  • Reply
    August 22, 2013 at 8:33 am

    This is one healthy salad! Love the colours in this.

  • Reply
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    August 24, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    What a beautiful salad! I love the bright colors and so healthy too.

  • Reply
    Sarah | The Sugar Hit
    August 26, 2013 at 12:58 am

    This is exactly what I should be eating for lunch! Totally inspired to make a bowl up and keep it in the fridge.

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    Cookie and Kate
    August 29, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Wow! What a gorgeous and colorful salad. I really wish I could eat beets—they’re SO pretty, but they make my throat scratchy!

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