Low Carb Tabbouleh (Tabouli) Salad. 4g net carbs per serving.
This finely chopped salad sees its origins in Middle Eastern cuisine. It is still a popular dish in Arab countries today, where you will often see it served as part of a meze. Inevitably, Tabbouleh found its way to Mediterranean countries such as Turkey and Cyprus, before its popularity spread to every Western culture.
Trouble is… Tabbouleh’s main ingredient is bulgur wheat. So how does one create a keto-friendly copy of this beautiful dish, if the star of the show is missing?
I must admit it wasn’t easy, but I think I’ve found the best bulgur replacement.
How to Make Low Carb Tabbouleh (Tabouli) Salad
Hemp seed hearts are my substitution for bulgur. Hemp seeds are extremely low carb, grainy and neutral in flavour. Plus of course they’re a nutrition powerhouse, rich in vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and protein, making them a great clean keto food choice.
Bulgur aside, Tabbouleh is all about vegetables. So yes there are inevitably a few carbs involved. With the lemon juice and mint leaves adding quite a few. But you get the benefit of good fats from the extra virgin olive oil, and a good amount of healthy protein from the hemp seeds. Do make sure you use hemp seed hearts, as the skin is quite a tough cookie.
You obviously won’t get the crunch that bulgur would deliver. But I think the hemp seed hearts compensate in a nice way. It’s clearly a compromise. The texture and mouth feel of grains are pretty unique, so you cannot expect a low-carb replacement to be identical.
Usually, lettuce isn’t a Tabbouleh ingredient. However, I’ve added it to my Keto-adapted recipe in order to add a bit more bulk and crunch, without unnecessary extra carbs. The remaining ingredients are pretty traditional: cherry tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, and mint. All finely chopped, tossed together with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and seasoning. I omit onions because I find they overpower the overall flavours.
Low Carb Tabbouleh (Tabouli) Salad is a really easy dish with a Middle Eastern flavour that goes extremely well with my low-carb Falafel, or a grilled meat feast, or a meze spread.
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- Yield: 4
- Serving: ¼
- Calories: 253
- Fat: 19g
- Net Carbs: 4g
- Protein: 10g
- 250g cherry or baby plum tomatoes
- 50g gem or romaine lettuce
- 200g cucumber
- 20g fresh parsley leaves
- 15g fresh mint leaves
- 100g hemp seed hearts (U.S. option HERE)
- 30ml lemon juice (1 large lemon)
- 30g extra virgin olive oil (U.S. option HERE)
- a generous sprinkle of fine Himalayan pink salt (U.S. option HERE)
- a sprinkle of ground white pepper
- cut tomatoes into quarters; peel, slice lengthways, and cut the cucumber into small cubes; shred the lettuce; finely chop herbs.
- put all chopped veggies into a mixing bowl and add hemp seed hearts, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- stir well and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
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