Totally Grain-free Cauliflower Tabouli

I met my son in California recently and he suggested an authentic Greek restaurant nearby his house. Anyone who knows Alex also knows he’s pretty good about his diet, so when he ordered up a side of Tabouli (Tabbouleh?), imagine my wide-eyed, eyebrow-raised “isn’t that wheat?” response.

The Amazing salad that arrived shortly after my son’s “Mom, you’ll love this.” answer was not the Americanized version at all. Rather, it is mostly greens—so much so that it didn’t even have any cracked wheat in it. Which lead me to thinking a little crunchy cauliflower and maybe a few other taste sensations like crisp celery and tangy olives…


Yields 4 cups

3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 small head of cauliflower, riced (see below)
1-2 green spring onions, finely chopped
1 large bunch or two small bunches of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 large bunch fresh mint leaves, finely chopped finely chopped
3 medium stalks of celery, finely sliced (optional)
¼ cup green olives, coarsely chopped (optional)
¼ cup pine nuts or raw sunflower seeds (optional)


1. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large serving bowl and set aside.
2. Rice the cauliflower florets. Use either a sharp knife and cut florets into rice-sized pieces or place florets into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. (Don’t over-process, you want a fluffy texture with grain-sized pieces)
3. Add the chopped cauliflower, celery, green onions and olives to the dressing and toss to combine.
4. Add in the finely chopped herbs and toss again.
5. Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve sprinkled with pine nuts or sunflower seeds (optional).

Copyright © 2014 Marie Cecchini Sternquist. All Rights Reserved

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