Tag Archives: Quinoa

Lemony Tabbouleh

Lemony Tabbouleh

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones



To so many, parsley is thought of as just a garnish, but not I.  To me, parsley is an ingredient to be celebrated as much as other favorite herbs like basil or salad greens such as arugula, field greens and others.  It shows up regularly, pretty much daily in my meals, sprinkled atop sliced eggs on toast or over pasta or mixed into any number of recipes, it adds a freshness like no other to just about any savory dish.  But here, parsley becomes the star, no longer a mere garnish, parsley is the main ingredient in this simple lovely salad.  This truly is traditionally a parsley salad with bulgur, mint and tomatoes playing the supporting roles.  I like my tabbouleh with extra lemon, so feel free to add less if that’s not to your liking.  Either way, this is a quick, simple, yet wonderfully delicious dish that itself could be the star of the meal. 


2/3 cup fine Bulgur wheat (medium or coarse grain can be substituted) *see notes – or Quinoa for a gluten free option

Zest of 1 Lemon

About 4 Tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice, from about 1- 2 lemons (less if you prefer)

About 4 -6 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 large bunch (about 3-4 cups) Flat Leaf Italian Parsley (so much more flavorful than curly parsley)

1 small bunch Mint (about ½ – 1 cup)

About ½ – 1 whole pint of small Tomatoes, such as grape or cherry

Optional: 2-3 chopped Scallions

Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste




Rinse bulgur in a tight mesh strainer under cold water and then drain thoroughly.  Pour into a medium bowl.  *See notes below if you wish to use Quinoa. Zest your lemon (before juicing).  Add lemon juice and olive oil to the bulgur, add less to start with as you can always add more lemon juice after tasting, but you can’t take it out.  Allow to sit for a few minutes to absorb the dressing.  If using medium or coarse grain bulgur, you’ll need to add a little hot water to soften the grain, before adding the dressing.

Meanwhile, wash and dry parsley and mint leaves and chop.  Add to the bulgur along with the lemon zest, salt and pepper and scallions if using.  Stir to combine.

Cut the tomatoes in half or quarters, depending upon the size and what you like.  Add the tomatoes to the salad and gently stir.

Taste, adding more lemon juice or salt and pepper as you like.

Can be served chilled or at room temperature.  Enjoy! IMG_4476IMG_4482

Recipe Notes:  

It’s best to let the salad sit for a bit of time before eating to allow the grain to soften and fully absorb all the flavors of the dressing, herbs and tomatoes.  If I have time and actually think ahead, I mix the bulgur with the olive oil and lemon juice and leave in the fridge overnight, before adding the remaining ingredients, but this is not necessary.

 Tabbouleh can be served in so many wonderful ways.  I like it simply in Romaine lettuce cups or added to a hummus wrap or falafel sandwich or atop a larger green salad or served alongside your favorite fish. It was also my contribution to the family Easter brunch, served along side my dad’s amazing quiche and goat cheese tart.  

Ingredient Notes: 

Parsley has numerous health benefits.  It is an excellent source of Vitamins K (one half cup serving provides over 500% of your daily value!) and C and also a very good source of Vitamin A, folic acid and iron. It is high in numerous healthy flavonoids.  All of which means parsley is good for your heart, joints, digestion and more.   

Bulgur wheat also goes by the name cracked wheat, it is high in protein and fiber and low in fat and calories, an excellent substitution for other grains such as brown rice or oats. 

*BUT, if you can’t find bulgur or wish to make this wheat/gluten free, I find Quinoa makes a perfect substitute for the bulgur.  If you do use Quinoa, you’ll have to pre cook it, I would probably use about 1/3 cup uncooked to 2/3 cup water, brought to a boil and then covered on a low simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Quinoa increases in volume by a lot, so don’t be concerned by the small amount at the start.   

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Lentil “Meatballs”


Lentil Meatballs

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Adapted from: Sara Forte’s “The Sprouted Kitchen”

Meat free, gluten free, but full on flavor! These tasty lentil meatballs are the perfect prescription for any vegetarian missing that classic childhood favorite “spaghetti and meatballs”. But these little bites are so yummy even meat eaters won’t miss the meat. These are in regular rotation at chez Jones.


1 can black lentils – about 2 cups (*see recipe note below)

2 eggs

¾ cup ricotta cheese (I use part skim)

¼ cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese (Locatelli is the best)

2 cloves garlic – crushed

1 shallot – finely chopped

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

A few sprigs of fresh thyme

1 ½ teaspoons dried Italian seasoning

½ teaspoon fennel seeds

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)

Lemon zest – from about ½ – 1 whole lemon

1 Tablespoon olive oil (I use extra virgin always)

1 cup cooked quinoa (use leftover or cook ¼ cup dry with ½ cup water in advance)IMG_4271IMG_4278


Drain and rinse the lentils and place in a medium size bowl. Mash the lentils with the back of a fork or potato masher, but don’t completely pulverize, you want to still have some intact lentils.IMG_4275

Add to the lentils all remaining ingredients except the quinoa. Mix well to combine and then add in the quinoa and mix through.IMG_4280IMG_4282

To help keep the mix from falling apart, place in the refrigerator to chill for about 15 minutes. You could also mix this up in the morning and then have it all ready to go at dinner time or even mix it all up the night before.

While chilling…Preheat oven to 400 F. And if you plan to serve with spaghetti, start boiling your water and/or prepping the rest of your meal.

After your mix has chilled, line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper or brush the pan with olive oil if you don’t have any parchment on hand.

IMG_4283Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and start forming balls, about 1 inch in diameter. I use my smallest spring loaded ice cream scoop to form the balls, place them on the pan and then press any loose ends together with my fingers once they’re all on the pan. This recipe makes about 28-32 balls. These don’t need a lot of space on the pan, so I pack them in pretty tight but don’t let them touch.IMG_4285

Bake for 15 minutes at 400 F, until the bottoms begin to brown and then carefully turn and bake another 10 minutes.

Serve atop spaghetti with your favorite tomato sauce, I like them with a spicy tomato sauce, but marinara is tasty too. Or if you’d like to skip the pasta, they’re also great atop sautéed greens, like swiss chard. You could even squish them between some Italian bread with tomato sauce for a yummy vegetarian meatball sub. A little extra grated Romano cheese over the top completes it. Enjoy!IMG_4292IMG_4300

Recipe notes: don’t be dismayed if you feel like this makes too many, cooled leftovers freeze great for a quick meal in the future, just defrost and reheat. You could also serve these as party hors d’oeuvres with a little pesto dipping sauce.

*Also a note about lentils, I use black lentils also known as French lentils here, they are a bit firmer and hold up better than brown or green lentils when mashed and I like that slightly al dente bite they lend to these meatballs. If you can’t find them canned, you could easily cook up a batch of dried, lentils are the one bean that cooks up quickly without any need for overnight soaking.

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Crispy Quinoa Fritters


It’s Meatless Monday! Truth be told it’s Meatless Monday every day of the week around here, but whether you embrace a Vegetarian lifestyle all of the time or you just try to eat a little less meat here and there, this recipe is perfect.  Quinoa is the only plant based complete protein and with the addition of eggs and cheese, this makes a delicious protein packed Vegetarian main dish, which also wouldn’t be bad as a side dish when you’re not embracing the meat free world.  Bonus, they’re even gluten free. If you have leftover quinoa or cook it the day or two before, these fritters come together quickly, with a cheesy, crispy exterior, complete the meal with a salad and/or roasted veggies, yum.IMG_3689


Crispy Quinoa Fritters

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Adapted from one of my favorite recipe books, Heidi Swanson’s “Super Natural Every Day”, Little Quinoa Patties.


3 cups cooked Quinoa (from 1 cup uncooked)

4 extra large Eggs (I use Organic)

Chopped Red Onion – 1 small or ½ of one large OR about 4 Shallots

3 cloves Garlic – minced

¼ cup chopped Parsley

½ teaspoon Sea Salt, or more to taste

¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes, or more to taste

½ cup Chick Pea (Garbanzo) Flour OR ½ cup dried Bread Crumbs

½ cup grated Asiago Cheese (Gruyere would also be good)

1 cup (divided) grated Pecorino Romano OR Parmesan

About 1 – 2 Tablespoons Butter or Olive Oil or a combo


Zest of one Lemon

Juice of ½ Lemon

Chopped Sun Dried Tomatoes

Fresh Herbs – about 1 teaspoon Thyme or Oregano



In a medium bowl combine the Quinoa, Eggs, Onion, Garlic, Parsley, Salt & Red Pepper, Chick Pea Flour or Bread Crumbs, Asiago Cheese, ½ cup of the Romano cheese and any of the optional ingredients you like.  Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or longer (sometimes I mix it up in the morning and then it’s ready to go when I get home at night).IMG_3686 Quinoa Fritter mix

After 15 minutes, heat the butter and/or olive oil (I like a combo of both) in a large non stick skillet.  Scoop out about ¼ cup of the quinoa mixture (I use a spring loaded ice cream scoop, pressing it against the inside of the bowl to help it hold together a little more) and drop it into the heated skillet.  About 6 – 7 fritters should fit in the pan.  Cover and cook over medium heat for 7 – 10 minutes until the bottoms are browned.  Adjust the flame if not browning quickly enough.

IMG_2465 Quinoa Fritters in the panIMG_2466 Qunioa Fritters flipped

Sprinkle some of the remaining ½ cup of Romano cheese on top of each fritter and then flip over in the pan and flatten out a bit with the spatula.  Cover the pan and cook for another 7 minutes or so until browned on the other side.

Remove from the skillet and place on a serving platter and then continue to cook the rest.  Adding a little more butter or olive oil to the pan as needed

Makes about 12-15 fritters, serve 2-3 per person. 

Leftovers keep great in the fridge for a few days, they’re good cold or heated up.  Enjoy them over a salad or in a wrap, if you like with a little hummus and hot sauce as Colin does.     

Note: we’ve tried these with all types of different sauces and finally came to the conclusion they’re perfect all on their own.


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