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Prep work will go a long way in this meal, but even without the prep you can still get in and out in under 30 minutes.
What is tabbouleh, you ask? Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern salad typically made with bulgur wheat, veggies, lemon, and herbs.
To get this into THM territory, I used quinoa in place of the bulgur wheat.
I gotta say, even for an E meal, this meal was packing the flavor and protein. This isn’t one of those E meals that leaves something to be desired after. It will fill you up for hours! In fact, it would make a wonderful take-to-work lunch.
What’s going to take you the most time will be the quinoa tabbouleh, so get that going first. Quinoa is best when you rinse it prior to cooking, and I like to “toast” it slightly in my sauce pan before adding the chicken broth or water. The toasting helps to separate the grains and keep them slightly al dente. Plus, it adds a little extra flavor, which is never a bad thing.
While the quinoa cooks, go ahead and prep the tzatziki dressing. Combine yogurt, mint, water, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until your ready to serve.
When the quinoa is cooked, add it to a bowl with the cucumber, tomatoes, scallions, parsley, EVOO, mint, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Remove it to the fridge until you’re ready to put the salad together.
Next, grill the chicken breasts. My shortcut tip here is to use scallopini cut chicken breasts. They cost the same as normal cut ones, but they’re cut thinner so they cook faster. I season them simply with salt and pepper and throw them onto my cast iron grill.
Now you’re ready to build the salads!
Pick your favorite green salad mix – I always gravitate towards baby spring mix, because it’s less bitter than other blends. Throw in some extra Romaine and/or red/green leaf lettuce for some padding (and, really, we all need those greens). The tabbouleh already has tomatoes and cucumbers in it, but you can add extra if you desire. Pile the tabbouleh on top of your greens, then add the sliced chicken, and dollop on the creamy tzatziki dressing.
This is definitely going to turn into a weeknight go-to for us. The effort was minimal, but this dish packs some big flavors. Plus, it’s a light summer meal that doesn’t heat the kitchen or require blood, sweat, and tears.
Perfect combo, ammiright?
Grilled Chicken Tabbouleh Salads (THM E)
Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food
For the Tabbouleh:
- 1 c cooked quinoa
- 1/2 English cucumber, lightly skinned and finely chopped
- 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4-1/2 c mint
- 1 Tbsp EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 c chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper
For the Tzatziki Dressing:
- 1/2 c nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1/4 c mint
- 3 Tbsp water
- lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 small garlic clove, grated
- pinch red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
For the salad:
- Mixed salad greens
- Romaine lettuce leaves/Red or Green leaf lettuce
- tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, etc. (optional)
- Sliced, grilled scallopini chicken breasts
- To make the tabbouleh, combine quinoa, cucumber, tomatoes, scallions, parsley, EVOO, mint, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
- To make the dressing, combine the yogurt, mint, water, lemon zest and juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine, cover, and refrigerate.
- Preheat your grill to medium heat and coat it lightly with coconut oil spray. Season chicken with salt and pepper and grill 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked through. Set aside and cover with foil to continue cooking.
- Build salads with romaine and mixed greens on the bottom, 1/2-3/4 c tabbouleh, sliced grilled chicken, and a drizzle of the mint yogurt dressing.
- For lunches, keep the salad greens, tabbouleh, and dressing separate until serving for optimal results.