Adzuki Bean & Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with a Twist

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IMG 0428 2   Adzuki Bean & Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with a Twist

Last week, I had a meeting downtown and it was the perfect excuse to grab a bite to eat at Fresh restaurant. Whenever I’m in the city I try to pop in for a meal, even if that means eating an early dinner at 4pm and hitting rush hour traffic on the way home. It’s always worth it.

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I started with a juice made up of grapefruit, beets, ginger, lemon, milk thistle, and cayenne. This might just be one of my favourite healthy juices and the bright pink colour gets me every time.

IMG 3232   Adzuki Bean & Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with a Twist

For an appetizer, I ordered the spring rolls stuffed with brown rice vermicelli, mushrooms, carrot, and cilantro served with a garlic dipping sauce. Not something I normally order, but I really enjoyed this!

IMG 3233   Adzuki Bean & Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with a Twist

Being in the spirit of the salad challenge, I ordered another new-to-me dish: the All Star Salad made up of quinoa and adzuki bean tabbouleh,  raw shredded kale, goji berries, toasted nut and seed mix, sunflower sprouts, parsley, cilantro, grilled sweet potato, and tofu.

IMG 3236   Adzuki Bean & Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with a Twist

This picture really doesn’t do it justice, but let me just tell you I was kicking myself for not trying this sooner! It was the perfect balance of whole grains, protein, and healthy fats with a great crunchy texture thanks to the toasted nuts and seeds. I didn’t leave a bite behind.

The problem with many dishes at Fresh is that they can be tricky to recreate at home. Most of their dishes contain all kinds of toppings, sauces, grains, and multiple proteins which is why they taste so great, but they can be lengthy to prepare. If you don’t feel like preparing the entire salad, I suggest simply making the tabbouleh. It makes about 5-6 cups worth and is a lovely addition to any lunch!

I started with a bed of 1 cup shredded lacinato kale. By “shredded”, I just mean that I finely chopped it on a cutting board, after removing the thick stems at the bottom of each leaf. For those of you who still aren’t crazy about kale, I highly recommend trying lacinato kale. It’s much milder than curly kale and also has a nice smooth texture.

IMG 0408 2   Adzuki Bean & Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with a Twist

Next, I made tabbouleh with a twist. It’s filled with red quinoa, adzuki beans (I really need to make these more often!), parsley, cilantro, green onion, and tomato. I knew with the right dressing, this was going to be a new favourite tabbouleh.

IMG 0414 2   Adzuki Bean & Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with a Twist

For the dressing, I decided on a red wine vinegar, olive oil, and garlic dressing instead of the typical lemon dressing that we often see in tabbouleh recipes. It has just the right amount of bite from the vinegar, while still being quite mellow.

IMG 0411 2   Adzuki Bean & Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with a Twist

I poured the dressing on the Tabbouleh and mixed it all up. Then, I added sea salt and pepper to taste and added another tablespoon of red wine vinegar to make it pop a bit more. It turned out incredible and I could barely keep myself from shoveling it all in right then and there.

I added about a cup and a half of the Tabbouleh on top of the shredded kale:

IMG 0417 2   Adzuki Bean & Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with a Twist

Followed by a sprinkle of goji berries, pepita and hemp seeds:

IMG 0419 2   Adzuki Bean & Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with a Twist

And finally, pea sprouts and baked sweet potato rounds.

IMG 0425 2   Adzuki Bean & Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with a Twist

All of these toppings are completely optional, depending on your preference and you can certainly enjoy the Tabbouleh on it’s own as I mentioned. Thanks to the beans and complete-protein quinoa, I found it very satisfying. In an effort to save time, I didn’t add any tofu, but feel free to add some if you wish.

IMG 0429 2   Adzuki Bean & Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with a Twist

Adzuki Bean & Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with a Twist

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Inspired by Fresh Restaurant’s All Star Salad.

for the tabbouleh (makes 5.5-6 cups):

  • 1/2 cup dry adzuki beans (or use 1.5 cups cooked beans)*
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa (makes 2.5 cups cooked)
  • 1 cup packed fresh parsley, thick stems removed and minced
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh Cilantro, thick stems removed and minced
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped (makes 1 & 1/4 cups)
  • 3 large green onions, chopped
  • Herbamare or fine grain sea salt & black pepper, to taste

 

for the dressing (makes 2/3 cup):

  • 1/3 cup + (1 tbsp, optional) red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Herbamare/fine grain sea salt & ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

 

1. Adzuki beans: Soak the dry beans overnight in water OR use the quick soak method like I did: Place beans in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat and let it sit for 1-2 hours. After soaking, drain and rinse the beans and then place back into the pot with new water, covering the beans with water by about 2-3 inches. Bring water to a boil and then reduce heat to low-medium, simmering for about 35-45 minutes. Watch closely and add more water if necessary. Alternatively, you can use canned beans for a time-saver.

2. Sweet potato: Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice a sweet potato into 1cm rounds. Lay flat on baking sheet at bake for about 15 minutes each side, watching closely so it doesn’t burn.

3. Quinoa: Add 3/4 cup of dry quinoa and about 1 & 1/4 cups water in a medium-sized pot. Stir. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and cover with lid, simmering for about 15-20 minutes and watching closely. Quinoa will be light and fluffy when ready and the water will be absorbed.

4. Dressing: Whisk together all dressing ingredients and season to taste. Or feel free to use a mini processor if you have one.

5. Tabbouleh: Combine the drained & cooked beans, quinoa, and chopped vegetables in a large bowl. Pour on the entire amount of dressing and stir well. Season to taste. Makes about 5.5-6 cups and should keep for at least a few days in the fridge.

6. To assemble the salad: Add 1 cup shredded kale onto a plate or large bowl. Spoon on 1.5 cups of tabbouleh on top. Garnish with goji berries, pepita and hemp seeds, and a handful of sprouts (all optional). Finally, add the grilled or baked sweet potato rounds on the side.

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I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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{ 131 comments… read them below or add one }

Yasmine June 5, 2012

Yummy, I have to try it!

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Danielle @ Deeliciously Healthy Eats June 8, 2012

This looks incredible! I haven’t made tabbouleh salad since I worked at a health food store many moons ago. I’m definitely trying this dish out very soon. thanks for the inspiration!

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Anna @ The Guiltless Life June 5, 2012

This looks delicious! Salads are easy to have all the time if you eat such interesting combos! I also get inspiration from restaurants – when I’m feeling stumped I just look up menus online and it gives me all kinds of ideas lol!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 5, 2012

I love to look up menus sometimes too. Great inspiration. I also used to do that all the time when I made fresh juices and didn’t know what to combine.

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j3nn June 5, 2012

I like the addition of garlic to the dressing! Sounds delicious. I had a tasty vegan quinoa salad over the weekend that I am hoping to recreate at home. But now I think I may have to add beans, too. :)

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Alisha @ Pink Spatulas June 5, 2012

I’m always looking for new ways to use quinoa! Ha, I actually just leaned how to pronounce it correctly the other week.

As a side note, since eating more plant-based, I love, love, love your recipes. I haven’t been disappointed by a single one yet!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 5, 2012

Thank you Alisha, so happy to hear that!

And yea, it also took me a while to figure out it’s pronounced keen-wa. ;)

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Tiffany @ eat clean work dirty June 5, 2012

I’ll have to try this next week, looks amazing!

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Averie @ Averie Cooks June 5, 2012

The salad looks great but those sweet potato rounds are picture-perfect! They should have a whole post dedicated to them….cooked to perfection!

And the salad sounds so perfect for summer, too!

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Heather (heathers dish) June 5, 2012

I can’t get enough of grain salads these days….this sounds incredible!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table June 5, 2012

This would be a great salad to bring to a picnic! I love adzuki beans – I just started sprouting them at home and they add a wonderful crunch to dishes.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 5, 2012

Oh I will have to try sprouting them too. Great idea.

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Jocelyn @ Peace Love Nutrition June 5, 2012

Your sweet potatoes look so pretty! You always do such a great job with your food presentation.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 5, 2012

Thank you Jocelyn! Salads are easy for me to photograph because the veggies always look so good with minimal effort. :)

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Catalina @ Cake with Love June 5, 2012

The salad that you have recreated look a million times better and so much more tastier!! :)

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Isa June 5, 2012

This looks soooo yummy (you’ve done it, I’m hungry now), and I’m having a quinoa phase at the moment. Have not tried red quinoa though.
We are going downtown soon (Lady Antebellum concert, yeaaaah), I want to try that Fresh place. Looks awsome
Thanks Angela.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 5, 2012

hope you enjoy it if you go! Just a tip- they don’t take reservations and can be busy depending on the time of day.

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Karen June 5, 2012

that’s it! you are officially the best!! I work right by the Crawford location and my boss and I are in LOVE with the ALL STAR!!! You made my dreams come true haa now I can make it at home!

Might try and attack it on Saturday for a family BBQ..
Thanks so much!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 5, 2012

I love the Crawford location! Their patio is so nice in the summer :) enjoy the salad!

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katie@ KatieDid June 5, 2012

love the cute rounds! I adore eating sweet potatoes that way but I’m usually too lazy to actually bake them and end up microwaving them.

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Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit June 5, 2012

Yum, looks delicious! I love finding a restaurant that makes me care less about rush hour and actually look forward to going into the city for! Generally I hate going into the city.

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Suzie June 5, 2012

Oh my, yumm! This looks so incredible and will definitely be trying this soon, thanks for sharing :)

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Lauren June 5, 2012

Your pictures are all so pretty! How do you bake your sweet potato rounds? It seems like mine always end up mushy.

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Stephanie @ The Fitness Adventures June 5, 2012

I love your exciting new recipes and your food photography so much! I will definitely be trying out this salad very soon.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 5, 2012

Thank you Stephanie, you are too kind!

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Faith @ For the Health of It June 5, 2012

That looks absolutely amazing! The sweet potato rounds are so pretty – like little flowers!

I always feel the same way about stopping in restaurants if I’m in the area of a healthy favorite. Sometimes it’s worth switching up your schedule a bit for the food ;)

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K June 5, 2012

Yum! Tabouleh, must try!

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Madison @ Pilates Makes You Happy June 5, 2012

Um, can I just say.. those sweet potatoes look BEAUTIFUL!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat June 5, 2012

Ange, this is BEAUTIFUL! I agree, dishes from Fresh can be really tough to re-create. I love the look of those sweet potato rounds. Yours look like flowers! I think they should hire you to do food presentation for them! :P

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 5, 2012

well, that would be a dream come true!

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Kaila @healthyhelperblog! June 5, 2012

Those sweet potatoes look like little flowers! Love pretty food!

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Rachel B June 5, 2012

you always make the most incredible salads!! I love making tabouleh with quinoa, quinoa in any kind of salad actually. I’ve loved your quinoa with strawberries, blueberries and almonds, as well as quinoa with butternut squash, pecans and cranberries. I always throw it on top of a heaping bed of baby spinach but kale sounds just as delicious :)

Have you tried quinoa stuffed peppers? I like to make a salad with quinoa, black beans, corn, onion, garlic (lots of this), and diced tomatoes with a bunch of cumin, nutritional yeast, and red/black pepper.. bake them and top them with a sprinkle of daiya cheese and either toasted pumpkin seeds or cumin seeds. PURE HEAVEN! i bet topped with some avocado would give it a creamy extra flair

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 5, 2012

No I haven’t made quinoa stuffed peppers, but your take on them sounds amazing! They would be great on a grill too.

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Jackie Smith June 5, 2012

I have never been to Fresh, but I have the reFresh cookbook and everything we’ve tried has been absolutely delicious!

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Hailey June 5, 2012

Yay! I think tabbouleh is my favorite salad ever! Way to turn it into a meal! I can’t wait to try it. :)

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Carissa June 5, 2012

I never thought of slicing a sweet potato to roast it! I always automatically cut it into wedges. I love how it looks like a flower on your plate. (P.S. Your salad looks much prettier than the Fresh one.)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 5, 2012

It does kinda look like a flower, eh? Thanks for your compliments!

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Ellie@Fit for the Soul June 5, 2012

oh man I looove tabbouleh~there’s always that one amazing restaurant/cafe that you just HAVE to stop by (or drive miles and miles just to eat there :P), isn’t there?! I’m guilty of that. hehe

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 5, 2012

haha yup that about sums it up!!!

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The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh June 5, 2012

I’m with everyone else on the sweet potato rounds because those babies look delectable. Do you have a recipe for them already?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 5, 2012

nope, I think it was my first time making SP rounds if I do recall. :)

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Jillian June 5, 2012

Those sweet potato rounds look great! I never would have thought to pair them with a salad.

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Rachel June 5, 2012

This looks delicious! And as simple as they are, those sweet potato rounds look delicious. I don’t know why I’ve never thought of cooking them that way before – so easy!

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Lindsay June 5, 2012

I’ll echo the chorus of loving the sweet potato rounds! :)
In the directions for them, you don’t mention any oil. Do you not roast them with any olive on them? If not – I clearly need to try that, as yours look great!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 5, 2012

thanks for pointing that out, I totally roasted them with a bit of oil. Will add that in now.

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Angela @ Happy Fit Mama June 5, 2012

I just recently tried Adzuki beans for the first time. They make fabulous vegan brownies!

I’m ready to try them in a salad now!

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Janessa @ Epicurious Vegan June 5, 2012

Oh my god this looks SO. GOOD. My mouth is watering, which happens with salad recipes only once in a great while. I am so excited to try this!

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Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See June 5, 2012

That looks amazing!!! Especially those roasted sweet potato pieces :) I’m dying to try Fresh after hearing you talk about it.

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Cait's Plate June 5, 2012

Those sweet potatoes look PERFECT!

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Laura @ My Pink Thumb June 5, 2012

This looks insane!! mmmmm!

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Wendy Irene June 5, 2012

The color of that drink is awesome!! What a fun office color that would make ;-) Tabbouleh is one of my all-time favorites. I love to have it in the fridge for dinner on busy nights. My local Costco sells a packaged Tabbouleh (near the fresh salsas) that is really good. It is what I eat on my son’s baseball nights ;-) Have a great evening, Angela!

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janet @ the taste space June 5, 2012

Looks great, Ange! I agree, lacinato kale is definitely the way to go! I ended up planting lacinato, Vates and redbor kale in my garden and really should have just gone with the lacinato only since it is my favourite… at least I will get variety this summer, along with my multitude of collards I planted, too! :) Bring on the greens!

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Liz June 5, 2012

Ang,

I completely agree about the lacinato kale; I could NOT get on the kale bandwagon (despite umpteen years of veganism under my belt) and could NOT understand why one even existed for such an unappetizing, rough, coarse green thing. But I was going about it all wrong and buying the curly kale; even in a green smoothie I could NOT choke it down. Enter lacinato; it is the ONLY kale I’ll use now, and I absolutely LOVE it. So, yes, anyone out there hatin’ on kale, make sure you’re getting the lacinato/Tuscan/dinosaur kale.

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Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy June 5, 2012

that salad looks delicious!! i love quinoa:) and the color of that juice! my oh my! thanks for sharing!

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