Tropical Spicy Quinoa Tabbouleh Recipe

Fresh, bright, healthy, summery, this easy recipe makes the perfect warm-weathered lunch. Ever since I ordered 50 pesos worth of organic tomatoes from Tallo Verde, I’ve been choppin’ it up like a madwoman, making bowl-loads of salads.  Since tabbouleh is one of my favorite things to eat, as is quinoa, as is all things tropical, I thought I’d ménage à trois that shit together and make a healthy ass salad lunch.


– 1 cup Quinoa
– Lots of tomatoes (I used a mix of orange, yellow and red cherry tomatoes)
– 1 Small Cucumber
– Big Bunch of Parsley
– 2 Green Onion
– 1 Small Red Onion
– Green & Red Pepper (optional)
– 1/2 Jalapeño or another spicy pepper (amount depends how much spice you can handle)
– 1 Ripe Mango
– 1 Ripe Avocado
– 1 Lemon or Lime
– Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, Apple or Red Wine Vinegar
– Iceberg Lettuce (optional for serving)


1. Rinse your quinoa really well. If you don’t, you may get rocky, soapy pieces which kinda ruin the deal.  Quinoa is easy to find available in most diéteticas and Casa China in Barrio Chino has it in the scoop containers in the dried beans/rice section.

2. Cook the quinoa.  Follow these directions.  If your lid is not tight, just fold up a small kitchen towel and place it in between the pot and the lid, for tight closing. (Mom, I know this makes you nervous, don’t worry the heat is on low and no way for the cloth to light on fire).

3. While the quinoa is cooking, start chopping the vegetables.  I’m kinda anal about this, and chop the veggies so they are extra tiny.  I also just got this new knife so it’s a good excuse to waste time choppin’.  *I highly recommend any of the Kuhn Rikon knives (chef’s knife, paring set, or multi-utility), it’s like cutting through BUTTAH.* A good knife will change yo’ life, no more cutting with Buenos Aires furnished apartment butter knives.

4. OK, still on the chopping step. Cut up the tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, green onion and red onion.  You can also add red or green pepper to the mix too.  Get a jalapeño or hot pepper, cut it like a fish in tiny tiny pieces (add as much as you like depending on how spicy you want it). Careful not to get the spice in your fingernails, because you may have to keep your finger soothed in a glass of milk for the burning (ahem). Do not rub your eyes or scratch your genitals either, unless you’re into that kinda thang.

5. Mix it all up in a bowl, squeeze a massive lemon on top. Sprinkle some salt. Crack some pepper. Squirt some good olive oil and red wine or apple vinegar. Put in the fridge to chill.  It would probably taste better if you make the vinaigrette on the side, combining everything and whisking it up.  But I’m pretty lazy and didn’t feel like washing an extra bowl, whisk and measuring spoons. If you want a real vinaigrette recipe, check this one out.

6. Get a mango, slice it up. Get an avocado, slice that up too. Squeeze the tiny remainder from the lemon on top, sprinkle a tiny bit of salt. Set aside.

7. Quinoa is probably already ready, so fluff it, let it sit to cool, and then stick it in the fridge to cool some more. Hot quinoa in a cold salad is kinda naush.

8. Once everything is cold, mix it all together.  

9. You can serve it inside an iceberg lettuce cup, or throw it on top a bed of chopped lettuce, or not use lettuce at all, it’s up to you.

10. Eat it for lunch and so you can feel so healthy and guilt-free before downing a full-fat asado dinner.




  1. Pearl says

    MMM! Delicious. This is one I really want to try – but I would only trust myself with a tight fitting lid. Also, would love to purchase one of those knives. Are they costly?


Leave a food thought