Tabbouleh is a simple Mediterranean salad of very finely chopped vegetables, lots of fresh parsley and bulgur wheat, all tossed together with lemon juice and olive oil.

My take celebrates all the goodness of parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil, but switch out the bulgar wheat for two grain-free, low-carb alternatives - broccoli and cauliflower.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 heads of broccoli (about 800 g in total), broken into florets and roughly chopped
  • 1⁄4 head of cauliflower, broken into florets and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 handfuls of flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 handful of mint leaves, finely chopped,
  • 1 long green chili, finely sliced
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber
  • 3 tablespoons pistachio kernels, toasted and roughly chopped

DRESSING

  • 1 avocado
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons coconut yogurt
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Working in batches if necessary, place the broccoli and cauliflower in a food processor and pulse into tiny rice-like pieces (this usually takes six to eight pulses). 
  3. Transfer to a large bowl, add the garlic and oil, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Spread the mixture over the prepared baking trays in an even layer and bake for 8–10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Halve the avocado, scoop out the flesh and add it to a food processor together with the oil, yogurt, lemon zest, and juice. Blitz everything together until smooth and creamy, then season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  5. Once cool, transfer the cooked cauliflower and broccoli to a large bowl and add the parsley, mint, and chili. Pour-over half of the dressing and toss to combine.
  6. Using a mandoline, vegetable peeler or very sharp knife, cut the cucumber into thin ribbons, then divide it among serving plates. Add the tabbouleh, then spoon over the remaining dressing and sprinkle over the toasted pistachios. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy.

GOOD TO KNOW: This recipe calls for pistachio kernels. These are raw, shelled and unsalted pistachios. You can find these in most supermarkets and health food stores.

HEALTH HACK: I love to use pistachios in my cooking as they are high in fiber, which is good for your gut bacteria, plus they are among the most antioxidant-rich nuts around.

The Fast Low-Carb Kickstart Plan by Luke Hines, Published by Plum, RRP $26.99, Photography by Mark Roper.