Quinoa ‘Tabbouleh’ with Asparagus, halloumi & kale

by British Asparagus Association

This bowl of goodness packs mood-boosting punch thanks to several key ingredients highlighted by Daniel O'Shaughnessy AKA The Naked Nutritionist. Asparagus is a plant based source of tryptophan which can create serotonin, one of the brains mood enhancing neurotransmitters. Quinoa is high in lysine, methionine and cysteine which can all help to boost mood. Kale meanwhile provides potassium, iron and phosphorus to boost energy.

Cooking Time 15 minutes
Dress Dress
Serves Serves 4


For the tabbouleh:
  • 200g quinoa
  • 350ml hot vegetable stock
  • 2 bunches British asparagus, trimmed and sliced into bite size pieces
  • 200g kale, torn into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 bunch spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 large bunch flat leaf parsley, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 200g pack pomegranate seeds
For the dressing:
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp runny honey 
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tsp dijon mustard
  • 6 Tbsp rapeseed oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
To serve (optional):
  • 2 x 250g packs halloumi, cut into 1cm thick slices
  • 1 Tbsp rapeseed oil


  1. Add the quinoa to a small saucepan and pour over the hot stock. Bring up to the boil, reduce the heat to low, cover with lid and cook for 15 minutes until the grains are tender and the stock absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, make the dressing by adding lemon juice, honey, garlic and mustard to a mixing bowl and whisking together. Slowly pour in the rapeseed oil whisking until you have a thick creamy dressing. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water up to the boil and tip in the asparagus. Simmer for 2 minutes until just tender but with plenty of bite. Remove with a slotted spoon to a colander and allow to drain then tip onto a plate and allow to cool.
  4. Add the kale to the boiling water and cook for another 2 minutes then drain and rinse under cold running water to cool quickly. Drain well, ideally spinning dry in a salad spinner.
  5. Add the kale to the bowl of dressing, along with the spring onions, parsley, radishes and blanched asparagus. Too together lightly to mix.
  6. Once the quinoa is cooked, fork through the grains to separate and tip the salad, lightly mixing through. Spoon onto a serving plate and scatter over the pomegranate seeds before serving.
  7. If you are serving with halloumi, heat a griddle pan until really hot. Brush the halloumi slices with a little oil and grill on both sides until lightly charred and crisp. You may need to cook in batches depending how big your pan is.

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