Shopping Madness and Grain Free Tabouleh…

So last week-end, I went on a little bit of a shopping craze…

You see, my mom had given me a $50 gift card from HomeSense, which happens to be my ultimate favorite destination for kitchen gear and props.

However, I think I MIGHT have gotten a little carried away. Let’s just say the card didn’t quite cover…

Just look at all the bags that I came home with!

I always looooove bringing home new goodies! But, with this super awesomeness also come a few drawbacks that I could very well do without, namely unwrapping everything, removing all the labels (seriously, why do they have to put that many?) and finding room to store all the newcomers.

Yeah… I seem to be quickly running out of that… AGAIN!

First, let’s unwrap everything, shall we? Now for some reason, the lady at the cash used TONS of paper. I think she was afraid that I was actually gonna take my bags on a roller coaster ride or something…

Just look at all that paper!

Phew… now that that’s out of the way, let’s inspect the goods, shall we?

Wooo, now that’s much prettier to look at than a whole bunch of bags and wrapping paper, isn’t it?

Wait… there’s more!

Oh my… just look at all those labels! Oh well… small price to pay, I guess!

Oooooh, bakeware. Pie dishes… mini muffin pans… EXCITING STUFF!!!

But wait… let’s move that camera over to the left a bit… what’s that I see? There’s a box, I can see a box. Can you see a box?

Alright, alright, I’ll admit it: there IS a box…

What’s that you say? You want to take a closer look? Alright… you can look. But no touching, eh?

It’s MY new baby!

Mine, mine, mine!

Oh yeah! It has been an exciting (and expensive!) week-end shopping for me!

But I get the feeling I’ll be having LOADS of fun in the weeks (and months) to come.

And I’ll let you in on a little secret… that one does movies, too! As in videos! Ooooh yeah!

I’m having a little bit of fun experimenting with that at the moment, but you see, the thing with me is I hate even having my picture taken, so imagine being filmed. I turn the thing on and then I run to hide, literally.

I think I haven’t quite got the hang of it just yet.

But it SHOULD come, eventually! Just don’t be holding your breath…  😉

Alright, enough about my shopping and spending experience. This is a food blog after all, isn’t it?

You’re all probably thinking something like:

So where’s the food? Didn’t you mention something about a grain free tabouleh?

And whoa… wait a minute. Grain free tabouleh? Now you’re pulling our leg, aren’t you? How could tabouleh be grain free? You remove the bulgur and you’re basically left with a parsley, mint and tomato salad, right?

Now… how is that tabouleh?

Ah HA! The secret is to actually REPLACE the bulgur… but with what? What non grain food item could possibly resemble bulgur, enough to take its place in such a classic salad?

CAULIFLOWER! Just throw it in your food processor, give it a couple of spins, and you’ve got yourself a myriad of tiny little white specks that look pretty much like bulgur to me, at least when mixed with all the right ingredients!

And you know what?

I find it makes an even better tabouleh than bulgur does. It’s way more flavorful AND it’s crunchier. Plus, it adds even more contrast! Oh, and for a little bit of added protein and healthy fat, I also decided to throw in a few almonds, and they add this great extra little bite that makes you want to go back for more.

I’m TOTALLY sold. And so is my daughter, by the way!

From now on, THIS is how I will be enjoying tabouleh. Always!

Since it happens to be one of my favorite salads, there was no way I could ever have given up on it.

And now I won’t have to!

I’m in heaven… 

Grain Free Tabouleh

Yield: Serves 3-4

Nutritional Information based on 1 of 4 servings

Grain Free Tabouleh


  • 1 small head cauliflower
  • ½ cup raw almonds
  • 1 large bunch fresh mint
  • 1 large bunch fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 2 green onions
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • the juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • 1 tbsp za’atar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper


  1. Cut cauliflower into little florets and add to the bowl of your food processor. Process on pulse until cauliflower has texture of large grains of cracked wheat. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add your almonds to the food processor and again, process until grainy in texture. Add to cauliflower.
  3. Chop your mint, parsley, green onions and tomatoes very, very finely. Add that to the cauliflower and toss to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl, add garlic, lemon juice, sumac, za’atar, salt and pepper and give this a good whisk. Pour over reserved salad and toss gently to combine.
  5. If you can, let your tabouleh sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to allow the flavors to fully develop (but there’s no need to, really… you CAN have it right away if you want!)


Grain free, Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Low fat, Paleo Friendly, Whole30 Compliant


  1. Holly says

    Please tell me what sumac and za’atar are. Can I find them in the regular grocery store or do I need to go to an ethnic market? This is a must try for me. I’ll let you know what my son thinks of it.

  2. Donna says

    Sonja…You’ve done it yet again!! Very paleo-friendly recipe for a dish I’ve been really misssing….Colour, texture…gorgeous!!! Cannot wait to make this…Thank you!

    • says

      Aww, thank YOU Donna! I cannot wait for you to try this and share your impressions. I can only hope that you like it as much as my daughter and I did. I think I could’ve eaten the whole thing to myself! 😉

  3. says

    I never seem to have that much luck when I go shopping for props. I wish I could tag along with you! And what a super creative and delicious salad – love it!

    • says

      LOL! Trust me, Cara, you do NOT want to do that! I could easily spend thousands of dollars each month in kitchen props, and I do mean easily! Thank goodness I don’t have the necessary funds, or room, else my house would look like a kitchen supply store. I’m a bit of a fanatic, you see! 😉 If only dishes weren’t so pretty. Same goes for fabric, by the way… 😉

      Glad you like the salad, and hope you give it a try! It really is super tasty! 😀

  4. says

    Oooh fun! I’m actually pretty glad I don’t live near any awesome stores where I could shop for dishes. I don’t think I could restrain myself!! And have fun with your new camera!! That’s awesome 😀
    Looooove the idea of using cauliflower in tabouleh. It looks so yummy! I can’t wait till my herb garden is exploding with fresh herbs 😀

    • says

      Good for you Heidi! It’s probably better that way… I can’t go a month without setting foot in a kitchen supply store. I’m so addicted that my son once challenged me not to buy any bowls, just bowls, for the entire duration of Lent. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t even bring myself to accept the challenge! I’ll give up on my precious grains, but you better not touch my bowls! 😉

      Glad you like the salad! I too, look forward to having access to fresh herbs again! Why can’t it be summer year round? Now wouldn’t that be fantastic! 😀

  5. says

    First of all I’m totally jealous of your new camera! I hope to have the same one within the next couple of months so I hope you love it and will keep us posted! Second, great minds think alike because I have on my “ideas” list a tabbouleh made with cauliflower in a similar way that you did! Even though I have sumac and za’atar in my spice cabinet, I doubt they would have made it into my version though, so I’m so excited to try yours! I’ll be scratching it off of my list since I doubt I can improve on this one – I’ll just be making yours to enjoy all to myself at home! Can’t wait to make it soon!

    • says

      Thanks Mellissa! I’m having loads of fun with the new camera! I still have lots to learn, though, I was so used to my good old one, but the new version is extremely intuitive and super user friendly… Of course, I really had my eye on the 5D Mark II, but given the *ahem* steep price tag that also came with it, the T3i will have to do for the time being. 😉 Besides, it already is such a major improvement over my previous equipment. That camera was almost 10 years old. One of the first generations of Canon SLRs that came out on the market! I was way due for an upgrade!

      As for the salad, I can’t believe that you were going to do the exact same thing! Like you said, great minds think alike! I can’t wait for you to try this version and tell me what you think. Honestly, I’ve always been a huge fan of tabouleh, and, not to toot my own horn, but this one has to be the best I’ve ever had. Cauliflower and almonds really do take it to the next level. I really look forward to getting your feedback on it! :)

  6. says

    Mmmmmmm . . . what a good idea. I love cauliflower rice and Tabouleh, but never thought to make a combination of the two and eliminate the bulgar. I will be trying this very soon! Thanks:)

  7. says

    I wish HomeSense was in Europe, it was one of my favourite shops in Canada and I could spend hours in there! Congrats on your wonderful purchase 😉

    The food of course looks yummy!

    • says

      Ooof… I better not stay hours in that store, it would get way too costly, ‘cos of course the longer I stay, the more treasures I find!!! I can’t stay much more than an hour, that’s all my wallet can afford. 😉 Don’t you have an equivalent there in Europe? Mind you, everything is so expensive over there, do you even have discount stores at all?

  8. says

    Oh I would love to go on a shopping spree with you- lol my husband looks at me suspiciously because I am chuckling. He knows me too well.

    • says

      LOL! I think it would only make things worse… don’t you find it’s always twice as expensive when you go shopping with someone? You’re like “OMG, look at that pretty little thing, I soooo have to get it” and then your shopping partner never fails to show you stuff that you hadn’t even noticed, but of course, now that you’ve seen it, you just HAVE to have it… It’s just so much more fun though. I get the feeling that, just by the way your husband is looking at you suspiciously, if we were to go on a shopping spree together, it would make a SERIOUS dent in our bank account! 😉

  9. says

    OMG, I have a post that goes something like that, about the kitchen store goodies, that I posted a few days back on my blog. I think home sense is like home goods over here, which I love and I actually just got back from there just a few minutes ago :-) It is my favorite store in the entire world!!

    Anyhow, I am so trying this cauliflower dish it is not even funny. By the way that camera takes awesome pictures, I know because I have it :-) You will have lots of fun with it. The more pictures you take with it the easier it will become :-)

  10. says

    Wow, look at all of that beautiful stuff. I just went to Marshall’s and Homegoods last week and stocked up on props. You’re going to love that camera. I just purchased the same one last summer and it’s an amazing tool. Enjoy!

  11. says

    Oooh I just made this and will have it for lunch at the university tomorrow :) I’ve never eaten tabouleh before so I won’t be able to tell the difference. I added some leftover cubed and baked eggplant.

  12. Jake Farley says

    Just came across this today via Pinterest and look forward to trying it out. Really like tabouleh but have found that even the next day it’s too soggy to enjoy. With this being made with cauliflower instead of bulgar, I don’t anticipate the same issue, mostly because I doubt there will be anything left anyway!

    You mentioned to a commenter that the spices would be easy to find, but they weren’t; when I finally did track them down at Whole Foods here in Atlanta, I found that the za’atar is a combination of spices that also includes the sumac. Is this what you’re talking about, or is it the herb za’atar itself? The few people I asked all said it must be the combo with the sesame seeds, salt, sumac, etc. but the recipe also calls for salt and straight sumac, so I’m a bit confused. Am I over-thinking this? Just wanted to be sure before investing the time and money, though I did pick up the 2 spices! Thanks for this…


  1. […] The Food Nicole reportedly treated her guests to a delicious, gluten-free menu prepared by Jeffrey Nimer. Fittingly, the menu included Moroccan-inspired fare like stuffed grape leaves, organic tabbouleh, and baked Kibbeh balls. Nicole even said, “You feel the love and thoughtfulness in [the] food.” But for our vegan dining menu, we’d prefer to go with with animal-free options, like Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus (via Cookie + Kate), Baked Herb & Pistachio Falafel (via Sprouted Kitchen), and take a page from Nicole’s book and offer a gluten-free dish like Grain-Free Cauliflower Tabouleh (via The Healthy Foodie). […]

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