Light Quinoa and Avocado Tabbouleh Verrines

As a teenager and young adult I was anything but comfortable with myself.

I’d cry at the thought of being left alone and avoided as many silent moments as possible.

I guess I was never taught how to appreciate my own personal value and how to build a relationship with me.

After years of fear, I decided enough was enough and began to appreciate myself. Little things at first, like thanking myself for making a good lunch, studying hard for a test, or waking up a bit earlier than normal to go for a quick walk before work.

It started very small, but I must say that a little TLC goes a long, long way.

Years later and I’m happy to report that I enjoy time on my own, sitting with my thoughts, fears, and dreams.

So, I was extremely thrilled yesterday when I realized that I had a huge slice of potential silence bottled up in my day that I’d never taken advantage of.

My drive to and from work.

Yesterday I enjoyed a drive 100% free of music, commercials, news, and weather. It was just me, the sound of my car and the sun beating down on my face.

This is a huge deal for a girl that lives, eats, and sleeps music – I break out in song [and sometimes dance] at least 4-5 times a day.

Weird? Maybe.

… but I digress.

I caught myself reaching for the radio a couple of times, but out of pure curiosity, I fought the urge to blast the tunes.

I’m not sure what came over me, maybe it was the exhaustion brought on by my long morning workout, my calm brain from Monday’s day off, or the incredible dream I had about my Dad the night before.

Whatever the reason, I’m so happy I’ve discovered the amazing[ness] that is driving in silence.

I had time to just think about things, take a moment for myself, set my intention for the day on the drive in, and reflect on the days happenings on the way home.

I’ve found a little chunk of calm in my day without having to dedicate extra time from my hectic schedule + I swear it made my day so much smoother.

I’m holding on to this one!

On with the eats

I was originally planning on using sprouted spelt berries with this recipe, but they got moldy.

Ugh… it’s been so long since I’ve sprouted. That, and I completely forgot about them for 4 days. Oopsies!

Instead of jumping head first into gluten, I’ve decided to introduce each new grain one week at a time so I can notice possible changes in my mood, digestion, and energy.

So far so good. Although oats are not considered a glutenous grain, adding them back to my diet after not having had them for over 3 years is a huge step. No stomach pains or digestive issues to report.

Thank goodness because I’m loving oats.

Another thing I’m loving right now?

The combination of quinoa + buckwheat.

This recipe can be made as a straight up salad, or created into a layered masterpiece!

Light Quinoa and Avocado Tabbouleh Verrines

Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar free, Yeast free, Grain free

This light salad is perfect for a picnic with the family or pack along weekday lunch. It’s loaded with veggies, giving it a cool and crisp taste, perfect for the spring!

Adapted from: Oh She Glows



  • 1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats
  • 1/2 cup raw red quinoa*
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (or 3 cups water and 1 vegetable bouillon cube)
  • 2 cups curly parsley, chopped finely
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 English cucumber, chopped
  • 2 red peppers, chopped
  • 6 green onion, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped

Avocado layer

  • 3 avocados
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Himalayan rock salt + pepper, to taste


  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan rock salt
  • black pepper, to taste

*note: white would work too, I just love the color the red quinoa brought to the dish


  1. Prepare the quinoa + buckwheat: place in a pot with 3 cups vegetable broth. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer for 25-30 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat and remove lid. Allow to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, finely chop all the vegetables but avocado and place into a large bowl with chickpeas. Set aside.
  3. Mash avocado in a small bowl with 2 tablespoon of lemon juice. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and stir until combined.
  5. Once cooled, add quinoa and buckwheat to vegetable bowl. Pour on the dressing and stir well.
  6. To make verrines: layer a bowl or parfait cup with avocado + salad until desired serving is made.

Optional: instead of making avocado layer, you can opt to cube your avocado and add to the salad instead!

Makes 6-7 cups.

Did you know that quinoa and buckwheat are not considered grains?

They’re actually seeds!

Cool, I know.

Did you also know that you can eat buckwheat groats raw? Yessery you can!

Sprinkle over top of a salad, add to your granola, top your smoothies. Or as we did on Monday, use it as an ice cream topper.

The opportunities are endless.

And one last fact: do you know what a verrine is?

I didn’t either until Angela explained it a couple of days ago:

“A Verrine is ‘a confection, originally from France, made by layering ingredients in a small glass. It can be either sweet or savoury, making a dessert or snack.’

There is a name for layering ingredients in a small bowl? PERFECT!

I feel like this just gives me more excuses to layer… everything!

Did you go through the awkward phase of not knowing how to feel comfortable with yourself? How did you learn to love the adult you’d become?

Have you tried driving in silence?

Do you take time to appreciate yourself?

Do you combine grains? If so, what’s your favorite combo?

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. YUM! I have to make this :) :) Looks like a great summer dish :)

    But it takes a lot of discipline to sit quietly to think and reflect…It is a great idea to do it in the car, I will try it next time (since I have to commute 45 minutes there and back every day-I got a whole lotta time…)

  2. I’ve driven in silence before.. but never to appreciate silence or life. It is usually because I am anxious, frustrated, or angry (or nervous because of bad weather!). I think I am going to try the silent route on my way home from work today!

  3. I dont think I went to a single blog in 3 yrs that used the word Verrines. Now, you, Angela/OGG and I believe Helene/Tartlette all within the past week or so have used the word. And I clearly need to get on board and make this :)

  4. I agree with Averie, never heard of it and now im craving it… yours looks delicious soo healthy!

  5. I saw these on Angela’s site too. You guys are going to have me running to the store to make this tonight! Perfect summery meal. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s pretty. :)

    My awkward phase: middle school and high school… and the first half of college. Thank god that’s over. LOL!

    • Thanks Heather! I just love eating pretty food, it just tastes better when it looks nice!

  6. I am totally the same way with music – I play it as I walk to work, at work, when I walk home, if I have any cleaning to do once I get home, in the car on any errands I run, at the gym…yeah there’s not a lot of total silence going on for me…but sometimes it’s totally necessary! Lets you find your center and actually hear your own thoughts.

    • Yay! Another music lover! I find it odd when people aren’t obsessed with music, like my boyfriend. He says he could live without it in a heartbeat. I think I would die without it. What type of music do you listen to? I’ll really take anything except heavy metal, can’t handle that stuff!

  7. Wow! This is exactly what I’m looking for :) I usually buy prepared couscous or quinoa salads from the grocery so this is great! Now I can make my own. I’ve been trying really hard to eat clean and make my own meals lately. Next week, I’m going to try eating mostly gluten free. I’m curious to how it will make me feel – whether if I’ll have improved energy levels, digestion, etc.

    I like being in the car without the radio – unless its the traffic report during rush hour. Then I absolutely need it. I’d say I’m going through another awkward phase now. I starting to realize (again) that I don’t know it all and starting to learn certain things about my family and personality… It can be difficult emotionally sometimes but I think in the end it will be worth it. And I love your idea of learning to appreciate yourself! It’s something I have to work on as well.

    • That’s great Vicky! You’ll end up saving a lot of money in the long run if you end up making your own salads. I’m interested in seeing how your gluten free week goes. Please let me know!
      It’s great that you’ve realized you’re back in an awkward stage, I’m sure it happens throughout our lives as we change and grow. Appreciation for self has to be the best gift you can give yourself :)

  8. This not only looks super beautiful, it looks delicious and nourishing. Yum.

    Honestly, I enjoy driving in silence sometimes. I can think. We are constantly surrounded by noise, and this can cause chaos… and stress. (Read Thrive Diet). So yeah, sometimes having a break from any sound can be wonderful. :)

  9. I try to drive with no radio at least twice a week. It’s fabulous. I use it to reflect on really crazy days! It’s great for my mental health, that and dancing by myself while watching episodes of Glee!

    • omg, I’m not the only one that dances in front of her TV? Thank goodness!

  10. What a light and fresh spring tabbouleh! I love quinoa and the avocado gives it a wonderful pop or color. I think for the most part I was pretty insecure too as a teenager but now I love just thinking by myself and being alone at times. It’s nice to reflect :)

  11. Oh my goodness, those look so fantastic! I love the colors, and avocado drives me wiiild – thank you for this recipe, girl!

    Thank you for this incredible blog, I’ve printed loads of your recipes in just a few days. I love your appreciation for whole-foods and plant-based beauties. You’re such an inspiration to me, thank youu!

    • You’re most welcome, Nicole! I’m the same about avocado. I regularly eat it right out of the skin with a spoon. Delicious! I’m happy you like my blog and that my recipes inspire you, thanks for all of your kind words!

  12. You’re awesome. Being able to silently and comfortably just BE with yourself is something that many people are unable or afraid to do. It can make people really squirmy, yeah? It’s definitely challenging. Good for you! And that salad looks amazing!

  13. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten my grains in the middle of sprouting :( This is the prettiest tabbouleh I’ve seen!

  14. I definitely went through a phase where I couldn’t be alone. I honestly think as we get older we begin to realize and appreciate silence and time alone. It is so hard to come by these days with out busy lives that sometimes it is so nice just to take some silent time to yourself.

    I really like recipe, I enjoy all the ingredients you included. What a great thing for me to bring to work as a lunch!

    • You’re totally right, I have come to appreciate silence, that’s for sure! I’ve been bringing this tabbouleh to lunch every day this week and everyone is jealous!

  15. Nice use of quinoa, can’t wait to try this recipe out. I have been trying to make a quinoa granola but haven’t had any luck. One day : )

  16. I first saw these over at Angela’s and thought they were beyond awesome! Love what you did with the savory terrines concept too. Gotta try :)

  17. Quick question Leanne … Is there a substitute for buckwheat groats? I can’t seem to find them at the supermarket. And for the dressing, it’s mustard powder (not the liquid stuff you put on hot dogs?). Thanks so much :)

    • Sure thing, just replace it for the same amount of quinoa. The mustard is liquid, I used dijon. I should probably edit that :) Good luck!

  18. These look amazing! I love quinoa and avocado, so the combination must be wonderful. The lovely photos certainly make me want to make this ASAP! And congrats on giving yourself the TLC you deserve, I’m learning to do more of that myself :-)

    • The combination is wonderful, and the buckwheat adds a bit of chewiness too!

  19. I would love to print this out and try the recipe. Is there a printable version somewhere?

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