I miss my friends in Alaska. WAAAAYYY more than I miss Alaska, of course.... One of my favorite things to do, was to cook my vegan friend Happy Aly some dishes which I thought she might like. So, to remind myself how fun and healthy that was, as well as honor a resolution I recently made to eat healthier, I thought I'd make some tabbouleh! Also, many have asked for my recipe since seeing it in my happy little lunchbox in prior posts.
I believe that the origin of tabbouleh is as a Lebanese parsley salad, and although my version may not be true to the original, it IS tasty! I do not use garlic in mine because although I love garlic, it may overpower the fresh mint and parsley that make this version so delightful.
First, you luck into some cracked wheat berries, called bulgur...here are mine: All natural and delicious..
Nutritionists, and people in the know ~ realize that whole grains are not just good for you, they are tasty, too. These are the "scrubbing bubbles" of the grain world, my friends.....your colon will thank you for eating this dish, let's just put it that way. Whenever I worry that I have had too much meat in my diet, I make this dish, knowing it's cleansing properties are so good for me. On to the dish - pour boiling water over one cup of the bulgur wheat, just to cover.
Let it soak and begin to plump up while you get your ingredients in order...
Cucumber, scallions, fresh parsley and mint, cherry tomatoes (clearly I used my pixie-patch tomatoes), olive oil, lemon juice, dried parsley, mint, and salt. That's it! And when I say lemon juice, I mean fresh lemon juice, folks....it's not hard, really! A two-dollar citrus reamer, and you are good to go....none of that stuff in a jar!
Peel, seed and chop the cucumber into fairly small dice, quarter the cherry tomatoes, and slice the scallions thinly. Chop the parsley and mint, and you're ready!
If after 30 to 45 minutes, if your bulgur wheat still has water that is not yet absorbed, don't panic...simply drain in a sieve or fine colander, like this....
Then, just mix everything together, in one beautiful bowl o' colorful goodness!
Place into your fridge to chill for a while -
The flavors blend wonderfully, and the wheat absorbs all the olive oil and lemon juice. I can never wait, and always make myself a
ridiculously large healthy bowl of it, right away! Here is what a person with restraint might serve up....
The grains become chewy little morsels of goodness, while you enjoy the fresh crunch of the vegetables, and the bright, clean flavors of the mint and parsley. I can never get enough of this, and usually demolish the entire bowl within 48 hours....sigh,...it's just.....that.....good! Oh, and good FOR you, too....but, I already said that...
In other news, did I mention my weird obsession with other people's refrigerators and pantries? I love seeing what kinds of foods people buy, how they store it, organize it....etc. I know, strange...however, in the interest of serving people who also might have my strange affliction...here is my fridge after it's most recent cleaning..
I know, right?....don't judge me - I am the queen of condiments! Hey, I have at least four different kinds of vinegar in the pantry ~ be grateful I don't subject you to more pictures of THAT! :-0
Autumn is my favorite time of year, hands down. Not only does football return (go Dolphins! uh, we'll see...). but the air becomes crisp, the foliage beautiful, and the food-related holidays increase with each passing month! I have a little secret....I make my yearly resolutions in the Fall! I find that with the increase of time spent indoors, it is far easier to make resolutions and keep them with the focus needed, when Spring is not loitering right around the corner....tempting you to fail at all your New Year's resolutions! Mine are; to begin a fitness program (and stick to it), to take better care of myself (no more cheap makeup! I swear!), and to make sure I take care of everyone I love during the upcoming holidays with gifts that will show forethought and skill - not just something that was on sale!
If you made your resolutions in the Fall like me, what would they be?
Eat well my friends, and stay tuned for the Great Rib Fake out, a scone re-mix, a visit from Kitchen Angel, and my exciting year-long project! Love and kindness to all,