Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tabbouleh adventure

Watching Food Network is always a treacherous thing when you're a plump stay-at-home mom. It can either inspire you to whip up delicious low-fat entrees in your kitchen or propel you into a potato chip bag at warp speed. I happened to catch an episode of "30-Minute Meals" recently and luckily I became inspired.

I've never eaten tabbouleh salad and watched in fascination as she grated lemon zest, carrying on about how glorious the concoction smelled. It's typically served in spring/summer, being that it is a cold salad. It's also a healthier alternative to macaroni or potato. So, not letting the dreary winter weather break my stride, I set out to make the dish.

Days later when I couldn't find Ray's recipe online, I consulted my favorite voluptuous foodie, Nigella Lawson. I have one of her cookbooks that David got me a few years ago. I ran into my biggest obstacle at dreaded Vons. Why can't the store catering to affluent white women in track suits have bulghur? I had to improvise mid-store — I wasn't about to retreat. I discovered Israeli couscous can easily substitute for the wheat. It's toothier than regular couscous, and was marvelous in my recipe. No wonder they're the chosen people. Mazel! But next time I will use bulghur.

1 cup medium bulghur
juice of two lemons, grated zest
2/3 cup olive oil, or more if needed
salt and fresh black pepper
1/2 cup chopped mint leaves
12 scallions cut into rings (white and green parts)
2 small red onion, minced
6 tomatoes finely chopped
Half English cucumber chopped
1/4 cup roasted pine nuts

Put bulghur in bowl, cover it with boiling water, soak 30 minutes, drain as much water out as possible. Mushy bulghur won't be good. Next, stir in everything else. Taste the final product to see if needs more seasoning.

I promise you this tabbouleh will be a welcome change. I paired mine with grilled turkey burgers/pepper jack cheese wrapped in leafy green lettuce — the low-carb bun. David had his on a flat-wheat bun, 100 calories each.


Grammie said...

I know what you mean about watching Food Network, and getting hungry. Sometimes on the weekends I'll be lounging in bed with it on, Hannah will come in there and lay with me, then she gets hungry and wants me to get up and fix breakfast, and puts an end to my lounging.

Missy said...

Now this is more up my alley! Mmmmmmm