Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tabouleh Two Ways

Cous Cous Tabouleh

And Hippie!
Hippie Tabouleh

Yesterday I woke up to a true horror in my kitchen. I was all out of Silk! All of a sudden breakfast seemed so difficult, near impossible. The lack of soy milk rendered by usual standby's of smoothies or cereal out, and I had no tofu for a scramble. And it just wasn't an oatmeal kind of morning.
In order to rectify the situation, I ran out to the grocery store. Once at the store, I actually ended up buying almond milk instead of my usual soy, because I was just feeling crazy! No complaints here though, the almond milk was cheaper than silk and tasted great in my banana-strawberry-date smoothie. Haven't tried it in my cereal yet though...

While I was at the store I also noticed fresh organic mint was on sale for $1, where as it's usually at $2.79. Not wanting to pass up the deal, I thought of what I could do with a bundle of fresh mint. Topping a fruit salad with fresh mint is divine, but it was another salad that sprung to mind; Tabouleh - a Lebanese salad made with fresh mint, fresh parsley, lemon juice and olive oil. I knew I had a cucumber in my fridge and tomatoes on my counter and even left over cous cous in my fridge. And that was that, I knew this was fate telling me to make tabouleh. Even though I had never actually made it before, I'd just ordered it several times at restaurants- which I now see is ridiculous because of how incredibly simple it is to make!

Tabouleh is traditionally made with bulgar wheat, but I used cous cous which works just as well. I also made a version with some left over quinoa, which also worked wonders. With both versions, letting the salads sit in the fridge for at least two hours is best, so that all the flavors can mingle.

Cous Cous Tabouleh

Basic Tabouleh Dressing
serves two as a main.

3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp honey or agave
pinch of salt
lots of black pepper
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley, chopped
3 tbsp fresh chopped mint, chopped

In a small bowl whisk together ingredients to combine.
For a traditional salad, mix with 1 cup of cous cous, 1/4 of a cucumber, diced, and 6 baby tomatoes, chopped and some finely diced red onion. I also added some feta.


In the quinoa version, I decided to throw in all the vegetables I had in my fridge into the salad as well, which is part of why I fondly refer to such version as "hippie tabouleh". (Go hippies!) I mean,  it's got quinoa - total hippie grain - and a pleothora of veg. But non hippies can enjoy it as well!

Hippie Tabouleh

Hippie Tabouleh
Toss basic tabouleh dressing with quinoa, diced carrots, cucumber, peppers, and some diced apple* and raisins for some sweetness. Any or all of these can be replaced with whatever vegetables you have on hand!

*If adding apples to salad, toss diced apple in 1 tsp in lemon juice prior to mixing in the salad to prevent browning.

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