Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tabbouleh Salad -- Perfect Pantry Staple

Now in my limited understanding of stocking up on grains I have been taught that three grains are essential for food storage. Wheat, rice and oatmeal. Ummm, boring. I already have all these things and nothing gives me a self sufficiency self esteem boost like grinding my own flour. But I need variety. I need things like flax and bulgur wheat and rye.

One of my favorite salads of all time is Tabbouleh. Maybe it is my French grandmother who grew up in North Africa rubbing off on me, but I love the stuff. (Yes I know it is Middle Eastern, but she ate stuff like this) It is so healthy, refreshing, filling and unique. Add some veggies and herbs to bulgur wheat and you have a lowfat, healthy lunch or side dish.

Now there are many ways to make tabbouleh. You can do it all from scratch by buying your own bulgar wheat. Or you can buy it in expensive mixes at the grocery or you can go down to the local health store and buy the mix in bulk. I buy mine in bulk at my health food store. Because it is cheaper and then I have an easy, handy, lunch that just takes some water, olive oil, tomatoes and cucumbers. Just keep in mind that although this is an easy dish it does require some preplanning. It needs at least an hour to soak.

If you buy a pre seasoned mix follow the directions on the box or.
add 1 1/4 cup boiling water to 1/4  cup tabbouleh.
Pour boiling water over mix and let soak for 1 hour.
Add 1/4 cup lemon juice and about 1/3 cup olive oil to reconstituted mixture.
Gently stir in 2 chopped tomatoes and 1 cup cucumber, chopped.

Here is the recipe from scratch.
3/4 Cup uncooked bulgur
3/4 cup boiling water
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1 Tb extra virgin olive oil
2 med tomatoes chopped
1 cup diced cucumber
1/2 Cup  red onion (optional)
1/2 Cup chopped fresh parsley
2 md green onions
2 TB fresh mint, chopped
3 md garlic close
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Stir together bulgur and boiling water.
Let stand 1 hour.
Add lemon juice and oil and toss with bulgur mixture.
Gently add remaining ingredients and let chill for 1 hour.

Keeps for up to 3 days.

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