Tabouleh is a refreshing Middle Eastern salad made with herbs, vegetables, and whole grain. It is rich is vitamins and minerals, and also in dietary fibre. Parsley is an excellent source of folate, iron, and vitamins A and C. A portion of parsley counts for a serving of dark, leafy green vegetable – and it provides more than a full day’s amount of vitamin K.
Bulgur is whole grain wheat that has been steamed and cracked. Many people call it a healthy fast food, because it can be cooked in just minutes. Another way of preparing it is to soak it. A cup of cooked bulgur provides up to 32% of daily fibre for an adult. It’s also a good source of healthy carbs, iron, and B vitamins.
If you want to make this recipe gluten-free or Paleo, just substitute riced cauliflower for the bulgur.
1 cup medium-coarse bulgur wheat
2 cups boiling water
3 cups chopped flat leaf parsley (or carrot tops)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint
2-3 leeks, cleaned well and diced
6 tomatoes, seeded and diced
6 tbsp lemon juice
6 tbsp olive oil
freshly cracked black pepper
few leaves of Romaine lettuce (optional)
Put the bulgur and water into a small saucepan together and stir. Cover and set aside to soak while you prepare the vegetables, at least 15 minutes.
Clean your parsley and mint, and then remove the stems before chopping the leaves finely. (Save them for your next batch of stock!) It’s a large bunch of herbs to prepare, so you might want to use this trick:
Cut off most of the green on the leeks. (Again, keep this part for soup stock.) Clean and dice the leeks. If you aren’t sure how, check out this video. (Note: The video says you need to cook the leek first, but it’s really not necessary with this salad.)
Cut your tomatoes into manageable pieces and remove the seeds. (Save the jelly and seeds to throw into a soup or pasta sauce.) Set the tomato pieces with the skin side down, and chop into dice. Here’s another video, in case you need some help:
Once the bulgur is cool enough to handle, squeeze out any excess water. Add lemon juice, oil and pepper. Mix in the parsley, mint, tomatoes and leeks; stir well.
Let the salad sit in the fridge a few hours for the best taste. Now it’s ready for serving at a family meal, or for adding to a lunchbox for work or school. Because tabouleh has a portion of whole grains it’s a great substitute for a sandwich, and it’s just packed with vitamins and minerals for a healthy meal. The low glycemic index of the main ingredients means this little salad can really keep you or your child going until suppertime!
Just before serving, line a plate with a few lettuce leaves, and scoop the salad onto the lettuce. Tabouleh is a beautiful accompaniment for grilled meat or fish. It can also be eaten as a main dish salad. Add a little cheese, some hard cooked egg, or a bit of candied salmon for an easy summertime supper. This combo is also a great back to school treat, that even small kids can help to assemble in bento boxes or an insulated lunch kit.
Note: This article is an original work first published by the author in August 2014 on Bubblews