Sunday, May 20, 2012

Red Pepper Tabbouleh

I’ve never really thought of myself as a gardener. I have often tried to grow fresh herbs and tomatoes in individual planter pots but lets just say that my thumb is not naturally “green.” Then again, who is a born gardener? Like anything, gardening is something you have to practice doing. It takes a little research, reading, and trial and error. This year I decided to have raised beds built for my fav veggies and herbs. I DO NOT use any pesticides, insecticides or miracle grow. My produce receives plenty of water, sunlight, and love and is purely organic! I absolutely love filling a large bowl with kale, spinach, and beet greens all from my very own backyard. But what do you do when you have an extreme abundance of parsley and mint? Oh yeah, you make tabbouleh!

Tabbouleh is a classic Middle Eastern salad loaded with fresh herbs, tomatoes, and lemon. Parsley is one of the key ingredients in a Tabbouleh salad and is so much more than a pretty garnish on your plate. Parsley contains healing properties and is highly nutritious. This vibrant herb contains volatile oils that can aid in neutralizing particular types of carcinogens (i.e. benzopyrenes that are part of cigarette and charcoal grill smoke) and has been shown to inhibit tumor formation. Parsley is also rich in flavonoids (that function as antioxidants) and vitamins C and A (vital nutrients important for disease prevention).

The next time you see this little green herb make its way onto your plate – eat it! Parsley deserves so much more attention than it gets as a garnish. Know its true worth and appreciate it for its healing and health properties.

2 cups of water
1 cup of bulgur wheat (fine or medium bulgur)
1 cup of tomato (diced)
1 cup of red bell pepper (chopped)
1 cup of cucumber (chopped)
2 cups of chopped parsley
1 cup of chopped mint
1 garlic clove (pressed or minced)
1 lemon (juice and zest)
1/3 cup of EVOO
Pink Himalayan sea salt

Bring the water to a boil. Put the bulgur wheat in a large bowl, add the boiling water over the grain (should be just covering the bulgur) and let stand for approximately 30 minutes. Drain and press out any remaining water. *Use any excess water for a cup of tea J

For the dressing, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic and sea salt together.

Add the tomato, red pepper, cucumber, parsley and mint to the bowl with the bulgur. Toss with half of the dressing. Taste and add more dressing based on your personal preference. Serve and enjoy! 

* Serves 4-6.

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