Do you have a favorite recipe? From where did it come? Was it scribbled in the back of a notebook in your grandma's pantry? Perhaps it was given to you by your mom, a best friend, your mother in-law?
When you pull that recipe out of your card file, buy the ingredients, and make that wonderful cake/cookie/salad/meal........I'm guessing that the taste of the food is incidental--what matters most is the memories that come rushing back with the remembrance of when you first tasted that food.
I obtained this recipe about 30 years ago from the wife of Dr. Steve Malone, University of Washington Seismology Dept. She and Steve were group leaders at a Campus Christian Ministry marriage preparation workshop. My (then future) husband and I were participants. It was a phenomenal, inspiring weekend filled with humor, fellowship, encouragement, insight, and wonderful food.
As I have said in the past, my mother was a satisfying cook, but not very daring. No "unusual" vegetables, no fish (other than fish sticks or an occasional piece of halibut), and salads were head lettuce, tomatoes, and radishes. I had never heard of tabbouleh, or even bulgur wheat, until that weekend in the Spring of 1981.
What a revelation! Since that weekend we have tried to incorporate bulgur wheat in our meals at least several times each month. It's a great substitute for rice, orzo, or quinoa.
So what exactly is bulgur wheat? Bulgur is what's left after wheat kernels have been steamed, dried, and crushed. It has been a food staple for years because it offers an inexpensive source of low-fat protein. Bulgur is high in fiber and protein, and low in fat and calories.
- 1 cup bulgur wheat
- 1 1/2 cups boiling water
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 heaping tsp. crushed garlic
- 1/2 cup scallions, sliced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dried mint leaves
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup fresh parsley, minced
- 1 cup cucumber, chopped
- 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
- Combine bulgur wheat and boiling water in large mixing bowl. Let stand for 15-20 minutes, or until all water us absorbed.
- Stir in the salt, lemon juice, garlic, scallions, and olive oil. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate 2-3 hours.
- Just before serving stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well.
And you can add these ingredients
Want to add a bit more crunch, color, flavor, or protein? Here are some suggestions:
- 1/2 cup olives (black, Kalamata, or mixed)
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 1/2 pound cooked shrimp
- 1 cup shredded cooked chicken (the white meat from a rotisserie chicken would be great here)
- 1 cup diced zucchini (in place of or in addition to the cucumber)
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or almonds would be a good choice)
© 2011 Linda Lum