I believe this salad is called tabbouleh, but since I have never tried the authentic version, I’ll stick with my (a bit lengthy) name. the recipe is easy: some bulgur, cucumber, tomato, chickpeas, green pepper, red onion and herbs. unfortunately I had no parsley in my fridge today (which is a shame, really), so my salad wasn’t as rich in flavour as I’d want it to be. I added some fresh mint, though. plus freshly squeezed lemon juice, some salt, pepper and ground cumin. perfect, light lunch.
I have realised recently, how difficult it is to get rid of the old habits, especially when it comes to eating. as I am trying to shed some kilos (so far – unsuccessfully) and also – to eat healthier, I have decided I need to do something about my (sometimes) lavish and indulgent breakfast. i am a true breakfast lover. breakfast is always a central part of my day, especially on a day off or when i am travelling. and, very often, i like to spoil myself, too. with a buttery croissant with sweet raspberry preserve. with freshly baked bread with butter and tomatoes. or bread with butter, ham and tomatoes. it’s all about bread and butter, basically. or pastries (which, if we’re pushing it, could really fall in the same category as bread).
a few weeks ago i spoke to a friend from work, who is one of those who love to work out (and do it regularly) and eat super healthy. i said to him: ‘i gotta start some sort of diet. need to lose a few kilos.’ To which he replied: ‘yeah, stop eating bread, like many people in Poland when they decide to eat healthy’, he laughed. to be fair, i am not saying that bread is evil. all i am saying is, that having bread, butter and variety of toppings for breakfast everyday, gonna leave a trace.
and since bread is a staple breakfast not only in Poland, but almost everywhere else in Europe, it is not easy to suddenly come up with something to replace it. my list used to start and end with porridge, as a healthy, yet filling bread-replacement breakfast. recently, i have been exploring though. last week, I had a Japanese-style breakfast every day, consisting of a bowl of rice, miso soup and tamagoyaki (Japanese-style omelette). it should be served with some fish, too, but i omitted it (laziness, that is. forgot to buy fish). i must say, i felt great.
this week, in another desperate attempt to restrain myself from eating bread (i love bread, worth mentioning, probably), i made this salad. and i must say – so far, so good. i feel full, yet not stuffed. i wish i could say that the salad was as satisfying and comforting, as a piece of bread with butter would be, but i suppose it takes time to get used to new flavours.
i promised my mum i’d post a recipe for this salad ages ago. oh well, there it is. better late than never! ^^
SALAD WITH BULGUR, GREEN PEPPER, CUCUMBER AND MINT
1 cup of bulgur or couscous (can be leftover)
1/3 cup diced red onion
1 green pepper, diced
1 cucumber, diced
6-7 baby plum tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup freshly chopped parsley
1/4 cup freshly chopped mint
small can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
lemon juice (squeezed from half a lemon)
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1tsp ground cumin
pinch of ground chilli
1/2 tsp sugar
HOW TO MAKE?
1. Boil some water in a kettle. Put bulgur in a bowl and add boiling water, about 1 and 1/2 cup. Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside for about 30min, until bulgur absorbs the water.
2. Meanwhile, chop the red onion. Place it in a bowl with cold water and set aside for about 10min. This will rid the onion of the strong smell and some of its spiciness.
3. If needed, drain the bulgur (sometimes you’ll find that you added too much water) and onions. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste.
4. Serve cold, as a side dish or a main. Enjoy!