Monday, May 22, 2017

Three Herb Tabbouleh {Grain free, Paleo, AIP, Vegan}


This recipe takes a staple of the middle eastern table, removes the grains and nightshades and recreates it with AIP flavor and flair. If you look 'tabbouleh' up on wikipedia, this is the definition that you'll find.... "Tabbouleh is a Levantine vegetarian dish made of tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint, bulgur and onion, and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Some variations add garlic or lettuce or use couscous instead of bulgur." To me though, tabbouleh is simply goodness on a plate. 


In fact, I went through a period a few years back (pre-AIP), where a standard lunch break for me was a walk to the nearby supermarket where I would buy a container of tabbouleh, a cucumber and a can of tuna before walking back to combine them all into one big yummy salad. I must have eaten that same lunch 4 times a week for 3 months. Guess my body was trying to tell me something craving that much parsley and all of that tuna. 

Much of my life has been spent in the middle east and it would be hard to imagine a meal out with friends without some tabbouleh. Dinners in many arab homes and restaurants are made up of a collection of sharing dishes - tabbouleh, hummus, bread, falafel, kofta, kebab, moutabel, stuffed vine leaves, etc. Sadly, many of these dishes in their traditional forms are full of grains and nightshades. 

Thankfully, there are several AIP bloggers (myself included) out there who enjoy the flavors of the Middle East and have created some fun interpretations of these classic dishes. Check out some of these for a complete middle eastern feast.



The main ingredient in tabbouleh is parsley. 

I know, I know... parsley is most commonly known as a garnish. Well, this is flat leaf parsley and it is the star of the show in this recipe for good reason. Parsley contains more vitamin C than oranges and more iron than spinach and is also a great source of potassium, calcium and vitamin A. It could easily be classified as a superfood, so it needs to make a move from the side of the plate to center stage.




Three Herb Tabbouleh
Serves: 3-4
Time: 8 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped mint leaves
  • 1 large cucumber deseeded and finely dice
  • 1/2 medium red onion (finely diced)
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 lemon - juiced
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp pink salt


Method:

  • chop herbs and place in a medium mixing bowl (place lots of herbs on a large cutting board and rock your knife back and forth over the herbs until they are finely chopped) - it can be done in a food processor, but better consistency if done by hand
  • deseed and chop cucumber and add to bowl - deseeding just helps to keep the salad from getting watery - peeling is optional
  • chop onion and add to the bowl
  • add all remaining ingredients and mix well
  • serve immediately or chill for a few hours before eating
  • pairs well with Lamb Kofta with Avocado Tzatziki