Friday, July 1, 2011

What The Heck Is Tabbouleh?

Being a Meat & Potatoes Guy, my 4th of July menu (ok - everyday  menu) was traditionally focused on logical things like hamburgers and chips.  But now that all the researchers say that potato products, most notably those in the thin crunchy oval form, are going to kill us, or at least turn us into walking blimps (oxymoron - if you are walking the right way, you should not be turning into a blimp).  So maybe its time to experiment with something different for the annual Independence Day cookout, something that meets the criteria of being healthy without gagging you. Welcome to Tabbouleh!

What the heck is Tabbouleh you ask? (I had to ask it myself...) It is a Middle Eastern salad composed of bulgur wheat, parsley and tomatoes, flavored with mint, scallions, lemon juice and olive oil. I know Meat & Potato fans, that sounds absolutely "soul-less" when first described. But when you spice it up with some other ingredients such as diced chicken, maybe a bit of feta cheese, some sun-dried tomatoes, etc., it adds another dimension.  In fact, it kind of reminds me of the "internals" that go into lettuce wraps.

An article by Alison Ladman of the Associated Press entitled Tabbouleh Trio profiles this unique dish that is low in calories and high in fiber and protein. In addition to providing a pretty decent description of what the Tabbouleh is all about, she also includes some recipes.  And even more importantly, for all those like myself who have trouble thinking outside of the Meat & Potatoes diet spectrum, she has pictures!

I found another recipe (and snagged a picture) at West Coast Nest .

Long-term weight loss isn't about crazy diets and painful exercise, its about lifestyle change and experimenting with new foods is an excellent way to stay on track.  Read the article and try something new.  What the heck, you can always wash it down with some good ole potato chips...

NOTE: In the newspaper where I read this article, it was adjacent to another one about baking a potato on a grill with all of those cardiac-attack ingredients that give potatoes a bad name. I'm just guessing, but I bet more people read that article than the one on Tabbouleh.

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