YOUR TURN! Lori’s Winter Tabbouleh!
Today we welcome Lori Gosselin of Life, for Instance, the gathering place where you hop on to the porch and join the discussion, adding your unique perspective on life. Lori has always enjoyed talking about, thinking about, analyzing and writing about life and she loves community building so for her Life, for instance is a true labor of love.
I admire Lori for her talent and skills with words and drawing us out to expand our views. She is a woman of many talents and I look forward to hear her drumming!
Come on, Lori, the stage is all yours:
Though I was born in Canada to Lebanese parents who were also born on this continent, I feel decidedly Lebanese. One of the ways I celebrate my Lebanese heritage is with the food. Today, many Mediterranean dishes are popular in North America because they are nutritious and delicious. One of these dishes is a staple in Lebanese meals: tabbouleh.
In the summer I can find harvest nearly everything I need to make tabbouleh from my garden; parsley, tomatoes, mint and green onions. But in the winter all that harvest is gone leaving me to source the ingredients at the market.
I wanted to continue to make tabbouleh in the winter and at the same I was toying with the idea of using what is locally available rather than buying what’s not in season, not native to here and not all that tasty in its off-season. I had an inspiration; I would alter the recipe and make what I call Winter Tabbouleh.
How? Simple. I substitute a white onion for the green onions and sun-dried tomatoes for fresh ones. I use dried mint rather than fresh. And to add protein to the recipe I use quinoa instead of cracked wheat!
The combination makes a vibrantly colored, highly nutritious tabbouleh which keeps well for several days in the fridge. Plus it’s a salad and a protein all in one!
Making Tabbouleh used to be a laborious task but recently I came into possession of a food processor and experimented with it. I learned both the parsley and the onion can be chopped perfectly in it - in seconds! What used to take me at least an hour to prepare now takes about 30 minutes.
Method for making Winter Tabbouleh:
Cook about ⅓ cup of quinoa (boil ⅔ cup of water, add quinoa, bring to boil and simmer, covered, 20 minutes, set aside to cool) This will give you a 1⅓ cups of cooked quinoa.
Blanch an 85-gram bag of sun dried tomatoes according to instructions on the bag, cool and dice
Remove stems from one large or two small bunches of curly parsley and process in food processor until minced small (about 3-4 pulses)
Peel and roughly chop one large onion and process until diced (about 3-4 pulses)
Put all ingredients in a large bowl.
Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste
Sprinkle dried mint liberally
Juice a lemon and pour over the ingredients in the bowl in the shape of a generous “V”
Pour olive oil over the ingredients in the bowl in the shape of a generous “W”
Mix, chill and enjoy!
Oh...YUM....Mediterranean food is just about my favorite go-to food. I am vegetarian and semi-strict vegan (I cheat with occasional cheese dishes) and so many Mediterranean dishes are perfect for me. Tabbouleh is one of my favorites although I have never made it ( truth be told, I am not the best cook in the world). Your recipe @Lori sounds wonderful...I am tempted to try making it!
@blogaks Hi, Ashvini, lovely to see you and welcome to Late Bloomers. Missed you at the last Hangout, how are you doing?
@Late_Bloomers Hi Barbara, I am doing great thanks :). I missed the hangout due to last minute glitch. I am sure I am going to make it this time :). Hope you are having a great time.
@Late_Bloomers Oh yeah, lovely Switzerland in summer time... :)
@blogaks Great, Ashvini, looking forward to the next hangout! I am praying for winter to go elsewhere and spring to come in with mellower temperatures, flowers and sunshine! You are blessed with better weather! We celebrate Fasnacht (= carnival) in our region, also a ritual meant to chase winter away! Give me a big big broom!
Have a lovely weekend!
@blogaks Just let me know when you're coming Ashvini and I'll make some!
@tandysinclair That's the idea! I've always wanted to eat with the seasons, using the freshest stuff available. In the summer as we enjoy the produce from our garden I wonder how we ever enjoy food in the winter!!!1 Modifying dishes seems the best way to go with that flow.
That looks absolutely delicious! I'm only now realizing how limited my palate has developed because Chinese food is all pretty similar. =P Quinoa is big in Peru, so this is something I can definitely try making over there! Yum! =)
@Samantha Bangayan Hi Samantha! It's nice to try different foods. I think we all get caught in menu-ruts making the same meals week after week. I've always thought it would be fun to get a bunch of friends together, each toting five or seven favourite every-day (simple yet nutritious) meals and share.
@Lori Super idea! =) That sounds like a good excuse to get together. =) We sure need more of those!
@Samantha Bangayan LOL, Sam, do you really think Chinese food is all pretty similar? What if you compare Cantonese and Bejing food? Like there is a huge difference between Northern European and Southern European food: the further south the spicier and lighter your recipes will be. Have you read Corinne's comment below? I will check out this article in The Guardian, what a shame.
Are you still in Canada? I imagine you got lots of snow now, so do we here in Switzerland and I am going out for a long walk now, enjoying the fresh air and a lovely cup of coffee to warm up later on. Have a wonderful Sunday!
@Late_Bloomers Haha! True that! I guess I meant the Chinese food we eat at my house here. =) In a way, this is a positive, so I can pick up the basic skills and ingredients more easily. =) And yeah, I'm still in Canada, so I must take advantage! =)
Funny about Corinne's comment. Quinoa is still pretty affordable in the Central Andes where I am. It probably depends on where in Peru you are.
Wishing you a beautiful Sunday too! Sounds like you're off to a good start! =)
@Late_Bloomers @Samantha Bangayan I'm not sure about the authenticity of the article, but since it's in The Guardian, I'm likely to believe it. However, I'm guessing it depends on the location and the economic status of people. When the price of onions skyrocketed in India, for example, we still found them affordable - but the many poor people had to do without.
@Samantha Bangayan Wish you had been here! Instead of a leisurely walk in snow we got a walk on ice! I will post some pictures on FB. Not of me stumbling around but of the beautiful scenery! Poor dogs, there was a layer of ice covering the lovely soft snow, they only asked for a short walk!
I am happy to learn that quinoa is still affordable, I'd feel very bad if it were not the case!
Have a great week!
This looks and sounds so good @Lori and healthy too. I will have to use the original cracked wheat though. Quinoa is frightfully expensive here - since it's imported. However, I'm would be rather reluctant to eat it on ethical grounds too now. This is because I've read that world demand for it has pushed up prices so high that many people in Peru and Bolivia for whom it is a staple food can't afford to it any more :(
Here is the article in The Guardian about that : http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/16/vegans-stomach-unpalatable-truth-quinoa
PS: Barbara - I think there's an issue with you Aweber set up. I think the sign up form here is not linked to your present feed. Aweber's Helpline should be able to assist you with this.
@CorinneRodrigues That's upsetting Corinne, to think this is happening. Now I'm not sure I'll be able to use it as much. It makes me angry. Thanks for sharing the link.
@CorinneRodrigues @Lori Hi, Corinne, lovely to see you here! Thanks for the link to the Guardian article, it is a shame if world demand has pushed up Quinoa price so that people depending on that staple food cannot afford it any longer.
And huge thanks for the tip with the Aweber setup. I thought I had figured it out, well, back we go again!
@Hajra Now, you have me guessing, Hajra! Maybe it reminds you of summer Tabbouleh, the "real thing" made with cracked wheat? I think it was very clever of Lori to think up a winter tabbouleh!
How are you in your lovely and hot climate? We are drowning in snow, it is ok to look at it from the inside but go outside and the fun ceases right there!
@Hajra It is Hajra! And it keeps well in the fridge for a number of days, unless you eat it!
@Lori Then I will try it out this weekend! I so need long lasting food! :)
@Hajra @Lori In summer (and you live in permanent summer, lucky you!) I add fresh mint and / or cilantro, dry roasted pine nuts or cashew nuts, the other day I did a variety with filleted grapefruit and thinly sliced fennel. Really, anything goes with cracked wheat as it has a neutral flavour. Enjoy!
@Late_Bloomers @Hajra Hi Barbara! It's the same recipe only with fresh tomatoes and cracked wheat. Traditionally we use green onions, but I've been making it lately with the white onions and I like the addition of color and texture that gives it., Though, in the spring I will use instead the first harvest from our yard - chives!
I love it. It reminds me of a similar dish we make! And yay, the ingredients you mentioned are a staple at home and always available. I still can't figure out what is quinoa. Sigh. We don't get it here it seems.
I am a huge fan of one dish meals and most certainly salads. Yum! I made a salad today with diced baby corn (oh gosh, saying diced and baby together is freaking me out!), green capsicum in thin strips (peppers?), finely chopped onion, grated carrot, jalapenos, a dash of chili vinegar, and cabbage shredded. Zucchini separately and tomatoes separately to add as we wished.
Thank you, Lori.
Barbara, I don't get email updates, don't know why! I know I subscribed long ago! Bear hugs!
@Vidya Sury A happy week to you, Vidya!
Your salad sounds (how can a salad sound?) delicious and wonderfully healthy. Why do you keep zucchini and tomatoes separate? The only reasons I could figure out were a) zucchini being delicate and b) tomatoes might add too much liquid?
I am sorry you do not get any email updates, I fixed the broken link to the recipe and it worked when I tested. Do you mind subscribing again, maybe this would do the trick? You know that I am technically challenged and this is all I have to offer!
@Late_Bloomers yes, yes, salads CAN sound! Food speaks to me. I keep the zucchini and tomato separate because Vidur and I prefer them separate :D Funny - because we add it to our plates anyway! Just an odd habit. Sury loves tomatoes separate.
Of course I will subscribe again. :D I also see the updates in Triberr..so no worries!
@Vidya Sury LOL: food speaks to you, I will have to listen more! Food begs me to be eaten and enjoyed with gratitude. We all have our habits, do we not? And they make us special and endearing, I had to smile when I read your reply, I love to eat cheese together with jam, e.g. a strong Appenzell cheese with apricot jam and a seasoned Gruyère with raspberry jam, in Italy I eat seasoned pecorino (sheep cheese) with honey and my friend has a devilish recipe of cucumber salad with lots of chili and raspberry jam in it!
Sorry for all the trouble with subscribing, it is annoying, we aim to please and make things easy, do we not all? Big big bear hugs!
@Vidya Sury Hi Vidya,
Quinoa was held to be a sacred food by the Incas! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QuinoaIt's loaded with nutrients - a super-grain! http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4994/7-Benefits-of-Quinoa-The-Supergrain-of-the-Future.html Worth checking into!
Your salad sounds wonderful but whatever food you talk about makes my mouth water!
Happy Sunday Vidya!
@Lori Thanks, Lori. I've heard so much about it. I checked with a couple of food-blogger friends but apparently it is not available here. :-) The recipe sounds great to make with semolina too. I love broken wheat. We call it Dhalia(pronounced "Dhuh" "lea") Hugs!
I'm certainly a salad man! And I like that this dish combines protein with it. My mom is Swedish and Dad was Italian (Sicilian.) We ate mostly Italian-type meals when growing up. I never got to taste the more exotic dishes. Lori, if we weren't 3500 miles apart I think I'd be knocking at your door often! ;-)
@Carmelo Hi, Carmelo, Sweden and Sicily combined - woah, what a blend! You may come knocking at my door anytime and there is always a place at that now famous table! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it very much!
@Carmelo Well tabaoulleh is on the menu for Monday so com on by!
Swedish and Italian. I bet you've got some good family recipes to share!
@Late_Bloomers @Lori Oh, wow. That would be a challenge for sure! I'm not a cook. (Are you going to suggest that's not an excuse???) :-) You know? My mother rarely, if ever, used a recipe. I can remember my dad often saying something like: "Wow, this was good, can we have it again sometime?" Mom would always answer with a shrug and a comment that indicated ... I'll try but don't hold your breath!
But, she NEVER failed to cook for us all every single day and it was always good.