Tag Archives: Parsley

Lemony Tabbouleh

Lemony Tabbouleh

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

vegan

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To so many, parsley is thought of as just a garnish, but not I.  To me, parsley is an ingredient to be celebrated as much as other favorite herbs like basil or salad greens such as arugula, field greens and others.  It shows up regularly, pretty much daily in my meals, sprinkled atop sliced eggs on toast or over pasta or mixed into any number of recipes, it adds a freshness like no other to just about any savory dish.  But here, parsley becomes the star, no longer a mere garnish, parsley is the main ingredient in this simple lovely salad.  This truly is traditionally a parsley salad with bulgur, mint and tomatoes playing the supporting roles.  I like my tabbouleh with extra lemon, so feel free to add less if that’s not to your liking.  Either way, this is a quick, simple, yet wonderfully delicious dish that itself could be the star of the meal. 

Ingredients:IMG_4451

2/3 cup fine Bulgur wheat (medium or coarse grain can be substituted) *see notes – or Quinoa for a gluten free option

Zest of 1 Lemon

About 4 Tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice, from about 1- 2 lemons (less if you prefer)

About 4 -6 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 large bunch (about 3-4 cups) Flat Leaf Italian Parsley (so much more flavorful than curly parsley)

1 small bunch Mint (about ½ – 1 cup)

About ½ – 1 whole pint of small Tomatoes, such as grape or cherry

Optional: 2-3 chopped Scallions

Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

 

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Directions:

Rinse bulgur in a tight mesh strainer under cold water and then drain thoroughly.  Pour into a medium bowl.  *See notes below if you wish to use Quinoa. Zest your lemon (before juicing).  Add lemon juice and olive oil to the bulgur, add less to start with as you can always add more lemon juice after tasting, but you can’t take it out.  Allow to sit for a few minutes to absorb the dressing.  If using medium or coarse grain bulgur, you’ll need to add a little hot water to soften the grain, before adding the dressing.

Meanwhile, wash and dry parsley and mint leaves and chop.  Add to the bulgur along with the lemon zest, salt and pepper and scallions if using.  Stir to combine.

Cut the tomatoes in half or quarters, depending upon the size and what you like.  Add the tomatoes to the salad and gently stir.

Taste, adding more lemon juice or salt and pepper as you like.

Can be served chilled or at room temperature.  Enjoy! IMG_4476IMG_4482

Recipe Notes:  

It’s best to let the salad sit for a bit of time before eating to allow the grain to soften and fully absorb all the flavors of the dressing, herbs and tomatoes.  If I have time and actually think ahead, I mix the bulgur with the olive oil and lemon juice and leave in the fridge overnight, before adding the remaining ingredients, but this is not necessary.

 Tabbouleh can be served in so many wonderful ways.  I like it simply in Romaine lettuce cups or added to a hummus wrap or falafel sandwich or atop a larger green salad or served alongside your favorite fish. It was also my contribution to the family Easter brunch, served along side my dad’s amazing quiche and goat cheese tart.  

Ingredient Notes: 

Parsley has numerous health benefits.  It is an excellent source of Vitamins K (one half cup serving provides over 500% of your daily value!) and C and also a very good source of Vitamin A, folic acid and iron. It is high in numerous healthy flavonoids.  All of which means parsley is good for your heart, joints, digestion and more.   

Bulgur wheat also goes by the name cracked wheat, it is high in protein and fiber and low in fat and calories, an excellent substitution for other grains such as brown rice or oats. 

*BUT, if you can’t find bulgur or wish to make this wheat/gluten free, I find Quinoa makes a perfect substitute for the bulgur.  If you do use Quinoa, you’ll have to pre cook it, I would probably use about 1/3 cup uncooked to 2/3 cup water, brought to a boil and then covered on a low simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Quinoa increases in volume by a lot, so don’t be concerned by the small amount at the start.   

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Cilantro Pesto

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Cilantro Pesto

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

 

I figured out a few years ago that I could get a lot more green veges (equal lots more vitamins and minerals) into my daughter (and the rest of the family for that matter), if I blended them into a pesto to top pasta or spread on a sandwich, stir into a soup, etc., and that’s when I started experimenting beyond the typical basil pesto.  Pesto adds so much flavor to any number of dishes and can be made from so many different vegetables and herbs to accompany all styles of cuisines. 
 
Cilantro, oftentimes regarded as just a garnish, contains numerous antioxidants and is also known to be a good digestive aid as well as helping to detoxify the body, so it benefits not just your taste buds, but also your health to get a bit more of this lovely herb into your diet.  But, most people are not going to sit down to a big plate of fresh herbs, but when blended into a pesto you have whole other story. Cilantro pesto adds a punch of extra flavor to all kinds of Mexican inspired recipes.  I always make this pesto when I’m serving Tostados (corn tortillas topped with beans, usually refried, plus chopped peppers and scallions and some grated Jack cheese, all warmed in the oven) or Huevos Rancheros (basically a tostado topped with an egg).  It’s also delicious served aside Rice & Beans or with Shrimp Tacos and numerous other dishes.  

Ingredients:

1 large bunch Cilantro – about 2 cups

Small handful of Parsley – about ½ cup – optional

1-2 Garlic Cloves (see note below)

3 Tablespoons Green Pumpkin Seeds/Pepitas

Zest of 1 Lemon

1-2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Salt and Black Pepper to taste

 IMG_3659 Cilantro

Directions:

Roughly chop the garlic and pulse in a food processor.  Roughly chop the Cilantro and Parsley, if using and add to the food processor, pulse.  Next add in the Pumpkin seeds, pulse again.  Lastly add in the Lemon Zest and Juice, Olive Oil and Salt & Pepper.  Pulse again until fully pureed.  The consistency should be that of a thick paste. 

Taste and add additional lemon juice, salt and pepper if needed.  IF you like your pesto a bit thinner, add a little more olive oil.

A Note about Garlic – If the flavor of raw garlic is too intense for you, instead of adding it raw, place 2 peeled whole garlic cloves with 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil in a small pot over low heat.  Gently cook the Garlic and Oil over low heat for 5-10 minutes, watching carefully to insure that the garlic does not brown at all.  You are creating a garlic infused oil, which will give you all the flavor of garlic without any of the harshness of raw garlic, a nice mellow garlic taste.  Allow the garlic and oil to cool and then add both to the food processor along with the Cilantro and other ingredients. 

Makes about 1 cup.

Serve with Tostadas, Quesadillas, Huevos Rancheros, Pinto or Black Beans & Rice.  Also good in shrimp or fish tacos, a Hummus wrap, sandwich spread or stirred into a vinaigrette for salad.  Enjoy!   

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