Saturday, April 10, 2010

Tabbouleh and Hummus

Middle Eastern favorites, both dishes offer great nutrition, super taste treats and assemble easily with a minimum of preparation time, providing great versatility at the table.

There are many variations of both dishes. The basic ingredient in hummus are chickpeas and the basic ingredient in tabbouleh is bulgur. Both deliver super protein. The addition of so many fresh herbs and vegetables in the tabbouleh makes it a nutritional powerhouse.

Hummus is often served as a dip for pita bread, crackers or crudités, or slathered in a pita pocket along with a generous helping of tabbouleh, leaf lettuce and/or sprouts. Leafy greens make a handy vehicle for getting the salads from plate to mouth, limiting the calories.
However you eat these Mideastern staples, they're sure to please.

I love having both on hand for quick snacks and great lunches.

1/2 cup fine bulgur
1 TBS olive oil
1 cup boiling water
2 cups finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint
2 med tomatoes, diced
1/2 European cucumber, peeled and diced
3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
Place bulgur and olive oil in heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water other, stir, then cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand 15-20 minutes until most of the water is absorbed. Drain, pressing on bulgur to remove any excess liquid.
Add bulgur to serving bowl with remainder of ingredients and combine well. An additional tablespoon of olive oil may be added if desired.

Basic Hummus
2 cups cooked chickpeas or one 19 oz can (drain & reserve liquid)
1/2 cup tahini
1-2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
salt to taste
cayenne or crushed dried chili (to taste)
Puree all ingredients until completely smooth, adding reserved liquid if necessary.
These are easy dishes to make and great to have on hand. When hunger strikes; strike back with a fridge filled with pleasurable possibilities.

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