I’m a sucker for Middle Eastern Foods, which is not my heritage, but I crave it nonetheless. The only problem is that I am also convinced that most of us are gluten sensitive whether we have celiac disease or not. For example, I weigh myself every morning. If I have bread of any sort or pasta the day before, I am sure to jump a pound, or maybe two, depending on how naughty my eating habits were. That’s how volatile some of our bodies are.
So, I am always looking out for ways to make my favorites into tasty but healthy alternatives.
Voila. The classic tabbouleh salad but without the bulgur wheat. Yes, unfortunately I checked. Bulghur, though a whole grain, is still not gluten-free. So, I have two alternatives for you…quinoa and riced cauliflower. Some people are so sensitive to sugar spikes that quinoa can still be a problem. These are the people who can be sensitive to fruits like berries and even grapefruit, believe it or not. So…another alternative is the riced cauliflower, which can make the most innocent tabbouleh of all. Try it and let me know what you think:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup quinoa, prepared according to packaged directions, or riced cauliflower, which you can often find in the produce section of your grocery store or create yourself by pulsing cauliflower heads to the size of rice kernels.
- 1 cup chopped, seeded organic tomatoes
- 1/2 – 1 cup parsley, curly or Italian according to preference
- 2 large green onions, chopped. (you can use bulb onions if preferred)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, or if out of season, 1 1/2 tablespoons dried
- 1 cucumber chopped
Whisk oil, lemon juice and garlic in small bowl to blend. Set aside. Prepare quinoa according to package directions (usually one cup quinoa to two cups water, bring to boil, cover and reduce for 15 minutes). Let cool. If using riced cauliflower it will have been pulsed raw, so you can add immediately to tomatoes, parsley, cucumber, onions and mint. Add oil/lemon mixture and too to blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes to let flavors become acquainted. Serve or can be made 1 day ahead.
This should satisfy those Middle Eastern foodies who love the stuff but don’t want the wheaty aftermath!