Let's talk healthy new year eating. Wait, come back, it's not all that depressing. Sure there are far less cookies than we enjoyed over the holidays but that doesn't mean the food can't be delicious. For me, the secret to being able to eat healthy, nutritious food is advanced preparation. So I look for dishes that can be made in advance (Sunday is usually my weekly food prep day) and will keep well in the refrigerator for the week. Extra bonus points if the food travels well so it can be taken to work for lunches.
The other key for healthy eating is plenty of whole grains and there's a lot of variety to choose from. Bulghur wheat is the traditional grain used in tabbouleh salad but I also make other dishes with it and use it the way I would use rice. It has a mild, nutty flavor, pairs well with lots of other foods and cooks quickly and easily.
Typical tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern salad with bulghur wheat and a huge amount of parsley. A parsley salad, if you will. But it's common to add other vegetables and I loaded mine up with tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and crispy chickpeas. Fiber and vitamins together in a delicious salad. That's how to do healthy new year eating!
- For the Salad:
- 1 cup bulghur wheat
- 2 cups water
- 3 tomatoes (diced)
- 1 seedless (English) cucumber, diced
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 small or 1/4 large red onion (peeled and diced)
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- For the Chickpeas:
- 1 can (approx. 15 oz.) chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 Teaspoon ground cumin
- For the Dressing:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic (peeled and finely minced or grated)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- To make the bulghur wheat, bring the two cups of water to a boil, add the bulghur, cover, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for another 8 to 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
- To make the chickpeas, add them to a skillet or cast iron pan with the olive oil. Saute on high heat for 5 to 10 minutes until crispy and toss with the cumin.
- To make the dressing, in a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and minced or grated garlic. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Add the diced tomatoes, diced cucumber, shredded carrots and diced red onion to the dressing. Stir in the cooked bulghur wheat, crispy chickpeas and parsley. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve at room temperature.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|