Last Weeks Happy

August 30, 2007 at 5:56 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Sometimes, it take so little to make me happy.  A couple of weeks ago, I was forced to make one of the dreaded late night grocery store runs (Jeremy was trying to sell his car).  I just needed a few fresh items like milk, fruit, veg, eggs, etc. so a quick run into HEB fit the bill perfectly.  It was nearly eleven o’clock, so you can imagine how hot I was looking.  Sadly enough, I was flirted with- the night manager was bored I suppose. 

After a few minutes of browsing their wide crafting and home decor magazine selection, I hit the gold mine.  TABOULE (or tabouleh)!  I cannot tell you how excited I was!  You’d have thought I was getting, um, well, ehem.  Anyways, I have been searching Krogers whenever I run in there (not often- too expensive) for this Near East mix, which is what my in-laws use and where they told me to find it.  Never did.  So imagine my delight when I spotted it after years of searching! It sounds dramatic, but I really have been looking for a few years now.  I bought four boxes- all they had out.  So I ran around like the madwoman I am, grabbing all the other ingredients I would need to make it and suprise my husband.  On my way to the check out counter, I passed through the bakery, and there was even fresh pita bread! Yum!  I could eat taboule and pita bread every day for a week!

If you are not familiar with taboule, you should be! This explains how to make it if you get confused by my instructions. It’s so flavorful, delicious, and healthy.  It has a very unique, tangy, fresh, minty flavor to it and is a very light salad.

A few days later, I quickly mixed up some delicious taboule salad.  You just follow the directions on the back (almost).  Pour the contents of the box into a large(ish) bowl and completely cover with boiling hot (I just use very hot) water.  The directions will tell you only a cup or two, but I add way more, because (1.) the wheat really soaks up the water amazingly and (2.) you can always drain and squeeze out any extra water.  The seasons will float up to the top- its okay.



Let it soak in the refrigerator for at least an hour- the box says 30 minutes I believe, but I usually let it soak for several hours so that it has a chance to really absorb well.  This is what it looks like after it has soaked and you stir it up:




While it is soaking, you can chop up your vegetables.  I don’t like tomato (I know, I know, I’m weird- it’s genetic I think) so I don’t add that, but it is traditional to add that.  I do love cucumber though, and most recipes for taboule do call for a couple of cucumbers.  Chop them well.  Also chop as best you can- I have a really hard time chopping it- one large or two small bunches of flat leaf Italian parsley (although the curly variety will do in a pinch if you just couldn’t find the flat Italian):



Taboule varies from one middle eastern country to the other.  Some countries will add peppers, some onion, some olives, additional mint (there is dried mint in the herb mix included in the box), etc.  I make a very basic kind- no olives, no peppers, sometimes tomato if I am feeling generous towards Jeremy, usually not onion (Jeremy can’t digest them well), occasional a few additional dried mint flakes, extra lemon juice, extra oil, low salt.

Once your burghol (wheat) has soaked long enough and is soft, make sure there isn’t any extra water in the bottom of the bowl, then add your chopped veggies.  The recipe calls for one tablespoon of olive oil.  I have used canola oil and it was fine.  I also just drizzle it liberally over the top, so it’s probably more than a tablespoon.  Squeeze everything you can out of one large lemon.  I usually end up mixing everything together, only to add more lemon, so taste test it before serving (the best part of cooking!).  Salt it as you prefer- I add only about a half a teaspoon.

Mix it all up and soak in the refrigerator for several hours- overnight even.  It’s like tomato products.  Always better the next day.  A serving of this is just over 100 calories and it includes so many of your daily requirements for vegetables and whole grains!  I always eat this with some pita bread and maybe even some kibbeh.  Yum!


(sorry, blurry pic- for a good one, click on the link in the beginning of the post)

Marrying Jeremy, who is of Lebanese descent has broadened my palate.  Before we dated, I don’t think I would have tried any of the traditional middle eastern dishes that his family makes!  But I loved them as soon as I tried them- no “acquired tastes” here, and I am a picky eater.  See, there are a few reasons why I am glad I married Jeremy!

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  1. I saw this recipe on The Barefoot Contessa and started drooling it looked so YUMMY. I’m glad to know it’s in a box…I’ll start the search!


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