|Veggie Tabbouleh with Broccoli|
It is the start of the New Year and time for reflection. It is also time to make a bunch of New Years resolutions that you know you are not going to keep. This year I decided to do something different. I wrote my 2015 bucket list on post-it notes and stuck them to the wall in my laundry room. They are a combination of fun (ride in a bi-plane), education (get through a french language book that is sitting on my coffee table) and health (run a 10K). As I achieve these "goals" I have a vase to place them in so at the end of this year I can see what I have achieved. My family is supposed to be joining me in the fun. The wall awaits their post-it notes.
Also as part of the my New Year reflection, I took a good hard look at what I am eating. I'd give myself a b minus. (In the summer when we are part of a CSA I'd have an a minus.) I have cut out fast food and I try to eat healthy. But I really don't eat as many fruits and veggies as I should and I love desserts. When I am bored, I make desserts because I love to bake and create wonderful food. And what is more wonderful than dessert? Also I have a soft spot for chicken tenders. The cafeteria where I work always has great chicken tenders and curly fries. Sigh.....
So I did some research and Alton Brown's plan for a healthy life style (not a diet) struck a cord. I like his list of foods to eat every day. I love the one dessert a week rule . I can plan all week for the masterpiece that I will create and then eat. It will be the same with pasta- I can already imagine making homemade pasta once a week. Because if I only get pasta once a week, it is not going to be dried pasta from a box. I like pretty much everything on the list (except sweet potatoes, sardines or mackerel). I am giddy about the avocado. Oh how I love avocado.
I gave up soda. That was actually quite easy because I replaced it with iced tea. Beer is not going to be eliminated. My husband and I brew beer. I love the taste of beer. I love brewing beer. We are currently brewing a Scottish ale and a chocolate Jim Beam imperial stout. If craft beer was not available, I could easily give up beer. But the craft beer revolution is going on and the beers, meads, ciders, and ginger beers and root beers that are available are amazing. Last night, I had a hard cider mead from Leaky Roof Meadery called KCC&S Cyser and it was amazing. My current favorites are 4 Hands chocolate milk stout and Odell's Lugene chocolate milk stout.
Alton Brown's list of foods to eat and my love of Mediterranean food was the inspiration for a really healthy tabbouleh. I make a huge amount and eat it all week. If I want a snack instead of chips or a sugary treat, I eat tabbouleh with some whole grain pita. I also like it with quinoa and couscous. Feta cheese is also lovely with this. If you are a mint fan, add some mint with the parsley. Adjust the lemon to your taste.
1 Head of Cauliflower or Broccoli
1 Large Bunch of Parsley
1/2-1 Cucumber, Peeled
1 Red, Green, Orange or Yellow Pepper (or a combination of the mini-peppers)
1/2 Red Onion
Several Roma Tomatoes or 1 Large Tomato
Zest of One Lemon
Juice of One to Two Lemons
Approximately 1/4 Cup (60 ml) of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper, to Taste
In a food processor, process the parsley so that it is finely chopped and dump parsley into a large bowl. Place cauliflower or broccoli (with the stems or hard core removed) in the food processor and pulse so it is in fine pieces but not mush. Place this in the bowl with the parsley. Do the same with the carrot, onion, and pepper(s). Hand chop the cucumber (removing the seeds) and the tomato (removing the seeds). These should be finely diced. I used all of my tomato for shrimp ceviche so the tabbouleh with the broccoli does not have tomato.
In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, oil, salt and pepper. Pour this mixture over the veggie and stir. Taste and adjust. You may want to add more salt or pepper or lemon juice. You may also want to add a bit of cumin or cayenne.
That is it.
The bottom line: will I make this again? Yes, I love it.