Uncultured No More!

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I would venture to say that I’ve become a pretty decent cook over the past three years—

That is, unless you’re judging me on ethnic variety.

Pot roast and potatoes?

Check.

Creamy white chili and anything with bacon?

Check check.

Venture outside of the typical white, middle-class cuisine?

Hmmm…

It’s not that I don’t like different cultures’ food—in fact, I would say that I’m relatively open to the idea when it comes to the idea of eating at almost any ethnic restaurant when the idea is suggested (unless, of course, you’re trying to talk me into sushi, to which I say: “Stop being a grossie gross.”)

But, since we don’t exactly have the budget to be eating out every night (nor do we have the desire), I started looking into various so-called “ethnic” foods that I could make at home. Ideally, I was looking for recipes that use some of my latest health-craze kicks: quinoa, bulgur wheat, or couscous.

Last night, I found the jackpot, and I pretty much consider myself a professional Indian chef now.

(Just kidding.)

But, if you’re on the lookout for a delicious Indian dish that’s meatless AND healthy (and totally easy!), you absolutely must try this out:

Tabbouleh (Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites by Sara Wells and Kate Jones)

1 cup bulgur wheat
2 cups boiling water
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 medium cucumber, diced
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, optional
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1. Place bulgur wheat in a medium-sized bowl and pour bowling water over it. Lightly stir and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside for 45 minutes without removing plastic. After 45 minutes, place bulgur in a fine-mesh strainer and press on it with a spoon to remove excess moisture.

2. Place bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, parsley, and mint (if using) in a mixing bowl and toss lightly. Add oil, lemon juice. salt, pepper, and cumin. Gently toss until everything is well distributed. Cover bowl and refrigerate a minimum of one hour before serving.

***Tips: This recipe is GREAT with fried naan bread (which you can find in the same cookbook, which is totally worth buying!) Make sure that you actually buy fresh vegetables and parsley—this would NOT taste the same with dried. Plus, we tried this with the mint, and it’s fantastic (just so you know).

Do you try different ethnic cuisines often (cooking or at restaurants)? Which one is your favorite?

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