Posts Tagged salad

Achievement Unlocked: Epic Tabbouleh

Part of the Middle Eastern picnic spread!  My personal favorite part.  (This and the falafel post were written side-by-side, so apologies for any time-related inconsistencies.)

Tabbouleh, or however you care to spell it, is, in my humble opinion, the universe’s best salad.  And that’s coming from a girl who loves salads.  It’s based on bulghur wheat, which is a pain in the buttocks to find if you don’t live near a Middle Eastern grocer or specialty foods store.  I scored some from a friend who’s trying to go gluten-free.  If you really can’t find it, quinoa is a perfectly acceptable substitute, unless you’re me and you’re kind of picky about your tabbouleh.  I give you fair warning.  🙂

To the soaked wheat, add tomatoes, a whole bunch of chopped parsley, some garlic, lemon juice, and salt.  Let marinate, and try not to eat the whole bowl at once.  After all, when you’re making falafel and your own pita to go with them, might as well savor the treat.  😀

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Tabbouleh

  1. Shop around for bulghur wheat before realizing that your quest is futile in your part of the city.  Score delivery of some from friend – awesome!  Since that little delivery won’t be arriving until tomorrow, prep your salad the night before.
  2. Chop one large cucumber into somewhere between a chop and a dice.  Scoop into salad bowl.  (Seed before chopping if you’re picky, but I’m not.  I like seeds in my cukes and tomatoes.)
  3. Add three large tomatoes, chopped reasonably small.
  4. Throw in about two cups of parsley, chopped.  On the list of “kitchen skills I do not have yet” is chopping big bunches of greenery in any sort of neat manner.  I didn’t worry about it too much.
  5. Realize that your bowl is far too small for this much salad.  Frantically search kitchen for larger bowl.  Realize that you cannot find larger bowl because that’s where your pita dough is rising.  Sigh and go back to making salad.
  6. Add a handful of chopped green onions (about three stalks).  Pause to slice up rest of onions for flash-freezing, because these onions are looking pretty sorry.
  7. (Very quick flash-freezing instructions: spread food to be frozen into single layer on plate.  Stick, uncovered, into freezer for about twenty minutes or until most pieces are solid.  Store in labeled plastic bag in freezer.  This way, you don’t get a whole giant brick of onion.)
  8. Throw in four minced cloves of garlic.  Don’t be shy with the garlic in this salad.  It’s not first date food.
  9. (Take a break to go peel the rest of your household supply of garlic, because apparently this is Tabbouleh And Housecleaning Day.)
  10. Add a couple tablespoons of dried mint, in place of the fresh mint the recipe calls for.  (If you have fresh, throw in about a third of a cup.)
  11. Realize you’re out of friggin’ lemon juice, throw up your hands, stir your salad, cover it, stick it in the fridge, and come back to it later.  Sheesh.
  12. When you return from the store later, add half a cup of lemon juice, stir again, re-cover, and stick back in the fridge.
  13. The next day, soak two cups of bulghur in enough boiling water to cover it.  Stir into your salad, chill long enough to cool the bulghur, and serve.  🙂

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Achievement Unlocked: Failed “Good Morning” Check

So, it’s been a bit of a busy weekend.  After yesterday’s series of posts about game night food, I was up until three-thirty playing a game of Arkham Horror (which we won!  by the hardest method possible!  go us!).  Slept about four hours, cooked, and played an honestly exhausting D&D session, which brings us to me not quite nodding off at my keyboard at eight-fifteen on a Sunday.

(Also, for an after-game drink, I picked up a bottle of brandy at the local liquor store and am now seriously reconsidering my life choices up to this point.  Experienced drinkers, does this get better?  Or does it always taste like wine mixed with jet fuel?  I am conflicted…though, of course, not conflicted enough to dump the rest of my glass.)

I was trying to go through my normal routine of D&D-session snacks – something vaguely healthful, to contrast the cookies our fighter normally brings, and something vegan-friendly.  Holding a bundle of farmer’s market asparagus and surfing AllRecipes brought me to a delicious-looking salad for which I just happened to have all the ingredients at home.  It’s dead simple, but I’m writing it out here anyway because it’s delicious, and perhaps a bit of a change from your typical methods of consuming asparagus.  Then again, I don’t know what those are, so I’m not really one to preach, am I?  🙂

It was only after assembling the salad that I realized it had the word “feta” in the title.  And a bunch of feta in the bowl.  Feta is cheese, and therefore not vegan.  Upon realizing this after the construction of my vegan-friendly salad, or so I thought, I slipped it into the fridge, sat down at the table, and collapsed in hysterical embarrassed giggles.  Thankfully, the cleric ordered me to go lie down for two hours, so I was able to make it through the game session after all.  Barely.

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Fresh Asparagus, Tomato, and Feta Salad

  1. Wash and trim the tough ends from your bundle of asparagus.  Chop stalks in half and plunk into pot of water.  Boil.
  2. Open can of petite diced tomatoes, drain at least some of the liquid, and set aside.
  3. Mix half-cup of seasoned rice vinegar, pinch of sugar (more if vinegar is unseasoned), generous sprinkle of salt, and three tablespoons olive oil in bowl.  Whisk.  (Or, fork.)
  4. When asparagus is sort of tender but not bending yet, remove from pot and drain.  Slice into one-inch lengths.
  5. Plunk asparagus and about a third of can of tomatoes into serving bowl.  Add four ounces or so of feta; if you like more cheese in your veggies, add more cheese.  Pour dressing over all and toss to coat.
  6. Place in fridge, apologize to vegan friend, and GO TAKE A NAP.  Salad is ready to be served after about an hour, or whenever you wake up.

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