Friday, February 4, 2011

What's for Dinner?*Tabbouleh and Hummus Vegan Dinner*

What's for Dinner?

Tabbouleh and Hummus with Pita


courtesy of


1 cup bulghur wheat
4 plum tomatoes, finely chopped in their juices
1 3/4 cups finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (about two medium bunches)
4 scallions, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about two lemons)
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint


1.  Soak bulghur in cold water for 10 minutes. Drain in a sieve lined with damp cheesecloth; squeeze out all water.  Transfer to a serving bowl; fluff with a fork.

2.  Stir in tomatoes with juice, parsley, and scallions.  Add lemon juice, salt, and oil; season with pepper.  Toss to coat.  Just before serving , stir in mint.

from Martha Stewart Living, May 2004

I love Tabbouleh!  It forever reminds me of eating  lunch at a small street side cafe in Berkeley.  Tabbouleh tastes like a rice mix of mint, parsley and tomato.  The fresh ingredients that make up this tasty dish are super healthy for you.

Tabbouleh is a Levantine Arabic word that means "a little spicy".  Traditionally one of the most popular salads of the middle east, tabbouleh originates from the mountains of Syria and Lebanon.  It took roughly ten minutes of active prep to complete this dish. By the time the kids were done coloring, I was wrapping up.  Yes!

courtesy of

makes 3 cups

2 cans chickpeas (15.5oz each) * I used two cans that were 15 oz each and it was fine.*
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice *I used the bottled version and it still was delicious
1/4 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt


1) Reserving 1/4 cup liquid,rinse and drain 2 cans chickpeas(garbanzo beans).  Place chickpeas and reserved liquid in a food processor.  Add 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup tahini,well stirred, 2 garlic cloves,chopped,1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt.  Process until smooth.  To store, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week. 

For too long, I have been wanting to make hummus.  Ben and I laugh about how often we hear our voices trail off as we say, "I'm totally going to make hummus...soon".  Often easier to grab a container at the grocery store, I can't say that I don't wince at paying $5-$6 for something that goes as quickly as hummus does in our house.  For some families it's ice cream or chips.  For us, it's hummus.  Sarah enjoys hummus as-is on a plate all to herself.

Surprisingly easy, I food processed, stirred and mixed my own batch of hummus in just a few minutes!  I must say that I should have done this years ago.  In under ten minutes, I had enough hummus to serve at the table (as pictured below) and even more to store away for later in a recycled peanut butter jar container (cleaned and rinsed out well). Here's the thing though.  If you really want to save money, don't buy canned garbanzos, instead opt for the dry beans and let them soak overnight in water. If you do purchase canned, I love the Eden Organic brand and suggest this based on taste and quality.  Once you have finished making your very own hummus, trust me you won't be blindly grabbing for the container without thinking twice. 

Martha's recipe for hummus was perfect.  Smooth and creamy, the hummus was a perfect balance of all the above flavors.  Better than the already-made stuff. Yum!

By the way, are you wondering what tahini is made from?  Tahini ( طحينة in Arabic) is a paste that is similar to peanut butter, however it's made from sesame seeds. Tahini's origins are from Persia.  It is called ardeh(ارده), or holy food.  It tastes pretty good to me!  I guess you could consider it holy.  Why not?

Picture Gallery

This is what bulghur wheat looks like

 I used a chinoise to drain the bulghur.  I was out of cheesecloth.

 Decided to try the fire roasted canned tomatoes.  The fresh ones are not in season yet.  This really added an unusual smoky flavor to the tabbouleh.
  Mint. Gotta love this stuff.
  The tabbouleh ingredients are being mixed together.
Ready to eat!

 This is a great brand.  The cans are only 15 oz each (recipe calls for 15.5 oz individual cans).  I think it still tasted great!
Fresh is better, but for the sake of time, I often use this.   
Tahini...this company makes peanut butter and almond butter, among others too.
Sarah was being silly while I was cooking.  At one point, she disappeared under the kitchen table.
OK, was not about to make my own pita tonight too.  So, I opted for this instead.
Here everything is being mixed together in the food processor.
The hummus is ready!
Healthy and fast dinner is ready.
The tabbouleh was so good that Sarah wanted to eat the spoon too!
Gabriel, well...he was not so fond of the dinner.  Jordan probably would have agreed but he was at a wrestling tournament that night.

 I on the other hand, loved it and so did Ben.

~Dinner Was Served~


Holman3 said...

This looks great! I love tab. and humus. I haven't made it in year, so think I will do that this coming week. Good idea on the canned tomatoes as I agree, the ones at the supermarket now are.... not tomatoes as we know it! xx

The Green Mama said...

Thanks! Yes, this time of year canned is the way to go. Enjoy your tab and hummus. XX back!

Anonymous said...

I think I hear Middle Eastern music in the background, and the tinkle of mini bells adorning a belly-dancer. Food from Morocco to Afghanistan has always intrigued me.

What a creative approach to foods not in season. The "Tab n' Hum" with Pita bread looks so good.