February 12, 2018
This is about...
carrot tabbouleh.png
        Even though I’m not a football fan, I ALWAYS WATCH THE SUPER BOWL FOR OF THE OTHER STUFF that goes on. Who’s singing the national anthem? Will the commercials be funny and clever this year? Will I like the half-time show? It’s also one of those nights where I always feel like, (along with everyone else,) I’ve been given permission to indulge in a lot of junk food while I watch. SINCE I’M ALWAYS LOOKING FOR AN EXCUSE TO GO OFF MY “HEALTHY” DIET, I’M IN! Of course, there’s a little regret the next day, but those organic cheese doodles, that donut and the dish of cappuccino kahlua crunch ice cream were well worth it.
        After my super bowl deep dive into junk food land, I’m vowing to be good until another day, when I can convince myself that a few “guilt-free” indulgences are warranted ---guess what? Valentine’s Day is not far away.
        In the meantime, being good means jumping back into my New Year’s resolutions. One of them is to drink a ton of water. And surprisingly, I’m following through with that one. Reducing the sugar is another story. And, lots of vegetables is a relentless quest for variety.
        ENTER THIS GRAIN-FREE, HEAVY ON THE VEGGIES AND HERBS, SALAD. It’s not really a tabbouleh in the traditional sense, which is made with bulgur wheat. This one subs in ground carrots. But it does include a lot of the flavors from the real version—a ton of parsley, (actually in Lebanon, this is considered a parsley salad), fresh mint, scallions, lemon juice and olive oil. A FEW EXTRA ADDITIONS MAKE THIS “TABBOULEH” A LITTLE MORE CREATIVE, A few extra additions make this tabbouleh a little more creative, but they go so well with the carrots. TOASTED CUMIN SEEDS, WALNUTS AND RAISINS all get tossed in for good measure.
        This is best eaten the same day, so that the vibrant green parsley stays that way. But, it will be delicious over the next few days too, just a little less colorful. So, if you’re looking for a recipe that will combat those “uh-oh what have I done” flashes. YOU’VE GOT ONE NOW. And don’t worry, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.

LESSONS Learned:
1. Get organic veggies if you can. And before prepping them, soak and rinse them well, a few times in cold water.
2. A food processor is a must, grating them just won’t be the same.
3. Usually I recommend Italian flat leaf parsley for everything, but in this case, you want to use the curly parsley for it’s texture.
3. You need fresh mint. Don’t replace it with the dried version, which will add a saw-dusty kind of texture.
4. To toast the cumin seeds: add to a small dry skillet and over medium heat, stir constantly until just beginning to smell fragrant. Immediately remove from the pan, so they don’t burn.
5. So why couldn’t you do cauliflower tabbouleh? Hmmmm....

Carrot Tabbouleh
(inspired by Maureen Callahan at Cooking Light)

8-10 ounces carrots, trimmed, peeled, and sliced into ¼ inch rounds, 4-5 medium (about 2 cups)
1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds, toasted
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup fresh curly parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 Tablespoon finely slice scallion, one scallion or more to taste
1/4 cup golden raisins, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Make the Tabbouleh:
        Place the carrots and cumin seeds in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 10-12 times or until chopped into fine pieces. Add the walnuts and pulse 4-5 times more to chop and incorporate the walnuts. Transfer the carrot mixture into a bowl, and add all of the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine and let sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Store in the fridge. Will keep for 3-4 days.

Makes 3-4 servings.       YUM!
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