tabouleh


tabouleh_1

I love tabouleh. So much in fact that I often find myself scooping heaps of it from the Whole Foods salad bar and eating it for breakfast (they do a terrific and terribly convenient version of the traditional mezze). Yesterday was my first attempt to make it myself, and although a tabouleh purist might roll her eyes at my creative liberties (no tomatoes, no onion, no cucumbers) it’s the perfect, refreshing delight for my palette.

All you need is:

1/2 cup bulgar

1/3 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup olive oil

two bunches of parsley

a dozen mint leaves

salt to taste, I used ~2 tsp

This was also my first time cooking with bulgar and I use “cooking” loosely because all you really do is rehydrate it. Start by rinsing your bulgar in a fine, mesh strainer. Transfer to a large bowl and pour in half of your lemon juice. Let it sit for 30-40 minutes or until the bulgar starts to fluff and get more tender.

lemon juice + bulgar_1

While your bulgar’s soaking and absorbing your lemon juice, in the bowl of a food processor place parsley & mint. Pulse to mince. Then, combine olive oil with with other half of your lemon juice and slowly pour into your parsley/mint mixture.

Parsley + Mint_1

lemon + greens_1

Once your bulgar is adequately soaked, pour in your green mixture and stir to combine.

green + bulgar

There you go! Super simple tabouleh – no heat required. This is also a great make ahead dish, I had some for lunch today and I think it improves with age as the flavors have longer to gel.

A refreshing addition to any summer plate or breakfast of champions,

Julia

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white chocolate walnut fudge

white chocolate walnut fudge

Looking for a last minute holiday treat for your Christmas festivities? Whip up a batch of this super simple white chocolate walnut fudge and you’ll be a hit. You need 6 ingredients and just over 6 minutes (plus time for the fudge to chill), and you’ll have a delicious non-cookie, non-chocolate sweet treat that will easily travel and makes a great gift!

Ready, set, fudge!

1 1/2 bags white chocolate chips

1 can sweetened condensed milk

2 generous tsp of vanilla

1/4 tsp baking soda

a big pinch of salt

3/4 to 1 cup chopped walnuts (pecans would also be yum!)

white chocolate fudge steps

In a true (or makeshift!) double broiler, melt your chocolate chips. Stir continuously to facilitate the melting until the chips are all beginning to soften & get creamy. Add your sweetened condensed milk & vanilla. Keep stirring until it’s all melty, combined, delicious white goop and stir in your soda & salt. Once everything’s all mixed, remove your white-chocolate wonder from the heat & stir in your walnuts. Quickly pour into a parchment-lined pyrex & then chill. Once until the fudge is frigid and solid, cut into your desired sized pieces & enjoy!

Variation: You could easily use this same base for a peppermint bark! Substitute the walnuts for crushed peppermints or candy canes & swap 1 of the tsps of vanilla for a tsp of peppermint extract! Yum!

Soy Ginger Tofu with Bok Choy

sweet&sour tofu

This is more exciting than you know! I’ve been a vegetarian for sneaking up on 4 years and this was my first successful attempt to cook tofu in such a way that it evoked the same “yum!-I-ordered-this-for-dinner-at-a-restaurant-and-I’m-extremely-satisfied” feeling. Huge win! The recipe couldn’t have been easier, either. Boston Boy & I hiked Great Falls Sunday and arrived home in desperate need of a quick & nourishing meal pre-movies (we saw Lincoln, and I don’t know that you need to rush to see it while it’s in theaters, but I definitely recommend it!). Did a quick dash to the grocery, cooked & ate it all in under an hour!

This Soy Ginger Tofu is great to keep in your wheelhouse for a simple, scrumptious din din!

bok choy sauce ingredients

For the Sauce:

1/4 c honey

1/4 c lemon juice

1/4 c soy sauce

2 tbl pickled ginger (fresh would of course be wonderful too, but this was a quick operation!)

1 heaping tbl garlic

1 1/2 tbl sriracha

Everything Else:

1 bunch of bok choy (thoroughly cleaned!)

1 package of firm/extra-firm tofu

1/3 c flour

pinch of salt

2 tbl canola oil

So, I recommend you start by situating your tofu. Slice your tofu into 1/2 an inch thick pieces and lay on a bed of paper towels. Lay more paper towels on top and perhaps even a cutting board on top of those paper towels. We want to remove as much liquid from the tofu as possible, as quickly as possible! While that’s being pressed/patted, start on your sauce. I recommend using one liquid measure and adding your honey, then lemon juice, then soy. Mix in your g&g & sriacha & let that rest.

Next (or meanwhile if you have a wonderful Boston Boy as your sous chef) clean and chop your bok choy (both the stalk and the leafy part) into bite-sized pieces.

bokchoyprep

 

Finally, once your tofu has rested for a while, slice each piece 3 times so you have 1 by 2 inch rectangular pieces, then coat each piece in your flour/salt mixture. Now it’s time to cook these babies! Heat your oil in a large skillet. Once your oil is hot enough gently place your tofu (you should see itty bitty bubbles surround it) in the oil. Let the tofu fry for 3-4 minutes and then flip once the bottom is beginning to look golden brown. Cook the second side (it’ll cook a little more quickly than the first) until it’s also golden brown.


tofu_sweet&sour

I removed a good amount of the oil in my pan (I know we’re frying, but we’re health conscious when we can be!) and then added the bok choy. Start by adding the stalky, crunchy parts. Let those get off to a good start cooking & then pour in your sauce. Let it all start to simmer then add the leafy green parts of your bok choy.

Let it all jive together for 5-7 minutes (the stalky parts of your bok choy should be tender with a slight crisp), and then remove from heat. Serve on top of your favorite grain – I choose quinoa!

Give it a try, you’re going to love it! And…I promise, even for all you tofu skeptics. This is a great gateway tofu!