Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Avocado and Tabbouleh Salad

Well, today I decided lunch was going to be things in the refrigerator, because it's getting quite warm outside and the rest of the week is just going to get warmer. We're supposed to hit 110* by this weekend, which really isn't that bad for mid-august in Arizona. I'm probably not going to notice much, I keep the house pretty consistent between 75* and 80*, usually closer to 75*, but when I'm cooking it's dropped as low as 70* for an hour or so.

I had made this lovely tabbouleh the other day and hubby and I hadn't touched it. For those not in the know, tabbouleh is this wonderful Mediterranean (and/or Arabic?) dish of a cracked wheat sort of product called Bulgar wheat, which kinda reminds me of the rice used to make risotto. It's made by adding diced cucumbers, diced tomatoes, mint, lime or lemon juice, some other spices (I'll admit, I haven't made it from scratch yet,) and the Bulgar wheat. You puff up the wheat by adding boiling water, mix the rest in and chill. Good stuff!

So here's this wonderful tabbouleh in my fridge, staring at me with sad eyes that we're not eating it. Last night I had asked the hubby what he though about taking some of the yogurt we have, some garlic, mint, dill, cucumber, and making some tzatziki sauce and putting the tabbouleh in pita bread and having a kind of vegetarian gyros. He said the same as always "you haven't poisoned me yet." So after he went to bed on the verge of a seizure saying he's not hungry, I decided this sounded like lunch.

My first disappointment was that all the yogurt in the house was flavored. I was sure I'd bought some unflavored Greek yogurt, but remembered the guys had been shopping with me and vetoed my choice in favor of stuff with sugar. OK, no tzatziki, but I have ranch, and I have a couple of nice Italians and some Cesar. Lunch is not stopped.

I pulled the lettuce and grape tomatoes out, cut an avocado in half, ran the knife through it to make some little dices, and reached for the pitas. Which lead to lunch disappointment #2. I hate moldy bread. Fine, I grabbed a plate, ribboned up some lettuce, arranged it on the plate, sprinkled the avocado dices over it, cut up a few extra tomatoes and sprinkled them on there, and laid on some of the tabbouleh. This is what it looked like:
Now, I only had a little touch of the Italian, a BIG bottle of ranch, 'cause ranch is good on almost anything, and I didn't want to have to open a new bottle of anything yet til I move some things out of the fridge door. Like some BBQsauce or one of the three types of mustard. Which we don't don't hardly use. Which is why it's still there. Dijon/Stone Ground, Honey, and Yellow. *sigh* Give the Honey Mustard to the Son-in-law for chicken strips, make potato salad with the Dijon, and some deviled eggs or something with the yellow.

I tried a little of the Italian on it, and it was ok, but the flavors just didn't grab me. The ranch however helped to hold the little grains and veggies and lettuce and everything together, and - well, I ate it with Ranch. Totally vegetarian, and if I'd made the ranch with almond milk or soy milk instead of cow milk, it'd be vegan. I'm not worried about it though. I'm a shameless omnivore, although I have tried to be a healthier and more conscientious omnivore lately.

So, here's what you'll need to have what I had for lunch:
A little lettuce (say 1/6th of a head chopped to your liking)
8 grape tomatoes chopped in half
1/2 an Avocado, hulled and diced
3/4 Cup of pre--made  Tabbouleh (Far East Brand is good) chilled
Ranch dressing or your choice.

This was good for a light lunch, but I'm still looking forward to making it in some pitas, with some feta cheese perhaps, and definitely the tzatziki sauce.

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