Yum, yum and yum! So all these go so well together as a meal but you can also make the tabbouleh to accompany a lot of other dishes and I find it is great to serve alongside a BBQ in the summer, as its light and refreshing.
The tabbouleh contains bulgar wheat which is a great carbohydrate option for us all. It is less processed than most other carbohydrate foods and hasn’t been stripped of its bran or germ which is where all the nutrients actually are. It is low in fat and a good source of plant protein. It is also high in minerals like manganese, magnesium and iron and it’s a great dose of dietary fibre to keep our gut healthy. A traditional tabbouleh is meant to contain a lot of parsley, with it actually being the main ingredient so don’t be put off by the amount you chop up for this dish.
The falafel contains a good amount of protein in the chickpeas and the whole dish is low in fat but high in a lot of good stuff! It is also vegetarian. I am a big lover of meat but I am trying to find tasty vegetarian meals at the moment. As a population we eat far too much meat which is unsustainable and is damaging the environment so I am making an effort to eat a couple of vegetarian meals a week.
Prep: About 30 mins
Cooking 8 mins
250g bulgar wheat
400g ripe tomatoes
6 spring onions
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground coriander
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
Pinch of ground ginger
125g flat-leaf parsley
A good handful of mint leaves
80ml olive oil
80g pomegranate seeds
2 x 400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 garlic cloves
Handful of flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp harissa paste
4 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp sunflower oil
½ large cucumber
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp of quality virgin olive oil
500g tub of strained Greek yogurt
A few sprigs of fresh mint
Let’s make the tzatziki first.
Slice the cucumber in half and remove the seeds as this is where most of the water is and we don’t want that in our tzatziki. Grate the remaining cucumber and squeeze out as much moisture as possible.
Peel and crush the garlic and place in bowl along with the oil. Add the cucumber and the yogurt and stir together.
Finely chop the mint and stir through the mixture with a squeeze of lemon juice and season with salt.
Now prepare the tabbouleh as that can sit and wait for us to make the falafel and cook the halloumi.
Cook the bulgar wheat according to packet instructions.
Finely chop the tomatoes and spring onions and add both to a large salad bowl. Add the juice of 1½ lemons.
Mix the spices together and add to the bowl.
Rinse the parsley and mint under cold water and then take the stalks off the parsley. Sliced the herbs as finely as you can. With the mint be as careful as possible when slicing to not bruise it.
Add the herbs to the bowl with the oil, the cooked bulgar wheat and the pomegranate seeds and mix well.
For the falafel, after you have drained and rinsed the chickpeas dry them as much as possible. Tip all the ingredients apart from the sunflower oil into a food processor and blitz until smooth.
Shape the mixture into 8 patties with your hands, it may be a little messy if the chickpeas were a little too wet still.
In a large frying pan heat the sunflower oil and then fry the patties for about 3 mins each side until browned and cooked through.
For the halloumi slice 8 ½ cm thick pieces and on a griddle pan cook for about 1 min each side.
Serve all together and enjoy!