Thursday 28 July 2011

Tabbouleh Salad

Mention tabbouleh and I automatically think of summer picnics on the beach!   It's the ideal salad to take on a day out and somehow tastes even more delicious when you're in a beautiful location!

As long as you have a bag of bulghur wheat stored away in your kitchen cupboard and have some fresh tomatoes, cucumber and herbs handy, you can put this salad together in no time but, if you can, make it a day ahead to allow the flavours to fully develop.  

Unlike the classic tabbouleh, my version contains black olives which I love. They definitely add extra taste, texture and colour to this simple salad.  If you like spring onions, they are a nice addition too.


125g bulghur wheat
About 250g ripe tomatoes
Half a cucumber
A generous handful of black olives
A bunch of fresh parsley
(approx 3 tbsp finely chopped)
A small bunch of fresh mint
(approx 2 tbsp finely chopped)
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and Pepper

First put the bulghur wheat in a bowl, cover with plenty of cold water and leave for about 45 minutes. 

(or, for fast soaking, add boiling water and leave for just 20 minutes)

Drain the bulghur wheat through a sieve and press with the back of a large spoon to remove excess water.

Meanwhile make your dressing by whisking together the olive oil and lemon juice in a large bowl. Then add the finely chopped parsley and mint and a good seasoning of salt and pepper. 

Chop the tomatoes and dice the cucumber and add to the herb dressing.  Roughly chop the olives and mix in.

When your bulghur wheat has drained thoroughly,  add to the other ingredients and stir well. 

Cover the salad and place in the fridge overnight. 

If you don't want to make the whole salad the night before,  just soak the bulghur wheat in water and make the herb dressing. Pour the dressing over the drained bulghur and leave in the fridge overnight.
The next day, all you have to do is add your chopped salad ingredients.

Sunday 10 July 2011

Mushroom Goulash

Traditionally, a goulash is a meat stew made with beef, tomatoes and onions and spiced with paprika.  This meatless and dairyfree version is full of mushrooms, tomatoes, onions and green pepper in a creamy sauce seasoned with paprika and goes perfectly with tagliatelli, noodles or rice. 

Ingredients                 Serves Four

2 medium or 3 small onions
1 green pepper
350g mushrooms
3 tomatoes, chopped 
(or half a 400g tin tomatoes)
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp flour
2 level tsp paprika
Half a vegetable stock cube

Approx 100ml unsweetened soya milk
Salt and pepper

Peel and chop the onions. Heat the sunflower oil in a large casserole, add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes over a medium heat until softened but not brown.

Cut the peppers into quarters, core and deseed, then cut into slices.

Add the peppers to the pan and cook for a few more minutes.

Wipe the mushrooms with a piece of dampened kitchen paper to remove any dirt. Then cut into thickish slices and add.

Stir well and cook over a medium heat for about 3 minutes until the mushrooms have just started to soften.

Now add the flour and paprika and cook for a minute stirring continuously.

Dissolve the stock cube in 250ml boiling water and add to the pan with the chopped tomatoes.   Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in enough soya milk to produce a creamy sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with tagliatelle, rice or noodles.

Optional extras:  Sprinkle with chopped parsley or top with a spoonful of Tofutti Sour Supreme or Alpro plain yogurt.