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Cracked Wheat Salad (Bulghur or Tabouleh Salad)

The Mediterranean Diet is the king of preventive health diets. Everyone from heart specialists to cancer and Alzheimer's researchers are celebrating the amazing health effects of eating a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, and olive oil. It's the basis for holistically preventing and treating PMS and PMDD, as well.

One great thing about this and other similar Mediterranean, plant-food-based recipes is the ease of making substitutions to suit your palate. For instance, don't like olive oil? Simply substitute safflower or sunflower oil for an equally healthy lunch or appetizer. On a gluten-free diet? You can easily make this into a rice or quinoa salad. Not a parsley or tomato fan? Substitute celery and/or cucumber to make this a crunchier dish.

This traditional Middle Eastern dish is enjoyed in Israel, Lebanon, and throughout the Mediterranean region. It is a flavorful whole grain side dish, or you can make it into a main course by mixing in walnuts or pine nuts (vegetarian option) or grilled chicken or fish.

This high-fiber tabouleh salad recipe is right up there with our favorite foods for preventing and treating PMS and PMDD, and is a wonderful warm-weather side dish or entrée.

Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus one hour to soak cracked bulghur wheat

Tabouleh Salad

1 cup bulghur (cracked wheat)
13/4 cup boiling water
1 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, without the stems
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 cup chopped green onions (scallions)
2 large beefsteak tomatoes, diced
1 t salt
1/2 t ground black pepper
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Begin by pouring boiling water over cracked wheat in a clean mixing bowl. Cover and let soak for an hour, then carefully pour off any excess liquid. It should be soft but not wet when finished, and you should pour off as much excess water as you can.

Mix in the parsley, mint, scallions, tomatoes, and then thoroughly stir in olive oil and lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper.

Refrigerates well, and some enjoy this dish cold, though you can easily serve at room temperature, which brings out more of the mint and parsley flavors.

Whole grain, high fiber, vegetables, monounsaturated fat, low sodium, high in beta-carotene and antioxidants

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Principal Author: Daniel J. Heller, N.D.
Last Modified: December 13, 2011

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