I still can't decide whether summer has arrived or not! I'm going between boots and fit flops at the moment, that's Scotland for you, every season in one day!
Anyway I was in Waitrose earlier this week when the sun was shining and bought a rather lovely big salad bowl!
I love colourful salads so I thought I'd share one of our family favourites.
It's Tabbouleh, a middle eastern dish, based on bulghur wheat with loads of vibrant herbs, lemon, olive oil, tomatoes, cucumber and red onion.
It really does taste of summer, all herby, lemony and nutty!
I have mint popping up all over the garden at the moment, which pleases me no end! I can't begin to explain the warm fuzzy feeling that envelops me when I just go out and pick plants that I've grown myself for our dinner.
Its just awesome and miles ahead of buying them from the supermarket wrapped in plastic!
As you probably know I am a big advocate of eating loads of colourful fruits and veggies and this recipe doesn't disappoint!
We have lemons, packed with Vit C and antioxidants.
Vine ripened tomatoes, packed with vitamins, minerals and lycopene an antioxidant proven to reduce risk of several cancers, including prostate, lung and stomach cancer.
Cucumber, really hydrating and cleansing. Its 90% water and also contains useful amounts of vitamins and minerals, notably silica and vit C great for skin health.
Mint, which is great for the digestion and relieving symptoms of IBS
Coriander, a brilliant detoxifier, especially of heavy metals
Red onions, great infection fighters and really high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
Extra virgin olive oil contains a great balance of essential fatty acids and vitamin E, great for skin health. It can lower blood pressure and cholesterol so great news for your heart.
A point to note is the wonderful synergy going on in this salad. The high levels of vitamin C enhance the absorption of iron from the herbs. The olive oil enhances the absorption of lycopene and also of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
This is one of the things I love about eating real food, combining natural ingredients to amplify the health benefits. A wee bit of knowledge goes a long way and in actual fact so many traditional dishes have been developed in this way to take advantage of these natural synergies.
That's where many supplements pale into insignificance, once the active ingredients have been extracted from the whole food, they don't work in the same way.
Nature is so clever, and in my humble but informed opinion, we can't improve upon it.
It's real seasonal best quality organic food for me every time!
Tabbouleh is a brilliant dish for lunch and will keep in the fridge in a covered container for 3 or 4 days. You can add chickpeas, goat’s cheese, feta cheese, sundried tomatoes, olives, avocado and chopped peppers.
Frozen peas and sweetcorn are also good. It's also great at a BBQ or any other gathering where lots of people need fed!
Bulghur wheat is a high fibre wholegrain, containing all the B vitamins, iron, potassium, zinc, selenium and magnesium. Topped with pumpkin seeds and toasted walnuts lifts it to superstar status in the nutritional stakes!!
Bulghur wheat comes in fine, medium and coarse grain and all the supermarkets stock it. It doesn't require cooking, just add boiling water, cover with a plate and leave it for 20 to 30 minutes. Perfect!
Feel free to use any combination of herb; flat leaf parsley, basil, coriander and mint are all good, even better if you've grown it yourself!
So I give you TABBOULEH...
.......your health in your hands......
🍃 Health educator🍃