Middle Eastern ingredients meet complementary protein in a tasty combination.
Thanks to my inventive client and guest chef, Courtney Lampert, we have in this salad a clever flavor combination, along with a vegan whole grain-plus-legume complete protein combination—a good counterpart to the Mexican-influenced black bean salad, found also in this recipe collection. Not all nutritionists agree, but in my experience, complementary proteins support energy and blood sugar stability better than legumes or whole grains alone. For the gluten-sensitive, millet or quinoa can be easily substituted for the bulgur or couscous. In addition to vegan protein, this recipe also offers the anti-inflammatory qualities of cumin and EVOO and the detoxification advantages of garlic, sesame tahini and, if you care to add it, pomegranate molasses.
- 1 cup dry bulgur or whole wheat couscous
- 2 cups water (1 cup if using couscous)
- 1 cup of carrot cubes (1/4 inch cubed)
- 1 bunch curly parsley, chopped fine
- 1 can cannellini beans
- 1 small onion, minced fine
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- Fresh-squeezed juice from ½ to a whole lemon
- ¼ cup Extra Virgin olive oil (EVOO) or a bit more
- 3 tbsp tahini or a bit more
- 2-3 tbsp ground cumin
- Black pepper to taste
Optional Additions and Substitutions
- Millet or quinoa instead of bulgur
- A touch of salt
- A touch of pomegranate molasses
Boil 2 cups of water and pour over 1 cup of dry bulgur. Cover, allowing whole grain to hydrate for 30 minutes. Texture will be slightly chewy. (Couscous will require only 1 cup of boiling water and as little as 5 minutes to hydrate.) No further cooking is required for either of these grains.
If you choose to use quinoa or millet, no hydrating is needed. Follow the usual cooking instructions for either grain.
Rinse and chop parsley, including stems.
Mince onion and garlic. Dice carrots
Drain and rinse cannellini beans.
Combine all ingredients in a large ceramic bowl.
Add lemon, EVOO, vinegar, tahini, cumin, and black pepper.
Combine and toss.
Note: For a non-vegan twist, Chef Courtney recommends serving this salad with either grilled pollock, roasted chicken—or simply with a half-cup of plain Greek yogurt.