Tabbouleh trio

A trio of tabbouleh salads for your cookout
This June 6, 2011 photo shows, from top to bottom, tropical tabbouleh, Mediterranean tabbouleh and California tabbouleh in Concord, N.H. When you're assembling your salads for this yearís July Fourth celebration, consider this trio of naturally healthy tabboulehs. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)AP

When in doubt, add whole grains. Or even better, start with them.

When you're assembling salads to go with your cookouts, consider this trio of naturally healthy tabboulehs. Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern salad of bulgur wheat, parsley and tomatoes flavored with mint, scallions, lemon juice and olive oil. Composed primarily of whole grains and vegetables, this dish is low in calories and high in fiber and protein.

Using different combinations of whole grains, herbs and vegetables, you also can create similarly nutritious and delicious tabbouleh-like salads.

Being a cold salad, with no mayonnaise, this dish is perfect for a barbecue or picnic. Consider serving them in lettuce cups, with pita chips to scoop with or spooned into a pita pocket. You also could make it a meal by incorporating some diced or shredded chicken breast and serving it over a bed of greens.

TROPICAL TABBOULEH

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

2 cups cooked and cooled pearl barley

1 cup firmly packed chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

3 scallions, sliced

3 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup diced mango

1/4 teaspoon allspice

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Toss well, then season with salt and pepper.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 200 calories; 70 calories from fat (33 percent of total calories); 8 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 33 g carbohydrate; 3 g protein; 5 g fiber; 10 mg sodium.

MEDITERRANEAN TABBOULEH

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

2 cups cooked and cooled farro

1 cup chopped fresh basil

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomato

1 tablespoon oil from sundried tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped Kalamata olives

1 yellow bell pepper, cored and diced

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Toss well, then season with salt and pepper.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 210 calories; 40 calories from fat (18 percent of total calories); 5 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 10 mg cholesterol; 35 g carbohydrate; 9 g protein; 6 g fiber; 210 mg sodium.

CALIFORNIA TABBOULEH

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

1 Granny Smith apple, diced

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 cups cooked and cooled brown rice

1 small fennel bulb, cubed

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

In a medium bowl, toss the apple with the vinegar. Add the remaining ingredients, then toss well. Season with salt and black pepper.


Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 290 calories; 90 calories from fat (30 percent of total calories); 10 g fat (3 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 5 mg cholesterol; 45 g carbohydrate; 7 g protein; 6 g fiber; 160 mg sodium.


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