Tabbouleh with Cauliflower Cous Cous (Vegan, Paleo)

Tabbouleh is one of those foods I always struggled with as a child. I feel the more I post in this blog, the more secrets I spill about my odd childhood food hatreds, such as the little black spots inside of bananas. (Yes. That’s still a strange one, admittedly…) I loved the taste of tabbouleh, but the bulgur wheat was not a texture I enjoyed. My parents usually made their own version of tabbouleh, augmented by a box of Near East. I’d find myself slowly eating it at the dinner table, face scrunched as I tried to chew the bulgur into something palatable enough for me to swallow. Rarely did that work.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve enjoyed making tabbouleh en masse. It’s one of those wonderful dishes that gets better days after it’s been made. I’ve tried it with the bulgur wheat; even as a 30 year old woman, that childhood texture issue still creeps in. (I suppose there are some things in life you can’t get over: certain guys that broke your heart years ago, a dislike of bulgur wheat, and so on…) I’ve made batches with regular cous cous. I prefer the texture overall, but it does tend to get a little too mushy after a few days of marinating in the fridge.

Vegetable noodles are all the rage, and goodness I knows I’ve made and consumed a few hundred feet of zoodles in the past few months. Cauliflower has its merits, as well. It’s an amazing blank slate in the food world. A good food processor will set you well on your way to replacing traditional grains with cauliflower rice or cous cous. I also find the cauliflower to hold up better after a few days in the fridge. Hell yeah for hearty cruciferous veggies!

FYI: This recipe has been vetted by my roommate, Liz, who is vegan. She ate two bowls the first time I made it. I’m sorry my now-former roommate, Emily, wasn’t there to share in it! I might have to invest in a vacuum sealer to ship her my food creations when she moves down to Duke this summer. 😉

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Tabbouleh with Cauliflower Cous Cous
(Serves 8)

Ingredients:

– 1 large head of cauliflower, pulsed in a food processor to the consistency of cous cous
– 1 cup scallions, minced (green and white parts)
– 1 cup fresh mint leaves, finely minced
– 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely minced
– 1 large cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and diced
– 2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– Juice of two lemons (equates to roughly 1/4 cup lemon juice)
– Salt & pepper, to taste

Before We Get Started…

Cauliflower just does not turn into cous cous on its own, I have come to learn. However, the process is quite simple! To make cous cous, cut cauliflower into small florets, discarding the leaves and stalks. Add cauliflower to food processor and pulse until its the consistency of cous cous.

In a large flat saucepan, bring roughly 1/8 of a cup of water to a simmer. Add cauliflower in a even layer across the bottom of the pan and cook on low for 2 – 3 minutes. Place a layer of paper towels on a large cookie sheet; remove cauliflower from pan and spread on top of paper towels in an even layer. Place in refrigerator to cool, or leave out to cool at room temperature. Gently dab top of cauliflower with more towels to remove excess moisture, if necessary. Place cauliflower in large bowl for later use.

cauliflower cous cous

Cauliflower before pulverization…

cauliflower cous cous

…and now we have lovely Cauliflower Cous Cous!

Directions:

1.) In large bowl, combine all ingredients, and add salt and pepper to taste. Place in refrigerator to sit.

See? Easy peasy! A little TOO easy, perhaps. Hmmmmm…

cauliflower cous cous

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

Why does wrapping a vegetable, fruit, or piece of animal protein in prosciutto just scream “class”? Bacon is so masculine. Not to impose stereotypical gender roles upon food (haha), but anything wrapped in prosciutto comes across as beautiful and delicate to me. Well, that or I feel like I could be in the presense of a delicious Bon Appétit spread.

Prosciutto wrapped asparagus

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus certainly makes for a great party appetizer, en masse. Some nights, however, a light dinner is at your fingertips with just two basic ingredients. Perhaps, for me, that night was last night when I prayed I had something in my fridge that could tide me over and save me from having to go back outside again. A few stalks of asparagus? Check. A few uneaten strips of prosciutto? Check. A hard-boiled egg? Check. Cilantro so I could arbitrarily sprinkle it on my plate for an extra pop of color? Check and mate!

Prosciutto wrapped asparagus

Oh, and if you couldn’t tell, my DSLR is FINALLY back up and running! After its bedbug quarantine plus my temporary loss of its battery charger, we’re reunited! (And it feels so good! 🎶)

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

Ingredients:

-6 spears asparagus, woody ends trimmed
-6 slices prosciutto
-Salt, to taste
-Olive oil, for drizzling

Before We Get Started…

– This recipe makes six asparagus spears. (For those that may not be as quick to realize that as others…)  Adjust quantity of asparagus and prosciutto as needed.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 400 °F.

2.) Remove prosciutto from packaging and wrap individual slices around asparagus.

3.) Place asparagus on baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil and salt to taste.

4.) Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until prosciutto is crisp, asparagus spears are tender, and asparagus tips are roasted.

Prosciutto wrapped asparagus