Yes…it has been a while. But what a way to make a comeback…
Last Friday morning, my friend Shira and I competed in our first round of NYU’s Master Chef competition. We had to submit an original, creative and healthy recipe for a great breakfast, and voila….this is what we came up with.
Team Ta’im, as we are called, won over the judges (to our surprise!) with a simple but healthful breakfast – inspired by our taste for Martha Shem-Tov’s Quinoa recipe (listed elsewhere on this site).
Ladies and gentleman, we have a winner!
Breakfast Tabouli with homemade whole wheat pita bread
With a slight reinterpretation of tabouli, we decided to use this protein rich seed as the base of our breakfast dish, chocked up with some freshly ground golden flaxseed (for the omegas) and full of fruit, dressed with chopped mint, toasted almonds and some freshly squeezed lemon, and a tiny hint of honey.
We served this alongside FRESHLY made whole-wheat pita bread (all in under one hour!) made by our new bread chef, Shira (recipe forthcoming), and two side options: yogurt with berries and honey, or yogurt with zaatar (made from scratch!) and touch of olive oil. This makes for a great breakfast, snack or even dessert!! You could also crumble some feta on top – the sharpness of the feta would cut nicely into the sweet taste of the fruit.
And stay tuned for our lunch recipe – we compete this Friday!
- 2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups liquid – we squeezed the juices of fresh oranges
- tiny bit of orange zest
- salt to taste
- 1 pint blueberries -diced
- 1 pint strawberries – diced
- 1 mango – finely diced
- 1 avocado – finely diced
- handful of fresh mint – rinsed and finely chopped
- 1/3 cup of golden flaxseed – freshly ground
- 1/2 cup (or more!) of toasted almonds
- juice of freshly squeezed lemon
- dash of honey (or to taste)
Bring the quinoa and liquid to a boil; reduce and let simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally; grate in zest of an orange and a bit of salt
While it’s cooking, chop up all the other ingredients
Remove quinoa from the stove, cool;
Add all the ingredients; dress with a bit of freshly squeezed lemon and honey to taste.
Serve and enjoy!!
I went through a stage of addiction with Tabouli. I’m still in recovery, but it’s one straight way to my heart. Nothing quite like a fresh, perfectly dressed tabouli salad.
There are only two places I will order it out from: at The Olive Vine Cafe on Macdougal Street in NYC, and the Lebanese restaurant in Ein Karem (Just outside of Jerusalem). Mohammed, the Egyptian cook at the NYC spot, brought me into the kitchen once after I lauded him with compliments for his outstanding tabouli. His secrets (hope it’s okay I’m sharing!) were: (1) always make it fresh, and (2) nearly equal parts fresh mint, and fresh flat parsley.
My brother Eli, and mom Martha, taught me the basics once they got sick of my requests for it. What has evolved is my own take on the salad below. My cousin Mira, didn’t even like the salad, but continued to try for years, because of my impassioned obsession for it.
Enjoy! You can even sprinkle it with some crumbled feta (my aunt Marilyn’s spin on it) and enjoy it with some freshly baked pita.
- 1/2 cup bulgur (cracked wheat); medium coarseness
- 1 bunch fresh flat parsley, rinsed & chopped finely
- 2 handfuls of fresh mint, rinsed & chopped finely
- 2-3 green onions/scallions, rinsed & chopped finely; (alternatively, purple onion is a nice substitution)
- 2-3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 2 persian cucumbers (optional)
- 1/2 can of chickpeas, drained & rinsed (Cedar or Goya are fave brands)
- salt & pepper to taste
- fresh lemons (1 -2) or two tbsp. lemon juice
- 2-3 tbsp. of very good olive oil; (the olive oil from middle eastern grocery stores tends to be the best)
- Soak the bulgur in 1 cup of boiling water for at least 25 minutes; drain, rinse, squeeze out any extra liquid, and set aside, or in refrigerator
- Rinse parsely & mint; chop either by hand or in food processor
- Rinse scallions and chop finely, on an angle; add to parsley & mint
- Rinse cucumbers, and chop finely; add them & bulgur to the mix
- Tomatoes: I always do them last because of the juice it can get messy; dice
- Add drained chickpeas
- Whisk together the olive oil, salt and pepper, and lemon juice, and dress.
- If you want to be fancy about presentation, looks nice on a bed of lettuce garnished with lemon slices – but I rarely have the patience for the Martha Stewart-touch. Stir and eat!