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Hi! I'm Elizabeth Taylor. Welcome to VLGL, home to my vegan + low glycemic load culinary creations. 

VLGL gets delicious new content as often as is feasible, so come back and visit soon!

VLGL tabbouleh

VLGL tabbouleh

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This nutrient-dense, ultra-refreshing take on the Mediterranean classic is a warm-weather lunchtime staple in my kitchen. (Wait, I live in Florida, so it's really an almost-always staple...)

I have already waxed poetic about my love of parsley; this dish incorporates that superfood herb with other friendly ingredients such as carotenoid and potassium-packed tomato, healthy-fat-powerhouses tahini and sunflower seed, omega-3-rich hemp seed, potentially-cancer-preventing cauliflower, and all-around-rockstar cucumber (seriously, you'll want to click that one once you've finished reading the recipe). Most importantly, it tastes great while providing light-yet-sustaining satisfaction.

Classic tabbouleh utilizes bulgur wheat and sometimes also pine nuts to add bulk, fiber, and that distinctive, toothsome texture. While a lower-glycemic choice than many grains -- bulgur ranks on the lower-end of "moderate" where glycemic load is concerned -- my VLGL tabbouleh utilizes super-low-glycemic cauliflower rice baked until crisp for that textural base and a mixture of sunflower and hemp seeds combined with a creamy-dreamy tahini dressing for a solid base of plant-powered protein. Needless to say, this is "tabbouleh" with a lot of liberties taken to make it into a one-bowl meal. 

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One more awesome aspect of this dish before we get cooking: if prepared correctly (read: if you cut the cucumber and tomato into reasonably thick chunks), it should stay tasty in the fridge for up to four days. Quite excellent as you are a busy human, like so many of us are.

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RECIPE: VLGL tabbouleh
(serves 4)

INGREDIENTS:
- 1 1/2 cups raw cauliflower rice (approximately half of a large head; for this recipe, use fresh, rather than frozen)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1 coarsely diced, large cucumber
- 2 coarsely diced, medium tomatoes
- 1 cup raw or roasted sunflower steps (skip the roasting step below if using pre-roasted)
- 1/8 cup raw hemp seeds
- juice of two large lemons
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon sesame or olive oil (sesame imparts a richer flavor, but if you don't have it, don't rush out and buy it) 
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes


METHOD:
- Preheat your oven to 420°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
- Prepare your cauliflower rice as such: Using a handled or box-style cheese grater with large ("soft cheese") holes, grate the head of raw cauliflower into rice-size pieces.
- Toss the cauliflower rice with the tablespoon of olive oil until evenly coated. Spread across the parchment paper in an even layer. Bake for 7-10 minutes, stirring when the cauliflower has begun to turn golden; bake for an additional 7-10 minutes, and remove from the oven when some of the cauliflower has taken on a golden-brown hue (really watch it and be careful not to burn). Allow to completely cool before utilizing. 
- To toast the sunflower and hemp seeds, line a roasting dish with parchment paper, and place in the still-hot oven for 2-4 minutes OR, if using a toaster oven (what I usually do), toast on the lightest pre-timed setting. Also allow these to completely cool before adding to the tabbouleh. 
- Make the dressing by whisking the lemon juice, tahini, sesame oil, water, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes together until a smooth, thick dressing is formed. (See the photos below for desired thickness; it will indeed be thick, but will naturally "thin out" when combined with the watery cucumber and tomato.) Taste and add more seasoning, if desired.
- Place the cucumber, tomato, parsley, mint, and cooled cauliflower, hemp seeds, and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Pour the dressing on top and toss well to combine. 

 

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Serve with love. Ideally, if you have it in you, do all things with love... but especially things involving delicious, nourishing food.

☼ VLGL

 

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