4

votes

LOVE TABBOULI, BUT BULGUR WHEAT IS OUT, RIGHT?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 01, 2012 at 12:51 AM

I stumbled across the Paleo Diet only 3 days ago, and I'm amazed. I still don't know much about the right foods to eat, [I'm waiting for 2 books on the subject to arrive from Amazon.com.] but, in the meantime, I have cut out all my whole wheat grains, and other grains completely. Quite amazing what just 3 days of no grains has done for how much lighter I feel even though I'm quite sure I haven't lost an ounce yet. And most definitely not an ounce from the pot belly I've been carrying around since I was a baby because I'm one of those women who, even when underweight overall, still carries around a "pot."

One of my favorite summer salads is Tabbouli. [a bulgur wheat salad, middle-Eastern, my favorite recipe for which, most ironically, comes from a Jane Brody cookbook that is subtitled "Living the High-Carbohydate Way."]

It was while I was researching just which bulgur wheat to buy that I stumbled on the first of many obviously legitimate Paleo Diet websites and had to completely rethink Tabbouli.

Most of the ingredients are Paleo acceptable, but the bulgur wheat clearly is not.

Is there any substitute for this whole wheat grain that I could use to make a Paleo version of Tabbouli? This salad is so chock full of freshness and divine taste, I think it is the one thing I will have to cry copious tears about not being able to enjoy if I can't find a Paleo acceptable Bulgur wheat substitute.

I could make the salad leaving out the Bulgur, but it would then taste like any other ordinary salad.

Any suggestions, anyone? Or should I go into mourning now and get it over with as soon as possible?

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on March 24, 2013
at 09:20 PM

Use Cauliflower instead. Two recipes: http://thehealthyfoodie.com/2012/03/11/grain-fee-tabouleh/ and http://www.realfoodkosher.com/cauliflower-tabbouleh/

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 24, 2013
at 08:27 PM

I agree with this - just a smidgen of bulgur to give it a little chewiness. You could soak/sprout the bulgur ala Weston Price style and make it almost-paleo.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on March 24, 2013
at 08:21 PM

However, anti-nutrients are not an all-or-nothing thing the way that gluten is for sensitive individuals. Eating a little quinoa (or any grain / seed / nut) as part of one dish is not going to suddenly cause critical mineral deficiency.

94480caec9fbbaacc386d86a45efa720

(1007)

on August 01, 2012
at 05:04 PM

I've done this with cauliflower and love it.

1398eff69b192c35de5e0dbaad59052a

(2024)

on August 01, 2012
at 02:46 PM

I love tabbouleh made with no bulgar.

93eea7754e6e94b6085dbabbb48c0bb7

on August 01, 2012
at 07:43 AM

Chris try it roasted in the oven with sundried tomatoes and olive oil= YUM!

93eea7754e6e94b6085dbabbb48c0bb7

on August 01, 2012
at 07:42 AM

Robb Wolf suggests not eating quinoa as it has similar anti-nutrients to wheat..

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on August 01, 2012
at 03:15 AM

Oh! I stand corrected. I personally don't eat quinoa as it worsens my inflammation (rheumatoid arthritis), but that's just me!

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on August 01, 2012
at 03:12 AM

I can't imagine that it wouldn't be good. Maybe not exactly like traditional tabbouleh, but still a terrific vegetable salad. And toasted cauliflower has to be brilliant -- I've both roasted, and pan-fried cauliflower until browned before, and it becomes magical when it browns!

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on August 01, 2012
at 02:51 AM

@Dan: it's not a legume. It's a chenopod, related to spinach and beets--two things it happens to go very well with, by the way.

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on August 01, 2012
at 02:50 AM

Quinoa is not a grass. It's a chenopod, related to spinach and beets.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on August 01, 2012
at 02:17 AM

Really? Interesting reactions. I am a celiac, with an extremely delicate stomach, and while tomatoes and peppers mess me up, quinoa tabbouli never has.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on August 01, 2012
at 02:13 AM

Oh man. Quinoa rips holes in my Stomach. Gives Me horrendous heartburn and stomach cramps. I'd like to try making it with buckwheat though.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on August 01, 2012
at 02:11 AM

Its a grass....

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:48 AM

why not for you, Marie?

Medium avatar

(4878)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:44 AM

Unfortunately, not for me :(

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:43 AM

Oh, shut up, quinoa is perfectly fine!

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:15 AM

A step in the right direction, but it is a legume.

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10 Answers

3
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:37 AM

You absolutely do not need much bulgar for authentic tabbouleh. My fianc??'s mother (a lebanese woman) makes it with 95% parsley. For me, she doesn't add the bulgar at all, which I appreciate.

Some recipes call for 95% bulgar. If you're used to that kind of tabbouleh, then you're out of luck! ;-)

1398eff69b192c35de5e0dbaad59052a

(2024)

on August 01, 2012
at 02:46 PM

I love tabbouleh made with no bulgar.

32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on March 24, 2013
at 08:27 PM

I agree with this - just a smidgen of bulgur to give it a little chewiness. You could soak/sprout the bulgur ala Weston Price style and make it almost-paleo.

3
7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on August 01, 2012
at 12:56 AM

I wonder if grated/riced cauliflower would work. I think I would also try finely chopped nuts, if I ate nuts.

94480caec9fbbaacc386d86a45efa720

(1007)

on August 01, 2012
at 05:04 PM

I've done this with cauliflower and love it.

2
26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on August 01, 2012
at 12:54 AM

Tabbouli with quinoa is just as delicious!!

Medium avatar

(4878)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:44 AM

Unfortunately, not for me :(

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:48 AM

why not for you, Marie?

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on August 01, 2012
at 03:15 AM

Oh! I stand corrected. I personally don't eat quinoa as it worsens my inflammation (rheumatoid arthritis), but that's just me!

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on August 01, 2012
at 02:17 AM

Really? Interesting reactions. I am a celiac, with an extremely delicate stomach, and while tomatoes and peppers mess me up, quinoa tabbouli never has.

93eea7754e6e94b6085dbabbb48c0bb7

on August 01, 2012
at 07:42 AM

Robb Wolf suggests not eating quinoa as it has similar anti-nutrients to wheat..

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:15 AM

A step in the right direction, but it is a legume.

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on August 01, 2012
at 02:51 AM

@Dan: it's not a legume. It's a chenopod, related to spinach and beets--two things it happens to go very well with, by the way.

26b0f1261d1a0d916825bd0deeb96a21

(5798)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:43 AM

Oh, shut up, quinoa is perfectly fine!

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on August 01, 2012
at 02:13 AM

Oh man. Quinoa rips holes in my Stomach. Gives Me horrendous heartburn and stomach cramps. I'd like to try making it with buckwheat though.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on March 24, 2013
at 08:21 PM

However, anti-nutrients are not an all-or-nothing thing the way that gluten is for sensitive individuals. Eating a little quinoa (or any grain / seed / nut) as part of one dish is not going to suddenly cause critical mineral deficiency.

1
A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on August 01, 2012
at 03:03 AM

I would definitely sub quinoa for bulghur wheat. It's not strictly paleo, but in my opinion a worthy choice for a treat, and culinarily, perfectly suitable for tabouli. It should be soaked and rinsed before cooking to reduce saponins, which present problems for people with certain gut sensitivities or conditions. It has no negative effect on me, that I can detect, and can be intensely satisfying when you're jonesing for some grain-like food. Complete protein as well, though not in a quantity that matters to someone eating paleo, and thus, likely lots of animal products. In short: an imperfect choice, but much better than wheat.

By the way, you can do paleo and still treat yourself to any food you like occasionally. Many follow an 80/20 rule whereby they do strict paleo 80% of the time, and enjoy most of the benefits. The main reason not to eat such treats is if they cause you trouble. If you have a hearty and tolerant constitution, you can do what you want. Any step toward paleo takes you a step in a good direction, and the rest is just a matter of degree.

1
2d090e680d86e2c768edb40b4b433978

on August 01, 2012
at 02:01 AM

There is a recipe here that I'd like to try: http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/2012/07/02/gluten-free-paleo-tabbouleh/

All of her other recipes are fabulous, so I'd imagine this one will be too.

93eea7754e6e94b6085dbabbb48c0bb7

on August 01, 2012
at 07:43 AM

Chris try it roasted in the oven with sundried tomatoes and olive oil= YUM!

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on August 01, 2012
at 03:12 AM

I can't imagine that it wouldn't be good. Maybe not exactly like traditional tabbouleh, but still a terrific vegetable salad. And toasted cauliflower has to be brilliant -- I've both roasted, and pan-fried cauliflower until browned before, and it becomes magical when it browns!

1
5495f20862fee8ca6a3d6cf6ece99356

(387)

on August 01, 2012
at 02:00 AM

Pretty sure quinoa is NOT a legume, but don't shoot me for a liar. It is however a perfect protein, being the only grain with a complete set. I love to make it with quinoa, lemon, red onion, olive oil, and of course lots of parsley, another perfectly balanced food.

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on August 01, 2012
at 02:50 AM

Quinoa is not a grass. It's a chenopod, related to spinach and beets.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on August 01, 2012
at 02:11 AM

Its a grass....

1
E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

on August 01, 2012
at 01:04 AM

I've done quinoa as well. I like it, but very rarely eat [quinoa]. Cauliflower works well, too, though! I've tried this recipe, and it's delicious: http://mideats.com/2012/06/grain-free-tabbouleh-salad-sans-bulgur/

0
9035e3f9d125e2e2ebaa82244b57ec0b

on March 24, 2013
at 07:53 PM

Hi, i have had stomach problems since my youth and an allergy bank of tests long ago) showed allergies to virtually all grains and legumes. No wonder i had constant stabbing pain, BUT this year i discovered that if i sprout these things...they seem digestible. Perhaps this idea will help those of you who can't eat quinoa. Best of luck.

0
424560eaac634da7522bf6806e3a6906

on August 01, 2012
at 05:30 AM

Quinoa is a seed. It is an ancient food in South America and grows wild, so it should be perfectly paleo. I'm not a paleo expert, tho.

It has a soapy coating to protect it from bugs, so make sure to wash it thoroughly - not just a quick rinse. It's possible that coating could cause stomach distress, but I don't know. Put in in a screen strainer and then on top of a bowl or pan of water and swish it around with your fingers. Keep washing and rinsing until the water is clear and you don't see any suds. It is a bit of a process, but important.

0
4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

on August 01, 2012
at 12:55 AM

What about peas?

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