Nutrient of the Week: Folate from Tabbouleh

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Looking for a tasty salad that is easy to make, full of nutrients and can double as an hors d’oeuvre? Try tabbouleh – a classic middle eastern dish. One-half cup of fresh parsley, the main ingredient in this version of tabbouleh, provides approximately 46 micrograms of folate which is a little over 10% of the recommended dietary allowance for adults (age 19 and over) which is 400 micrograms/day.

What foods provide folate?

Other good vegetable sources of folate include spinach, boiled navy beans and avocado.  Breakfast cereals fortified with folic acid are another good source.  Folate, you say? Let me explain…

What does folate do for you?

Folate helps our cells make DNA and RNA so it is important for the formation of new cells.  It also helps in the formation of hemoglobin in red blood cells along with vitamin B12  and may help prevent heart disease.   If you don’t get enough folate you can have trouble with cell division and protein synthesis. Folate deficiency can also cause some types of anemia.

It is extremely important to have adequate folate if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant to avoid the risk of your baby’s developing spina bifida or other neural tube defects.  In fact, the recommended dietary allowance for women who are pregnant is 600 micrograms/day and 500 micrograms/day for women who are breastfeeding.

What is Tabbouleh?

Traditionally tabbouleh is made with a few simple ingredients– parsley, bulgur wheat (sorry gluten-free fans), tomato, onion, peppers, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. You could make a gluten-free version by substituting plain brown rice or quinoa for the bulgur wheat, but the flavor will be a little different. I’ve also seen it made without the peppers, or with the addition of finely chopped carrots or cucumber — be creative and make it your own. For example, you might want to add a little fresh mint. All you do is wash the ingredients, chop and mix, and you’re done. When I’ve bought tabbouleh in the store it often contains far more bulgur wheat than parsley and is more of a starchy side dish than a salad. Just not the same — try this homemade version instead.

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Barbara Spalding RDN Culinary Dietitian

Hi, I am

Barbara Spalding MS, RDN, Culinary Dietitian

As a dietitian and world traveler, I love bold flavors — in food and in life. 14 years ago, I fell down the rabbit hole into Breast Cancer Wonderland. Since then, I’ve learned to cook differently while savoring the pleasures of food and companionship. I’ve built a resilient new life and a bold new kitchen. Let me show you the flavors of the world.
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Nutrient of the Week: Folate from Tabbouleh
tabbouleh
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Prep Time
15 minutes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Passive Time
3 hours
Passive Time 3 hours
Servings
servings
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Prep Time
15 minutes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Passive Time
3 hours
Passive Time 3 hours
Servings
servings
Servings
servings
Ingredients
tabbouleh
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Place bulgur wheat in a small bowl and cover with boiling water.
    tabbouleh ingredients
  2. Cover and allow to sit for approximately 2 hours (or overnight in the refrigerator).
  3. Finely chop parsley, onion, peppers, mint and tomato and mix gently with bulgur wheat.
    mixing tabbouleh
  4. Add olive oil, juice from the lemon and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Allow to rest in refrigerator for 1-2 hours before serving.
  6. To serve: use as a salad (it makes a great side dish for a summer barbecue), or put it out with whole grain pita bread triangles or Belgian endive as an hors d'oeuvre. You can also use it in a pita pocket as a sandwich filling for lunch.
    tabbouleh
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information per serving: 328 calories; 28 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 0 grams transfat; 0 mg cholesterol;  24 mg sodium;  20 grams carbohydrate;  4.5 gram dietary fiber;  4  grams protein (values are approximate).

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