What’s up with North Americans being soooooo darn scared to try new foods outside of our comfort zone?? Don’t you find it funny that so many of us are simply terrified to try something new, like its somehow going to make us drop dead if we (gasp) take a bite?
So parsley probably isn’t the most foreign flavour you thought I was going to talk about (but it is a good baby step towards more intense ones) , yet I think it is so worth mentioning because if you were anything like me growing up, you probably didn’t eat very much of it, except to push the garnish around on your plate at a restaurant, and you certainly would never think of making a salad completely out of the stuff. But did you know that in Middle Eastern cuisine, parsley is a staple green that is used on a daily basis, sort of like the way we use lettuce in North America. Parsley not only adds an intense and distinguishing flavour to their food, but it also has some amazing health benefits to boot, that I think you need to start reaping, immediately.
What Parsley Will Do For You:
It may seem obvious enough, but in order to stay healthy, we need to make sure that we are constantly removing toxins (that accumulate naturally and through our lifestyle), by eating foods that naturally detoxify the body. One of the best foods for doing this, is actually parsley. Yes, I know…the taste is rather… well, green. But once you get used to having it often, your taste buds will adjust to its unique flavour and I promise that you will end up loving it as much as I do. According to Kimberley Snyder’s book The Beauty Detox Foods, she says the following:
…Fresh herbs of parsley and cilantro are associated with cleansing characteristics, by removing heavy metals from the body that lodge in and enlarge the fat cells….this process can be significant for preventing aging, because heavy metals can disrupt normal tissue function and may be the source of millions of free radicals in the tissues of the body. By removing heavy metals, the tissues can begin to heal and function normally.
It detoxifies the body by aiding with digestion, cleansing and purifying the blood. It is brimming with Vitamin A, C and E plus powerful antioxidants to help protect your cells and tissues from damage. I love to juice parsley in fresh juice (I know, you might be thinking what is up with this girl?? The only thing worse than eating parsley would be to juice it), but I swear, it really does add an interesting and vibrant taste if you love to juice at home. If you want to take a step back and try it in solid form, then try making it as the green in the tabouli salad below. I know that in Eastern cooking, parsley is often mixed with other grains- but I personally, love eating it as is- in its full, green form. If you are going to add a little grain to the salad, I would suggest a bit of cooked quinoa!
Here’s how to make it!
For the salad
1 Bunch of Curly Parsley (preferably organic)- chopped finely
2 Medium Tomatoes chopped into bite size chunks
1 Medium Red Bell Pepper (yellow or orange if you prefer) cut finely
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Red Onion (or as much as you like) cut finely
1/4 Cup of Goat or Sheep’s Milk Feta, crumbled
For the Dressing
1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Cloves of Fresh Garlic, put through a garlic press
Juice of 1 Lemon
3 Tbsp of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Putting It All Together:
- Clean and dry all your veggies, cut them as per above
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and raw apple cider vinegar.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the parsley, tomatoes, peppers, and onion.
- Whisk the dressing and pour over salad, stir thoroughly.
- You can eat immediately, or let it sit for a few hours to soften up a bit.
- Top with crumbled feta.
This recipe will last about 48 hours in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap.
Hope you enjoy!