The theme of our June cooking class was herbs and spices! Herbs and spices can be used to add extra flavor to food without adding salt or calories

Our side dish and drink were inspired by the spices and grains found in Turkish cuisine. The bulgur and vegetable salad is a great option for a summer side dish and the freshly brewed iced mint tea will help you cool off during any heat wave!

Turkish Style Bulgur and Vegetable Salad


1½ cups fine bulgur

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons tomato paste

3 tablespoons red pepper paste

1½ cups boiling water

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

1 long English cucumber, peeled and diced

3 medium tomatoes, diced

2 carrots, grated

1 green bell pepper, diced

½ cup fresh dill, chopped

¼ cup fresh mint, chopped

4 tablespoons lemon juice


  1. In a large bowl, combine bulgur, salt, tomato paste and red pepper paste. Add boiling water and mix well. Allow mixture to sit for 5 to 15 minutes, depending on grain coarseness, until bulgur has absorbed the liquid.
  2. Fluff with a fork, then mix in olive oil and pomegranate molasses.
  3. Gently fold in cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, bell pepper, dill, mint and lemon juice. Serves 8.

Cooking Notes

  • Make red pepper paste in a food processor by pulverizing roasted red peppers.
  • If pomegranate molasses cannot be found, substitute a mixture of 1 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar.

Nutrition Information: 

Serving size: 8 ounces

Calories: 146; Total fat: 4g; Saturated fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 281mg; Carbohydrates: 26g; Fiber: 5g; Sugars: 6g; Protein: 4g; Potassium: 402mg; Phosphorus: 103mg


Freshly Brewed Iced Mint Tea

Recipe by Denine Rogers, RDN, LD, FAND


  • 3 teaspoons fresh mint leaves, crushed
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Honey or other sweetener, to taste


  1. If you have a tea infuser, place the crushed fresh mint leaves in the infuser and submerge into boiling water. Steep to taste. Or, if you don’t have an infuser, place crushed fresh leaves in a teapot and add boiling water. Steep to taste. Pour through a strainer to keep leaves out of the cup.
  2. Add honey or other sweetener to taste.
  3. Let cool slightly and pour into glass filled with ice. Makes 1 serving.