Healthy at Heart at Kareem’s Lebanese Kitchen

There’s myriad heart-healthy options on this local Mediterranean restaurant’s extensive menu

Tabbouleh is a heart-healthy vegetarian dish at Kareem’s Lebanese Kitchen. Photo courtesy Kareem's Lebanese Kitchen
Tabbouleh is a heart-healthy vegetarian dish at Kareem’s Lebanese Kitchen. Photo courtesy Kareem’s Lebanese Kitchen

Coinciding with all the heart imagery February offers is American Heart Month, putting cardiovascular health in the spotlight. That includes, among other things, a heart-healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, low-fat proteins, and more. There are delectable ways to incorporate heart-healthy nutrition into your diet, including at places like Kareem’s Lebanese Kitchen. Rachid Eido, executive chef and owner, prepares vegetarian fare such as tabbouleh with such color and flavor that carnivores won’t miss the meat. However, if it’s beef, chicken, or lamb you crave, there’s myriad options on this Mediterranean restaurant’s extensive menu.

Diners rave about Kareem’s hummus. Silky and rich, it takes three days to make; it’s a labor-of-love process Eido learned from his grandfather while growing up in Beirut, Lebanon.  

The chickpeas—high in fiber, packed with nutrition, and an excellent source of plant-based protein—form the base of the hummus and are soaked overnight, then slow cooked for six hours. After cooling and resting, these are blended with lemon juice, garlic, and tahini (a sesame seed paste).

Hummus. Photo courtesy Kareem's Lebanese Kitchen
Hummus. Photo courtesy Kareem’s Lebanese Kitchen

Another healthy vegetarian dish found at Kareem’s is tabbouleh, largely made from parsley. Tabbouleh has no cholesterol, is low in fat, and is high in fiber. Plus, the parsley, rich in vitamin K, is a natural diuretic and can reduce both bloating and blood pressure.

Eido says the secret to his tabbouleh is soaking the bulgur with lemon juice, olive oil, and fresh chopped mint. After soaking, he mixes it with finely chopped parsley, yellow onions, and plum tomatoes. “The best way to enjoy tabbouleh is to eat it with fresh cabbage or with lettuce romaine hearts,” he recommends. 

Kareem means generous in Arabic, and it’s a fitting descriptor for the restaurant’s portions, commitment to health, and warm hospitality. 

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