Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bulgur Salad


If you're not familiar with bulgur, don't get nervous, it's just cracked wheat. That means it's minimally processed and contains all of its naturally-occuring nutrients. A whole grain! This salad, my spin on the Greek tabbouleh salad, is super satisfying. Weenie salads just don't cut it for me! In fact, this is one of my favorites for summer (especially when I can make it with the veggies picked from my garden). It's a very easy to prepare, meatless meal that's packed with vitamins, fiber and iron. I make enough for leftovers, so I've been eating it all week :)

Bulgur Salad

Makes 4 servings.

Ingredients


  • 1 cup bulgur (dry, not soaked)--I buy Bob's Red Mill which is carried at most grocery stores
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 English cucumber
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes (get a mixture of red and yellow or mini Heirloom tomatoes for max flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, if available (dried is fine too)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground pepper, as desired
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained and rinsed--I buy Full Circle Organic because they're very low in sodium and no more expensive than other brands
  • 4 ounces feta cheese--I buy Trader Joe's Light Feta for a reduction in fat and calories
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, rinsed and spun to dry
  • 8 Kalamata olives

Instructions

  1. Pour bulgur and water into a medium pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, or until water is nearly all absorbed. 
  2. Remove from heat and pour bulgur into a glass bowl. Place bowl in fridge to cool, occasionally stirring to release steam.
  3. Meanwhile, dice cucumber and quarter tomatoes. Finely chop parsely and mint. Cut lettuce into bite-sized pieces.
  4. When bulgur has cooled, fold in cucumber, tomatoes, beans, lemon juice, oil and all the spices. Stir well. Allow to marinate for at least one hour before serving. 
  5. Serve bulgur salad on top of lettuce, topped with 1 ounce of feta cheese, 1/4 avocado and 2 olives.

One serving contains about 400 (very filling) calories. Enjoy!

P.S. Traditionaly tabbouleh salad contains soaked, rather than cooked, bulgur. I like both, but cooking allows those grains to "pop" open and I love it. You'll find instructions for soaking bulgur on the package.