Grain of the Day
Whole grains are my current obsession. Every time I make a visit to Whole Foods, I try to bring home something new and exciting from the bulk bin area. They probably offer more rice varieties than I could eat in a year, along with lesser known grains such as farro and buckwheat groats (dont’ worry little grains, I’ll get to you soon!) My current “grain of the day” is bulgur wheat. Bulgur is a nutty flavored whole wheat product that has been parboiled, dried and ground into different sizes. With only a small amount of the bran removed, bulgur is considered a great source of fiber. Along with having a lower glycemic index than white rice, wheat bulgur also contains more fiber, protein and higher amounts of vitamins and minerals.
What is Tabouleh?
At a recent Northwest Indiana Food Swap, one of the members brought in a Tabouleh salad, which is made with bulgur. The salad was fantastic! I asked her for the recipe and immediately went out to purchase ingredients to make my own version. I came up with Dried Cherry and Feta Tabouleh. Now, if you aren’t familiar with tabouleh, it’s a salad made with bulgur that is popular in Middle Eastern cuisine. Typically, the ingredients would also include: tomatoes, parsley, mint, onion, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice…but get creative, add whatever YOU like and own it.
What else can one do with bulgur? One of my family’s favorite middle eastern menu items from a local Aladdin’s Eatery is kebbeh. Kebbeh are little football shaped fried meat pockets (for lack of a better term) that are so good, you almost can’t stop eating them. If you don’t enjoy the more ethnic side of cuisine, how about using the grain as a filler for meatloaf or meatballs? For picky children, that’s an easy way to “hide” the healthy ingredients. What about using bulgur in rice pudding instead of rice or even as a base for stir fry. So many options; try it out today!
- 1 c. Bulgur Wheat
- 2½ c. Boiling Water
- 6 oz. Feta Cheese, crumbled
- ½ c. Dried Cherries, halved
- ¼ c. Onion (or Red Onion), finely chopped
- ½ English Cucumber, peeled & diced
- 1 sm. Garlic clove, smashed & minced
- ¼ c. Pine Nuts, toasted
- Handful of Parsley, roughly chopped
- 2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 TB Lemon Juice
- Sea Salt & Pepper to taste
- Put bulgur in the boiling water; cover with lid. Let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse & Drain.
- In a dry frying pan, lightly toast pine nuts. (keep them moving so they don't burn)
- In small bowl, whisk oil and lemon juice until combined. Add garlic.
- When the above steps are done, add everything to a mixing bowl and toss with the lemon/oil/garlic dressing. Refrigerate. Toss again before serving.