18 Aug 2006

Cereals - Bulgur

Bulgur is a popular grain in the Middle East and North Africa. It is made by steaming and drying wheat kernels, then cracking them to resemble cracked wheat.

It is high in dietary fiber, manganese, and magnesium and with niacin, thiamin, vitamins E and B6, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, and copper. One cup uncooked bulgur contains up to 20 grams of protein which is excellent for those on a vegan diet.

Many organic brands are available. Bulgur, has a tender, chewy texture and comes in coarse, medium and fine grinds. It should be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator.

Preparation is easy as Bulgar only requires soaking of approximately 30 to 45 minutes or boiling for 20-25 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. One cup of bulgar requires 2 1/2 cups of water when boiling. Soaked or cooked bulgur can be added to salads, pilafs, soups, stews, stuffings, veggie burgers and casseroles. It can also be added to the ingredients when baking bread.

It's nutritional value makes it a good substitute for rice. Once you have tried it you will find that it becomes as useful as brown rice in your kitchen.

Recipes of the Day

Bulgur, Roasted Garlic and Butternut Squash
from Cooking Light
Slightly chewy bulgur contrasts beautifully with the tender roasted squash and garlic.

3 cups (3/4-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/4 pounds)
8 garlic cloves, unpeeled
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
5 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups uncooked bulgur
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
Grated Vegan cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°.

Combine squash and garlic in a shallow roasting pan. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons oil, tossing gently to coat. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until squash is tender, stirring once. Let cool 10 minutes. Peel garlic; chop. Discard skins. Combine water and salt in a medium saucepan, and bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add bulgur; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add warm salted water, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently until each portion of warm salted water is absorbed before adding the next (about 27 minutes total). Stir in squash and garlic; cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; stir in parsley and sage. Sprinkle each serving with vegan cheese.
6 servings of 1 cup each.

Chutney Bulgur With Curried Chickpeas
from Vegetarian Times

1 1/4 cups bulgur wheat
20-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 medium ripe tomatoes, diced
2 teaspoons curry powder, or to taste
8- or 9-ounce jar sweet and spicy chutney, such as mango

Cover the bulgur with 2 cups boiling water in a heatproof container. Cover and let stand until water is absorbed, about 30 minutes. For a faster preparation, combine water and bulgur in a saucepan and heat over a medium-low flame until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the chickpeas, tomatoes and curry in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over a medium-low flame. Heat for 2 to 3 minutes, then cover and keep warm until needed.
Stir the chutney into the bulgur and season with salt. To serve, mound a portion of bulgur on each plate and top with chickpea mixture. Makes 6 servings.

Bulgur Salad with Apples and Grapes
from Chef2Chef

1/2 cup bulgur
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons apple juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1 celery stalk
1 large red apple, cored and diced
1/2 carrot grated
1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley
1 cup red seedless grapes

Place the bulgur, water, apple and lemon juices and lemon rind in a small bowl. Cover and allow to soak until the liquid is absorbed, between 30 minutes and 1 hour. Halve the celery stalk, then cut wider half in two lengthwise. Cut the celery into thin slices on the diagonal. Place the bulgur, celery, diced apple, grated carrot, grapes and parsley in a serving bowl and toss until combined. Chill if desired before serving. Makes 6 servings.

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Galli Galli Sim Sim said...

Hey Jackie,
Looks great, I'll give this a try.

Dori said...

Hi! Great bulghur post. Butternut squash is my favorite, so I'll save this recipe when my garden starts giving me some. I love the fruit salad too.

I really have enjoyed seeing your recipes and all the great food information you post with it.

Urban Vegan said...

Wow--looks like I have no excuse to make the same old tabbouleh again. Thanks for these creative ideas!

KleoPatra said...

I have never known what to do about or with bulgur so thank you for a most informative post!

t. said...

I love burlgur! And it does classify as a whole grain, does it not?

Jackie said...

If you get the whole grain version and not the de-branned version.

I tend to use the de-branned version due to it being easier to prepare which I shouldn't but I do :)

Anonymous said...

I liked this post. Love burlgur. I think I have been making this as my breakfast for the past years.
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