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Archive for the ‘Bulgur Wheat’ Category

Winter has definitely arrived in full force and although the prospect of snow is always exciting, the first few frosty mornings always take some getting used to. Coupled with the tube strike this morning, I opted to work from home today. When lunchtime rolled around, I still wasn’t brave enough to venture out, so I had to make do with what I could find in the fridge and pantry for lunch.

I am loving bulgur wheat at the moment; it’s got a subtle nutty flavour and great texture which is far superior to couscous. However, like couscous, it is already par-boiled and dried when you buy it, so it only needs to be covered in boiling water and left until all the liquid has been absorbed before it’s ready to serve – so easy! But the best thing about bulgur wheat is its fabulous nutritional content, it’s is high in protein and a slow releasing form of carbohydrate so again it’s a much better alternative to rice or couscous. Bulgur wheat is common in Middle Eastern cuisine and most people will have had it or at least heard of it in the form of tabbouleh.

So back to my ‘scrounge around the pantry’ lunch. I had a half-opened packet of bulgur wheat, I found a small tin of salmon, a stick of celery, one last spring onion, some parsley, half an avocado and a lone mushroom. Enough to make something with.

To prepare the bulgur wheat, I placed half a cup in a heat proof bowl, poured over some boiled water until the bulgur was just covered and then covered the bowl with cling film and let it stand until all the water was absorbed which took between 10-15 minutes.

While the bulgur was doing its thing, I chopped up all the aforementioned vegetables and herbs and set them aside. I then made up a very simple dressing. In a glass I added two tablespoons each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, a pinch of sea salt, cracked black pepper and half a teaspoon of mustard. I gave it a good stir to combine, making sure the salt was dissolved and the mustard was well mixed in. When I tasted it, it was a little on the oily side, so I gave it another swig of vinegar and set that aside as well.

Once the bulgur was done (soft but still with a good bite to it) and all the water had been absorbed, I drizzled over the dressing and mixed it through. Then I drained the tin of salmon and added that to the bulgur along with all the other chopped ingredients. I also added a handful of rocket leaves which I found lurking in the back of the fridge and mixed these through, before tasting one last time and seasoning a tiny bit more with salt and pepper.

What a tasty, nutritious and filling meal for one. The dressing gave it a wonderful fresh and tangy zing and the bulgur wheat added a nice slightly crunchy texture.

Bulgur Wheat Salad

Of course, you can use whatever you can find in your fridge and pantry. A can of tuna or some leftover cooked chicken or grilled lamb would be delicious. Or add some halved cherry tomatoes, feta or goats cheese, basil or mint, fresh or frozen peas or broad beans and even some pumpkin or sunflower seeds. If you could be bothered, toasting off a handful of pine nuts by dry roasting until starting to colour in a fry pan would be a great addition as well. Of course, if you had couscous you could use that, following the exact same instructions as above.

I wonder how many different combinations I could come up with so I don’t have to venture outside for the rest of the week…

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