We’re making our way to the middle of February, and it looks like we’re both still sticking to our resolutions of healthier eating. Or at least continued attempts to eat healthy. Many of us know that the only way to stick to it is to break away from bland, poached chicken breasts and soggy, depressing salads. If you’re going to have a salad, at least make it interesting. A nice way to do is that is to leave out the lettuce, but keep everything else. Quinoa and couscous are great alternatives, but so is another guy that you don’t see too much. He could use a bit more positive marketing, so here is a free PSA for bulgar wheat. Because we all know that sometimes it just takes one new ingredient to energize our healthy eating.
Traditionally found in many Middle Eastern, Turkish and Kurdish dishes, bulgar is a beautifully nutty, hearty whole grain. The bags of bulgar are available in a variety of sizes, ranging from fine to coarse–each one with its own appropriate use. The grain itself is super low in fat of course and super high in fiber and protein. It also makes an interesting breakfast porridge if you’re looking for a new way to spruce up your morning eats. Here, you’ll see it makes the base of a traditional Turkish tabbouleh called kisir. It’s normally a little spicier than the version below because it contains red pepper paste, not tomato paste. Well, red pepper paste was not around, so there’s a bit of red pepper flakes in this recipe to kick up the heat. If you find red pepper paste at your local ethnic market, you’ll be right on track. You can easily adapt this salad by adding in your favorite vegetables and herbs or playing with the levels of sour flavor. The pomegranate molasses and lemon work very well together, so don’t hesitate to experiment! At least you’ll feel great after eating this type of salad and passing on another bowl of soggy greens.
Have you found any new healthy foods that have surprised you this year?
Kisir (Turkish Tabbouleh) – Serves 6 to 8
2 cups fine bulgar wheat
2 cups boiling water
3 ounces tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 Persian cucumbers, deseeded and diced
1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 large red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (add more to taste, if desired)
Juice of 1 lemon
3/4 tablespoon kosher salt
1. Pour the bulgar wheat into a large bowl. In a separate cup, whisk together the boiling water, tomato paste and red pepper flakes, then pour over the bulgar wheat. Let this sit until all of the moisture has absorbed, then fluff with a fork.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and toss well to combine.
Click HERE for the printable recipe.