Monday, June 2, 2014

Festive Bulgur Mix

I love my whole grains. Not only are they packed with nutrition, but they have such unique flavour profiles (compared to refined starches) that you can't ignore them on a plate. While there are a good amount of them that take a while to cook thoroughly, I've been able to find a handful of delicious and fast options to keep in the weeknight pantry.

One of those wholegrain staples is bulgur. You've seen it in breads of mine, and may have even eaten it in tabbouleh once or twice - but my favourite way to enjoy the par-cooked cracked wheat is in pilafs or as a base for stir fries. Fluffy and couscous-size, it's a base that can stand up well to intense flavours, especially those from Middle Eastern and African cooking. It's lickety-split to cook too, so it makes a great last minute side. To streamline the whole pilaf process even more, I sometimes mix up a few batches of the dry ingredients on the weekend. That way, the whole process doesn't take any longer than a pre-packaged side dish would and you know you haven't forgotten anything! For this particular mix, I jazzed up the grain with Middle Eastern / Mediterranean herbs and spices, dried fruit, almonds and pumpkin seeds.

Not only is it delicious warm (it makes a fabulous vegan meal with a can of chickpeas stirred in), it's more than passable as a room temperature salad (hello potluck staple!). My family has eaten it both ways, and the consensus from the omnivore is that it's best warm as an accompaniment to grilled meat like lamb, beef or chicken skewers. I call it good in any form!

Festive Bulgur Mix
Makes 1 mix, 4 servings
1 ¼ cups bulgur
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp crushed red chili flakes
¼ tsp dried mint flakes
¼ tsp dried parsley
¼ tsp turmeric
1 tsp Kosher salt
2 tbsp dried cranberries
2 tbsp sultana raisins
1 tbsp slivered almonds
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  1. Mix bulgur with the spices, herbs and salt. Pour into a jar.
  2. Combine the cranberries, sultanas, almonds and pumpkin seeds in a small bag and place on top of the bulgur mixture.
  3. Seal jars and attach label with directions:
  • Bring 2 ½ cups of water to boil in a saucepan.
  • Add bulgur and spice mixture to the saucepan. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the fruit, almonds and pumpkin seeds, re-cover and turn off the heat.
  • Let stand 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  • Serve warm or room temperature.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 195.0
Total Fat: 1.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 288.5 mg
Total Carbs: 41.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 8.6 g
Protein: 6.3 g

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