Over the last few weeks I have been trying to branch out and try new grains. I’m not a huge fan of rice, especially the brown variety, but whole grains are good for me, so I’m determined to find one that I truly like.
A few weeks ago, I bought some new (to me) grains that I had been hearing about, bulgur and quinoa. I really like the look of quinoa because it ends up looking like a lot of little curly q’s in the pot, but I haven’t mastered a quinoa dish that strikes my fancy.
Last weekend I attempted a Kale and Quinoa Gratin, which was less than stellar. Not only did it make for lousy photographs, but it ended up tasting pretty bland. It wasn’t inedible bad, but it was bad enough that I wouldn’t recommend it to someone else. As Chris put it “This stuff is pretty good if you cover it up with Sweet Baby Ray’s.” Ok, I get it. Needs more flavor. Kale and Quinoa Gratin will not be making an appearance on here until I figure out how to doctor it up adequately (for Chris’s palate and my diet). I still think the Kale and Quinoa Gratin has potential, so I will be buying kale for the second time in my life this weekend and I will attempt a do-over.
Since the Kale and Quinoa Gratin disaster, I have shelved the quinoa experiments for a few days to try my hand at making bulgur. After a cursory Google search, I decided that Taboulli was a safe bet. It turns out that I was right! The Taboulli was awesome and may go into my weekly dinner rotation. I can’t comment on whether it tastes authentic or not as it has been a long time since I have eaten Taboulli and I have certainly never eaten it paying attention to the flavors and textures with the intent to recreate it. Chris has been wanting to try a Turkish restaurant in a town nearby, maybe I will be able to sample theirs for a point of reference if and when we go.
- 1 cup bulgur (if you don’t feel like getting or can’t find bulgur, you could probably make it with brown rice, but I like bulgur better)
- 2 cups water
- 3 medium tomatoes, diced (or 1.75 cups canned tomatoes, if you are out of fresh ones)
- 1 large cucumber, diced
- 3-4 scallions
- 1 cup parsley, chopped (or 2 tbsp dried parsley if your grocery store doesn’t sell parsley – like mine)
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper (this was double what the original recipe called for, so proceed with caution)
- 1/4 cup olive oil (this was half what the original recipe called for and I might even reduce it by 1 tbsp next time)
- plain nonfat yogurt (optional)
- Cook bulgur according to the instructions on the packaging. (Mine was a 2:1 ratio of water:bulgur, dump everything into a pot and simmer until the water has been absorbed and the bulgur is tender.)
- While the bulgur is cooking, dice tomatoes, cucumbers, and scallions and drain off excess water.
- Combine the “dressing” of olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, salt, and pepper.
- When the bulgur has finished cooking, combine all ingredients and refrigerate, covered until cool.
- Serve cold.
- I served mine with some plain nonfat yogurt on the side.
Servings ~ 4
Calories (not including yogurt) ~ 297, Fat ~ 14 g, Carbohydrates ~ 39 g, Protein ~ 7 g