Last Sunday was one of those days that got swept up and disappeared. I moved back to Boston, and now that I’m settled back, I’m ready to get back on track, with my little bites and healthy life.
In this double-dip, I’m featuring a product you have to bring into your pantry immediately – bulgur wheat – and later, showing you how to turn this into a delicious feast with someone special, friends, or family.
Bulgur wheat is a miracle product for those looking to keep meals high in nutrition and low in fat. My first motivation for picking up a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Bulgur was it’s quick-cook time, as I’m notorious for eating al dente pasta and raw oats just to add a few extra minutes to my day. Simply bring a pot of water to a boil and allow the grain to simmer for 12-15 minutes; a much more manageable cooking committment than the 40 minutes needed for properly cooked brown rice.
The big selling points, however, are the various nutritional benefits. While slightly lower in calories than rice, it’s more than double the amount of fiber. It’s also low in fat, and has a substantial amount of protein per serving.
When cooking with this Middle Eastern grain, the only thing to keep in mind is the distinct nuttiness of the flavor. It’s one of my favorite foundations for meals because of this, but unlike rice, it is not neutral enough to serve as a substitute in every dish.
Unfortunately, bulgur wheat isn’t gluten-free; but for those subsisting on vegetarian, vegan, or low-fat diets, this product will keep the dishes coming off your stove from looking the same night after night. Often, bulgur wheat is used to make tabouleh or pilaf, but try using bulgur in place of more traditional grains the next time you start cooking.
In a recipe I adapted from Vegetarian Times Magazine, I used bulgur wheat instead of farro; while the Italian farro has more protein than bulgur, it’s also more dense, making its serving size smaller. Bulgur is also lower in calories per serving, and significantly lower in carbohydrates. However, both grains share a similar nutty flavor, making bulgur a great substitute if you’re looking to keep the calorie count low, the dish more psychologically filling, or simply seeking to try a new product.
Find this recipe in part deux of my double dip; Spinach-Stuffed Mushrooms with Bulgur.
Or, join me next week for another little bite you can’t miss.