If you are someone who is always interested in quick, healthy menu ideas, bulgur is a food worth trying. Arab, Israeli, Egyptian, Chinese and Roman people have been using this grain for centuries. Bulgur is a good source of fibre, B vitamins, and vitamin E.
Bulgur consists of whole wheat kernels that have been boiled, dried, and crushed. It can be red or white and comes in a variety of textures. Bulgur differs from cracked wheat in that it has been pre-cooked.
Bulgur is sold in supermarkets, in bulk food and health food stores. It is often packaged in bags or boxes and sold as a pilaf , “tabbouleh” or “tabouli” mix. If you are having trouble finding bulgur, try the pasta, rice, and hot cereal or specialty food aisle of your store.
Here are some tips for using bulgur:
- Don’t wash or rinse bulgur before cooking.
- Avoid lifting the lid or stirring while cooking.
- Bulgur can be prepared either by soaking (e.g.. for salads) or cooking (e.g., for casseroles).
- To soak bulgur, add twice as much hot liquid as bulgur, stir, let stand covered for 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight.
- When soaked or cooked, bulgur will increase in volume by two times or more, depending on the amount of liquid present.
- Bulgur can be added to a variety of dishes including meatloaf, soups, stews, casseroles and sauces.
- Bulgur can also be added to salads, waffles, pancakes, muffins and other baked goods to add a nutty flavor.
Here are some recipes to try:
|1 tsp||cooking oil||5 mL|
|3/4 cup||dry bulgur||175 mL|
|1 cup||beef or chicken broth or bouillon||250 mL|
|2||medium carrots, shredded||2|
|1/4 cup||chopped walnuts, pecans, cashews or almonds||50 mL|
YIELD: 4 servings.
|1 cup||dry bulgur||250 mL|
|1 1/2 cups||water||375 mL|
|1||bunch green onions, chopped||1|
|1/2 cup||vegetable or olive oil||125 mL|
|1/2 cup||lemon juice||125 mL|
|1/4 tsp||salt||1 mL|
Blend oil, lemon juice and salt and combine with bulgur mixture. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
YIELD: 7 servings.
WRITTEN BY THE PUBLIC HEALTH NUTRITIONISTS OF SASKATCHEWAN
Originator: Tammy Shakotko
The American Dietetic Association’s complete Food and Nutrition Guide, Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, CFCS, Chronimed Publishing, Minneapolis, Copy Right 1998.
“Bulgur in the Middle East and Canada,” Michelle Marcotte, Food Consultant, Agriculture Canada, October 1983
“Focus on Food: Bulgur Basics,” American Institute for Cancer Research Newsletter, Summer 1997, Issue 56.