There’s a trending topic on foodie twitter scene—to eat one new food each week. I like it! And from what I see, many adventurous and not so eaters and cooks decided to try a new vegetable each week. And it’s fine. But being a “grain girls” as my culinary student cousin called me, I want to introduce to my readers, and by instance to myself, a new grain each week…
I guess I already have one post on the subject this year. My last week can be counted in for lentils, although being legumes, are closely related to grains.
Why grains? Not only because I want to differ from anyone, but also because I like to encourage myself and, if I’m lucky, my entire family, to eat as much seasonal as possible. And this time of the year, although you still might find many vegetables in the supermarket, is the season of the grain!
Furthermore, adding whole grains to your diet is a good way to get health-boosting nutrition, vitamins and minerals without splitting your budget.
What is this strangely named grain? Despite its scary sounding name and rather long list of spelling variations—bulghur, burghul or bulgar—it is gentle parboiled wheat, cracked into three different varieties: fine, medium or coarse. Fine and medium can be used for stuffing grape leaves or vegetables, and my favorite—coarse bulgur—can be cooked into a wholesome pilaf. Bulgur is vastly used in Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisine—you most likely tried it in a salad, called Tabouleh and is considered a Whole Grain on this side of the pond.
It is also known as an ancient "instant" cereal. Because it's parboiled—that makes it partially cooked, the preparation time is half of its lookalike—cracked wheat. So, next time you want to switch up that rice-o-roni side dish routine, or swap your morning cereal, consider Bulgur for its awesome wholesome nutty taste, chewy texture and easy cooking.
I’m sharing a side dish made with frozen mixed bell peppers that is very easy and fast to prepare. The peppers add color and sweet flavor to this dish making it a perfect companion for almost any protein on your plate. I used dried oregano this time, but you can add any dried herbs of your choice. You can even garnish it with some fresh herbs. If you would like to use fresh peppers, please add an extra ½ cup of liquid to the recipe…
Bulgur and Mixed Peppers Pilaf
1 T spoon olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
2 garlic gloves, crushed
1 pk (14 oz) frozen bell peppers, do not thaw
1 t spoon salt
1 t spoon ground black pepper
1 t spoon dry oregano
1 cup bulgur
1 cup water/stock
- In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and then garlic and cook for couple of minutes until onions are tender
- Add frozen bell peppers, season with salt, pepper and oregano and let simmer over medium heat until peppers are thawed, 2 to 3 minutes
- Add bulgur, toss it with the vegetables, pour water/stock and bring to boil over high heat
- Lower the heat to medium, cover the pan and let simmer until all liquid is absorbed. Turn off the heat but leave the pilaf on the stove, covered for another 3 to 5 minutes
- Fluff with fork, serve and enjoy!