So after raiding my fridge, I found a bag of bulgar wheat. A few months ago, a friend of mine had a catering stint for a Spa event. One of the dishes on the menu was Bulgar salad with a citrus dressing. Prior to the event, I had the pleasure of doing a taste test. And I was amazed at how yummy Bulgar is.
I know what you’re probably thinking. Bulgar, what is that?!
According to Wikipedia, Bulgar (or bulgur) is a cereal food made up of several kinds of wheat species. It is most common in European, Middle Eastern and South Asian cuisine, of which the name, bulgur, is of Turkish origin.
And this stuff’s amazing. It is low in fat and high in fibre, low on calories and vegetarian and vegan safe. According to CalorieCount, one cup of cooked bulgur wheat provides 151 calories, 0.4 grams of fat, 8.2 grams of dietary fiber and a healthy 5.6 grams of protein. Further, bulgur is naturally cholesterol-free.
Cereal, wheat, low calorie.
If you’re one of those skeptics, but still curious about going vegetarian – yes I know. It’s a cereal food, its a wheat, its low on calories, it will probably taste less than delectable. Must be the bad experience that came with badly prepared quick oats, or that the only low calorie food on this earth are celery sticks and cucumbers.
This is grainy and nutty, its got a bite and chew, and the perfect vehicle for soaking up flavors from stocks and gravies and dressings and oils. And if you don’t believe me, then you very well should try some bulgar yourself.
So what I made today was a bulgar wheat salad with char grilled red peppers and chickpeas with blanched snow peas.
On a side note, Chick peas are one of my favorite foods to have when I need to eat right. I always have a can at home.
Why chickpeas are so great is because of how much goodness these tiny peas have. Packed with 6grams of protein, and only 1gram of fat, with a further plus at being only 88 Calories per serve. Yum yum.
Ingredients (Serves 2):
1/2 Cup of bulgar wheat
1 Cup of water
1 Red bell peppper
1 small punnet of snowpeas
1 can of chickpeas, drained
1 tbsp of cooking oil for the skillet – I used grape seed oil. Olive oil will do great too.
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Measure out 1/2 cup of bulgar wheat, dump that into a bowl.
2. Boil up 1 cup of water, add boiling water to bowl of bulgar wheat. Soak for 35 minutes.
3. While the bulgar is soaking, wash your snowpeas and de-vein them. Blanche them til they turn a bright green before removing them from the heat. Dump cooked snowpeas in a bowl of iced water. This keeps the color, and prevents them from overcooking. What you’ll have will be nice snappy snowpeas.
4. Oil goes into the skillet. Ensure that the skillet is nicely greased with the oil. Heat the skillet, and once the pan is hot, add sliced red bell pepper. Cook skin side down first
5. You want to get the skins slightly charred. Once that happens, flip them skin side up and turn down the heat. Pop the lid on the skillet to let the bell peppers cook further. Remove from pan once the bell peppers are soft but not mushy. Leave to cool.
6. To your hot skillet, add the chick peas to cook them slightly.
7. Once the 35mins are up, drain the bulgar wheat of whatever water that remains. Slice the bell peppers that have cooled into smaller pieces. Mix chickpeas, bell peppers and bulgar wheat together. Adding salt and pepper to taste.
8. Once well mixed, add the snowpeas and give the salad a quick stir. And its done!
Total Calorie Count – about 382 Calories, based on MyFitnessPal App for iPhone.