Bulguriffic!

In April the co-op started selling bulgur. It is quickly becoming one of my favorite foods! Bulgur, in itself, isn’t tremendous or anything. But when combined with some other ingredients, it takes on great flavor and substance. It’s really cheap and can be used for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. I don’t actually know about the dessert part, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a bulgur pudding recipe out there. Let’s check… and .27 seconds later… Indeed!, eatingwell.com has a recipe for apricot-bulgur pudding with custard sauce (sounds yummy!) and recipezaar.com has a bulgur pudding recipe “that’s tasty and a constipation cure.” Splendid! So, yeah, back to that breakfast, lunch, and dinner part. For breakfast: cream of bulgur wheat. Same as the red box at the grocery store. Lunch: tabbouleh and an apple + cheese. Supper: bulgur Mexicana (recipe follows). And lots more where that came from: bulgur meatloaf, bulgur pilaf, soups, salads, and casseroles. Not that you’d actually want to eat three meals of bulgur in a day, but I’m tellin’ ya, it’s versatile stuff!
Bob, our co-op president, who started this bulgur business, offers several products that all began as wheat berries from Cattle Tracks. 1) Bulgur: wheat berries that are parboiled, dehydrated, and usually coarsely ground, but can be left whole. Since it has already been boiled, it cooks up quickly. 2) Cream of bulgur wheat: the wheat berries are parboiled, dehydrated, and finely ground for porridge or to thicken soups. I remember making huge batches of Cream of Wheat as a kid. My friend Melissa and I would stay up late giggling and eating bowls of it (there are definitely worse things to gorge on). She liked hers with butter and salt; I ate mine with butter and sugar. Bob’s cream of wheat is darker than what you find in the store. Why? ‘Cause those companies use pearled wheat berries. That is, they are polished to remove the bran, which makes them lighter in color and have a longer shelf life. 3) Bob also sells the water left from boiling the wheat as a dough conditioner or a soup base. “Waste not, want not” in action!
Here are some meals we have made with bulgur:
tabbouleh
Tabbouleh
bulgur supper salad
Bulgur Supper Salad
Bulgur Mexicana
Bulgur Mexicana; Matt didn’t even
notice the lack of meat.

cream of wheat
cream of wheat
Cream of wheat with milk and a dollop of Momma White’s blackberry jam.
So very tasty! Matt added milk and brown sugar.

For recipes

Bulgur Mexicana
:: 2 T butter
:: 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
:: 1 c bulgur wheat
:: 1 large stalk celery, thinly sliced
:: 1/2 green or red bell pepper, seeded and diced (I omitted this)
:: 1 t chili powder
:: 3/4 t ground cumin
:: 2 1/4 c vegetable stock (I used 2 c beef stock and 1/4 c water)
:: Condiments (suggestions follow)

Melt butter in a wide frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and bulgur and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and bulgur is golden (7 to 8 minutes). Stir in celery, bell pepper, chili powder, and cumin and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until all liquid is absorbed (about 20 minutes). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, mound bulgur mixture on a platter or individual plates. At the table, offer condiments, each in a separate bowl. Serves 4.
Condiments: shredded cheddar, alfalfa sprouts, sliced onions, sunflower seeds, sour cream, tomatoes, and/or taco sauce.

Bulgur Supper Salad
:: 2 c water
:: 3/4 t salt
:: 1 vegetable-flavored bouillon cube (I used a couple meat cubes)
:: 1 c bulgur wheat
:: 1 jar (6 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts
:: 1 large carrot, shredded
:: 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
:: 1 green pepper, seeded and diced
:: 2 green onions (including tops), thinly sliced
:: 1/2 c chopped parsley
:: About 8 lettuce leaves
:: 3 hard-cooked eggs, quartered
:: 2 medium-size tomatoes, cut in wedges
:: 4 oz. sharp cheddar or Swiss, julienned
:: About 1/4 c pitted ripe olives
:: Mustard Dressing (recipe follows)

In a 3-quart pan, bring water, salt, and vegetable bouillon cube to boiling. Stir in bulgur. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile prepare Mustard Dressing. Drain marinade from artichokes into dressing, mixing it well. Dice artichokes and set aside.
Turn hot cooked bulgur into a bowl, add dressing, and stir gently. Let stand until cool. Stir in artichokes, carrot, celery, green pepper, onions, and parsley. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until the next day.
Arrange lettuce on a serving platter or individual plates. Mound salad on lettuce; surround with eggs and tomatoes. Sprinkle cheese over top and garnish with olives. Makes 8 servings.
Mustard Dressing: In a bowl, combine 4 T each salad oil and lemon juice, 1 t each dry basil and oregano leaves, 1/2 t pepper, 1 clove garlic (minced or pressed), and 1 T Dijon mustard.

Both recipes came from Sunset Vegetarian Cooking (1991) cookbook.

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