If you have ever been to the Middle East or you are a fan of Middle Eastern dishes, probably you have heard about this whole grain called bulgur wheat. It is most commonly used as ingredient in making tabbouleh salad.
Bulgur wheat is a whole grain that is naturally high in fiber, low-fat and low-calorie but it is not gluten-free because it belongs in to the wheat family. I’m not following the gluten-free fad anyway. So I’m introducing this lesser known grain in our country to you not unless you have Celiac disease or you medically prescribed to have a gluten-free diet. I like following the idea of prefer to eat what mother nature gives you than the processed packages that grocery stores offers.
There are three types of bulgur wheat: instant, medium and coarse grain. Personally, I like the texture of bulgur wheat. I like chewing on it! Anyway, one of its advantage is that it is easy to prepare and has quicker cooking time compared to other whole grains. It only takes less than 15 minutes for most types of bulgur wheat to cook. This can be a great substitute for rice.
According to USDA National Nutrient Database, 1 cup of cooked bulgur wheat contains 151 calories, 8.2 grams of fiber and 5.61 grams of protein.
Just in case you are wondering where was I able to buy bulgur wheat. I purchased my pantry stock at Healthy Options in SM Aura. It only cost around 225 pesos for almost half a kilo. I bought it because I wanted to make a Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad at home. The recipe can be found below. It yields 4 servings.
How about a nice change for a typical lettuce salad?
Nutritional Facts per serving:
Calories: 236 Protein: 4.86 Fat: 14.22 Carbohydrates: 26.10 Fiber: 7.15 Sugar: 2.74
Total Prep Time: 30-45 minutes
1/2 cup Bulgur wheat
1-2 cups curly parsley, chopped, stems removed
5 large mint leaves
2 medium tomatoes
1/2 small cucumber
1/8 cup scallions, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Soak the bulgur wheat in water. (Make sure that the water that you use is potable because we will not be cooking the bulgur wheat in this recipe. Don’t worry! This is a safe method.) It should be covered at least an inch with water. Soaking time can take at least 20-30 minutes.
- While soaking the bulgur wheat, prepare the produce. Peel the cucumber and remove the seeds, and chop it diced. Chop the tomatoes in the same manner. Chop the scallions. Finely chop the mint leaves.
- Combine all of the produce in a mixing bowl.
- Drain some of the remaining water from the soaked bulgur wheat.
- Pour the soaked bulgur wheat over the produce mixing bowl. Add olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Toss them altogether. Make sure that they are mixed well.
- Best served as a side dish.
Enjoy the Middle Eastern flavour!