Tag Archives: bulgur

Food Matters Project #27: Summer Tabbouleh Salad

It’s another Food Matters Project recipe!  This weeks host is Sarah from Simply Whole Kitchen.  From the Food Matter Cookbook, she chose Mark Bittman’s recipe for Quinoa Tabbouleh.  Check out Sarah’s version, and what everyone else had made!

Mark Bittman suggests a different version of tabbouleh, which is usually made out of bulgur, tomatoes, parsley, mint, onion, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and salt.  He recommends making this dish with quinoa, and adds more veggies.  We didn’t have an quinoa in our pantry, so we used bulgur.

Summer Tabbouleh
Adapted from: The Food Matter Cookbook (page 164)

3/4 cup bulgur
4 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 shallots, minced
1/4 cup roughly chopped parlsey
1/4 cup roughly chopped mint
15 oz can of garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained
5 radishes, finely chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
15 oz can black olives, drained & chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
pita bread (optional)

Cook bulgur per package instructions.  Once it’s cooked, add to a big  bowl.  Next, add all of the other vegetables, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Stir all of the ingredients together.

Finally, in a small bowl whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice.  Pour over the salad, stir well.  Serve with warmed pita bread.


Tabbouleh with Shredded Chicken

I apologize for the silence on the blog the last couple of days, but we’ve had a bit of an internet problem.  Yesterday we not only fixed the internet, but also our dishwasher.  Hard work, but someone has to do it, right?  The joys of home ownership!

Whenever there are many items on my to-do list, I try to make dishes that don’t require too much time, or work.  If I can use up extras from the fridge, that’s a double-bonus.

A couple of weeks ago I made pitas, but had lots of leftover dough.  I divided it into separate balls, and kept it in the freezer.  And when I had the right ingredients for some tabbouleh- I made a tasty, and fast, lunch!

Tabbouleh with Shredded Chicken
Adapted from: Cooking Light (March 2009)

Even if you don’t have any pitas, tabbouleh is great as a lunch salad- very refreshing and light.  I had leftover chicken, which I shredded and added to the salad, but feel free to omit it.  A great addition is some feta cheese sprinkled over the top!

1/2 cup uncooked bulgur
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
3/4 cup parsley, minced
1/4 cup mint, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
3 tomatoes, diced
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Combine the bulgur and the boiling water in a large bowl.  Cover the bowl and let it stand for 15 minutes.  Then fluff the bulgur with a fork, drain any extra water.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl, mix well.

Review: Birch & Barley

Last Saturday we went to dinner at Birch & Barley with our friend B*.  All of us were excited to try this new place.  It opened up in the fall of 2009, and it’s been on our list to check out.  I wish we had tried it sooner!  I think it might be one of my top restaurants in DC.

So the next time you’re around Logan Circle, definitely check this place out!

To start out our dinner we began with a Butcher’s Board:

It consisted of fresh and cured charcuterie, fresh bread, mustard and butter.  The start was not only delicious, but it was so beautifully presented.

Next, came the entrees.  The waiter asked if we would like tasting plates so we could share the food amongst ourselves- it was a great idea!

Sam had the roasted loin of lamb with braised lamb belly, fava beans, bulgur wheat and garlic scapes.

I noticed there was a prosciutto wrapped veal strip loin, and I had to have it!  With it there was barley, peas, artichokes and cippolini onions.

Lastly, B* had the honey glazed duck breast leg confit with the gorgeous wild rice, brandied cherries and radishes.

After such a delicious dinner, we just had to try the desserts- they had to be just as good, right?  (and they were!)

Sam got the house-spun sorbets, which included the following flavors: buttermilk, banana, creamsicle, rhubarb and a mix of exotic flavors.

I have a weak spot when it comes to hazelnut, so the ganache had to be mine.  It was topped with the homemade sorbet and shaved chocolate.

Lastly, B* ordered the strawberry shortcake.  It was an olive oil cake, with strawberries, balsamic and whipped mascarpone.

Wasn’t this delicious?!?  I hope you all make a reservation as soon as possible.  And if you’re visiting DC, definitely add this restaurant as part of your visit.


Bok Choy and Mushroom Bulgur

Sometimes I’m in a cooking groove, and cannot wait to get home and make some yummy dinner.  Usually by Thursday, when I’m tired and exhausted, that cooking groove diminishes a bit.  As many of you know, cooking can take time and planning. 
Although living in the city does have its perks, the downside is that we don’t have a grocery store nearby where we can just pop in and pick up ingredients for dinner.  The closest grocery store is 1 mile away, although it’s not that far and may be fun to go once in a while, the long lines and the idea of pushing and pulling the granny cart does not necessarily make this our ideal choice.  We sometimes pick up ingredients from different stores.  For example, Trader Joe’s has an excellent variety of cheeses.  And since the Farmer’s Market started, we’ve bought bacon, milk, eggs and butter. 


Due to the these “location restrictions”, we meal plan.  We order the majority of our food on Peapod, and list out different meals which we want to eat.  By seeing what we eat over a number of days, we make sure to have a variety of meals (pastas, grains, Mexican or Indian, etc).  I’ve noticed that I have become more aware of the ingredients I put into our food, and into my body.

Which leads me to the dish pictured below.  It was on the cover of Vegetarian Times, and I coud not wait to make it.  And it tasted just as delicious as it looks.  The flavors blended so well, and the broth kept the bulgur moist.  (In the case you don’t have mushroom bouillon, feel free to use vegetable or chicken stock) Between the mushrooms, and the steamed bok choy, this dish had a very earthy, natural taste to it.  It’s great for a warm dinner, or leftovers for lunch.


Bok Choy & Mushroom Bulgur
Adapted from: Vegetarian Times

 4 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 cup uncooked bulgur
1 1/2 cup water
2 mushroom bouillons
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 small bok choy, halved

Heat 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat, then add half of the garlic.  Add the mushrooms, and cook for 5 minutes, or until browned.  Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl.  Add tomatoes to the skillet and saute for 2 minutes, or until browned.  Transfer into the bowl that has mushrooms. 

Add the remaining oil and garlic into the skillet.  Stir in shallots and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the bulgur until the grains are coated with oil.  Add the water, bouillons and thyme.  Season with the salt and pepper.  Cover, and reduce heat to medium-low, simmer for 5 minutes.

Arrange the bok choy halves on top of the bulgur.  Sprinkle the mushroom and tomatoes between the bok choy.  Simmer for 5 minutes, while covered.  Remove from heat, and let it rest for 10 minutes.