Bulgur – It Does A Body Good

I’ve had a bag of bulgur wheat sitting in my pantry for far too long.  This week I broke into it for TWO different recipes.  The first recipe was for a curried, vegetable and grain soup.  It was good, but nothing to “blog home about.”  The second recipe turned out great and definitely worth an honorable mention here today.

But first, I want to talk about the nutritional value of bulgur (which I researched yesterday, out of curiosity.)  Here’s what I found.

  • Bulgur is natural, whole grain.  It’s an ancient grain dating back 4,000 years.
  • Bulgur wheat is processed today in the same manner as it was in ancient times.  That means:  no chemicals or additives are used in the processing of bulgur.  Yea!
  • Bulgur cooks quickly because it is parboiled during its processing.  Basically, it comes pre-cooked.
  • Bulgur is a good source of “B” vitamins, iron, phosphorous, and manganese.
  • Bulgur comes in various “grinds” which effects cooking time.  My bag wasn’t labeled with the “grind” but I’m guessing it is medium grind because of it’s suggested 10-15 min. cook time.
  • Bulgur was used during WWII  a) to feed the troops, and 2) as a sand-blasting agent to clean airplane parts.  Hehe
  • Bulgur is referred to as “arisah” in the Old Testament.

(Source: www.Sunnylandmills.com)

I found some nutritional data comparing bulgur and brown rice.  Then I looked up some facts about quinoa so I could compare the three side-by-side.

Bulgur vs. Brown Rice vs. Quinoa

(data for 1 cup cooked)

Bulgur Brown Rice Quinoa
151 calories 216 calories 222 calories
0.44 g fat 1.8 g fat 3.6 g fat
8.2 g fiber 3.5 g fiber 3.6 g fiber
32.8 mcg folate 7.8 mcg folate 77.7 mcg folate
8 g complete protein

Quinoa is a complete protein (meaning is contains all nine essential amino acids) so it has a big edge over bulgur.  Still, bulgur looks pretty good, no?

Now back to that delicious dinner plate.  Last night I cooked up Mushroom and Bulgur Veggie Burgers using this recipe from my friend Erin at The Healthy Apron.

I have several veggie burger recipes that I like to cook and this recipe is one of my new favorites.  They have great taste and great texture (texture is something that can be “off” with many veggie burger recipes.)  They were very easy, albeit messy, to make.  Go to The Healthy Apron to find this recipe and nutrition facts for these burgers.  I just want to note that I made a few changes:

  1. I used a “flax egg” instead of a real egg.  “Flax egg” is made by combining 1 T freshly ground flax seeds + 3 T water and letting it sit for 5-10 mins.  It will get an egg-like consistency.
  2. I didn’t add cheese to the burgers.  Carl melted cheese on the top of his.
  3. I didn’t refrigerate them before cooking and they turned out just fine.

Oh, and that fabulous-looking side dish?  Those are Southern Greens from Fatfree Vegan Kitchen.  Get the recipe here.   I used some beautiful red chard for my version.

Have another look at my dinner plate.  Doesn’t it look great?  It was. (I ended up only eating one of the burgers because although they are small, they were very filling.)  I’ll be having one of those burgers for my lunch today for sure.

Question:  Do you have a favorite bulgur recipe?  If so, please pass it along.  I’d love to try it and I have some left in the bag.

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