Plentiful Bulgur with Beetroot, Feta & Spring Onion
Are you looking for a simple, quick recipe that is new, tasty and of course delicious and nutritious? Today may be your lucky day because this seems like the thing you need in your dinner making repertoire: bulgur with beetroot, feta and spring onion, not to forget topped with nuts and a sprinkle of extra attention. The way I developed this recipe was inspired by my sister’s cravings. She came home one day and said: “bulgur isn’t in our diet enough, I’d like to eat more of it!” At the same time, we had bought cooked beetroot the day before and I didn’t yet stick it into a beetroot brownie (I love doing that, a recipe will follow!). So I cooked some Bulgur along with oregano to give it more flavor, diced the beetroot into small cubes, sliced spring onions (onions make everything so much better, don’t you think?) to add some color and taste, roasted some nuts (because why the hell not), crumbled some feta over it and gave it a finish with a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil and lemon. Was it amazing? Absolutely. Was it quick? Very much so. Have I made this dish many times ever since? Take a guess.
hang on to those pumpkin seeds
It could be easy to roast a pumpkin and overlook its small green seeds that may seem inconspicuous but really, they deserve an applause of their own. Pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, are what the “super” in superfoods is made out of, I kid you not. Not only are they rich in omega-3 and -6 essential fatty acids, but also do they lower LDL cholesterol levels via phytosterols (plant-derived sterols). Pumpkin seeds are also good for prostate health and relieve menopausal symptoms. As if this wasn’t enough (yes, there’s even more), they have a positive impact on our skin and hair growth, offer vitamins and anti-inflammatory agents and are thought to have the potential of boosting mood and functioning as an anti-depressant. The latter occurs due to their tryptophan compound, which is an essential amino acid that is converted to serotonin in our body. There you go, plenty of excuses to add some more pumpkin seeds to your life!
let’s shine a light on bulgur too
Bulgur is a mix of wheat groats that are found in India, the Middle East and parts of Europe. Basically, it is cracked wheat that is parboiled, which means that it is partially cooked. Groats are whole wheat, meaning that they still possess their fiber-rich bran element as well as their cereal germ which contains essential nutrients such as vitamin E, folate, thiamin, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium and essential fatty acids (so always keep it whole-grain, folks!). Due to the fiber-compound in bulgur, it is great for digestive health (we all love a happy gut, right?). Bulgur is also low in fat and carbohydrates as 78% of it is water. But still, thanks to it being a whole-grain, bulgur contains manganese, magnesium, iron, zinc, niacin and vitamin B6 that contribute to stimulating growth and development, improving your blood circulation, preventing chronic diseases like cancer and boosting your immune system. A hymn to bulgur! On a last note, if you are sensitive to gluten, be aware that bulgur is a wheat-product and hence contains this (in your case) troublemaker. In case you need to avoid gluten in your diet, switch to ancient whole-grains such as quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice or amaranth, which you all use for this recipe!
Prep Time: 5 min
Cooking Time: 15 min
Total Time: 20 min
For this recipe you will need:
¾ cup bulgur
1 ½ cups water
1 tablespoon dried oregano
pinch of salt
1 beetroot, cooked
1 spring onion
a small handful of fresh mint
juice of 1/4 lemon
2 tsp pumpkin seed oil (you can use any other oil you like)
½ cup toasted nuts and seeds (I used cashews, almonds, sesame seeds & pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup crumbled feta
vegan option: smoked tofu
pepper to taste
- In a small pot, cover the bulgur with water, add the oregano and set to a boil. Once the temperature is hot enough and the bulgur is starting to absorb the liquid, lower the temperature a little and let it simmer. Just before the bulgur is cooked, you can turn off the heat and cover with a lid, it will finish cooking by itself. (this will take 12-15 minutes)
- While the bulgur is cooking, chop the beetroot into small cubes and finely slice the spring onion. Set both aside into separate bowls.
- In a hot frying pan, dry-roast the nuts and seeds for 1-2 minutes or until crunchy and golden-brown.
- Season the bulgur with salt to taste (though mind that the feta cheese will add saltiness) and place in two serving bowls.
- Top the bulgur with beetroot and spring onion and sprinkle the roasted nuts over it. If you are using feta cheese or smoked tofu, this is the moment to add them to this winning dish!
- Lastly, drizzle some good quality pumpkin seed oil or oil of your choice on top, along with some freshly juiced lemon (~ 1 tsp) and finely chopped fresh mint. Freshly grind some pepper over it all and give yourself a hug for cooking a great meal today!
- Congratulations, you just cooked one of your new favourite meals (I hope)!