Since beginning my cooking and baking adventures in college, one of my goals has been to cook more varied meals than the ones I’d grown up with, especially if it means increasing the nutritional value. I’m always interested in learning which foods I should consider incorporating into my diet, and I’ve been increasingly interested in finding more non-meat options to include in each meal. I found this dish after searching for recipes using bulgur wheat, which I’d recently learned is a great source of fiber and a nice substitute for white rice (barley being another favorite).
What I love most about it is that after you make it once or twice it really lends itself to spontaneous cooking; that is, you can put in what you like, leave out what you might not have on hand, and you’ll get the basics of it right each time. I’m glad to have the recipe on the blog now, but I’m even more glad that I can just pick up and make this in whatever way I am inspired on that particular day. What’s more, this dish tastes great on day two, which makes it perfect for lunch.
Herbed Bulgur-Lentil Pilaf
Adapted from Ellie Krieger’s recipe on foodnetwork
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (water will also work here, or veggie broth)
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
1 bell pepper (any color will do, though orange and yellow look especially lovely), seeded and diced
3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1. In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of broth with lentils to a boil. Boil for five minutes then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until lentils are tender, which is about 30 minutes (most of the liquid will have been absorbed/evaporated by then as well). Once the lentils are cooked you’ll want to drain any excess liquid, but meanwhile…
2. In another saucepan, bring 2 cups broth and your bulgur wheat to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until most of the liquid is gone and the wheat is tender, which will be in about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
3. Add lentils to the bulgur.
4. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onions until tender, about 5 minutes. Add peppers and cook until those are tender, about 5 more minutes, then add the onion-pepper mix to the bulger-lentil.s
5. Stir in parsley, basil, chives, lemon zest, juice, 1 Tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Delicious.