Monday, March 21, 2011
Meatless Mondays: Thai Bulgur Salad with Almond Dressing
It's been a few weeks since I've been able to do a Meatless Monday, and I have to say that I've missed it. It's not that I haven't been going meatless, at all, though. In fact, when trying to decide which recipe to blog about today, I realized that I had lots of meatless options to choose from!
In the end, though, I really wanted to talk about this Thai Bulgur Salad with Almond Dressing. This was my first time working with bulgur, and my first time eating it, too. It's quick-cooking, cracked wheat that pretty much behaves like barley or rice in a dish. It's surprisingly hearty and loaded with protein and fiber. The kind I purchased also had roasted soy chips, for an extra punch of soy protein. It's pretty tasy, and very versatile. I'm converted!
This salad is made up of a bunch of fresh veggies, the bulgur, and a tasty almond dressing that is sort of reminiscent of a peanut satay sauce. The secret ingredient is almond butter, another one of my new loves. If you like peanut butter, I recommend trying almond butter just for a change. It's got a very rich, almost sweet flavor, despite containing virtually no sugar. It's better for you than peanut butter; rich in antioxidants and monounsaturated fats, it's also good for your heart and can even aid in controlling your weight. You can get it in smooth or chunky, just like peanut butter. It's great on toast and fabulous in this dressing. I'm planning on baking it into some cookies in the near future!
The dressing also contains rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, honey, and sesame oil, and it is delicious. It was a truly satisfying meal, despite the fact that it was, well, a salad, and contained no meat. By adding protein in varied and unexpected ways, you really don't miss it. This one's a keeper; give it a try!
Thai Bulgur Salad with Almond Dressing
adapted from a Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication
makes 4 servings
1 cup water
1/2 cup bulgur
2 cups frozen edamame, thawed and shelled
1 cup sweet red bell pepper, cut into julienne strips (about 1 medium pepper)
1/2 cup diced carrot (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup chopped radish (about 7-8 radishes)
1/2 cup thinly sliced, quartered red onion
4 cups packaged fresh spinach leaves
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 Tbsp. natural almond butter
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Lime wedges, for garnish (optional)
1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water to boiling; stir in the uncooked bulgur. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes or until bulgur is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Drain if necessary; transfer to a large bowl.
2. While the bulgur is cooking, make the dressing. In a small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients (rice vinegar through garlic) and whisk thoroughly to combine. Set aside.
3. Add the edamame, bell pepper, carrot, radish, and red onion to the bulgur. Divide the spinach leaves among four shallow bowls. Top with bulgur mixture; drizzle with the almond dressing. If desired, garnish with lime wedges.