Monday Musings… Bulgur Citrus Salad


“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul”

3 John 2

I don’t know about you all, but I could use another Saturday in my weekend! I spent a full weekend of fun and work with family doing park clean up for Earth day, making a few new recipes to send brownies to my nephew who is finishing finals at college and on Sunday trying a few other recipes and sending attending a send off party to friends moving to Japan! Throw in a few well needed loads of laundry to be done, other household stuff, a run and such… yea a few more hours would work! Really though what would I do with those hours? Probably spend them doing more of the same!

Like I said I spent some time in the kitchen this weekend with new recipes and baking! I am not a baker, never have been, but I will give it a go for a good cause, and well my nephew Will is a good cause! The brownies were good, not so pretty, but not as gooey chocolate as I would like… a work in progress, so no not that recipe today! I also followed another recipe to make some beet chips which I was so excited about. In the process though of getting ready to go to Church on Saturday night and making them at the same time, I managed to burn most… another “baking fail” but the unburnt were good… not sharing that recipe till it is perfected either. Sunday and another challenge. A mean green soup recipe for athletes! It had all the components to entice me, spinach, broccoli, arugula, onion…. lacked major in the flavor field! Uuuuugggghhhh, am I really cut out for this stuff? I doctored it up some, and I will eat it because I know it’s good… but won’t be sharing that recipe anytime soon.

So what do I have for you today? Another Salad recipe, yes another salad recipe, well it really is considered a side dish. I mean it’s made with a grain and all! 🙂 This is what I am good at. Things that can be mixed up, cut up, redesigned and reinvented… well at least in my little head!

This dish comes from Physicians for responsible Medicine recipe of the week. It is a bulgur orange dish. What is bulgur you say, yea I have to look some of this stuff up too. Bulgur is a wheat. It is used in dishes that you might use rice or cous cous (that’s another days story). I didn’t have bulgur wheat, but I did have Farro, say WHAT?! Okay every time I say Farro, in my head I start singing the kids song Pharaoh, Pharaoh… I digress. I had never heard of this grain until my Mom had some when we were out one night. Pharaoh, may have eaten this little grain though! Farro is often used as a substitute for pasta or rice, Farro is a grain with a nutty flavor similar to brown rice. It is rich in fiber, magnesium and vitamins A, B, C, and E. Farro may seem to be little trendy, but it’s actually ancient. It was first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent, has been found in Egyptian tombs, and is believed to have sustained the Roman legions. Though Farro was appreciated because it grew well in many soils and also for its heartiness – it is very high in protein and nutrients – it was valued just as much by some cultures, the Italians in particular, for its flavor. It’s toothsome, wholesome, and full of big, nutty, grain flavor. And it’s especially healthy if it’s organic and wholegrain, It’s growing resurgence and is showing up in a lot of Italian dishes. It is not gluten-free, but it is very low in gluten, so unless you have celiac or are highly sensitive to gluten this is well tolerated for the average person and quite healthy.

Enough about the Farro! Let my people go!! Sorry, look up the song! On to the recipe. As always I will give you the original recipe so if you want to give it a go, by all means, but you know me! I hardly leave a recipe alone and the above paragraph shows that in how much I talked about the Farro I used instead. I also used fresh squeezed orange juice and clementines not in the first recipe. Since I add cayenne to about everything, it got added to this dish with much pleasure as it just seem to add a special zing to the sweet citrus of the orange. As with all recipes please read through and at the end you will find my changes! For all you people looking for that protein punch, as you can see there are black beans in this salad, and there is the protein in the Farro. If you still think you need more, serve this over some dark greens like kale finely chopped or some spinach! You won’t miss the meat!



Bulgur and Orange Salad


This wholesome salad is packed with fiber from its beans, grains, vegetables, and fruit.  Serve it as either a side dish or a complete meal.


Makes about 6 cups (6 servings)

1 cup dry bulgur 

1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate 

2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar 

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed, or 1 1/2 cups cooked beans 

2 green onions, thinly sliced 

1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped 

1 orange, peeled and chopped 

3/4 teaspoon salt 

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 cups boiling water (this is what will be used to go over the bulgur, omit if not using bulgur)


Place bulgur in a large bowl and mix with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add boiling water and stir just to mix, then cover and let stand until bulgur is tender, about 25 minutes. Cool completely.

When bulgur is cool, add orange, bell pepper, green onions, and beans.

In a separate bowl, mix vinegar, orange juice concentrate, cumin, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add to salad and toss to mix. If possible, chill before serving.

This salad is very flavorful the next day. Stored in a covered container in the refrigerator, leftover Bulgur and Orange Salad will keep for up to 3 days.

Per Serving (1 cup): 174 calories; 0.7 g fat; 0.1 g saturated fat; 3.5% calories from fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 7.5 g protein; 37 g carbohydrates; 6.9 g sugar; 8.2 g fiber; 473 mg sodium; 59 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 33.9 mg vitamin C; 258 mcg beta carotene; 0.3 mg vitamin E

Source: The Survivor’s Handbook: Eating Right for Cancer Survival by Neal D. Barnard. M.D., and Jennifer Reilly, R.D.


 MY NOTES: 4/16/13Made the salad but only half. Using Farro instead (cooked the Farro according to directions on package). Clementines replace oranges. Ume plum vinegar instead of rice vinegar. Little extra on vinegar and orange juice (I used fresh squeezed not concentrate). I of course felt like it needed a little extra spice so I added about ¼ teas of cayenne. This made a nice refreshing salad. I think you could use the same concept using other grains too, like quinoa. The Farro really gave it a little extra mouth feel of “chewiness/crunch” that I enjoyed.

So my friends I pray that this week finds you looking for ways to live life fully. As we were reminded last week, life can be fleeting, but most of us know that, we just don’t choose to live it out with that knowledge. Today my devotion led me to Psalm 37:3-7, after last week it was a comfort, I encourage you to read it, write it on your heart and run on in the race!




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