If you’re looking eat less white rice, look no further. Bulgur wheat is a fantastic substitute to white rice. Bulgur is a quick-cooking whole wheat that has been cracked, cleaned, partially boiled then dried. It is then ground and sifted into various sizes such as fine, medium, coarse and extra-coarse. Bulgur is rich in dietary fiber, more so than white rice. It also contains more protein and has higher levels of vitamins and minerals than white rice. And unlike brown rice, which is most commonly suggested as a white rice substitute, bulgur wheat cooks up quickly. Bulgur wheat, depending on the coarseness of the grain, can be ready to eat in as little as 6 minutes, whereas brown rice can take up 45 minutes to cook. The vitamin B, iron-rich grain is not only great white rice option, but it’s also a time saver!
Bulgur wheat lends its light, nutty flavor to this dish, which has a sweet paprika-infused lemony dressing that coats the bulgur and rich, full-flavored kidney beans. Green onion and parsley offer up their fresh flavors as well as contrasting color to the salad.
Bulgur Wheat & Kidney Bean Salad
- 1 ½ cups coarse grain bulgur wheat
- 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt, plus extra for seasoning
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika, or sweet Hungarian paprika (not smoked or spicy paprika)
- ¼ olive oil
- 6 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- 14 ounce can kidney beans, (light or dark) drained and rinsed
- ½ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- ¾ cup scallions, white and green parts, chopped
- In a medium saucepan bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Once the water has come to a boil add the bulgur wheat. Reduced heat to medium and allow water to return to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and cover. Allow the wheat to steam for 5-10 minutes (depending on how coarse your bulgur wheat is) or until tender yet toothsome.
- Drain the excess water and place the wheat into a large mixing bowl. Next, add the sea salt, pepper, paprika, olive oil, and lemon juice and stir to combine ingredients. Set aside and allow the wheat to cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
- Once the wheat has cooled to room temperature, add the beans, parsley and scallions. Stir to combine ingredients and refrigerate for approximately 2 hours. The flavors develop the longer it sits. Check for seasonings. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Note: Make sure to use sweet rather than spicy or smoked paprika. Also, when serving, be sure to toss the salad with your serving spoon, as the paprika stained dressing may settle to the bottom of your serving bowl.