Monday, November 1, 2010


Last year a friend gave me The Urban Vegan cookbook for my birthday. It was an unexpected and much appreciated gift, one which, along with many of our wedding gifts, I failed to write a thank you note for. So Walker, if you're reading this: Thank you very much for the cookbook, it has been wonderful. And for the set of spatulas you gave us for our wedding. They have been indispensable.

One of my favorite recipes from the book is for Bean and Bulgur Tacos. They are absolutely fantastic. According to wikipedia: Bulgur is cracked wheat grain (usually durum) that has been parboiled and dried. It is whole grain and very high in fiber. On this particular occasion there must have been a run on bulgur at Whole Foods (who can imagine?), because the bulk bin was completely empty. I was able to find cracked wheat though, which I bought since I didn't exactly have much of a choice and the ingredients were essentially the same. A little internet research later and I learned that cracked wheat is basically the raw version of bulgur. In the end I had to adjust my cooking time and add more liquid than usual, but the resulting tacos were just as delicious.

At the risk of plagiarizing, I'll just give an overview of the recipe. Basically simmer vegetable broth with onion, red bell pepper, jalapeno (or other hot pepper), cumin, salt, cayenne or chipotle spice, and bulgar in a covered pot until the onions and peppers and bulgar begin to soften. You want at least 2 parts liquid to 1 part bulgar. I usually find that I have to add more liquid to prevent the bulgar from sticking to the bottom. Add a can of drained and rinsed black beans and some chopped fresh cilantro and cook on medium heat until the liquid is absorbed.

Spoon the bean-bulgar mix onto tortillas and add whatever other toppings you like.

I added some dry sauteed mushrooms for extra nutrients and flavor

and topped it all off with spinach, fresh avocado and salsa.

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