Tonight’s dinner – had a side of grilled veggies and bulgur. This side dish is a really fast and easy side that packs in a good deal of nutrients. This side can also be served as a vegetarian main and can be eaten cold or hot. So double up and bring it to lunch the next day or a repeat dinner. It’s a little scorched on the edges, but still very tasty. A quick grill with olive oil and then after you combine the veggies and bulgur, give it a quick toss with some chopped fresh basil and a little bit of olive oil.
I have a grill grate that I place over the grill top because I worry that the vegetables will fall through. I sprayed the grate with a little oil first to make sure the veggies wouldn’t stick and I used a sweet onion along with some summer squash, and red peppers.
- 1 red pepper
- 1 sweet onion
- 1 small to med zucchini
- 1 similar sized yellow squash
- 1 cup dried bulgur cooked according to directions
- 2 tbs olive oil
- olive oil spray
Core, de-stem and slice pepper lengthwise. Slice onions into similar size. Slice zucchini down lengthwise into fourths, and divide into thirds so that you end up with rectangles of squash. Do the same with the yellow squash. Spray grill grate with oil, and also the vegetables. Sprinkle with dried basil, salt and pepper. Place on the grill and if you can flip – a couple of minutes on each side.
Cook the bulgur according to directions. Chop fresh basil up and toss in a serving bowl along with some olive oil, salt, pepper, the bulgur and the grilled veggies. That’s it, on the table in twenty minutes at the most.
We like grilled food, and grilling, but cooking a full meal every night can be time consuming and we are an easy prep/cook family. Most days I assign a person, and then that person tries to figure out a meal that won’t take up a lot of their time. Of course with my son it means Mac n cheese and hot dogs, plus something that’s not baked beans – because he doesn’t like them. If I can during the week I try to figure out something quick too. Grilling is great because not only does it taste good, but if you do it right, you get two meals out of one grilling.
We had a meal or I should say meals lately that were fantastically good, simple and yet clean tasting all at once. We grilled some salmon, and veggies, just brushed with olive oil, salt and pepper. Really simple. Then for dinner the next night, I chopped up the salmon and the veggies, added a cucumber, some dressing and then spooned it on top of a bed of bulgur. My son both nights, waved his hand over the food, and said, ” Mom, all of this is good.” My son who will be officially an adult next week (and tells me I legally have to provide him with shelter until then), hated a lot of food when he was a kid, but I never gave in to his whines and now he appreciates my cooking. My husband, daughter and I all loved it too. Cold grilled Salmon is really flavorful and delicious in a salad, but we often use chicken and make extra for the second night’s salad.
First night – Grilled Dinner - Prepare extra of everything – we want leftovers.
- Zucchini and Crookneck Squash (yellow squash) – peeled and sliced into finger length and about an inch think wedges.
- Onion – slice in half
- Asparagus – snap off bottoms
- Salmon Steaks
Brush all of it with Olive Oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill over low heat. You want the vegetables to soften, but not get mushy, the salmon needs to be just barely cooked on both sides – a few minutes on each side. When the salmon stops gripping the grill, it’s time to flip.
We also had grilled corn on the cob with this meal.
Leftovers should be placed in zipper bags, or a covered bowl.
Second night – Cold Grilled Salad
- Grilled Leftovers
- Cucumbers and any other salad vegetable you’d like to add.
- Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Cut all the grilled veggies into bite size pieces, including the salmon. Prepare bulgur according to package directions.
Place a heaping spoonful of bulgur on your plate and spoon the salad over top. Use dressing as desired – substitute your favorite dressing for the vinaigrette if you like. My mom eats fat free ranch on all of her salads, and my dad when he was alive ate blue cheese – if you have a favorite use that.
Grilling once, dining twice is also frugal way to go too, because you aren’t using propane or charcoal twice. There are also no fights over who was cooking dinner because it’s a quick prep and then right to the table. In fact – Grill once dine three times might be a good way to go also.Diana
Tonight’s dinner was inspired by a store bought frozen lunch I had today. It had beans, whole grain orzo, dried cranberries, spinach and a little bit of cheese. I enjoyed it quite a bit and thought I would use it as inspiration to create my own big bowl of whole grainy goodness. Even though the barley and quinoa stuck to his braces, my son thought it was delicious. My husband also liked it a lot too. I know my daughter would have enjoyed it, and that she would have grabbed the leftovers thrown salad dressing over top and had it cold for lunch the next day. One thing I would have changed would have been to add in more chard. I dug through the snow to find what chard I could from the raised beds in the garden. I found some small leaves, only about 7 or 8, but it was enough to give it a little color and flavor. I just wish I had more. It’s so cool to go dig through the snow for chard in the middle of winter, but your fingers get awfully cold and you have to be careful that they don’t stick to the door knob when you try to get back into the house. Maybe gloves would be a good idea. No gloves needed to eat it though, just a fork.
- 1/2 cup black quinoa
- 1/2 cup bulgur
- 1/2 cup orzo
- 1/2 cup barley
- 1/2 onion diced
- 1 celery stalk diced
- 1 bag dried cranberries and spiced apple (I think they were dole)
- 1 can garbanzo beans
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup Carr Valley Apple Smoked Cheddar diced
Cook the quinoa, bulgur, orzo and barley according to package directions using vegetable broth instead of water. I took turns with two different small pots on the stove. In a separate medium size pot, pour in the rest of the vegetable broth. Simmer the onions, and celery in a shallow amount of vegetable broth. When they start to become translucent, add in the rest of the broth, the cranberries and spiced apple, the beans and chopped up chard. Heat up and add in the grains, and the herbs and spices. If it seems too dry, add a little extra liquid (water) when heating. Serve in bowls and sprinkle the cubed cheese on top.
Note: To make it vegan, leave out the cheese.
The dried fruit gives it a fruity flavor, with the smoky cheese to help balance it out. The whole meal is delicious, and very quickly comes together.Diana
At the store today, they had bags of mini-peppers for sale. It was a specialty item in the fresh produce department. Funny thing, I’ve got mini-peppers that I picked right from my garden. I wanted the baby-peppers (I’m sure that specialty item will be out soon) to get a little bigger, so we picked most of what was left including the mini-size. I also had some mini-yellow squash in the garden, but I didn’t see any of those in the store. I could own that market. Stuffed Mini-peppers make a great side dish. The bulgur, along with squash, some fresh herbs from the garden, topped with pine nuts and feta, had a very earthy yet nutty flavor. This side is a keeper, but if you want it as a main dish, just upsize the ingredients with a full size pepper, squash, etc. My son even loved it.
- 4 or 5 mini peppers – more if you have enough bulgur
- 1 small mini-yellow squash diced small
- 1tbs onion diced small
- 1/2 cup bulgur
- herbs – parsley, thyme, sage – chopped
- 2 tsp pine nuts
- 2 tsp feta
- 2 cups chicken broth
Preheat oven to 400. Slice the top off the pepper, clean out the pith and the seeds. Dice onions and squash into small pieces. Place one cup of water in a pot, add the bulgur. Heat until boiling, then turn down to simmer for 15 minutes. Take off the heat and stir the diced veggies into the bulgur, cover. Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan until they start to smell nutty and brown a little. Chop up herbs and stir in2/3rds of the herbs with the bulgur mixture. Spoon the bulgur into the peppers and place into a glass pan or other pan, standing up. When all of the peppers are filled and sitting in the pan, take the pine nuts, the feta and the rest of the herbs and stir together in a bowl. Then spoon the herb/feta mixture on top of each of the peppers. Drizzle some of the chicken broth over the peppers and pour the rest into the bottom of the pan. Cover and cook until the peppers are almost at the consistency that you like – I like mine a little on the crunchy side. Take the cover off and cook until it’s done.Diana
I try to get grains into my diet, bulgur is a new one for me. Bulgur is lower in calories, has a lower glycemic indicator and is higher in fiber than brown rice. Let me tell you, bulgur is also a very delicious nutty tasting grain. I used some herbs from my garden, some sesame seeds – because I like them, and shallot. I had some spaghetti squash I bought at a nearby farm market and decided it would be wonderful to add in. So this dish is very much a salad. It can be eaten warm as we did with our bison roast, or cold the next day, which I also tried. You can find bulgur in the natural foods or organic section of the store. If you haven’t tried bulgur, you should think about adding it to your pantry because it is a healthy ingredient to work into your menu.
I enjoy spaghetti squash, but I know it got it’s name because of it’s look. I’ve seen articles about spaghetti squash that want you to use it as a substitute for spaghetti, but that’s not how I like it. To prepare the spaghetti squash you slice it in half, scoop out the seeds, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle some herbs – basil, thyme and parsley. Place the squash face down on a pan and cook until soft. Then run a fork through the squash meat, and scoop out spaghetti like strands of squash.
- 1 cup bulgur
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 spaghetti squash – prepared as described above
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 2 tbs sesame oil
- 1 lemon
- bunch of lemon grass
- bunch of lemon basil
- bunch of parsley
Place 1 cup of bulgur into a pot with two cups of boiling water. Set aside for a half hour, drain. While this is happening, also prepare and cook spaghetti squash. Then scoop out the spaghetti squash with a fork and put with bulgur.
In a skillet, toast sesame in oil. Then add in shallot and sauté. Throw in juice of one lemon and the herbs. Stir together. Throw the bulgur and the squash in the pan to combine with the rest of the ingredients and heat through.