Saturday, January 22, 2011

Great Grains at the Co-Op

As frequent patrons of the The Mountain People's Co-Op have likely noted, our store boasts a full aisle of bulk grains, flours, rice, spices, and more. While you may be used to filling up a bag of rice, or picking up a pouch of curry powder, it's always fun to explore the grains and flours that may not be as common in your household.

Take bulgur, for instance. This fantastic grain cooks up fairly quickly and pairs beautifully with a variety of veggies, seasonings, nuts, and homemade dressings. As an added bonus, it's also a great source of fiber and vegetable protein.

So this week, as you peruse the bulk 'grains and spices' aisle at the Co-Op, try exploring some of the many healthy options you may never have tried before (Adding spelt flour to your pumpkin muffins? Or using quinoa as a bean burger base?)

Or, simply start with bulgur. This simple recipe for a vegan bulgur salad (pictured above) is crunchy, filling, and just plain scrumptious.

Bulgur-Apple-Almond Salad

  • 1 cup uncooked bulgur
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 2 cups chopped apple
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (or more, to taste)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds, toasted (to toast, place chopped almonds on a dry skillet over low-medium heat. Toast, tossing occasionally, until fragrant and lightly browned--about 3 - 5 minutes)
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • ground black pepper to taste
1) Bring broth to a boil in a small sauce pan. Stir in bulgur, remove from heat, cover, and allow to sit until liquid is absorbed (about 30 minutes).

2) In the meantime, whisk the honey, lemon juice, salt, and olive oil together in a small bowl.

3) When the bulgur is ready, combine it with the apples, celery, almonds, and cranberries in a large bowl. Pour dressing over the mixture and stir until well-combined.