Bulghur Wheat is a wholewheat grain made from durum wheat that has been cracked open and precooked partially. Bulgur is very commonly consumed in European, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine.
As a wholegrain, bulgur wheat is naturally high in fibre and is a low fat, low calorie vegetarian and vegan food ingredient. It is not suitable for those on a gluten-free diet. Using bulgur wheat in a simple mediterranean salad is a great way to fill up with wholegrain and vegetables.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
1 cup cooked bulgur wheat (roughly 75 gm uncooked )
1/2 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup yellow capsicum
8 olives, sliced
10 cherry tomatoes, sliced
6-8 baby spinach leaves
12 cubes of feta cheese
Salt & Pepper to season
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1) Prepare the bulgur as stated in the box. It is usually quite simple - empty 75gm of the uncooked bulgur into a bowl. Pour around 100ml boiling water and leave it for around 10-15 mins. Season with salt, pepper and red wine vinegar and fluff it up with a fork.
2) Get all the other ingredients ready.
3) Arrange them in a systematic way and serve. Told ya it was a simple salad!
We all love hummus at home. Hummus - the creamy protein-packed paste that is made primarily from mashed chickpeas which can be used as a dip or a spread.
History of the Humble Hummus
According to ancient scriptures, it was first consumed in Egypt around the 13th century but it was very different from what we having today. Early Egyptians omitted tahini and garlic and used pickled lemons, herbs, spices and other nuts instead. It was only during the 16th century that the Mediterraneans started consuming the way we do today. It is so popular all over the world and its not surprising that restaurants have sprung up recently dedicating their menu to this humble but highly nutritious dip/spread - namely Hummus Grill in Philadelphia, Hummus Cafe in Seattle and many more.
Hummus Health Benefits
Hummus, with its protein rich chickpeas, highly wholesome EVOO, raw garlic and calcium rich sesame seeds in its tahini, is packed with many health benefits. It
Basic hummus consists of chickpeas, tahini (which is essentially ground roasrted sesame seeds), olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and salt. I wanted to make a version with cilantro (coriander) to see how it would turn out. I used only 1/2 cup which gave a faint green shade to the hummus and a hint of cilantro flavor. I believe it will be even more delicious with a full cup.
Ingredients (yields 2 cups)
1 can of garbanzo beans (15 oz)
2 tbsp tahini
3/4 cup EVOO
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove
1 cup cilantro leaves and stems, chopped
Salt per preference
3-4 tbsps water
Extra EVOO, cilantro leaves and a dash cayenne pepper for prettying it up
1) Put everything into a food processor and blend. Please don't make the mistake of putting the ingredients into a blender, like I did. It took a long time to blend it to a smooth paste. Only use a food processor.
2) Remove from food processor, pour it into a shallow serving bowl with a coloured interior for that extra impact. Swirl EVOO, add a dash of cayenne and place the coriander leave in the center.
Serve with your fav dip chips or on your wrap as a spread. It's really delicious. You won't regret trying out this super easy recipe.
Spanish Omelette is the English name for a traditional Spanish dish called Tortilla Espanola or Tortilla de Patatas. It is basically an omelette using eggs, potatoes, onions/chives and garlic.
According to legend, Spanish Omelette was created when during the siege of Bilbao in the Spanish Civil War in 1937, General Tomas de Zumalacarregui was in the field and happened to come across a farmhouse and demanded a meal from the farmwife. All she had were a few eggs, potatoes and onions, so she combined all three, making an omelette (necessity is the basis for most inventions/creations, isn't it?). Surprisingly, General Zumalacarregui was pleased and took the recipe idea with him.
Omelettes are one of the most easiest quickest meals to prepare. You can throw in any ingredients you like with basic seasonings and pour in your beaten eggs, and you have a nutritious protein-rich meal. In this post, I made an omelette using only egg-whites as I am very put off by the strong egg smell and taste of the eggs in Singapore.
I didn't have whole egg objections while living in America, but I do in Singapore. My husband Anand says it is because of the chicken feed. I thought I was the odd one feeling this way but apparently a friend and fellow Book Club member Anu feels the same way about Singapore eggs too. She said she could eat eggs in India but she can't here because of its egginess. I believe vegetarians build up a strong sense of smell over time so that they can tell the difference between non-veg and veg.
I have used potatoes with skin for fibre and for still keeping the nutrition under its skin and since I only had basil leaves, instead of chives, I had to make do with them.
Ingredients (for a 9 inch omelette)
5 tbsps olive oil
6 eggs, egg yolks discarded
1 large yellow onion, sliced thinly
2 medium potatoes, sliced thinly with or without skin
6-8 big Basil Leaves (or 12 small) and extra for garnish
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 tsp Chilli flakes and extra for garnish
Salt & Pepper
1) Heat the EVOO and fry the sliced yellow onion for 3-5 minutes on medium heat.
2) Add the sliced potatoes, basil leaves, sliced red capsicum, salt and pepper.
3) Let the vegetables cook for 15 mins on medium heat, stirring often so that the potatoes don't stick.
4) Season the egg whites with salt and pepper and beat very well till fluffy. Then, pour in the egg whites into the pan. Add in the halved cherry tomatoes, cut side up, and submerge them in the egg whites so they don't fall out when you flip the cooked omelette later.
5) Cover and cook on low heat for 5-10 mins.
6) When the sides are crisp and omelette moves on the pan when you tilt it, the bottom is cooked.
7) Flip over using a wide spatula and cook for another 3-5 mins.
8) Garnish with chilli flakes and more basil leaves. Cut into 4 big quarters or 8 medium wedges.
9) Enjoy your Spanish Egg-White Omelette on its own or with your favourite breakfast accompaniments.
Hummus is of Egyptian and Levantine in origin. But this simple mix of pureed sesame seeds and chickpeas has been devoured all over North Africa, Middle East and the Mediterranean for centuries. It makes a delicious dip, no doubt. I haven't made Hummus for a long time - I wondered why. It is quite tasty and so easy to prepare. I had it with wholewheat flatbreads called chapathis, and it made quite a nice snack.
I remember having Hummus with baked pita chips in Philadelphia when we had visited one of my husband's colleague Gaurav and his wife in 2014. We drove from Bluebell where we lived to Philadelphia which was just an hour away. Philly is a vibrant happening city, if you look past the dark alleys and certain unappealing areas.
The recipe below is for a basic Simple Hummus. You can also add coriander leaves to get Coriander Hummus or grilled Red pepper to get Red Pepper Hummus.
Ingredients (yields 2 cups )
1 can of chickpeans (15 oz)
1/2 cup of roasted white sesame seeds ( or 2 tbsps Tahini)
1 small clove of garlic
2/3 cup EVOO
2 tbsps lemon juice
1/4 tsp cumin powder
2-4 tbsps water (if needed to make the paste smoother)
2 tbsps olive oil
A dash of paprika
2 olives and a small sprig of coriander leaves
1)First, grind the sesame seeds into a paste.This is essentially the Tahini. This ought to yield 2 tbsps.
2) Then, put all the other ingredients and the tahini into a food processor and process untill the whole mixture forms a light brown thick paste. DO NOT use a blender as it takes forever to grind and you'll find yourself adding more and more EVOO or water to grind to a smooth paste.
3) Serve in a small bowl, garnished with swirls of EVOO and a dash of paprika nd the olives and coriander leaves.
4) Enjoy it as a dip for vegs, pita chips and more!