January 31, 2013

Bulgur Vegetable Chili

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Have you ever cooked with bulgur? I bought it on a whim recently while strolling through the grocery store. It caught my eye because I've never cooked with it (let alone even tasted it) so I was excited and curious to try it out. Upon doing a little research, I found that bulgur is a cereal food made from many different wheat species, and can be used to substitute rice or couscous. I went looking for recipe ideas and found a vegan chili from Naturally Ella. I used that as a guideline and couldn't resist tossing in a few more veggies. It's worth noting that I bought quick-cooking bulgur, cutting the cooking time way down (about 10-15 minutes instead of 45). If you have regular bulgur, you'll need to let it simmer longer. Let me tell you... my first bulgur-cooking experience was a huge success! I found it to be a wonderful substitute for the meat you'd find in traditional chili - it really thickened it up and made it hearty. It was so delicious I kept going back throughout the day to get more.


Vegan, gluten-free (if you replace bulgur with quinoa, rice, etc.)
Adapted from Naturally Ella

Ingredients
1 green pepper
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1 zucchini
1 carrot
1 1/2 cups corn (I used frozen)
8 oz. cherry tomatoes
15 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2/3 cup bulgur (or 1/2 cup for less thick)
15 oz. can tomato sauce (1 1/2 cups)
3 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (more for a bigger kick)

Directions
Prep veggies: dice onion, bell pepper, carrot, zucchini, mince garlic, and halve tomatoes.
In a stockpot over medium-high heat, sauté onion, bell pepper, carrot, zucchini, and garlic for about 7-8 minutes.
Add corn, tomatoes, and spices. Sauté another 3 minutes.
Add 3 cups broth, tomato sauce, bulgur, and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until bulgur is cooked. (Or about 45 minutes if using regular bulgur.)
It will become very thick as the bulgur absorbs the liquid, and even more after sitting a bit. Add more broth/water to thin it out if desired.

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22 comments:

  1. wow i love how hearty it looks! i bet its tastes amazing

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    1. Very hearty and flavorful! Hope you get a chance to try it!

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  2. Yum! Looks perfect for a cold day like today! :)

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    1. Oh it was! Instead of venturing outside, I stayed in and got this going on the stove. Greatest decision I could've made ;)

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  3. Yum! I haven't seen quick-cooking bulgur before, but I'm definitely going to look for it at TJ's next time I go.

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    1. Hi Katie! Hope you find some at your TJ's - mildly obsessed with that store :)

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  4. I love bulgur! I actually prefer the coarse kind but still have some of the fine grain stuff I need to use up. It is a neat way to get that ground meat texture in chili.

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    1. Hi Janet! I will most definitely have to try the coarse kind the next time! So exciting finding new foods to work into the rotation :)

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  5. Bulgur is one of my favorite grains--it's so hearty and I just feel good when I eat it. :) It's definitely chili weather here, so I'm going to have to put this on my make soon list!

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    1. Hope you enjoy it Kiersten!! I can't believe it took me this long to try bulgur - SO good!

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  6. This chili looks gorgeous. There's nothing like a wholesome chili to warm you up when it's cold outside! Thank you so much for sharing this week Healthy Vegan Fridays: http://www.greenthickies.com/healthy-vegan-friday-29
    Have a great weekend and I hope to see you back today, Katherine :)

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    1. Hey Katherine! Thanks, it was great to be able to share :)

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  7. This was absolutely delicious, the kids & I all loved it - thank-you for sharing!

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    1. Wonderful! So great to hear you all enjoyed it. Thanks for letting me know!

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  8. I made this last night & it was a huge hit. Thank you so much. I had never even noticed the cute little bags of quick cook bulgur, barley and farro at TJ's before you mentioned it! Great find. I will def. be making this chili again!

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    1. That's awesome, glad you found a keeper recipe! TJ's always has so many great finds it's nearly impossible to find them all :) I'm so in love with that store. Thanks for coming back to let me know you liked the chili!

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    2. Found your site through Pinterest! What on earth were we doing with our lives before Pinterest?! Haha!

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    3. Haha I constantly wonder the same thing! It's amazing we were able to get by ;)

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  9. So happy to have discovered your blog today (also via Pinterest I believe). I presume this particular recipe would probably freeze well?

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    1. Hi there! Great to hear from you and so happy to have you here! I've never tried freezing this recipe, but I bet it would work awesome as a freezer meal. I love this chili so much I think I'll do a double batch next time and freeze half - thanks for the idea :)

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