Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Bulgar Wheat Stir-Fry Veg with Tahini Honey Dressing

Hi hungry readers, I can't believe how quickly the last two weeks have flown since I last posted. There is so much going on in life, on top of which is the amount of work I need to catch up on for The Library Project. I did go on a coffee shop tour the other week with two other trustees, in which we visited a couple of really great coffee shops, including The Old Library in Caerphilly, a fantastic library refurb in which a local couple had turned a derelict old library space into a community coffee shop. The size of the space was considerably smaller than the space we have to work with, but it was decorated really well, with wallpaper imitating bookcases full of books, and book and library orientated paraphernalia. Oh, and the coffee was really fantastic. I would highly recommend paying a visit if you're in the area. It caters fantastically for children, with a dedicated childrens' area, and the building is literally set on the edge of a park adjacent to a playground. The very kind Angela spent quite a bit of time with us, showing us around and giving us recommendations regarding kitchen equipment and serving coffee. We also visited Baglan Community Church which is a huge church centre which incorporates a coffee shop, and again, the very kind owners showed us around and gave us copious advice. We certainly have a lot to think about!

So the recipe I'm sharing with you today is nice and simple. It's one of my own, although it's so unbelievably simple anyone could come up with it. It's inspired by a lot of the books and blogs I've been reading lately, as well as by Hugh F-W (of whom I'm a great fan, which you'll know if you've been reading for a while) through his eye-opening programme, Hugh's War on Waste, shown on BBC One. I have so much to say about that programme (you can check out my Facebook page for a bit more information) but I've been really trying to use up excess food and not throw away so much. I've put together some delicious lunches in the last couple of weeks, made entirely of fridge and storecupboard finds, and I've felt so much healthier in the day time, having consumed far less bread!

You can swap the veggies I've used in this recipe for whatever you happen to have in your fridge really, though it will obviously work best with those that are crunchier. Here are the ingredients I used though, and it's really tasty! These amounts are for one adult and two small children.

130g bulgar wheat
500ml veg stock from a cube
One red onion
Chestnut mushrooms
Cherry tomatoes
2tbsp coconut oil

Dressing ingredients
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil

I haven't given amounts for the mushrooms, brocolli and leeks because you can basically use as much as you fancy. If you wanted to make this meal for two adults, I would use 150g bulgar wheat and increase the amount of stock according to the packet instructions.


First, prepare the mushrooms, red onion and leeks. Peel the mushrooms then slice. Slice the onion and leek.

Boil the kettle and make the stock for the bulgar wheat. Add the coconut oil to a heavy-based frying pan whilst you are waiting for the kettle to boil, and set the hob to a medium heat. Once the stock is made, pour it over the bulgar wheat in a saucepan and add to the hob with the frying pan.

Bring the bulgar wheat to the boil then turn down to a low-to-medium simmer and time for 15 minutes (keep an eye on it from around ten minutes though, you don't want it to go soggy, so if it feels like it's nearly absorbed enough liquid by then, just remove the lid and turn up the heat so the remaining liquid boils off, being careful not to burn the bulgar).

Add the chopped veg to the melted coconut oil in the frying pan. Allow to soften and gently colour to golden for about ten minutes.

While the bulgar wheat and veggies are on the hob, prepare the brocolli and cherry tomatoes. Simply chop the tomatoes in half and make the brocolli florets bite-sized. I obviously didn't use a whole brocolli for myself and two little ones!

When the mushrooms, onion and leeks have softened and are looking really tasty, add the brocolli and tomatoes to the pan, making sure you put the tomatoes cut-side down for the first couple of minutes to get the juices out and get some caramelisation going on. They only need a few minutes, as you want to retain the crunchiness of the brocolli (I despise squishy broc, unlike my parents!). Don't forget to season.

 Check the bulgar wheat at this point. It will look like this when ready, with little sink holes all over the surface.

While the things on the hob are finishing off, make the dressing. This couldn't be easier; just put all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and mix together.

Once everything is ready, you can dish up.

Begin with a serving of bulgar wheat, then top with the veggies and finish with a generous swirl of dressing.

This is a really great recipe to adapt if you are looking in the cupboards for a meal to rustle up. You can swap the bulgar wheat for rice (preferably brown) or wholemeal pasta, couscous or quinoa. As I said previously, the veggies are also totally open to experimentation. I must say though, I do love the sweetness the caramelised tomatoes bring to the dish. So really this recipe is an enabling recipe. It's a basis from which you can create something of your own. Or you can follow this to the letter if you like! Be inspired to try something different in your kitchen today and have a good rummage in your kitchen cupboards and fridge. Feel free to share your creations on the facebook page, or post a link to your own blog in the comments.

Thanks so much for reading :-)

xxx Sam

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