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Lentil & Bulgur Bowl

Updated: Feb 20



Turning Fiber into 5 Flavorful Balanced Dinner Recipes

Recipe #1: Lentil & Bulgur Bowl


The reason behind this series: 95% of Americans do not obtain the recommended dietary amount for fiber, which is at least 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. Fiber is an essential nutrient that is found in most plant-based foods like grains, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruits. They are key for proper brain health, heart health, and most importantly digestive (gut) health. Increasing your fiber intake daily is going to improve your daily life in so many ways. Studies show that with an increased fiber intake, the healthier our gut bacteria is, which is linked to an increase in our serotonin (happy hormone) levels. So, fiber basically makes us happier and better humans!


The first recipe in my "Turning Fiber into 5 Flavorful Balanced Dinner Recipes" series is my Lentil & Bulgur Bowl. This is my spin on the popular Syrian dish Mujadara, because it's one of the most fiber-dense recipes I know. So, I wanted to include it into this series in a fun way for you to incorporate into your daily routine. I'd like to make a point that just because you may have never cooked with a certain grain or veggie, doesn't mean you can't! Obtaining that optimal health and well being means you're up to trying out new foods and flavors. The more plants we can get into our bodies, the more diverse our gut microbiome will be, aka the healthier we will be.


If you don't know what Mujadara is, it is simply a grain bowl made of lentils, bulgur, and onions. It’s the meal of the poor because it only consists of 3 ingredients. Yet, even though it’s considered a “poor” meal, the poor in the Syria were usually considered the healthiest because they lived off their own produce and ate MANY healthy grains like bulgur wheat. Bulgur is the hidden gem of the Middle East. It contains 30% of our dietary fiber, it’s the lowest in calories of any other grains, promotes heart health, and promotes the growth of healthy gut bacteria!


You can now see why I had to make this the first recipe of this series. So added to the mujadara is toasted kale, pickled onions, and a delicious tahini dressing to tie it all together. Not only do the kale and pickled onions taste incredible with the lentils and bulgur, but they are other sources of fiber that you may not have realized are sources of fiber.


You're going to love how flavorful this recipe is and also love how meal-prep-friendly it is too. Some say that mujadara tastes better the next couple of days and I have to agree. Let's get to the recipe!


Yields: 2 people

Portion: 1 bowl (¼ of mujadara made)


Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes


This recipe is dairy free and vegan.

 

Ingredients:


Mujaddara

½ cup of lentils

½ tbsp salt

1 cup of bulgur


Marinated Sumac Onions

1 large red onion, thinly sliced

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ tbsp sumac (you can add more if you like)

¼ tsp Aleppo pepper

¼ tsp salt (salt to taste if needed)


Kale

2 cups shredded kale

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt

 

Tahini dressing

3 tbsp tahini

Juice of ½ lemon

Salt

Water

 

Instructions:


1. Prep mujaddara: in a medium-sized pot, add lentils and fill the pot halfway with water. Add salt. Cook on medium heat for 10-12 minutes until the lentils are softer but not TOO soft because they still need to cook with the bulgur. Remove any brown residue that surfaces (that’s dirt from the lentils).


2. Prep onions: while the lentils are cooking, prep the onions. Prep and place the thin strips of red onion into a serving bowl of choice. Add the olive oil, sumac, Aleppo pepper, and salt to the onions. Toss and allow onions to be coated evenly. Allow onions to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before adding to food (you also don't have to if you're in a rush).


3. Toast kale: have the oven preheated to 400. Add kale to a baking sheet and toss with olive oil and salt to taste. Massage the kale and bake in the oven until crispy, no more than 10 minutes.


4. Check on mujadara: add the bulgur to lentils and add water half way and cook for 10 minutes. To know if the mujadara is done cooking, there will be no more water left - it won't be dried up but there will be no more water. Now, turn the stove to low heat. Set aside once done cooking to allow it to fluff.


5. Make dressing: add tahini, lemon juice, and salt into a mixing bowl and whisk. Dilute with water to obtain a somewhat thin consistency, but not watery consistency.


6. Serve: to a serving bowl of choice, add 3 heapings of the mujadara. Top with kale and onion to your liking (or as seen in the picture), and pour on 1-2 tbsp of tahini dressing. Enjoy!


xoxo,



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