One day I’ll present finished products on delicate porcelain platters, snapping photos with a Nikon SLR and brainstorming a laundry list of the finest ingredients for my next dish. But for now, my iPhone does the trick, my friends do the tasting, and my dishes depend upon what I have in the pantry.
With a big bag of bulgur wheat and the remaining ingredients from last week’s posts, I went searching for bulgur inspiration. My Pinterest feed was buzzing with recipes for stuffed eggplant, zucchini, and peppers. Knowing I would only need two new ingredients from the store to make it happen, I set out to create stuffed zucchini and yellow squash. Omit the cheese and you have a delicious vegan dish, add chopped shrimp or chickpeas and voila–a protein rich meal. Enjoy!
*Note: I had about 2 cups of the bulgur and vegetable mix leftover. But it was so delicious, I would advise you to make the same amount!
3 large zucchini (I swapped a zucchini for a yellow squash for color)
1 cup of bulgur wheat
2 cups of water
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
4-6 oz of Baby Bella mushrooms (or white button mushrooms, or another mushroom of your choice)
Salt, pepper, olive oil
Optional mix-ins: I added a 1/2 cup of frozen white corn, 1/2 cup of halved cherry tomatoes, 8 small shrimp (chopped), a tablespoon of goat cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a pot, add diced onion, garlic, and a drop of olive oil. Saute over medium heat for roughly five minutes or until the onions have begun to yellow. Add in two cups of water and a cup of bulgur wheat, stir, and turn up heat until the water begins to boil. Once boiling, turn down heat to medium and cover. Allow to simmer for ten minutes.
While bulgur is simmering, slice zucchini lengthwise. Use a spoon or melon scoop to carve the zucchini through the middle, scooping out seeds and flesh until the vegetable resembles a canoe. Do not dispose of the insides (that’s some good stuff)! Set the guts aside to add to the saute pan. Set zucchini canoes aside.
Remove bulgur wheat from heat and add salt, pepper, and any other spices (I added crushed red pepper and paprika).
Add the mushrooms, zucchini guts, and any other mix-ins to a saute pan and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
Once cooked, mix into the bulgur wheat (there should be some juice in the saute pan from the vegetables–add this in as well for flavor). Give it a taste–if it needs more flavor, add a bit more salt and pepper. I stirred in a tablespoon of goat cheese for creaminess.
Line a baking pan and lay out the zucchini halves side by side. Using a spoon, fill each zucchini with the bulgur mixture. I topped my boats with some shaved Pecorino Romano cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the zucchini flesh has softened. The bulgur mixture will begin to crisp on top. Serve up plain or with a dollop of nonfat plain Greek yogurt mixed with a teaspoon of Sriracha sauce.