Garlic Bulgur with Brussels Sprouts and Tofu- Easy Bulgur Recipe
In recent years I’ve adopted what many call a “part time vegetarian” diet, which essentially means we are eating about half of our meals as vegetarian. This was no big deal for me as my entire life, being part of an Asian family, vegetables were featured prominently in every meal. Once I entered my 30s and focused more on healthy living, adopting the partial vegetarian diet was a natural step. I created this easy bulgur recipe after encountering other recipes resulting in too hard bulgur or worse yet, tasteless dishes.
For total vegetarians or those of us leaning towards that, flavor is everything. Here, as in with many of my recipes, I don’t hold back on ingredients like garlic and jalapeno, which punch up otherwise bland main ingredients such as the bulgur and tofu. This is great vegetarian comfort food, especially for giving our digestive system a break after holiday eating or when you need a general feel-good boost.
Serves 4 (as small portioned entrées, 3 as moderate sized, or 2 as large entrées)
1 cup uncooked bulgur, rinsed in cold water and drained
2 heaping cups Brussels sprout, ends trimmed and cut in quarters
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced
1 jalapeno, end trimmed, thinly sliced (optional)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 cups water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 heaping cups (~14 oz/390 grams) tofu cubed into bite sized pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
3/4 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
Garnish with dill, parsley or cilantro (optional)
Place garlic, ginger, jalapeno and olive oil in a medium sized pot. Sauté on medium high heat for about 1-2 minutes until fragrant and lightly browned.
Add the Brussels sprouts and sauté for another 1 minute. Add the bulgur, coconut milk, water and lemon juice, stirring gently to mix thoroughly. Bring to a boil then lower to medium low heat*, covering the pot, to simmer for approximately 20 – 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 25 minutes, the bulgur should have a nice tender bite to it, similar to al dente pasta.**
Keeping the heat on medium low, add the tofu, soy sauce, salt and pepper, folding everything together gently so as not to break the tofu cubes. Cover and allow to simmer again for another 5 minutes.
Garnish with your choice of herbs and serve immediately.
*Tip on heat: there are always variations in heat strength depending on a number of factors including gas versus electric, different stove brands, etc. For some of you, medium low heat may be too low and doesn’t result in a nice simmer while for others, you may have to go to just low heat. The key is to look at the bottom of your pot when you’re stirring the contents. Is it burning? If so, lower the heat. Is there no simmer at all? Then increase the heat.
**Tip on the bulgur: When you do the occasional stirring, look at the amount of liquid left. At the 10 minute mark, you should still see some amount of liquid around the bulgur and sprouts. If it looks completely dry, simply add 1/2 cup water and stir gently to mix.