Saturday, May 2, 2009

Swiss Chard, Lentils, and Bulgur Wheat with Parsley and Garlic Yogurt Recipe

I headed to Florida last Saturday with my husband to celebrate my father's 73rd birthday and I needed to clean out my fridge. Because it was a twenty minute throw-together endeavor, I was reluctant to blog about this one, but, after a little reflection, I realized this might be exactly the type of food that might make hesitant cooks take to the kitchen. Though unsophisticated, this one pot meal is nutritious, simple to make, and inexpensive. It packs easily in a container to take for lunch, and reheats nicely for quick suppers. There are some middle-eastern flavors here, but you could spice this as you like, changing it to your whim. You might also add your choice of vegetables, and use kale, collards or mustard greens instead of the Swiss chard.

Swiss Chard, Lentils and Bulgur Wheat with Parsley, Garlic Yogurt

2 large shallots (or one medium onion), chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 carrot, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 heaping teaspoon ground cumin seed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 cups bulgur wheat
1 1/2 cups brown lentils
7 cups water
1 bunch swiss chard, cut into pieces (I use the stems, too, and saute them in the beginning, with the onions)
approximately 1 cup parsley (for the one pot meal, and for the yogurt sauce), chopped
1 1/2 cup (about) yogurt (I used goat milk yogurt)
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onions and the swiss chard stems (if using), and saute until soft, but not brown. Add the carrot, let it cook until a little soft, and then add 2 of the garlic cloves. Stir a couple of times, and then add the ground cumin seed. When the cumin is incorporated, add the tomato paste, and stir it around until it turns a darker red. Add the bulgur and the lentils, and combine the ingredients so that all the grains and lentils are covered in the tomato mixture. Pour in the water, and bring the mixture to a boil. Season with some salt (I used 1 teaspoon) and pepper. Add the chopped Swiss chard and stir to combine. Reduce the heat so the mixture is on a low simmer, cover, and let it cook until all the water is absorbed, about 35-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, add the other minced garlic clove (or less, if you are not a fan), and some of the parsley to the yogurt. Season, to taste, with salt. Set aside in a warm place (I leave it on the stove).

When the lentils and bulgur are done, stir in a handful of the fresh parsley and top with the garlic yogurt mixture.


foofwa d'Imobilité said...

yummy and speedy i can attest. perfect for when one needs to pack up easily a lunch that doesn't leave you neither heavy nor hungry!!! so you can dance, for instance, and not like a bear :-)