Bulgur Wheat Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette

Today I’m sharing a colorful, light, healthy salad/side dish that’s loaded with great textures and good-for-you ingredients.  It doesn’t contain heavy mayonnaise, so it’s ideal for outdoor BBQs, picnics, cook-outs, and other warm-weather functions.

If you’ve never eaten bulgur wheat (cracked wheat), I highly recommend that you try it.  It has a great, chewy bite and significant nutritional benefits; in comparison to rice, bulgur wheat contains double the amount of fiber and quadruple the amount of folate.  Both grains offer protein and calcium.

Bulgur wheat is probably most heard of in the traditional, palate-cleansing Lebanese dish, tabbouleh, that contains cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, mint, lemon juice, and olive oil.  American versions of this salad sometimes include garlic, which pretty much defeats its purpose of freshening breath between meal courses.

This salad is low in calories and fat but full of delicious flavors and textures, thanks to chewy grains and dried fruits, crunchy almonds, and zesty red onions and scallions.  The light dressing accents the salad without overpowering it.

Bulgur Wheat Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette

Bulgur Wheat Salad with Shallot Dressing

Ingredients

1 cup bulgur wheat
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock

1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
2 scallions (green parts, chopped)
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup kale, chopped or julienned
1/2 cup almonds, chopped

Shallot Vinaigrette:
1 Tbs. white wine vinegar
1 Tbs.  shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

In a small jar with a screw-on lid, add vinaigrette contents and shake vigorously to incorporate ingredients.

Bring chicken stock to a boil and stir in bulgur wheat.  Reduce heat to LOW, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and add to remaining salad ingredients.  Add dressing and toss; add salt & pepper to taste.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow flavors to combine.

Bulgur Wheat Salad with Shallot Vinaigrette

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