Friday, January 6, 2012

Zucchini with Bulgur Wheat and Tomato Sauce

This week's meal-planning has largely been based around eating a large volume of vegetables with the random appearance of lean meat. My husband is wanting to eat a little healthier, and I have no problem cooking and eating vegetarian most nights. (I also have no problem with meat-centric meals, but we're just changing things up for a leaner diet this week.) 

So this meal was fantastic. It surprised us both. I love alternative grains to the typical rice or pasta served with meals, so I gave Bulgur Wheat a go. It was perfect! It reminds me of couscous with an al dente bite. 

I looked up how to cook bulgur, and found that a lot of people were eating it with parsley and cumin, so in addition to, I added garlic, tiny diced carrots, raisins, and lemon juice. I stuffed the zucchini with this lovely mixture, and topped it off hesitantly with tomato sauce. I wasn't sure how lemon juice tang would get along with tomato tang, but they thankfully cooperated, and even praised by Billy. 

The bulgur is a good substitute for the heartiness of beef, so if you are doing as us, a little less meat, or you happen to be a vegetarian altogether, then you'll love bulgur. Going into this meal slightly skeptical I didn't take any photos, so here again is an illustrated post, because it is totally worth it to share it with you!

Zucchini with Bulgur Wheat and Tomato Sauce
Time: 1 hr 15 min Serves: 4 - 6
Cook's Note: This recipe does have enough bulgur filling to make 10 or 12 zucchini halves. I only made 6 zucchini halves with this recipe and used the extra bulgur filling for a spinach salad the following night. So be warned that you will have extra filling if you follow this exact recipe (which I hope you like the bonus food just as much as I did!).

3 zucchini, washed
2 tbsp olive oil plus more for drizzling
1 1/2 cup bulgur wheat
2 1/2 cups boiling water
6 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 carrot, finely diced
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp cumin
1/4 tsp each salt, pepper
1, 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/8 tsp salt

How To:
1) Heat oven to 375ºF. Evenly distribute oil inside of a 9" x 13" glass dish. Prep zucchini by cutting each in half lengthwise. Scoop out inside with a melon baller or a small spoon. Scoop enough out so that they can be filled appropriately. Discard zucchini pulp. Place hollowed out zucchini inside of glass dish.

2) Pour the boiling water into a pot that is able to be lidded. Pour in the bulgur wheat into the hot water and stir well. Cover pot with lid and let set for about 30 minutes to absorb all of the water. Fluff with fork when finished.

3) Add parsley, garlic, carrot, raisins, lemon juice, cumin, salt, and pepper to pot with fluffed bulgur. Mix well. Spoon mixture into zucchini halves, creating a heaping filling.

4) Pour tomato sauce into a small pot over medium heat. Add rosemary and salt. Stir until bubbly. Turn off heat, and pour sauce over every zucchini. Drizzle zucchinis with olive oil.

5) Place dish in oven and cook for 30 - 45 minutes or until zucchini is tender.

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