A well balanced diet should not be one devoid of all grains. Ditch the white carbs, but make whole grain foods the base of your well balanced diet. They should supply about 45-65% of your daily caloric intake. After all, carbohydrates are our body’s main energy source.

 

 

Bulgur is a Healthy Addition to a Well Balanced Diet

 

 

Bulgur makes a healthy and quick addition to a well balanced diet because it’s 100 percent whole wheat that’s specially prepared to decrease cooking time. It’s a good source of fiber, protein, iron and vitamin B-6. Eating whole-grain foods, including bulgur, may lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.

 

The texture of the bulgur gives the impression that there’s meat in this hearty stew. Bulgur is a processed form of cracked wheat, but with a more pronounced flavor. The whole-wheat kernels are steam-cooked and dried, and then the grain is cracked into three different granulations.

 

Traditionally, the coarsest bulgur is used for pilaf. Medium-grained is used for cereals and the finest, for tabbouleh. Bulgur requires less cooking time than cracked wheat. It can also be “cooked” by soaking, without heat.

 

This healthy addition to a balanced diet is also a good source of beta carotene, fiber, folate, magnesium, niacin, potassium, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc.

 

Here’s a good recipe for a well balanced diet:

 

Tex-Mex Butternut Stew

 

 

Ingredients (4 servings)

• ½ cup bulgur
• 1 cup boiling water
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 large onion, cut into ½-inch chunks
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 red bell peppers, cut into ½-inch squares
• 1 pound butternut squash or sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
• 1 tablespoon chili powder
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1¾ cups cooked chickpeas or canned (rinsed and drained)
• 1 can (14½ ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes

 

Directions

 

1. In a small heatproof bowl, combine the bulgur and boiling water. Set aside to soak while you prepare the rest of the stew.

2. In a nonstick Dutch oven or large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring, until the onion is soft, about 7 minutes.

3. Add the bell peppers and cook, stirring, until the peppers are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

4. Add the butternut squash and cook, stirring, until the squash begins to soften, about 4 minutes.

5. Add the chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, and salt, stirring to combine. Add the chickpeas and the tomatoes and their juice, and bring to a boil.

6. Drain the bulgur and add to the pan. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the squash is tender, the chili is slightly thickened, and the flavors are blended, about 7 minutes.

 

Serving Tip: Serve the stew topped with plain fat-free yogurt and a sprinkling of cilantro and scallions.

 

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories 490
Fat 9g
Fiber 25g
Carbs 88g
Protein 20g

 

Click here to get the full recipe to add to a well balanced diet.