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This recipe has caught my eye since I picked up the March/April 2010 of Clean Eating Magazine last year. Every time I would pick up the magazine this past year, this recipe just looked so yummy that I wanted to make it and then I would get sidetracked and forget.
Last week, my sister-in-law and I went to the Coop and on the way out of the door, I grabbed this magazine to look at on the way up. Again, this salad jumped out at me so I added the ingredients to my shopping list and turned down the page in the magazine so that I could find it easily when I got home.
Before I started the dinner preparation, I decided to do a little search online to see what I could find about this recipe. I always like to read reviews and then take the general consensus of what people liked or didn't like about the food and then do my own thing.
I love searching for things on Google and adding the word "blog" to the search field. In my opinion, blogs are the best source of information. Bloggers will tell you exactly what they think of recipes and if the recipe was less than stellar, they will tell you what they would do differently next time.
This time I found a wonderful "new to me" blog written by Kate called Clean Eating Machines who had made this recipe last month. You can find her wonderful blog here. May I suggest to you that if eating clean, yummy foods is something you are interested in, you should hop on over there and say hello to her. You will be glad you did. I am definitely going to be following along with her.
In her blog review, she said that the chicken needed to marinate longer than the 30 minutes called for in the recipe and that it most definitely needed a shot of lemon at the end to brighten it up. She, also, mentioned that the crushed red pepper was not spicy in there and that she considered it "kid friendly". To me, that was a cue that it wouldn't be flavorful enough for this girl from Louisiana and her man. We like things spicy around here and to make something that doesn't include garlic and some kind of heat is almost unheard of in our house. We don't have any little children around so we are able to kick things up as much as we like when it's just the two of us and we're not expecting company. In light of that, I grabbed some Weber's Roasted Garlic and Herb seasoning and added that to the marinade.
I had forgotten, for some reason, that this seasoning mix has some heat to it too. I added a couple of teaspoons and with the heat of the crushed red pepper, it was plenty spicy for us. I'm glad we had the bulgur to even things out or the chicken itself might have been too spicy...at least for me.
The next time that I make this.....and there will be a next time, I'm sure.....I will add fresh garlic and probably chopped shallots to the marinade instead of the Weber seasoning. I don't think it needs more heat as much as it just needed more flavor. The garlic and shallot would take care of that without adding extra heat.
This was the first time that I had ever tasted bulgur. I've seen it used in recipes; but, I had never experienced it for myself. I found it very interesting and very tasty. The addition of the sliced almonds was a great touch. I loved the crunch that they provided.
My husband thought it tasted like...in his words...."kicked up cream of wheat". I guess he wasn't too far off. Cream of Wheat isn't something that I've eaten a lot of in my lifetime. I'm a southern girl. We eat grits. He did tell me over and over again how much he enjoyed it and that I could most definitely make it again. He doesn't say that unless he means it. I will definitely be making it again.
Instead of adding the chicken to the bulgur and eating it as a salad, we ate the bulgur as a side dish along with some yummy fresh sugar snap peas and a lemon wedge for an extra shot of brightness. It was yummy!
The recipe with my changes/additions in italics....
Lemon-Grilled Chicken & Bulgur Salad
Adapted from Clean Eating Magazine
Page 25, Volume 3, Issue 2
2- 4oz. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, slightly pounded flat
** I used Chicken Tenderloins
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. cumin, ground
2 tbls lemon juice
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup fine-grain bulgur wheat
1/4 cup almond slivers, toasted
1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
**2 tsp. Weber Grill Creations Garlic and Herb Seasoning
In a plastic bag, add chicken, oil, red pepper flakes, cumin and lemon juice. I put the chicken in a bag and mixed the marinade ingredients in a separate bowl with the addition of the Garlic and Herb Seasoning. I, then, added the marinade to the bag of chicken and massaged it to coat each piece. I carefully rolled the bag up to dispel any air inside and put it in the fridge for a couple of hours to marinate. Close, toss to coat and let marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. My husband cooked the chicken for me. He decided that the grill was too much trouble so he cooked them in a non-stick skillet and they worked just fine.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Remove from heat, add bulgur and lemon zest, cover and let sit for 5-7 minutes, until bulgur has absorbed all of the broth. Transfer to a serving boil, mix in almonds and mint and season with salt and pepper.
Remove chicken from the marinade, place on grill pan and cook for about 4 minutes per side, until a poke reveals clear juice. Remove from heat and let rest for a few minutes before cutting into 1-inch cubes. Toss with bulgur salad and serve warm or cold. As I mentioned, we didn't eat the chicken combined all together with the bulgur. We ate it on the side and we ate the bulgur warm. I believe that it would be delicious mixed in together and eaten cold. I will probably try that next time.
Nutrients per serving: (4 oz. chicken and 1 cup bulgur mixture) Calories: 280, Total Fat: 10 g, Sat. Fat: 1.5 g, Carbs: 32 g, Fiber: 9 g, Sugars: 1 g, Protein: 18 g, Sodium: 170 mg, Cholesteral: 30 mg.
On a side note: When I toast nuts, I usually will toast them in a dry nonstick skillet until they become fragrant and start to turn slightly golden in color. Since I'm having to use the hot plate, I only have two burners to use. I didn't plan ahead for this meal so I had to toast the almonds in the toaster oven. If you literally "toast" them on the "toast" setting and forget them, you might end up with something that looks like this...
Yes, this kind of thing happens far too often around here, I'm sad to say. Thankfully, I had bought a bunch of these at the Coop so I had enough to start over.
I've almost learned to be prepared. This time it paid off.
Tuesdays at the Table, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday and
Foodie Friday at Little Brick House.
Foodie Friday at Little Brick House.
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