Bulgur Salad with Garbanzo Beans, Feta and Plum Tomatoes

It’s time I give a shout out to my vegetarian fans with this superbly flavorful and healthy salad.  And with temps around these parts forecasted to climb in time for the 4th. of July weekend, this is a perfect salad to add to any backyard celebration.  For those of you who have yet to explore the wonderful world of whole grains, I highly recommend giving bulgur a try: high in fiber & protein and low in fat and calories.   If you can’t find it in your local supermarket, you may substitute quinoa, traditional couscous or Israeli couscous.  Recipe bonus: keeps well in the fridge days.  Happy and healthy eating!

Bulgur Salad with Garbanzo Beans, Feta and Plum Tomatoes

2 cups water

1 cup bulgur (See Note>)

1 teaspoon salt

Coarsely ground black pepper

1 15 1/2-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed, drained

1 cup diced plum tomatoes

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1/3 cup chopped fresh mint

1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

Bring 2 cups water to boil in medium saucepan. Remove from heat; add bulgur and salt and stir to blend. Cover and let stand until bulgur is just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well, pressing to extract excess water. Transfer bulgur to large bowl; cool. Mix in remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Serves 4 (as a main course) or 6 (as a side course)

Note> Bulgur is sometimes referred to as “cracked wheat” and is usually available at health food markets and specialty stores.  Other grains that may be substituted in this recipe include couscous, quinoa or Israeli couscous.

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