Bulgur and Lentils

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Caramelized onions add deep flavor to this fast take on the Middle Eastern dish Mjadra, a simple vegetarian recipe featuring bulgur and lentils. Serve with a salad of chopped parsley, tomato and cucumber tossed with a lemon vinaigrette.

Bulgur and Lentils
photographer: Ken Burris
Nutritionist Tested & Approved

Time: 30 minutes

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 cups thinly sliced onions

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/4 cups water , divided

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked or canned (rinsed) lentils (see Tips)

  • 2/3 cup bulgur (see Tips)

  • 1/4 cup minced fresh mint , divided

  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt

  • 1 lemon , cut into wedges

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onions and salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add 2 tablespoons water and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are golden brown and very soft, 13 to 15 minutes.

  2. Stir in lentils, bulgur and the remaining 1 1/4 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the water is absorbed, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons mint. Serve with the remaining mint, yogurt and lemon.

To cook lentils: Place in a saucepan, cover with at least 1 inch of water, bring to a simmer and cook until just tender, 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the type of lentil. Drain and rinse with cold water. 1 cup dry lentils = about 2 1/2 cups cooked. Or use canned lentils: 15-ounce can = 1 1/2 cups. Rinse canned lentils before cooking with them to reduce the sodium by about 35%.

Bulgur is made by parboiling, drying and coarsely grinding or cracking wheat berries. Bulgur just needs a quick soak in hot water for most uses. Look for it in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets, near other grains.

Nutritional Facts

Serving Size
about 1 cup
44 g
8 g
Saturated Fat
1 g
12 g
0 mg
Dietary Fiber
12 g
580 mg
316 mg
4 servings
about 1 cup each
2 starch
1 vegetable
1 lean meat
1 1/2 fat
41% daily value
Vitamin C
23% dv
22% dv
20% dv
17% dv

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