Cranberry Bulgur Salad

I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is, this was a dinner experiment that turned out to be a total win. Even though I spent all day thinking about a salad I could make with the whole wheat couscous I was sure I had in the cupboard, only to come home and find we were in fact out of whole wheat couscous, it didn’t stop me from forging ahead with fine bulgur in its place. I think I actually like it with bulgur better than I would have liked it with couscous, so that’s awesome.

And the bad news is my right knee. 2 weeks before my first 50K, it is NOT a happy camper. I ran 6.5 miles last night and felt completely amazing…except for my stupid knee, which felt like it was going to explode. I’ve had tons of IT band issues in the past, but this is a completely different pain so I have no idea what it is, but I’m icing and ibuprofin-ing like a champ in hopes that it will magically heal itself as soon as possible. I think my weak quads are to blame because I haven’t lifted a single weight in… um a year? Not good.

Anyway… about that glorious run. It was SO GOOD to be back out there! I missed you, Lake Merced.

An no, that’s NOT how the image looked straight out of the camera. I’ve been wanting to try HDR lately, so this morning I spent a little time with GIMP, LuminanceHDR, and this tutorial and learned how to do this:

(The picture is from Si Phan Don in Southern Laos).

Sometimes I think it’s a little too Tomas Kincaid-ish for my tastes, but it’s fun to experiment with.

But back to the run…look! Somebody was feeling festive in the parking area. I LOVE seeing Christmas decorations in unexpected places.

After the run, I was definitely ready for a healthy, filling meal. I pulled a completely random assortment of ingredients out of the fridge and cupboards (broccoli, tempeh, fresh cranberries, mustard, maple syrup, almonds…) and got to work. There’s kind of a lot going on here, but it all works and as a bonus, it’s pretty healthy. Fine bulgur is one of my favorite grains to cook with because you don’t even have to cook it! Just soak in water for about 15 minutes and it’s ready.


1 tbsp olive oil
8 ounces tempeh, thinly sliced
3 cups broccoli florets, steamed until crisp-tender
1/2 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
1 1/2 cups fine bulgur, soaked in 1 1/2 cups water for about 15 minutes
1/4 cup diced red onion, soaked in cold water for about 10 minutes, then drained
3 tbsp almonds, finely chopped

1 tsp dijon
1 tsp grade B maple syrup
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

To make the salad:
Heat the oil in a wide skillet over medium-high. Add the tempeh slices and cook on each side for a few minutes, until golden brown. Set aside.

Fluff the bulgur with a fork and combine with remaining ingredients.

To make the dressing, whisk the oil, vinegar, mustard, syrup and salt together. Add as much as desired to the salad and mix well before serving.

2 Responses to “Cranberry Bulgur Salad”

  1. 1 janet December 5, 2010 at 6:21 am

    Bulgur and cranberries works so well together. I have only tried dried cranberries but after hearing about your success, I may try with fresh ones, too. 🙂

  2. 2 branny December 5, 2010 at 8:30 am

    I’m sorry to hear about your knee, Cate. I am in a similar boat. I have a marathon in 6 days and haven’t run since November 20th. I guess I’ll race the marathon but it certainly won’t be a performance to write home about. I’m super bummed.

    Also, amazing job with that photo editing! I don’t have the patience.

    About the recipe: it looks great. I love bulgar, too. My husband doesn’t, though, and he’s much more likely to accept whole wheat cous cous in its place.

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