As we’ve discussed in previous articles, it’s important to keep food demos simple and engaging. The recipes used don’t have to be fancy but may be used to introduce viewers to new cooking techniques or experiment with unusual flavors.
Selecting recipes to teach international cuisines can be easier than imagined. Explore different spices, ingredients, and whole grains to create recipes from anywhere in the world. Here’s a simple way to taste the Mediterranean region using common household ingredients.
Mediterranean Bulgur Salad
Bulgur is a whole grain commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine. Not only is this grain packed with 30% of the recommended amount of daily dietary fiber but it also provides nutrients such as iron, magnesium, and manganese. Combining bulgur with vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, and spinach that contain Vitamin C, can increase the absorption of iron.
The Dietary Guidelines recommend consuming six servings of grain per day with at least half of the servings being whole grain. Choosing whole grains may provide health benefits including improved cardiovascular health, weight management, blood sugar control, and bowel regularity. Whole grains come in many different forms such as whole wheat bread or pasta, brown rice, quinoa, oats, popcorn, maize, and many more. Selecting different whole grains can serve as the base to create your international meal.
This bulgur salad can be divided into four containers and made ahead for a busy week! This recipe can be eaten cold or hot as an easy and nutritious lunch option.
Medium pot with lid Chef’s knife
Measuring cups and spoons Wooden spoons
Can opener Cutting board
1 cup bulgur
2 cups water
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp salt
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1 cup raw spinach leaves
2 cups chopped vegetables: bell peppers, red onion, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, or mushrooms
½ cup feta cheese
¼ cup hummus
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1. In a medium stockpot, combine bulgur, water, cumin, and salt. Bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover with a lid for 10-12 minutes.
3. Stir in the garbanzo beans and heat on low for about 3-5 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and stir in spinach until wilted. Add remaining vegetables and stir in feta, hummus, and lemon juice.
5. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Makes 6 servings
Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD
Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD, is a registered dietitian and owner of Sound Bites Nutrition in Cincinnati. She shares her clinical, culinary, and community nutrition knowledge through cooking demos, teaching, and freelance writing. Lisa is a regular contributor to Food and Health Communications and Today’s Dietitian and is the author of the Healing Gout Cookbook, Complete Thyroid Cookbook, and Heart Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook. Her line of food pun merchandise, Lettuce beet hunger, supports those suffering food insecurity in Cincinnati. For more information, visit her website: https://soundbitesnutrition.com/