What's bulgur you ask? Why it's a whole grain that's high in fiber and rich in B vitamins, iron, phosphorus and manganese. Bulgur is a quick-cooking form of whole wheat that has been cleaned, parboiled, dried, ground into particles and sifted into distinct sizes. Read all about it here.
I'll definitely be making this one again for Thanksgiving. It would make a fabulous main course for the Plant-strong!
I could have used brown rice for this recipe, and you can too if you don't feel like running out and getting yourself some bulgur. But bulgur has a lot more going on nutritionally, and, well, it's just way more interesting to make a bulgur stuffed squash than a rice stuffed squash. I'm all about the interesting!
HGK's Pumpkin Bulgur Stuffed Acorn Squash
serves 8 as a main course-16 as a side dish
1 3/4 cups uncooked bulgur
3 1/2 cups water
4 acorn squash, cut in half from stem to base, seeds and membrane removed
2 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1 large Fuji or Honeycrisp apple, finely diced
6 Tbsp dried cranberries
1 cup raw, unsalted walnuts, chopped
1 small sweet onion, finely diced
2 Tbsp parsley flakes
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup (or less if you want it less sweet)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt (or not)
additional maple syrup for brushing onto squash
Place uncooked bulgur and water in a rice cooker and turn rice cooker on (or follow package directions for bulgur).
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with aluminum foil and lightly spray with cooking oil spray. Place acorn squash cut side down and bake for 30 minutes.
When bulgur is done cooking, fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients, from pumpkin to salt (optional). Stir to incorporate all ingredients. (Taste it-it's amazing!)
After acorn squash halves are done baking, lightly brush each cut side and cavity with maple syrup.
Press the pumpkin bulgur mixture into each cavity, mounding filling as much as possible. Depending on how large the squash are, you may end up with some leftover bulgur mixture, which makes an amazing side dish by itself.
Return squash halves to cookie sheets and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for at least 30 minutes or until squash flesh is thoroughly soft. Keeping these in a warm oven (200 or 250) after they bake and before you are ready to serve them will only improve their taste and texture.
Have you ever used bulgur (aka bulgar) in a recipe? Have you used any unusual whole grains lately? What were your results?