White Bean and Bulgar Pilaf

Last weekend I decided it was time to experiment with the bulgar wheat in my pantry. It was time to break out of my two-bulgar-recipe-rut. This is what I made and it turned out quite tasty.


    olive oil
    2 carrots, finely chopped
    1 large onion, finely chopped
    2-3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 can of diced tomatoes, with juice
    1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed
    1 cup of vegetable stock
    1 cup of bulgar wheat


  1. Saute carrots and onion in olive oil until soft
  2. Add garlic, tomatoes, and stock; Bring to a boil.
  3. Add beans and bulgar wheat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let it sit for another 10 minutes to absorb liquids.
  5. Serve with freshly grated pepper and parmesan cheese.
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Spicy Soba Noodles

When I first moved to D.C. I lived in a group house. Luckily we all liked each other and half of us were vegetarian so we would make dinner together at least once a week. I managed to capture a few recipes on paper before we went our separate ways. This one is easy, fast and quite tasty.

CM’s Spicy Soba
1 lb soba noodles (buckwheat noodles)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2-3 Tbsp garlic chili sauce (Siricha)
1 pinch of sugar
2-3 sliced green onions (optional garnish)
2-3 Tbsp sesame seeds (optional garnish)

1. Boil soba and drain in cold water
2. Mix soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, chili sauce and pinch of sugar to make sauce.
3. Combine sauce with soba
4. Add garnish
5. Serve immediately

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Pasta with Pesto, Beans and Broccoli

This is a variation on a recipe from Bon Appetit. It is pretty easy and quick!

Pasta with Pesto, Beans and Broccoli
8 oz chunky pasta (I’ve used ditalini and penne)
1 lb broccoli, cut into 2 inch chunks
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper
1 can cannelli (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained
1 cup pesto
1 Tablespoon vinegar

1. Cook pasta in large pot of salted water for about 3 mins. Add the broccoli and continue boiling until the pasta is al dente and the broccoli is almost tender.

2. Drain the pasta and broccoli and leave in the pot.

3. In a separate medium saucepan, bring vegetable broth and red pepper to a simmer. Add beans and simmer until the beans are heated, about 4-5 minutes.

4. Add bean mixture, pesto and vinegar to the pasta and broccoli. Stir well.

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Soup is good food

…You’ve made a great meal. – Dead Kennedys

I bought a soup cookbook a few weeks ago and was inspired to make minestrone this weekend. Normally I follow recipes to the letter, but not this time.

Sarah’s Minestrone

3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
2-3 ribs of celery, sliced or chopped (or both)
1-2 carrots, sliced or chopped (or both)
1-2 Tbls olive oil

Combine in large heavy saucepan and saute for about 2 mins.

2 cans diced tomatoes
1 Tbls italian seasoning or equivalent mixture of oregano and basil

Add tomatoes and spices and simmer for 15 mins.

3 cups vegetable broth
1 can navy beans or kidney beans (drained)
1-2 cups of chunky pasta – digitalini, elbow macaroni, etc

Add broth, beans and pasta and simmer for 15 mins.

Serve with a freshly ground pepper and sprinkle of parmesean cheese.

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Marinated Onions and Cucumbers

I made this for a recent work potluck and there weren’t any leftovers to take home. It pairs well with tomatoes or as a foil for hamburgers. It is perfect for summer picnics. I think I clipped the original recipe from Better Homes and Gardens but I’ve tweaked it a bit.


    2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced (break out your mandolin!)
    2 cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
    3/4 cup white vinegar
    2/3 cup sugar
    1/2 cup water
    2 dried chilies (optional)
    1 tablespoon salt
    1 teaspoon dill


  1. Combine onions and cucumbers in a large bowl.
  2. Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to boil and cook 1 minute or until sugar dissolves.
  3. Pour hot vinegar over the onions and cucumbers. Toss to make sure everything is coated with the vinegar.
  4. Cover and chill 4 hours or overnight.
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Easy Pasta Salad

Memorial Day signals the start of summer picnic season and what goes better with picnics than pasta salad. I threw this together Memorial Day morning and it was tastylicious by lunchtime.

1 box chunky pasta (rotini, bowtie, etc)
1 package italian dressing mix (plus oil and vinegar)
1/2 to whole green pepper
1 can artichoke hearts
1/2 to whole can black olives
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
1 cup frozen or fresh broccoli (optional)
parmesean cheese to taste

  1. Boil the pasta per package directions.
  2. While pasta is boiling, mix italian dressing with olive oil and vinegar according to package directions.
  3. Slice black olives and quarter the artichoke hearts (if they aren’t already quartered).
  4. Drain the pasta and add the dressing, olives and artichoke hearts.
  5. Chop green pepper and cut tomatoes in half.
  6. Prepare broccoli if frozen and cut into mouth-sized pieces.
  7. Once the pasta has cooled for 10-15 mins, add the pepper, tomatoes and broccoli.
  8. Mix together well and refrigerate for an hour or more.
  9. Garnish with parmesean cheese and serve.

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Curried Couscous

I can’t remember where I found this recipe, but it quickly became one of my favorites. It is super easy to prepare and oh so tasty to consume.

Curried Couscous
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup green peas
1/2 cup green onions
1 cup mushrooms, chopped (optional)
1 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth
3/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 cup couscous

  1. In covered saucepan, saute onion and garlic in oil over low heat until soft.
  2. Add red peppers, peas, mushrooms, green onions and cook till nearly tender.
  3. Add water, salt and curry powder and bring to a boil.
  4. Add couscous, stir, cover and remove from heat.
  5. Let it sit for a few minutes and voila you are done.

Makes 8 half cup servings or 4 cup servings.

I’ve been experimenting and found you can also substitute quinoa for the couscous for a protein-packed dish.

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