WHOLE GRAIN RECIPES: Chicken and Bulgur Salad. . . Pork Chop Brown Rice Casserole . . . Farro-Lentil Soup

Chicken and Bulgur Salad 1 cup bulgur 1 teaspoon salt 2 cups boiling water 8 asparagus spears or broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces 1 tablespoon sweet paprika 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper 1 tablespoon...

Chicken and Bulgur Salad
Cracked wheat makes a grain base for this salad topped with seasoned chicken breast and asparagus spears. (McClatchy Tribune)

Chicken and Bulgur Salad

1 cup bulgur

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups boiling water

8 asparagus spears or broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces


1 tablespoon sweet paprika

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 pound chicken tenders, cut in 1-inch wide strips, or skinless, boneless, chicken breast, pounded ½-inch thick, cut into 1-inch wide strips


1 small sweet onion, such as Vidalia, thinly sliced

¼ cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley


1/3 cup plain yogurt, plus more if desired

½ teaspoon celery salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Place bulgur and ½ teaspoon of the salt in bowl; add water. Cover; let stand until most of liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Drain excess liquid. (For a softer and fluffier grain, cook bulgur with 2½ cups water for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover; let sit until liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.)

Meanwhile, place asparagus on plate. Cook in microwave until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

Place paprika, pepper, ground red pepper and remaining ½ teaspoon salt in plastic or paper bag. Add chicken; shake to coat well. Heat oil in large skillet. Add chicken; cook about 2 minutes per side.

Combine dressing ingredients in medium bowl. Add bulgur and asparagus stalks, reserving tips; toss. Make mound of bulgur in center of plates. Portion chicken onto plates. Garnish with asparagus tips. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. If desired, pass extra yogurt at table.

Yield: Serves 4.


Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 305 calories, 21 percent calories from fat, 7 grams fat (1.6 grams saturated), 65 milligrams cholesterol, 850 milligrams sodium, 32 grams carbohydrates, 30 grams protein, 8 grams fiber.

Pork Chop Brown Rice Casserole

4 4- to 6-ounce center-cut, bone-in pork chops, about ½- to ¾-inch thick

½ cup chopped onion

¾ cup long-grain brown rice

1 cup water

1 carrot, shredded

1 14.5-ounce can no-salt added whole tomatoes, chopped


1 teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon dried leaf oregano

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

½ cup frozen corn

Spray a large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven with nonstick spray coating.

Heat over medium-high heat until skillet is hot. Add chops and cook until browned on each side; drain and set chops aside.

Add onion to skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is just tender. Stir in rice and cook, stirring, until rice is golden. Stir in water and carrot; cover and heat to boiling. Reduce heat and cook 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, seasonings, jalapeno and corn. Arrange chops over rice mixture. Cover and simmer 45 to 60 minutes or until rice is tender.


Yield: Serves 4.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 461 calories, 45 percent of calories from fat, 23 grams fat (8 grams saturated), 75 milligrams cholesterol, 40 grams carbohydrates, 24 grams protein, 80 milligrams sodium, 4 grams dietary fiber.

Farro-Lentil Soup

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

2 large yellow onions, chopped

1 cup peeled, diced sweet potato or winter squash

Sea salt

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Madras curry powder


2/3 cup semi-pearled farro

1¼ cups green or black lentils, picked over

6 to 7 cups vegetable broth or water

1 cup Greek-style yogurt or creme fraiche

Grated zest and juice of ½ lemon, or to taste

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions and sweet potato. Add a big pinch of salt and saute until the onions soften a bit, a couple of minutes.

Add the curry powder; stir until onions and sweet potatoes are coated and the curry is fragrant, a minute or so.

Add the farro, lentils and 6 cups broth. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes. (If using whole farro, instead of semi-pearled, increase cooking time to 50 minutes.)

Taste and season with more salt, if needed. Stir together the yogurt, lemon zest and juice, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Serve each bowl of soup topped with a dollop of lemon yogurt and a drizzle of olive oil.

Yield: Serves 8.

Pork Chop Brown Rice Casserole
Get one step closer to your daily recommended intake of whole grains with this Pork Chop Brown Rice Casserole. (McClatchy Tribune)

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