Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Greek Bulgar Chicken Salad

My husband and I continually strive to live a healthy lifestyle.  Unfortunately, this is more of a battle of mind than matter.  We've learned that our bodies can take whatever exercise punishment we throw at them (I'll soon post on our experience with the Insanity workout from Team Beachbody), however our minds have not completely grasped the notion that what we put into our bodies is just as important.  In a desperate attempt to reinvigorate our healthy eating venture, I found this recipe on an email newsletter from Self Magazine, and made it for dinner last night:

Greek Bulgar Chicken Salad  (4 servings)
12 oz chicken breast tenderloins
1 1/2 cups bulgar
6 TBSP fresh lemon juice, divided
1 tsp sald, divided
1/4 cup thinly sliced basil
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 1/4 cup peeled and chopped cucumber
1 cup diced tomatoes
5 TBSP crumbled feta
10 kalamata olives
1 TBSP + 1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp black pepper

Poach chicken in 2 cups boiling water in a medium pot over medium-high heat for 10-15 min (check if cooked through at 10 min).  Cool, dice, and set aside.  Bring bulgar, 1 1/2 cups water, 2 TBSP lemon juice, and 1/2 tsp salt to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand until bulgar absorbs liquid, about 10-15 min.  Uncover and cool to room temperature.  Transfer to a bowl and combine with remaining 4 TBSP lemon juice and remaining 1/2 tsp salt.  Add chicken and remaining ingredients. Toss well to combine.  Cover and chill before serving.

I was actually shocked at how much I loved bulgar, a type of wheat.  I tasted it before mixing in the other ingredients, and it was great on its own.  It could have been the lemon juice flavoring, but I tasted a hint of sweetness, so I might try a sweet recipe with bulgar next time.  Regardless, this little wheat gem will become a staple in my new healthy pantry.  And this recipe can easily be adapted for a vegetarian or vegan diet (not sure about gluten-free, check the label on the bulgar package)

One last note about the recipe:  My husband despises olives (everyone has faults, right?) so I kept the olives out of the main recipe and just chopped a few up for my bowl.  They actually gave the recipe too much of a salty bite, even for an olive lover such as myself.  So unless you really adore that briney bite, I'd go easy on the kalamatas.  Enjoy!


  1. Two days later...I just finished eating the last of the bulgar salad, and it was just as good as day one!

  2. This looks fantastic! I am definitely adding this on my "must try" list!