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Mark Bittman's Breakfast Bulgur with Mango, Cherry & Almond--Breakfast (or Dinner!) in Bed

Posted May 06 2010 11:30pm
I fully intended for this dish to be Breakfast in Bed, our theme this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs, but a week full of planning and prepping for a big wellness event where I was leading activities and giving a healthy eating presentation meant long days, running all about, meals on the go and not much in the way of cooking. We pulled the event off perfectly today and it was a huge success, but I found myself exhausted when I finally made it home and I longed for nothing more than to put on my jammies, eat something nourishing and crawl into bed.

So my planned healthy comfort food breakfast in bed, Mark Bittman's Breakfast Bulgur with Mango, Cherry & Almonds, became the perfect breakfast for dinner in bed. I wanted something simple and nourishing and although I have used bulgur frequently for salads and side dishes, I have never done a sweet or breakfast version. To top my bulgur I had some leftover dried cherries from my fabulous etorki risotto (below), a fresh mango in the fridge and some sliced almonds in the freezer. I stumbled in the door, put the kettle on as I unloaded all my gear, and changed into my jammies while the bulgur sat soaking. Then all I had to do was get the breakfast tray down, grab a flower from the hibiscus bush in my front yard, chop up the mango, and make a cup of herbal tea until the bulgur was ready. In just under 30 minutes it was all ready, I snapped a couple of quick pictures, pulled out the new Charlaine Harris book that I bought this week but have not been able to even open yet, and climbed into bed for 30 minutes of relaxation and nourishment. Ahh, bliss! Afterward I even had enough energy to write up this post. ;-)

You can find this recipe in Bittman's " Food Matters " on pages 166-167.

Bittman says, "Two of my favorite breakfast grains are couscous and bulgur. Neither requires cooking (they both steep like tea), so they're perfect for even the busiest morning--and really tough to screw up. Both take perfectly to fresh or dried fruit, nuts, and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey; milk is optional. You can also take this in a savory direction, adding leftover sauteed mushrooms along with bits of sausage, chopped ham, or bacon."

Breakfast Bulgur with Mango, Cherry & Almond
"Food Matters" by Mark Bittman
(Serves 4)

Use 1 cup of any grind of bulgur, with 2 1/2 cups boiling water. Stir once and let sit. Fine bulgur will be tender in 10 to 15 minutes, medium in 15 to 20 minutes, and coarse in 20-25. If any water remains when the bulgur is done, put it in a fine mesh strainer and press down on it, or squeeze the bulgur in a cloth. Fluff with a fork and add fruit, nuts, and honey, if using. (Bittman recommends 1 cup fresh fruit, 1/4 cup dried fruit and 1/4 cup chopped nuts)

Notes/Results: Very good--I like the chewy texture and slightly nutty taste of the bulgur and the combination of the tart dried cherries, sweet creamy fresh mango and the crunch of the sliced almonds, along with the splash of vanilla almond milk and drizzle of local honey was delicious. I added the dried cherries to the bulgur before pouring in the hot water so they would soften up and become plump and juicy. Once the bulgur stopped cooking at about 20 minutes, I put it through a strainer to remove the rest of the water, then added my toppings. Quick, easy, healthy comfort food--no matter when you eat it. I will make this again. In fact after a bit of a sleep-in tomorrow, I am planning to heat up the leftovers and climb back into bed for a bit before rejoining the real world. ;-)

BTW--I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that bulgur is a very nutritious grain. A cup is about 150 calories and has 8 grams of fiber, B vitamins, and minerals like manganese and iron. ;-)

You can see how the other IHCC participants enjoyed their breakfasts in bed by going to the post (here) and following the links.

Happy end of the week!

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