Sunday, June 07, 2009

Cumin-Scented Sweet Potatoes...

Seven new recipes breezed through our house this week - our favorites this round were those Mini Spinach Calzones, the Rhubarb Frozen Yogurt Torte and just because it got Jeff to eat mushrooms (without knowing of course!), those Black-Bean Mushroom Burgers!

While we were not planning on a new main for our dinner tonight, I did prepare a new dish, Bulgur with Cumin-Scented Sweet Potatoes, to go along side.

If you've never used bulgur before, it is made from grains of wheat that have been parboiled, dried and then cracked into smaller pieces to allow for a quicker cook time. That also happens to be the main difference between bulgur and what you may find labeled as "cracked wheat". The latter has not been pre-cooked and is just that, cracked wheat kernels. Bulgur typically come in varying sizes from coarse, which we used in tonight's dish, down to medium and fine grains.

A mound of cubed sweet potato, peeled or not is up to your preference, was placed onto a baking sheet, then drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with coriander, cumin, salt and fresh ground black pepper. After tossing the mix together to ensure each cube was graced with the coatings, the pan was stashed in the oven to bake the potatoes until they were tender and their sugars began to caramelize, turning the potatoes a light golden.

As the potatoes were busy roasting, we were left with enough time to bring a pot of vegetable broth up to a boil, stir in the bulgur and let it simmer until the grains had plumped up and became tender. We did end up with a bit of extra broth leftover as the grains couldn't accept anymore - if that happens, go ahead and drain it away so this salad isn't too wet. To assemble the dish, we tossed the sweet pieces of potato into the bulgur and added a snazzy kick by drizzling over a couple tablespoons of fresh lime (lemon would be acceptable too!) and a sprinkling of cilantro. Don't be too aggressive when you go to incorporate all those ingredients together - the potatoes are still on the softer side and you don't want to mash them.

This veggie salad (which I think could also be considered vegan as long as you keep with the vegetable broth) had plenty going on to retain my interest, along with being quite healthy, light and refreshing with that zippy lime! The bulgur still had a chewy bite to it, yet wasn't too much of a contrasting obstacle to the potatoes that it seemed out of place. If you can't find the coarser type of bulgur, you can still use medium without issue. Instead of cooking the grain in simmering broth, bring the broth up to a boil, stir in the bulgur, take the pot off the heat and set it aside to absorb the liquid and become tender, which should be about the same time as the coarse took to simmer.


  1. Great blog Joe! I forget how I ran across you now, but am glad I found you.

    I'm definitely going to try several of your delicious sounding and looking recipes.

  2. Yum! Yes, definitely vegan as long as you use veg broth, which I plan on doing :o) It sounds fabulous, and perfect for our cooler dreary weather...


  3. Antgirl - Let us know if you try any of the recipes out... we have plenty!

    Courtney - As much as we need the rain, I'd like a little more sun now. Too much stuff to get done outside!