An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

You Win Some, You Lose Some


It’s true that you can’t always win, but I have a feeling that it’s quite possible to always lose. Slogging through a bit of a losing streak myself, it certainly seems that way at least. My apricot ice cream lost, although I’m not the least bit surprised, having watched first-hand as the tally of my competitors’ votes swelled into impressive numbers, while my own inflated temporarily only to burst and collapse like a cheap inflatable pool toy. I’ve given up on entering blog raffles, as the suspense kills me and by the time some one else’s name is announced, you’re just beating a dead horse over here. Nope, I have better things to pin my hopes to. Even though I haven’t officially heard back from the lovely folks at Whole Foods about the most recent contest of theirs that I entered, I have no doubt that a gentle letter of rejection is sure to arrive any moment.

The premise for this contest was simple enough; Make a healthy meal for $4 or less per serving. No problem, that’s pretty much the norm around here anyways. Savories still aren’t my forte though, so taking the safer route, I whipped up a tasty tofu dish and an easy pilaf. Admittedly, the tofu was rather forgettable- Delicious, yes, but nothing to write home about. It was that pilaf, a bulgur pilaf to be exact, that really got my appetite going. I even contemplated sending in an entry of only the pilaf, since it’s a good balance of protein, grains, and veg if you ask me, and I’m all for one-dish meals as well.

Ginger, garlic, and miso make up a flavorful broth, which toothsome whole grain bulgur is only too happy to soak up. Rounded out by some nutty almonds and bright green peas, it’s a simple yet comforting dish that is agreeable to just about every palate. It might not win any awards, but it’s a keeper in my book.

Miso Bulgur Pilaf

1 Cup Bulgur Wheat
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
1 Teaspoon Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Brown Rice Miso Paste
1 3/4 Cups Water
1/4 Cup Frozen Peas, Thawed
1/2 Cup Whole Almonds, Toasted
1 Tablespoon Chopped Chives

Heat a dry skillet over the stove and toss in the bulgur. Toast for about 10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to keep the bulgur moving, until it smells nutty and turns slightly darker brown. Pour the grains out onto a plate, and place the emptied skillet back over the heat.

Add in the oil, garlic and ginger, and cook for just a minute or two until the spices have browned a bit. Stir in the lemon zest, soy sauce, and miso paste, breaking up any lumps that may form. Stand back a bit while slowly pouring in the water, as it may hiss and splash slightly. Scrape everything off the bottom if it’s sticking, and add your toasted bulgur into the mix, along with the peas. Turn down the heat, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes. If all of the liquid hasn’t been absorbed by then, simply continue to cook over low heat, uncovered, until it has all evaporated.

Let stand for 5 minutes off the heat, and stir in the almonds and chives.

Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side.

Printable Recipe

Author: Hannah (BitterSweet)

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

37 thoughts on “You Win Some, You Lose Some

  1. That’s definitely my kind of dish–at any price! Sorry about the ice cream–but there’s always the next contest! :)

  2. That looks delicious, Hannah! I hope you win the contest, but if you don’t, remember that you’ve already won over every single vegan blogger in the world and a plethora of omni bloggers, as well!

  3. Hey, this is a wonderful idea. And nutritious n wholesome too.

  4. I love your blog! I am so happy that you posted a bulgur recipe. There is a huge mason jar full hulking in my pantry, and I can only eat so much tabouli:)

  5. this sounds wonderful, Hannah! i loooooove bulghur – and i love everything in your rock’n recipe, too! your sesame tahini noodles were so fantastical i can’t wait to try this bulghur recipe, too! thanks! superhappyface!

  6. I love bulghur & miso & nuts together. So nice and earthy and salty – this will be a winner in my book!

  7. No worries, Hannah – you have FAR more wins than losses, if you ask me!! And that pilaf dish definitely looks like a winner to me as well!!

  8. Sounds delicious and looks beautiful!

  9. This looks wonderful! We love pilafs here. The only thing I wouldn’t like is the whole almonds because for some reason, I don’t like the sensation of chewing them. But I’ll definitely make it with sliced or slivered ones.

  10. That pilaf looks gorgeous- I can’t wait to make a big batch of it next week for some school lunches!

  11. Looks like a winner to me! I can’t wait to try this! I just have to get some bulgar…do you think it would work with pearled barley as well?

  12. pooh! i can never get my bulgur to look like that :( mine always looks like it does in the package, only chewy instead of hard.

  13. thanks for this one. I’m rumaging through the kitchen looking for meal ideas as my bank account hovers at a low point for another week until payday. This will help a lot :)

  14. Well, it looks like a winner to me!

  15. I love bulgur and the new spin on it is sure to go over big at my house. I love all your recipes. You are my biggest inspiration for vegan foods! You don’t need to win awards to know that you have won over lots of stomaches and taste buds with your delicious creations. I am going to make a big batch of pilaf to eat while I sit through hurricane Hannah! Thanks again for the great recipe.

  16. aww, hannah, don’t get so down! of course you’re a winner!!!! : )

  17. Hannah, this looks fabulous (and a definite winner)! I think I have all the ingredients to make this tomorrow, Thanks so much for sharing the recipe,

  18. Yo’ve got to learn how to lose well in order to really appreciate a win!

  19. I like the sound of using miso in a pilaf like this.

  20. Hi, I’ve secretly read your blog for about 7 months. And I really hate that I don’t have allthe indredients here in Sweden that you have in the US. I love your crocheting and your cooking. I’m stuck in the cupcake-phase, taking inspiration from your recipes and pictures. So, thank you for your blog! :)

  21. That pilaf looks great. Bulgur is one of my favorite grains!

  22. This pilaf looks great – I am a fan of anything made with miso! And ginger’s a bonus too.

    As far as winning, clearly it’s not everything, but it sure feels good when you do win. As far as your creations go, win or lose, they’re consistently impressive! The same can be said for very,very few people. :)

  23. that looks delicious!

    any suggestion on volume and change in cooking for a GF version…quinoa, maybe?

  24. I love this, and I’m super poor right now so thanks for the recipe!

  25. Too bad the apricot ice cream didn’t win, I thought it was a winner recipe and had high hopes for it :)
    And the pilav looks delicious, I still have plenty of bulghur left over from my birthday party. Maybe I’ll try out this recipe…

  26. yum!
    guess who received your cookbook as an early bday gift today?!?
    I couldn’t be more excited. it is beautiful.
    check my blog for the deets.
    i hope you win the wholefoods contest. i live in austin, which is where wholefoods originated and we have the biggest one ever, here!
    if only it wasn’t so darned expensive to use as my main shopping source.

  27. Cheer up Hannah! I think it’s statistically impossible to lose all the time, so your winnings are coming! My ice cream lost too, but I felt that I was in very good company with you as the other vegan ice cream chef. : )

  28. It looks tasty, I would try ;)

  29. Love miso…it gives umami (he..he.. have to use that word) to everything. The pilaf looks delicious and healthy.

  30. You’re a winner anytime with this dish! I also love one dish meals and this one looks just great!

  31. I can’t believe you lost the contest. In my opinion your ice cream was very innovative.
    You are my personal winner.

  32. Blah! Sorry about your ice cream. That sucks. I know what you mean about having bad streaks when it comes to food (or life in general!), but hopefully they aren’t very frequent.

    I can’t wait to try out this bulgur salad though, especially because it utilizes ingredients I always have on hand, but also because I only use bulgur for tabouli it seems! Thank you for helping me branch out a bit!

  33. Looks like a winner to me. Love the photo.

  34. I recently bought some miso for the first time so I will definitely have to try out your recipe! Looks delicious.

  35. I told you it was a winner =)
    I will definetely be voting for this dish, can’t wait to see the results!!

  36. Pingback: Koko's Kitchen » Blog Archive » Bulgur Pilaf

  37. Pingback: Stir Fried Bok Choy and Miso Bulgar Pilaf | My Vancouver Vegan Kitchen

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