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Black Bean & Bulgur Wheat Feta Salad for Canned Food Week

Black Bean Salad

Lunch, Salads, Speedy | 3rd April 2015 | By

Growing up in a Cornish cottage, just outside of the village, the importance of having a well stocked larder was something drummed into me from an early age. Canned food, with its long shelf life, was ideal and I don’t ever remember a time when there wasn’t a cupboard full of tinned tomatoes. It was my job, when new ones were bought, to bring the oldest to the front and put the newest to the back to ensure the tins never passed their use by date. Tinned tomatoes have played an important role as one of my larder staples ever since, along with canned beans and coconut milk. And where would I be without a handy tin of baked beans to put in my Granny’s Shepherd’s Pie?

How amazing it must have been, way back when canning was invented, for people to have access to seasonal food all year round. Canned Food UK is a not for profit organisation which promotes the benefits of tinned food. Although we tend to forget about it as we reach for a store cupboard stalwart, the canning process means that the nutrients are locked in, making canned food, healthy as well as convenient and affordable. 

Canned FoodThis week, 30th March to 5th April, is Canned Food Week and to mark the occasion I have made one of the recipes from the seven healthy eating plans created especially by nutritionist Amanda Hamilton. Getting people into the kitchen and preparing their own food, is one of the best ways of encouraging healthier eating. These eating plans contain recipes that are simple and convenient to make, but are tasty and healthy too. There is one to suit all types of people including students, the elderly and families with young kids. This recipe came from the Healthy Eating Plan for all occasions. I was provided with the necessary ingredients to make the recipe, so all that was required was a hunt for my tin opener.

The recipe was so quick and easy to put together, I made it in about 15 minutes. I altered it very slightly by soaking the bulgur wheat in hot water for a few minutes, rather than in cold water overnight. I like the idea of no ‘cooking’ required and rather wish I’d been a bit more organised and got the bulgur soaking the night before. I didn’t have any parsley, so used a large bunch of chives. CT is one of the unfussiest eaters I know, but he’s not too keen on beetroot for some reason. So instead of using a whole jar in the salad, I only used half of it. I had some of the salad for lunch and it was both tasty and satisfying;  I was more than happy to have it again for supper. There was even enough left over to go into the fridge for another day – my idea of killing several birds with one stone. It’s the sort of thing I would have loved as a packed lunch for work, making a nice change from sandwiches. The variety of colours made the salad look particularly appealing and it had good contrasting tastes and textures too: crunchy, chewy, soft, sweet, tangy and salty. I shall be making this again for sure, although CT did whisper rather plaintively, “could you perhaps leave out the beetroot next time?” 

Black Bean & Bulgur Wheat Feta Salad
Serves 4
A quick, tasty and nutritious salad which works well both as a main meal or light lunch. It's also ideal for packed lunches, picnics and buffet style meals.
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 100g bulgur wheat, soaked in cold water overnight (I soaked it in hot water for 15 mins)
  2. 1 x 400g can black beans, drained and rinsed
  3. 1 x 290g can chopped mushrooms, drained
  4. 1 x 340g jar sweet pickled baby beetroot, drained and roughly chopped (I used half a jar)
  5. 1 x 198g can sweet corn, drained
  6. 1 red onion, finely chopped
  7. 2 tbsp maple syrup
  8. 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  9. 1 small bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  10. 1 small bunch chives, roughly chopped (I used a large bunch of chives as I had no parsley)
  11. 6 tbsp extra virgin olive
  12. 200g feta cheese
Instructions
  1. Drain the bulgur wheat well and place into a large bowl.
  2. Add the beans, mushrooms, beetroot, sweet corn and red onion and mix well.
  3. Mix the maple syrup, vinegar and olive oil together then season with sea salt and black pepper, pour over the salad and mix so that all the salad is covered in dressing.
  4. Add the parsley and chives and mix once more then season really well.
  5. Divide between serving plates and crumble the feta cheese over the top.
Tin and Thyme http://tinandthyme.uk/

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Dom
    3rd April 2015

    Every ingredient in this salad is a firm favourite of mine. A gorgeous salad. Loving this canned food week thing too. Fab!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      4th April 2015

      Until I did this, I hadn’t realised quite how many cans I use Dom – I’d be lost without tomatoes.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      4th April 2015

      Ah well, the wonders of the internet Lilinha šŸ˜‰ I’m not sure I’d ever had feta with bulgur wheat before, but it’s a lovely combination.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Rachel
    3rd April 2015

    Great lunch idea, I love bulgar wheat and feta just makes everything better! ā¤

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      4th April 2015

      It’s a great standby salad Danielle, as most things are likely to be in the cupboard.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      4th April 2015

      Even you Fiona, is this possible? I made some very nice black bean brownies once, I ought to try them again.

  3. Leave a Reply

    Anita-Clare Field
    4th April 2015

    This knocks the spots of any pudding, It’s the kind of food I could cheerfully eat for lunch everyday. I am breaking with tradition tomorrow and having salads with our rack of lamb, I am going to give this a go. Happy EAster šŸ™‚

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      4th April 2015

      Well I’m not quite sure I’d go that far Anita šŸ˜‰ But you’re right, it’s a very tasty salad. Enjoy your salads tomorrow. Happy Easter to you too.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      4th April 2015

      Yes Lucy, it’s the sort of meal you can knock up quite easily when you’re in a hurry or there isn’t much fresh food around.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      4th April 2015

      Black beans are good Becca, although strangely, I’ve only ever had them from a tin.

  4. Leave a Reply

    Sarah
    4th April 2015

    With the weather picking up, it’s time to make some salads. This sounds lovely.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      4th April 2015

      Yes indeed Sarah and it looks as though we might be in for a treat with the weather this weekend *crosses fingers*.

  5. Leave a Reply

    Heidi Roberts
    5th April 2015

    We sometimes have a salad that comes out of cans, tuna, green beans and a few other items. Can be a quick midweek supper.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      6th April 2015

      Cans are a jolly useful standby Heidi, but I’d not really thought of making a salad out of them until I made this.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      6th April 2015

      Thanks Nayna, it was really good and now I’ve realised I can make a super quick meal like this, I suspect I’ll be doing it more often.

  6. Leave a Reply

    Kate - gluten free alchemist
    5th April 2015

    I’ve been using lots of Feta recently! Once the lighter evenings get here it sort of propels me towards Summer. Sadly though we can’t eat bulgar wheat any more….. that darned gluten! Still, there are lots of alternative grains that would substitute well. I reckon Quinoa would do well here?!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      6th April 2015

      Oh boo, it does make life a bit more limiting for you Kate. But you’re right, there are so many more things available to us now and quinoa is delicious.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      28th April 2015

      Yes Sarah, I agree. Quinoa is one of our regulars – only trouble with this dish is, you’d have to cook it.

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