Canned food can be a life saver. This black bean & bulgur wheat salad with feta uses a variety of tinned and jarred goods. It’s 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.
Lots of Lovely Tins
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 Food Week
This 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 I had to do was hunt for my tin opener.
Black Bean & Bulgur Wheat Salad with Feta
The recipe for black bean & bulgur wheat feta salad was really quick and easy to put together. I made it in about 15 minutes. As is usually the case with me, I altered it 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.
As it happened, I didn’t have any parsley in the house, so I grabbed a large bunch of chives from the garden and used those instead. 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. This is 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, as it makes a nice change from sandwiches.
The variety of colours make the salad look particularly appealing and it has good contrasting tastes and textures too. Think 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?”
Don’t Have Any of the Ingredients?
This black bean & bulgur wheat salad is incredibly versatile. If you’re unable to get hold of any of the ingredients, you can easily swap them for another or leave them out entirely.
Use whatever tinned beans or pulses you have. Chickpeas or lentils would be good too.
It might take a bit more time to cook, but rice, quinoa or couscous make a great substitute.
If you can get hold of fresh mushrooms, fry some up in olive oil and add those instead. Or just leave the mushrooms out altogether.
Beetroot is not to everyone’s taste. I tend to make my own pickled beetroot, so in the normal way of things I’d use those. CT hates beetroot, however, so if it’s a meal for both of us, I have to substitute other pickles instead. These might be cucumbers or homemade carrot pickles.
As the name implies, sweetcorn adds a little sweetness to the salad. But if you don’t have a tin of it handy, you could use frozen instead. Alternatively, a jar of sweet peppers would work well. You’d need to chop them first though.
Use whatever onions you have to hand. Shallots or spring onions are both good substitutes.
Parsley & Chives
Most leafy green herbs would be nice in this salad. If you don’t have chives, use more parsley and vice versa. Basil, coriander or chervil would all be good too.
Vegan Black Bean & Bulgur Wheat Salad
Everything but the feta cheese is vegan in this salad. So if you’re a vegan, you could either leave out the feta cheese altogether or substitute it for some tofu or tempeh . If you like the idea of the tofu or tempeh, just cube them and marinade in some good quality soya sauce. I use tamari. Then fry in a little olive oil and crumble over the salad. Even without the feta cheese, the beans combined with the bulgur wheat provide plenty of protein. Mushrooms are also surprisingly high in protein.
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this black bean & bulgur wheat salad with or without the feta, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
Bean & Bulgur Wheat Salad. PIN IT.
Black Bean & Bulgur Wheat Feta Salad – The Recipe
Black Bean & Bulgur Wheat Feta Salad
- 100 g bulgur wheat, soaked in cold water overnight (I soaked it in hot water for 15 mins)
- 400 g can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 290 g can chopped mushrooms, drained
- 340 g jar sweet pickled baby beetroot, drained and roughly chopped (I used half a jar)
- 198 g can sweet corn, drained
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 small bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 small bunch chives, roughly chopped (I used a large bunch of chives as I had no parsley)
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive
- 200 g feta cheese
- Whilst your bulger wheat is soaking, prepare everything else.
- Drain the bulgur wheat well and place into a large bowl.
- Add the beans, mushrooms, beetroot, sweet corn and red onion and mix well.
- 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.
- Add the parsley and chives and mix once more then season really well.
- Divide between serving plates and crumble the feta cheese over the top.
I was sent the ingredients for this recipe by Canned Food UK. I was not required to write a positive review and as always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands and organisations that help to keep Tin and Thyme blithe and blogging.