The one drawback about scoring a new job is waiting for the paychecks.  While it’s wonderful that I will have money in a few weeks, for the moment it is a little scary.  And that’s where my pantry comes in handy!

I have this normally bad habit of keeping my “pantry” (it’s actually spread around several kitchen cabinets and my kitchen cart) overstocked–who knows when I’ll need green lentils, red lentils, brown lentils, etc?  And it’s true that I have over 50 different spices.  And cans of coconut milk and beans.  And every weird Korean or Thai condiment you could desire.  But this bad habit comes in handy when I don’t have the money to go out and buy anything!

This post, short-and-sweet is the first installment of RWF–Recession Worthy Food.  It’s how I (and you) can stretch your dollars into tasty, filling, nutritious meals.  While I am lucky to have a weird assortment of items already in my home, you can always substitute ingredients, every recipe is essentially a build-your-own.

Today’s recipe features Bulgur, rutabaga greens, tofu, and one of Ricki’s amazing sauces.  It’s a grain bowl and it’s to die for.  Bulgur Wheat typically features in Mid-East cuisine and is extraordinarily nutritious.  100 grams of uncooked Bulgur contains 8 grams of fiber and 12.5 grams of protein.  Or rutabaga greens.  I’ll admit that I’ve never had them before (not a rutabaga fan), but my Vegetable Husband basket sent them my way and I needed to use them.  The instructions said they cook like kale or collards, so all I did was saute them in a little olive oil and water and they turned out great.  You can substitute any leafy green vegetable (kale, spinach, collards, etc) for the rutabaga greens.  Overall, I loved the bowls.  They were filling and delicious and the sauce really goes a long way–I think I got 9 servings out of one recipe!

Bulgur Bowl

For the bulgur wheat & greens
from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites:

2.5 c chopped onions (I used vidalia because they’re in season)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch rutabega greens
2 tbsp lemon juice
1.5 c bulgur wheat
1 tsp salt
2.5 c water
black pepper to taste

In a skillet, saute the onions and garlic in the oil for about 8 minutes, until the onions are translucent.  Add the greens and lemon juice, cover, and cook until the greens have just wilted.  Stir in the bulgur and salt.  Add the water, cover, and cook on medium-low for 15 minutes, until the bulgur is tender and most of the water has been absorbed.  Sprinkle with pepper and lemon juice to taste.

For the tofu:

1 lb firm tofu

In a frying pan, dry-fry the tofu until golden on both sides.  Set aside.

For the Orange Fig sauce
from Ricki:

1/2 cup (120 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
one 2″ (5 cm) piece of ginger, peeled and minced (I used 1 tsp dried ginger)
1 tsp (5 ml) light miso
2 tsp (10 ml) tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp (5 ml) agave nectar
2 large dried figs, stems removed, chopped

Whir all ingredients in a blender until perfectly smooth.  Drizzle over your bowl as desired. Makes enough for 3-4 bowls (It made 9 for me–this stuff goes a long way!).

To assemble the bowl:

Put some bulgur & greens in the bowl, and tofu, then drizzle with the sauce!  Makes 5-6 bowls.