Refreshing Citrus Summer Lentil Bulgur Salad

I had a meeting today at my internship so I was short on time in the morning to prepare myself lunch. Therefore, last night, I soaked some bulgur wheat for about an hour and then cooked and refrigerated it. This way I was prepared to make my lunch for today! It’s a hot day outside, really sunny, mid 90s. So, I wanted a nice summer salad – sweet, tangy, filling, and delicious. I decided to go with a nice blend of cabbage greens, hearty white mushrooms, sprouted lentils as my protein, bulgur wheat as my whole grain, avocados as my healthy fats, and a little summer-y secret ingredient to make it delicious: grapefruit!

Ah, now grapefruit is a difficult fruit in the sense that it is very tangy and acidic so I know a lot of people who don’t like it, but I LOVE it. First of all, it’s so healthy for you – it’s about 90% water. Moreover, it helps to control insulin and blood sugar, which is why a lot of doctors and trainers advise dieters to eat half a grapefruit a day. It’s the perfect summer food since it has a high water content so on hot days, it’s refreshing and sweet. Grapefruit juice is also really tasty, especially as a dressing, which is what I used in this salad as well! As directed below, you will use some olive oil, grapefruit juice, and lemon juice to make a nice tangy dressing for your salad. It’s honestly the perfect blend because grapefruit and lemon are so refreshing; therefore, this salad will definitely give you a boost of energy and a dose of summer happiness. The chilled taste of fresh citrus in your mouth is something you cannot miss out on in the summer.

I made the vegetables in the salad raw to get a nice balance of fiber and whole grains, but feel free to cook your bok choy leaves and mushrooms if that is how you prefer your salads! Also, the avocado in this salad really meshes well with the grapefruit. It balances it out the acidity really well and gives the salad some more texture, making it even more extraordinary. Enjoy this salad as either a side to a meal or as your entree – it’s filling and easily portable since it’s not drenched in dressing and won’t go bad in the heat! I hope you enjoy the grapefruit-based salad as much as I did.

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The Recipe

Yields 1 Serving

Serving Size: 3 cups

1/2 cup bulgur wheat cooked

1 cup sprouted mung beans or 1/2 cup of a lean protein of your choice – click here to learn how to sprout

1/4 avocado, diced

2 large white mushrooms, sliced

2 bok choy leaflets, diced

1/2 grapefruit, peeled and sliced

1/4 cup fresh mozzarella cheese (optional if you like cheese on your salad)

1 tsp lemon zest or freshly squeeze lemon juice

1 tsp salt and black pepper (optional for taste)

1 1/2 tsp olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 freshly grated garlic clove

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Directions

1. Slice your bok choy leaflets into pieces about the size of lettuce leaves you usually get in a caesar salad. Wash the mushrooms properly. Cook these vegetables if you wish to (you can steam them in the microwave in a bowl of water as well if you are short on time).

2. Cook your sprouted lentils or your choice of lean protein (if they are not cooked already).

3. Place the bulgur wheat, lentils, mushrooms, bok choy, and avocado into a mixing bowl. On the side, start to peel and slice half of a grapefruit. As you are doing this, some of the grapefruit juice will being to ooze out so do it over a small bowl and collect the dripping juice because we are going to use it!

4. Place your sliced grapefruit into the bowl and freshly grate one garlic clove over top.

5. Take the grapefruit juice that you collected (if you didn’t get much, don’t worry, you really only need a few drops for the tangy dressing). Mix the juice with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper (if you need it), and the lemon juice. This will make a nice refreshing dressing for your salad. Taste a little to make sure it is not too tangy for you and if you need more salt or pepper.

6. Drizzle the salad with your freshly made dressing and mix together. Top your salad with some fresh mozzarella cheese if you wish. Yummm, so refreshing! : ) 

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