Bulgur with Kale and Spiced Chickpeas is the perfect post-hurricane food during power outages. This hearty recipe requires no cooking and no refrigeration. It’s conscious cookery at its finest.
The Eastern coast had a weekend visitation from Hurricane Isaias — because with COVID and all, we didn’t have enough stress, right? Isaias gave Miami a break, thankfully, but it served as a wakeup call — it’s hurricane season even during a pandemic.
We love our devices, laptops, cellphones, lights, stoves and especially in Florida, air conditioners and refrigerators. But for generations, we did without them, because they didn’t exist. We got along, anyway. I’m not advocating a return to a simpler, unplugged age— I’ve been as hot and cranky as everyone else. I am, though, advocating a return to basic home cooking, because even in the stressful, sweltering mess after a hurricane — or an earthquake, fire or flood — we still have basic human needs. Like eating.
Pricy meal kits won’t help you now. The ingredients just spoil. Fast. Your usual refreshing smoothie isn’t on the menu, not without fresh produce and a workable blender. So what do we eat? What do we cook? Nonperishable food is far more than the chips, cookies and other processed food that make up most hurricane survivors’ diets. Whole grains and beans predate fast and processed food by centuries. They’re pantry-friendly, and guess what? They don’t always require cooking.
Canned beans are already cooked and convenient and, like all beans, offer fiber and protein to nourish you through difficult days and sticky nights. Bulgur, or cracked wheat, just needs water to plump up and rehydrate. It’s fiberiffic and so versatile, you can change it up every meal. Bulgur porridge with dried fruit and nuts for breakfast, with a blizzard of fresh herbs, chopped tomato and cucumber for a pita and tabbouleh lunch and this no-cook, no-fridge pilaf with fresh greens and canned chickpeas and tomatoes for dinner.
Stay nourished during this crazy time. Wishing you clear skies and sunny days. And remember — we are never really without power.
Bulgur with Kale and Spiced Chickpeas
- 4 cups kale about 1/2 bunch, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup scallions chopped
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 cup bulgur
- 1 15- ounce can diced tomatoes or if you have it, 1 to 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 1 teaspoon agave
- 1 cup water
- 1 15- ounce can chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 handful cilantro chopped
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- tahini for drizzling if desired
- In a large bowl, use your hands to massage kale with olive oil and lemon juice for a minute or two until kale starts to relax. Maybe you can relax a little, too.
- Add chopped scallions and smoked paprika, allspice, turmeric and bulgur. Toss to combine.
- Add diced tomatoes, agave and water. Give everything a good stir to combine and cover. Pop it in the fridge, if you’ve got one, leave it on the counter if you don’t. After an hour, bulgur should have absorbed all the liquid. Season with sea salt and pepper and fluff with a fork.
- In a separate bowl, toss chickpeas with cumin and perhaps a pinch of sea salt.
- To serve, scatter spiced chickpeas over the bulgur, sprinkle on the chopped cilantro. Drizzle on some tahini, if you like.
Other No-Cook Recipes