Tomato+Balsamic Bulgur Salad

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I’ve been eating a lot of “bowls” lately. That just sounds weird- to be more specific, those bowls contain the following formula: some type of grain + some form of protein + a mixture of vegetables + herbs. I know that this isn’t any kind of ground-breaking idea, but I really love the idea of how versatile these mixed bowls can be!

Last night, I made one of my favorite combinations. :)

Back in my single days, I used to make this recipe all the time. I would  have it night after night for dinner because it was so easy to throw together and because I just enjoyed it so much! It’s loosely based off of a recipe that I saw in Self magazine years ago- probably 2006. I would link to the recipe (which I used to have bookmarked), but the webpage doesn’t exist any more!

And like I said, my recipe is loosely based off of it anyway. I’m going to share the recipe of how I made the specific bowl shown in the images on this post, but you could certainly change the source of grain and/or protein and it would be just as good. The secret is all in the sauce. :)


Tomato + Balsamic Bulgur Salad

1/4 c. (dry) bulgur wheat (or any grain!)

1 c. water

1 c. broccoli

1/4 c. each: diced red onion, bell pepper, carrot and mushroom

1/2 c. crushed tomato

1/2 T balsamic vinegar

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp each: thyme, chives, basil

1/8 – 1/4 tsp each: garlic powder, onion powder

salt + pepper to taste (about 1/8 tsp each)

7 large shrimp, cooked

Combine the bulgur wheat and water into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until all water is absorbed and grain is tender. Set aside. While the bulgur is cooking, roast all of the vegetables on a cookie sheet in the oven (I let them cook at 400˚ for about 7 minutes). Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients (minus the shrimp) into a bowl and stir together well. Pour the sauce into the pot with the cooked bulgur and stir well. Stir in the roasted vegetables and shrimp and cook over medium-low heat for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately. 

I like to sprinkle a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese on mine.

The combination of the tomato, balsamic and thyme is what makes this sauce tastes so darn delicious. The bowl itself is so hearty and filling, but manages to be super low in calories (and that’s always a good thing!).

This was so good, I might just have to make it again for dinner tonight…

What’s your favorite protein + grain + veggie combo?


  1. This looks yummy! (And I am so curious to your surprise news that you alluded to yesterday. I couldn’t get your blog to load to comment for some reason.)

  2. Love this idea! I always forget about bulgur–and I even have some in my pantry! My go to “grain” lately has been quinoa. :)

  3. Looks delicious! I need to get creative and make some of these grain + protein + veggie bowls. They sound so easy and always look so yummy.

  4. Ooooh this does look awesome! I too do ‘bowls’ for most nights (like last night) b/c I just don’t have much time to do anything elaborate right now. Great idea for flavors!

  5. I love bowls like this – minus the shrimp it would be something I would really enjoy (I don’t know why, but shrimp in a bowl isn’t my thing). We make a jambalaya-type mix whenever we’re out of real food at our house – whatever grain we have lots of, field roast sausages (always in the freezer), and whatever veggies are lying around. And lots of hot sauce. :)

  6. This looks so yummy!! I love grain bowls like this! Minus the shrimp for me though… I can’t get myself to eat those little boogers!

  7. Mmm, this looks fantastic! I LOVE bowl meals…so versatile! I did a post like this over the summer and called them “build-a-bowls” Why though have I never thought to combine the flavors of tomato and balsamic? AND…you just reminded me that I have bulgur that I need to use up! I’m all over this! :D

  8. Not sure what my favorite all time combo is, but when I make bowls like that they usually end up Asian-flavored. I actually really love to make a quick stir fry and throw it on oatmeal that has been spiked with ginger and aminos (or soy sauce). Is that weird? Bulgur is one of my all time favorite grains though, for sure. This looks delicious!

Comments are welcome (and encouraged)!