Friday, November 26, 2010

Kitchen Cabinet Finds

On Tuesday evening I got the urge to clean out kitchen cabinets.

You know how it happens: you're searching for that single obscure item you know is hidden somewhere in your stash (in my case, a pouch of dried apricots). Before you know it, you've emptied the entire contents of your cabinet onto the counter, and you're re-discovering ingredients you had long-forgotten you purchased.

After discarding an expired box of prunes and an ancient can of sweetened condensed milk, I was left with the good fortune of two cabinet items I didn't even know I had: a bag of pistachios (score!) and a jar of roasted red peppers (super lucky).

Now the fun begins--what recipe could I create with these bonus delicacies hidden in my cabinet? When all else fails, I turn to a hearty grain as a base, add some unique mix-ins, and stir in a homemade vinaigrette. Voila! A healthy lunch for the next day was ready to go.

As a side note, I hope you all had a beautiful food-filled Thanksgiving! I enjoyed plenty of garlic mashed potatoes, apple-onion stuffing, sweet potatoes with pecans, and Chocolate-Pecan Pie. The best part of the day, however, was spending it surrounded by my family.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory from this year?

Bulgur with Roasted Red Pepper, Pistachios, and Cilantro Pesto
(Inspired by a Cooking Light recipe)

This is a super light and healthy vegan salad. Pack in tupperware for your lunch at work, or bring it to a holiday potluck--it's red and green colors will fit right in :)

Salad Ingredients:
  • 1 cup uncooked bulgur
  • 2 cups low-sodium broth (veggie or chicken)
  • a little olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 jar of roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped pistachios
Cilantro Pesto Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup fresh, chopped cilantro
  • 3 TBSP fresh, chopped parsley
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 3 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • a dash of salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
1) In a small saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Add bulgur, remove from heat, cover saucepan and set aside.

2) In a small skillet, heat a dash of olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and garlic and saute until just softened, about 4 minutes. Set aside.

3) Place all of the cilantro pesto ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth, and season to taste.

4) In a large bowl, combine bulgur, onion, and bell peppers. Stir in pesto until evenly coated, then stir in pistachios.


  1. Oh I love finding all those things you've forgotten about, that are still good! :)

  2. I wish I had hidden treasures in my kitchen! My cupboards are bare!

  3. you are so lucky to find a jar of roasted peppers in your cabinets, in my house those are are to be forgotten :P and the bulgur salad sounds delicious.
    My favorite thanksgiving memory, well, the whole day I may say, It was the first truly Thanksgiving day we celebrate since we moved to US

  4. Wow, cilantro pesto?? I'm so intrigued by that. You are the grain goddess! I definitely need to go through my cabinet stuff soon. My favorite memory was my 20 month old niece's reply to, "What does the lizard say?" She repeatedly sticks her tongue out, and it's SO cute! :)

  5. Hello, treasure trove? My first instinct would have been a dip/spread. I need to work on the "hearty whole grain base" as a first choice type of thing.

    I've got to say, I'm such a fiend for mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving that it's just unreal.

  6. Those are some good pantry finds! I enjoy both, immensely. This is a great vegan salad...I just love the thought of cilantro pesto! As for Thanksgiving memories? I so enjoyed having my husband and my sister cook with me on Thursday. We laughed, talked and did a lot of sampling! Thank you for sharing. I hope you are having a lovely Saturday afternoon!