Coconut Bulgur and Butternut Squash Bowl

A hearty vegan bulgur bowl filled with juicy butternut squash pieces, wilted spinach, and toasted coconut. This bright, versatile dish is great for lunch, dinner, or gatherings!

Nutritious and delicious Coconut Bulgur and Butternut Squash Bowl | healthynibblesandbits.com #vegan

Is it possible for me to go 2+ weeks without cooking? The answer is one big fat N-O! I learned during this trip that I long to rinse vegetables, hear onions sizzling in some hot oil, make a house smell like sugar and cinnamon, and spray sauce all over my shirts while cooking. Santa forgot that I wanted an apron for Christmas, so I’ll probably be covering my shirts with all sorts of spotted colors for another year.

Just watch, come Christmas time next year, I’ll have a Jackson Pollack-esque masterpiece all over my clothing. As I always say, you’re not cooking unless you’re making a mess.

Nutritious and delicious Coconut Bulgur and Butternut Squash Bowl | healthynibblesandbits.com #vegan

I volunteered to cook a meal for my family one evening during my trip. Now, before you say “That’s so sweet of you,” deep down, I think I offered just so I could learn more about grocery shopping and cooking in the UK. Questions such as, what kind of produce do they sell in big supermarkets; how the heck do I bake with fan-assisted ovens; how will I bake this recipe sans measuring cups; and what do you mean there’s no such thing as applesauce, were promptly answered. I can’t say that I was able to master cooking on the other side of the pond, but I did manage to bake this scrumptious cranberry orange pull apart bread from Broma Bakery. Everyone LOVED it. They also loved this bulgur and butternut squash bowl.

Nutritious and delicious Coconut Bulgur and Butternut Squash Bowl | healthynibblesandbits.com #vegan

My friends accuse me of being a hippie because of my bulgur cooking, kale massaging ways and my allegiances to coconut oil and coconut sugar. That and the fact that I’m from California. I did have a minor I’m-such-a-California-girl breakdown when I couldn’t find a stalk of lacinato kale at the UK supermarkets I shopped at (Tesco and Sainsbury’s). Is this what has become of me—complaining that I can’t make homemade kale chips while I’m on vacation? Someone, please help me.

With the kale chips option down, I went for the next best thing, baby spinach. Instead of making chips out of them, I quickly wilted them with my sauté pan so that they mixed better with the rest of the dish.

You’ll note that this recipe calls for sesame oil—STICK TO IT. Sesame oil one of my favorite ingredients to use when cooking Asian recipes because just a tiny bit adds a deluge of nutty flavor into any dish. Trust me on this. So go out and get yourself a tiny bottle of sesame oil. (I’ll also forgive you if you decide to cook this without it.)

KITCHEN TIP: HOW TO PEEL & CUT BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Coconut Bulgur and Butternut Squash Bowl

Serves 4.

20 minPrep Time

35 minCook Time

55 minTotal Time

Save Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 small butternut squash (about 1 and 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 TBS olive oil, divided
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 6 oz. baby spinach
  • 3 TBS low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 stalk of green onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate tendrils

Instructions

  1. Pour the water and bulgur in a small saucepan, and bring it to boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, and let the bulgur simmer until the liquids are nearly evaporated, about 10-13 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover the saucepan with a lid. The bulgur should continue fluffing up.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Peel and seed the butternut squash, and then chop the squash into 1/2-inch cubes. Toss the cubed squash with a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread the squash onto the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake the squash for 22 to 25 minutes, or until it can be easily pierced with a fork.
  4. While the squash is cooking, toast the coconut in a pan. Heat the pan over medium heat, and spread the coconut in there. When the coconut starts to turn yellow, start stirring. Keep stirring until about 50% of the coconut is brown. Remove the pan from heat.
  5. Heat another pan with a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, pour in the spinach and start stirring. You just want the spinach to soften, so wilting the spinach should take no more than a minute. Remove from heat.
  6. In a large bowl, pour the bulgur and mix it with soy sauce and sesame oil. Mix in the butternut squash, spinach, green onion, coconut, and pomegranate tendrils.
  7. Serve immediately, and refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container.
Recipe Type: vegan, dinner, lunch
http://healthynibblesandbits.com/coconut-bulgur-and-butternut-squash-bowl/

60 thoughts on “Coconut Bulgur and Butternut Squash Bowl

  1. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness

    Haha, I totally relate to this post! But I am from the Pacific North West…we have very similar hippie-food-loving ways 😉
    This bowl is GORGEOUS and totally my kinda meal. I haven’t tried bulgur, and now I need to! Pinned!

    Reply
  2. Julie | This Gal Cooks

    It’s amazing the things we become accustom to here in the US that other parts of the world don’t even have. But I guess not having apple sauce would result in one making their own, right?! Provided apples can be found. 🙂

    Great recipe, Lisa. I think I’ve only used bulgar once or twice but I need to give it a try again so I can try this!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Post author

      Thanks, Julie! I ended up having to buy a can of apples and blending them with an immersion blender. Worked like a charm!

      Reply
  3. Min

    Haha you’re too funny and cute ;). My friends haven’t accused me of being a hippie, but I’m sure I’m headed in that direction. They don’t use measuring cups in the UK either? Just like in korea..it’s actually quite liberating to cook without..I actually never used to measure until I started my blog bc instructions that say a pinch of this, a spoonful of that would be criminal haha. Love the simplicity of this dish, not to mention the beautiful colors!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Post author

      Nope! They mainly use kitchen scales to measure ingredients. I’m sure many professional bakers/pastry chefs would say that we should all be measuring out ingredients. My mother is totally the same way with cooking. She grabs a random bowl in the cupboard as her measuring come and just adjusts the ingredients based on how they look and feel. Maybe one day I’ll be able to cook like that!

      Reply
  4. Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    Oh I’ve been having mini cooking/ingredient related meltdowns of my own. Such a difference in the grocery stores between West Coast and East Coast and I get very frustrated when I can’t find what I want. Gotta adapt I guess! This salad looks right up my alley! Love it!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Post author

      It’s so true! I remember how I couldn’t find so many Asian ingredients when I lived in the East Coast. I would either have my family send them over, or I would carry a huge suitcase full of food back to the East Coast!

      Reply
  5. Alanna

    I adore sesame oil, and come to think of it…it’s been a while since I last used some!! I actually haven’t experimented with bulgar in the kitchen although I love it!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply
    1. Lisa Post author

      Thanks, Alanna! I LOVE the chewy texture of bulgur. If you like grains that are slightly chewy, I think you’ll like this one!

      Reply
  6. Eileen

    This is exactly why we try to stay in hotels or airbnbs with kitchens when we’re on vacation. Who can go without cooking for a week? I feel your pain! 🙂 Also, this is totally the kind of salad I want to make a big batch of and eat all week for instant lunch. Fast and delicious!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Post author

      Thanks, Eileen! I’ve never stayed at an airbnb before, but I might have to do that the next time I travel!

      Reply
    1. Lisa Post author

      Actually, considering it’s been about 15 degrees C here, it doesn’t really feel like winter at all! So not complaining about this…

      Reply
  7. Julia

    Oof! Bring on that toasted coconut! I think I could eat butternut squash every day of my life and not get sick of it. And hey, if being a hippy means eating awesome food like bulgar and kale, I say bring on the title 😉

    Reply
    1. Lisa Post author

      I just scrolled through my recipes lately, and I’d say over half contains coconut! It’s an obsession!

      Reply
  8. Patty Gale

    This looks absolutely delicious! We just had a butternut squash that my husband made into soup using fresh ginger. This recipe is definitely next on my list to try. Stopping by from SITS Saturday sharefest. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Post author

      Thank you so much for stopping by, Patty Gale! YUM! I need to try that soup with ginger! Sounds awesome!

      Reply
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  10. Deryn @ Running on Real Food

    This looks delicious! I love the list of ingredients, the coconut in there is a great touch. It’s my first time here and everything looks so good, great photos! I haven’t cooked with bulgur in forever, I think it’s time 🙂 thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Post author

      Thank you so much, Deryn for your kind words and for stopping by! Bulgur definitely needs to be on your to-make list!

      Reply
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  14. Fiona

    Wow, you got all of my favourite foods and put them together! It never even occurred to me to put pomegranate and squash together but I’m so excited to try this out, it looks delicious. Thanks for the great recipe, look forward to trying it. If it makes you feel any better, when I visited the US, I was also totally lost – couldn’t handle the whole cups thing… Great blog.

    Reply
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