Recipe: Bulgar & Lamb Meatballs (& me in Cooking Light!)

I'm a Twitter junkie and am always watching brands and publications for fun opportunities and found a great one from @CookingLight. They are working with author and host Allison Fishman on "The Twelve" and having real readers implement 12 healthy habits in 2011.

Every month, Allison chooses a new reader to take on that months challenge and for April - SHE CHOSE ME! The challenge is a big one - eat three servings of whole grains EVERY DAY! I probably don't eat three in a month! But she's working with me to figure it out.

My first challenge was to identify the "whole grains" and find recipes that I might like using them. The first one I found and decided to make is Bulgar & Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce from Cooking Light.

And later today, there will be a blog from Allison about me and the April challenge! I'll add a link once it's up.

I must say - using these fresh and natural ingredients sure does make pretty food! First I soaked the bulgur for a couple of minutes and then drained it. Then added parsley and dill.

Seriously - look how pretty it is!!!

I added a "meatloaf mix" instead of straight lamb and didn't use eggs in the meatballs - but they stuck together just fine. I was a bit apprehensive about "boiling" the meatballs rather than frying them - but went for it anyway!

I also ended up using a can of Rotel Hot Tomatoes because that's all that was in the cabinet - and they were HOT!!! I tried to keep out some of the habaneros because I didn't want to ruin the meal - but it turned out okay. I also substituted beef broth for the red wine and threw in a can of mushrooms.

The recipe mentions serving this over rice - I was in the mood for pasta but went the healthy route with Whole Wheat pasta.

And voila! A sprinkle of parmesan and dinner is served!

It tasted great - a little spicy but I really enjoyed it. I'd say next time I would use the Muir Glen tomatoes because they are so wonderful, add a touch more of salt and add a small can of tomato sauce.

The bulgar sort of takes the place of the breadcrumbs and there's still enough meat to not make them taste funky. It's a very light dish with lots of flavor.

I hope you enjoy and let me know if you eat whole grains...I'll continue to share throughout the month of April about my challenge.

Bulgar & Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce


  • Meatballs:
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked bulgur
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 ounce lean ground lamb
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • Sauce:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • Dill sprigs (optional)


To prepare meatballs, soak bulgur in 2 cups water for 2 minutes; drain through a fine sieve. Combine bulgur and next 7 ingredients (bulgur through 2 minced garlic cloves). Cover and chill 30 minutes. Shape lamb mixture into 18 (1-inch) meatballs; cover and chill 30 minutes.
To prepare sauce, heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 minced garlic clove; cook 3 minutes, stirring often. Add red wine; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup water, cinnamon, and diced tomatoes.
Add meatballs; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Turn meatballs; cover and cook 10 minutes. Garnish with dill sprigs, if desired.


  1. I love it Hussy! You did it. I'm so proud of you. So glad to hear you didn't need the egg -- I didn't want your husband's egg allergy to get between you and bulghur. I think there might just be a bulghur salad in your future...telling you, by the end of the month you'll get there :-)

  2. You can also try broiling the meatballs before you simmer them in your sauce. It will give you the textural element that you like without the added oil.

  3. I Have been following Cooking Light's 12 Healthy Habits...and April has been the hardest! Go for whole grains...UGH! I was so happy to read your blog...THANK YOU for helping me get more excited.

  4. Thnak you for helping me be more excited about Cooking Light's 12 Heatly Habits. Eating more whole grains...UGH. Thanks again, I'm glad I found your blog.

  5. Found you through Cooking Light and can't wait to try this recipe and to keep reading your blog!