Lunch Box: Make-Ahead Bulgur Pita Pockets with Spiced Chickpeas, Carrots, and Tahini

[Photograph: Suzanne Lehrer]

Whenever I bring home leftovers from a Turkish restaurant, I always find myself reaching right past the doner kebab and going straight for a midnight snack of bulgur. The tiny, slightly nutty kernels sop up flavor like a sponge, and still manage to hold their texture (similar to couscous) without becoming mushy. Bulgar's high in protein and fiber, not to mention a thoroughly satisfying and filling grain, giving you considerable bang for your buck.

Here, I've paired the cracked wheat kernels with warm, peppery flavors. Shredded carrots and chickpeas are coated in paprika and coriander before they're folded into bulgur with lots of fresh parsley. A three-ingredient tahini dressing does double duty as a binding and flavor agent, and keeps the bulgur from drying out after sitting.

About the Author: Suzanne Lehrer is a writer and recipe developer in New York and a recipe editor for Cooking Channel. When not curating her budding hot sauce collection, she puts her French Culinary Institute education to good use in kitchens all around town. Follow her recipes and cooking adventures at and on twitter @the_suzchef.