Chickpea-bulgur salad for lunch on Meatless Monday

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​No one's saying you have to go meatless just because it's Monday -- but as an incentive to join the growing Meatless Monday movement, we're featuring an animal-free recipe each week.

One big misconception about a meatless diet is that plant-based eaters must subsist on salad, and salad alone. Another is that salad can't be satisfying. The chickpeas and bulgur in this recipe provide a protein punch -- and using quinoa instead of bulgur makes this recipe gluten-free, too. It's a healthy lunch option that involves no real cooking at all.

You will need:

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1 1/2 cups fine-grain bulgur
2 1/4 cups boiling water
1 lemon
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt, to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
1 can chickpeas
1 jar pitted kalamata olives (8-8.6 ounces)
6 ounces roasted red peppers (jarred and drained is okay)
1/2 bunch parsley
1 bunch romaine lettuce, or 1 package pita bread

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Boil the water in a kettle and use a glass measuring cup to measure out the water (no plastic!). Pour the boiling water over the bulgur in a heat-proof bowl. Cover the bowl and set aside for fifteen to twenty minutes, until bulgur has absorbed the water and softened. (It will fluff up to three or four cups, so if using quinoa, prepare an equivalent amount.)

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While the bulgur softens, squeeze the juice from the lemon into a small bowl and mix in the maple syrup, cumin, cayenne pepper and just a pinch of salt. Add the oil and whisk until the dressing is smooth.

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