Sunday, December 19, 2010

Rainbow Bright

My mission to up the ante on the veg count in my daily diet continues, with the help of that gift that keeps on giving, the Cornucopia cookbook. I generally seek out salads with lots of bright veggies, bulked up with a grain or some sort of complementary carbohydrate, and an interesting dressing. This time I opted for the bulghar wheat, roast butternut squash and baby spinach salad with a mint and lemon dressing. I've been a bit lazy about giving bulghar wheat a try in the past, opting instead for cous cous in its place, but bulghar is a far more nutritious substance, so it was time for me to bite the bullet: protein, iron, and vitamins B1, B3 and E - where's the flaw?!

Bulghar wheat is an encouragingly easy substance to prepare: just pour boiling water on it and forget about it while the various other salad processes are underway.

The cinnamon for the dressing toasts in the oven for five minutes to crisp up the flavour for the dressing. The smell of this straight out of the oven would warm you right through to your soul, it's a most uplifting scent. I love cinnamon very dearly, and it makes an appearance most frequently in sweet, baked goods, as well as being a frequent heat-provider in curries, but the element it adds to the dressing for this salad is a thoroughly pleasant surprise.

Aaaaah the bright glistening beauty of roast veggies right out of the oven.

Throw it all together...couldn't be simpler.

On to the really exciting part, the dressing. To begin: mint fresh from the garden. I really do love mint, but it fairly takes over when you plant it outside, so it's always nice to be able to thin out the abundance a little by snipping a few sprigs to use in the kitchen.

The addition of lemon juice, toasted ground cinnamon and olive oil admittedly don't give the dressing an entirely attractive appearance.

But when it is added to that inviting bowl of bulghar and veggies, boy does it all glisten with the promise of freshness and flavour.

And the final touch, not merely for prettiness but also for added texture and, of course, nutritious greeness: a crunchy bed of spinach. It makes me glow just to look at it.

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