Monday, January 11, 2010

Bulgur Veggie Salad on Baby Spinach with Falafel


Today was hectic at our house, as I expected. We were out much of the day and then I was on the phone once we got home. As you may expect this means we had a quick meal tonight. I didn’t measure anything because I didn’t have time but I can share with you what I did in general.

As I frequently do I turned to an entrĂ©e salad when I don’t have a lot of time. I made a bulgur salad dressed with lemon zest and juice, flaxseed oil and dried oregano. In the salad I added finely diced grape tomatoes, cucumber, red and yellow bell pepper green onions and raw sunflower seeds. I served this on top of a large quantity of raw baby spinach dressed with fresh lemon juice. We had falafel from the freezer that I warmed in the microwave to go with the cold grains and greens.

It was a fast dinner but a tasty and filling one. Sorry I didn’t have time to measure. Today was much more rushed than normal. Tomorrow should be a much more “normal” day at our house.

If you like the flavors of the salad but aren’t a fan of bulgur I have made a similar salad with brown rice, millet, barley wheat berries or quinoa. Any grain works in this salad. I always add the acid when the grain is hot so that it absorbs the flavor. Since I used flaxseed oil I added that once the grain had cooled to room temperature. Any of the grains will have absorbed more the flavors tomorrow, assuming you have leftovers.

12 comments:

  1. What an impressive quick and healthy dinner! I've never cooked falafel or bulgur before. I should introduce new healthy foods to my family for a happy and healthy 2010!

    p.s. Do you have falafel recipe posted on your blog?

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  2. Looks so bright and colorful. Yum. I just saw a recipe on another blog for a sweet potato falafel. I've never made them from scratch, only from the boxed mixes.

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  3. Oraphan,

    Thanks! :)

    Bulgur is a very quick grain to make. You cook it like rice and it only needs to simmer for approximately 12 minutes. I make it when I need a quick grain dish. We think it is good hot or cold.

    I need to check but I don't think my falafel recipe is on the blog. Typically they are fried, but as you may have guessed mine are baked. My freezer stash is almost depleted so I will need to make more this month. I will get it posted the next time I make them.

    Heather,

    Falafel are easy to make. Traditionally they are made from ground soaked but not cooked dried garbanzos and favas with copious amounts of fresh herbs. I will get my version posted sometime this month.

    Alicia

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  4. That salad looks SO delicious! I love falafel!

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  5. Anna,

    We love falafel too! They normally end up on a salad at our house. However, falafel are also good on a pizza if you make your own pizza at home. I cut them in half and use them in place of more traditional toppings.

    Alicia

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  6. I'm with Oraphan, can't wait to see your healthy baked falafel recipe :)

    I love grain salads, and I always default to cracked wheat. I should try some of your other suggestions.

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  7. Sarah,

    Thanks! That is very nice of you to say. I tend to just toss things into a bowl, which is why I haven't posted the recipe yet (I don't measure). But the next time I make them I will measure. Promise.

    Bulgur (cracked wheat) makes a great salad. I try to vary the grains for the different micronutrients. But, I agree with you I could easily overdo the bulgur.

    Alicia

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  8. Thanks, Alicia! I can't wait for the recipe of your baked falafel!

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  9. This looks great! I'm wondering, do you buy fresh or packaged spinach, is it organic and do you rinse it? And in general, do you rinse your fruits & veggies with just water, or add anything else like vinegar?

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  10. Laura,

    Great questions. I will cover them one at a time.

    When I am buying produce my preferences are in this order: 1) local and organic from our CSA, 2) local from known farmers, 3) organic from the store, 4) conventional. During the winter we don't get any local produce so I buy mostly organic from the grocery store.

    Being a little OCD, I always wash my produce. For things like greens I soak them for a few minutes in a water and white vinegar solution. Then I rinse again in fresh water to remove any vinegar residue.

    For thick skinned produce I use baking soda and a brush to lightly scrub the produce and then rinse thoroughly.

    Thanks for the question. How do you handle fresh produce at your house?

    Alicia

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  11. Lately I've been washing greens, grapes and berries with water and vinegar. I only wash pre-bagged greens about 50% of the time, although I know it should be done. For other fruits and veggies, I generally just "rinse and rub". I hadn't thought about using baking soda, that seems like a good idea.

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