Bulked Up

When it comes to salad, I tend to think of it as a side dish, or acceptable lunch entreé, but rarely as the focus of dinner. My main reasoning for that is simple – I eat, a lot. I’ve come to learn that with the right ingredients a salad can be quite filling and in fact be a very appropriate dinner. Of course I made some frozen french fries just in case the salad wasn’t filling, but it was! We even wound up having leftovers that I was able to take for lunch the next day.

The recipe comes from Betty Crocker, and I was drawn to it because it had vegetarian in the title. Since the beginning of my vegetarian month wasn’t very successful, I’ve been sure to stick to it since then. I couldn’t help but laugh out-loud when reading the first ingredient was chicken broth. There were a few comments on the recipe bemoaning the vegetarian title, since obviously chicken broth is far from it. That was easy enough to adjust with vegetable broth to make it a truly vegetarian dish. In all honesty, that probably could have been omitted as well, and the bulgur could have been cooked in water.

This was actually my first time making bulgur wheat, and I’ve only ever had it before in tabouleh. If we’re going to be honest here, it smells like bird food before it’s cooked. It kind of looks like it too. But thankfully after cooking, it doesn’t have much of a flavor – if anything it’s a bit nutty, and for this particular salad it added a nice contrast. The other surprise of the salad was the dressing – it had a nice kick and was flavorful without being too oily or too salty (something I find a lot with “Asian inspired” dressings).

While I wouldn’t recommend this being your dinner after a full day of work and a workout, I think it’s appropriate for those rest days. Conveniently my entire week was a rest day. I like to use the excuse that I was adjusting to my new schedule. The truth of the matter is that it was cold, windy, and I was exhausted. Once the snow clears I’ll be back out on the roads – April’s half marathon isn’t going to PR itself.

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