If you read my posts regularly you can probably tell that I alternate between phases of very healthy cooking and phases of more mainstream regular cooking when I don’t obsess as much about clean ingredients. If I completely deny myself pasta or cheese or meat or sweets or the occasional glass or two of wine for too long, I’ll go crazy. For the most past I eat very healthy during the day and then cook and eat whatever I want for dinner. If it’s fish and vegetables, fine. If it’s chili or pizza or creamy potato soup, fine. My motto is everything in moderation. The good news is, I genuinely prefer pretty healthy foods (i.e. I would much rather have pasta marinara than fettucini alfredo) and I really like vegetables. This is not to say I haven’t challenged myself to the occasional weeklong “cleanse.” Through these cleanses I have learned that it’s important to have clean ingredients on hand all of the time. Today, I looked in the fridge and pantry and came up with this salad and I think it’s pretty delicious and worth sharing (in honor of my friend, Gretchen Dusseau of System of Strength, who is just starting a month long cleanse!). I love the idea of taking mostly beans and vegetables and binding them together with a small fine grain like bulgar wheat. Add the lemon dijon vinaigrette and you’ve got a hearty, filling, tasty lunch. Keep it clean by eating it as is or add kalamata olives, chunks of feta cheese or shredded parmesan if you want a little variety.
Bulgar Wheat and Garbanzo Bean Salad (Serves 6)
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed (optional, but I prefer extra beans)
1/2 cup uncooked bulgar wheat (could substitute any other whole grain)
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped cucumber
4-6 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup olive oil
4-5 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
fresh ground pepper and salt, to taste
Cook bulgar wheat as directed on package. Let cool while preparing the rest of the salad. In small container whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. In large bowl mix together, cooked bulgar wheat, peppers, cucumbers, beans, and green onions. Add bulgar wheat and dressing. Toss to combine. Serve room temp or chill and serve cold.