I was making dinner recently and when I asked my husband what he’s like me to make as a side to the main, he asked if there was anything besides potatoes, rice or pasta. I realized then that I had gotten into a bit of a rut when it comes to making side dishes. It happens to the best of us, I am a busy working mom and I have my easy “go to’s” like everyone else.
I took it as inspiration to come up with something a bit more interesting and this recipe was the result. I love a salad that acts like a meal and I really like using interesting grains. I decided to combine bulgar for the chew and quinoa for the light fluffy texture and the health benefits. This salad is great as a vegan side dish or you can add grilled chicken to make it a full meal.
Like a lot of my recipes, this makes a big bulk batch, I recommend making it and serving it for dinner and then packing it up for quick grab and go lunches for the rest of the week. It’s good to go for school lunches too since there are no nuts.
Cook 1 cup of Quinoa in 2 cups boiling water (follow package directions)
Cook 1 cup Bulgar in 2 cups water (follow package directions)
Roast 1 bag of frozen, diced butternut squash. Preheat the oven to 450F and simply toss the contents of the bag with 2 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp kosher salt. Spread onto a parchment lined baking sheet and roast until golden and caramelized, approx 20-25 minutes.
Maple Dijon Dressing
70g Real Maple Syrup
50g Apple Cider Vinegar
20g Dijon Mustard
1 Tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
3 Tsp Dried Tarragon
1 Tbsp Chopped flat leaf parsley
1 large clove garlic
180g Olive Oil
I like to build my dressings in a smoothie blender but a handheld or regular blender will work just as well. Simply add all ingredients to the blender and blend on high until it’s emulsified. You can keep this in the fridge for up to two weeks and just re-blend if it separates. This dressing is amazing as a chicken marinade or as a go to for salads as well.
Winter Quinoa & Bulgar Salad with Maple Dijon Dressing
One recipe Quinoa
One recipe Bulgar
200g Bell Pepper, small diced (assorted colors)
200g Red onion, small dice
250g Grape Tomatoes, cut in half
One recipe Roasted Squash
Two Big handfuls baby arugula leaves
100g Dried cranberries
100g Pumpkin Seeds
One recipe Maple Dijon Dressing
This recipe is all about the prep, after you’ve completed the first steps and diced your veggies, it’s as easy as putting it all into a bowl and tossing. The bulgar and quinoa are best at room temperature prior to assembling the salad, this will allow the grains to absorb more dressing. Once assembled, the salad can be kept in the fridge and will get better after a few hours. This is a great dish to bring to a pot luck or barbecues. As I’ve come to realize, people get tired of the same old side dishes, so if you show up with this, it is sure to be a hit. You can also make this a gluten free dish if you double the quinoa and eliminate the bulgar. I hope you enjoy!