August 30, 2010 by Dana
You know how they say opposites attract? Well, they (whoever they are) are right. Really. There is no other explanation why my blue eyed, blonde haired, football watching, car loving, accountant boyfriend would be any sort of match for this brown eyed, brunette, musical theater watching, yoga loving, music major. I mean, obviously we do have common interests, but the differences are far more glaring than the similarities.
The real puzzle, though, is how we ever eat dinner together. Our preferences are so different that I’m shocked we even eat the same meals. Jake is a true red meat kind of guy. He likes steak, burgers, lamb chops and veal. Lots and lots of meat. I am the total opposite. I’m not a fan of red meat at all. I eat chicken. White meat only, no bones or skin. Turkey works, too. I will compromise and make the occasional dish out of ground beef. But ground is the only way I’ll eat it. And not in hamburger form. It’s a texture thing. (And I’m crazy.)
But vegetables are a different story. Vegetables I can get on board with. In fact, I’ve never met a veggie I didn’t like. Zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, tomatoes… you name it, I like it. Just give me a big plate of roasted veggies for dinner and I’m set. Jake, on the other hand, liked a total of three vegetables when we met. Three. Asparagus, broccoli and artichokes. That’s it. Unless you count corn. I don’t.
I must admit that he has gotten more open to trying new vegetables. He will eat the occasional roasted butternut squash or kale chips, but for the most part, we stick to the three. Needless to say, they can get old.
So, in an effort to get some vegetables into every meal without getting sick of the same three, I have learned to be a little more creative with my side dishes. I try to incorporate the veggies into other dishes instead of serving them alone. Enter this Bulgur and Asparagus Salad.
1 bunch Asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
¾ cup bulgur wheat
1 ½ teaspoons olive oil, divided
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
This salad can be enjoyed either hot or cold. I prefer it warm, but it works either way.
1. Cook bulgur wheat according to directions on the package. Fluff cooked bulgur with a fork.
2. Toss the cut asparagus with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil. Transfer to glass baking dish and roast at 400°F for 15 minutes, or until tender.
3. In a large bowl combine the bulgur and asparagus.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and basil. Pour dressing over bulgur and apraragus mixture and toss well. Serve hot or cold.
Yields 4 side dish servings, or 2 main dish servings.
This dish is the perfect compromise for me and Jake. It incorporates one of his three preferred veggies into a delicious and nutritious side dish that we can both agree on. Hopefully your family will enjoy this, too!