Variety is the Spice of Life

Ya know where that idiom came from?  Until five minutes ago, I didn’t.  So, I googled.

“Variety’s the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavour.” —William Cowper, The Task (1785)–‘The Timepiece’ (Book II, lines 606-7)

Quite the looker, hmm?

You really do learn somethin’ new every day :).

Variety in all things definitely makes life more interesting – seems Cowper knew a thing or two – but this is especially true when it comes to what we eat.  Not only is a diverse diet more fun, it also makes it easier to ensure that you’re getting proper nutrition and a healthy dose of essential vitamins and minerals.

Whoa, sounds like I just became a spokesperson for the USDA.

No more pyramid scheme…

Anywho, I was reminded of Cowper’s phrase as I assembled dinner last night.

Oh, yeah… There it is again and, dear readers, you know what that means…

To spice up life dinner, we enjoyed a bit of a smorgasbord.  A lazy susan packed with marinated mushrooms and olives (good dose of omega-3s), horseradish hummus (vitamin A and beta carotin), roasted pork tenderloin (protein and vitamin B1), and whole wheat sourdough (fiber and magnesium).  The beets (folate and vitamin C) from my trip to the Farmer’s Market also made an appearance – simply roasted, sliced and paired with chevre (duh…calcium) (thanks, Catherine for the idea!).

Someone call CSI – those beets never stood a chance…

But the star of the smorgasbord took the topic of this post to a whole new level because of the sheer variety of ingredients that it combines in life-spicing harmony (oh, yeah, I’m beating this theme to death).  Therefore, in homage to the father of our phrase of the day, I shall dub this scrumptious concoction:

Cowper Couscous Salad

1/2 bag Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend

1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

1 cup carrots, diced

1 red pepper, diced

1/2 cup celery, diced

1/2 red onion, diced

Bowls of brightly colored veggies make me happy :).

For the dressing:

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh dill

3 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Prepare the couscous (or Harvest Grains Blend, in this case) and set aside.  Blanch the carrots and peppers and set aside.  Whisk up the dressing and…you guessed it…set aside.  Once all that’s done, go get yourself a big ol’ bowl and mix it all together: couscous, sun-dried tomatoes, carrots, peppers, celery, onion, and dressing.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Pop in the fridge for at least an hour to get all those flavors mixin’ together.  Et voila!

Somebody get me a spoon!

An excellent summertime side, its delicious assortment of nutritious bites will kick your dinner up a notch.  Also, it’s Winky Dinner Guest approved :).  Enjoy!

What’s your favorite way to add variety to life dinner?

Which four foods (fruit, vegetable, grain, protein) would you hope to have with you on a deserted island?

Categories: Farmer's Market, Salad, Trader Joe's, Veggies | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Variety is the Spice of Life

  1. Mom

    Is Pirate Booty a good “grain” choice?!?!?!

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