Join me at the table. Let’s sit down and stare at each other thinking, well what now? It’s January: time for new beginnings and fresh starts. What do we want from this life and even more importantly (and certainly the more pressing question) our next meal?
Januarys are my thing, I love lists and dreaming up possibilities. I falter in the follow through but sometimes magical things happen and the plans jotted on the back of napkins work out. Or at least some of them. OK, maybe the top 5 out of 25 work out, but I think the effort for resolution is still worth it. Here are mine for for 2016:
- Use up all of the old before bringing in the new, whether that be the mustard in the fridge, meat in the freezer, or shampoo in the shower.
- What we can’t use up compost. Just bought a trash can for the porch. Weekend project: drill holes in the sides and start turning kitchen scraps into dirt not trash.
- Stop texting and driving (no but really, not even at the stoplights)
- Stay present in the moment. Take walks without my cellphone, sit down for dinner and take at least 20 minutes to finish my food. Taste, see, smell, breath.
- Be mindful of each item I bring into my home and forkful I put in my body. Feel no guilt over decadence and occasional indulgent purchases. Make up for it with restraint later.
- Develop positive rituals whether it be meal planning (I am truly awful at this, we go to the grocery store 3+ times a week and still end up defeated, ordering takeout) or waking up in the morning.
- Make better lunches and save leftovers for dinner later in the week (instead of ordering takeout, see above).
This salad was a product of 1. using up what I had on hand, 2. meal planning, and 3. needing packable, healthy lunches to get back on track. I bought bulgur in December planning to make a pickled cranberry, kale and bulgur salad (for a twist on classic tabbouleh). HA, too ambitious. The cranberries almost went to waste but were saved in a cranberry sage simple syrup for these drinks. The bulgur was still in the pantry so plans were scaled back and this salad happened instead. It takes 1o minutes of active work and keeps so well for lunches.
Tabbouleh salads are usually much more about the parsley then the grain but I had a lot of bulgur to use up and only one bunch of parsley and half a bag of kale. Feel free to adjust the proportions, pick up two bunches of parsley if you can and throw it all in.
- 1 cup bulgur wheat, course ground
- 2+ cups chopped parsley and kale (I used half and half)
- ½ apple, diced
- 6 tablespoons lemon juice, from ~2 lemons
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- (optional) handful of pomegranate seeds
- Pour boiling water over the bulgur wheat until it is covered by about an inch and let stand 30 minutes. Taste to ensure it doesn't have too much bite left (soak time with depend on the size of the grind). Let stand longer if needed.
- Drain bulgur and return to a clean bowl. Add remaining ingredients. Toss to combine and serve. Salad will last a few days in the fridge.