Friday, July 13, 2012

Day 220

I am a chronic multi-tasker. To a fault. (Which you already know if you know me.)

I have the day off, and the boys are at school. So my plan was to do a whole bunch of things that will free up our weekend so that our family time can be focused on fun. I got the oil changed in the Swagger Wagon. I picked up some staples (and, randomly, mung beans - any ideas?) at Healthy Living. I got a new hard-core case for my iPhone - a necessary purchase, given that Kai has (er, I also have) dropped the device about 25 times. This week. 

I did these tasks before 10:30 a.m.

Then I got home. And with so many options for "being productive," I got stuck. And I then I started doing them all simultaneously. I threw in a load of laundry. I roasted beets and cooked quinoa. Figuring it was too hot to run outside, and feeling that I needed to take advantage of this "free day" and exercise, I threw in a yoga DVD... during the intro, I checked my email (huh? awful.) Halfway through the DVD (which I bought 6 years or so years ago and NEVER have used), I decided that I was too experienced to benefit from the instructional practice but not experienced enough to remember the sequences well enough to do the second disc, the sans talking one. So I quit. (Want the DVD? Email me. I'm an in-person kinda yoga person.) I went back into the kitchen, powered up my work computer and started reading emails (why? I don't work on Fridays) and at the same time, starting the VERY routine task of making tabbouleh. VERY routine. I basically make it every week.

But today, as it turned out, I used about 30 percent more water than I should have. Which resulted in a consistency of... oatmeal. Did I give up and toss it? No. Did I embrace the texture and plan to eat it for breakfast? No. I stubbornly forged on, thinking I could fix this. I stirred in the quinoa I'd made earlier. I chopped parsley. I chopped mint. I squeezed in lemon and drizzled olive oil. I reached for tomatoes. Which we did not have. So I started pitting cherries.

And then... I realized this: I just developed a recipe. A new savory dinner-for-breakfast recipe. Which I will eat for breakfast. And dinner. And lunch.

I think I'll call it Christmas in July. The recipe - with a hednote even! -  follows. Sorry, no nutritional analysis. Yet. Gotta get on that.

I actually carried the bowl outside to the picnic table so the lighting would be *slightly* better. 

Christmas in July Breakfast Tabbouleh
This incredibly tasty mistake exudes whole-grain goodness. Try it as a savory breakfast - or just eat it whenever you're hungry. (God knows the recipe makes a TON.) Its creaminess comes from over-"cooked" bulgur; the unexpected crunch, from leftover (cooked) quinoa. Dark sweet cherries marry with mint, parsley and a hefty dose of garlic for a surprisingly balanced flavor. 
Serves "a lot" 

You'll need:
2 cups of fine bulgur
2-3 whole lemons 
1/4 cup olive oil (approximate)
1 cup or so of cooked quinoa or other whole grain
2-4 cloves of garlic
1 bunch parsley
1/2 bunch mint (use this rest to refresh your water, or make a Mojito!)
1 large cucumber
~1 1/2 cups sweet cherries
Optional: chopped walnuts 
Optional (but cancels the vegan claim): feta

Now. Here's what to do:
1. Pour 5 1/2 cups boiling water over 2 cups of bulgur. Let sit for 15 minutes. (Or as long as it takes to get through 1/2 of a yoga DVD and change a load of laundry). Tip: If you want to make bulgur with the correct texture, and omit the "makeup" quinoa, just use 4 1/2 cups of water. If you are taking this traditional approach, you will need to strain the bulgur.
2. Juice lemons and add juice, plus olive oil, to the bulgur. 
3. Stir in cooked quinoa, to add some "chew" value.
4. Press or mince garlic. Stir into the grains.
5. Chop parsley and mint; seed and dice cucumber. Pit the cherries. Mix it all with the grains.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
7. Invite a whole bunch of people over for brunch. Offer bowls of chopped nuts and feta on the side as topping options. Enjoy! xo

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