Mary Beth Writes

This is not a recipe blog. You may sometimes wonder what kind of blog this is, but I bet you have figured out we’re not here to cook. Still, sometimes I come across amazing recipes and today I want to share two of them,by referring you to the sites where I found them.

How do I find these sites, you ask? 

Simple. Google the name of two or three ingredients you would like to use up. This takes you to recipes that use those foods; you decide if you want to try them.

Sometimes this Wild Exploration doesn’t work. The roasted sweet potato and carrot soup two weeks ago was a recipe that didn’t fledge.

But these two are good and I’ve made them several times.

The first is for Tuna, Bulgur, and Caper salad. http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipe/bulgur-salad-with-tuna-and-capers/3461/

Yes, I had bulgur in the pantry. I can’t remember why I bought it in the first place, maybe for tabouleh. Bulgur is cracked and par-boiled wheat berries - so if you are gluten-intolerant this probably won’t work for you (maybe with barley?) Bulgur is not expensive. The four main flavors in this recipe that make it so amazing are the roasted bulgur, tuna, lemon, and capers. You will see there are other flavors; garlic, onion, and whatnot.  I don’t think I’ve used ALL the proper ingredients exactly as listed yet. Worse, I tend to use lemon juice from a bottle (the horror!) instead of from fresh lemons. Still tastes awesome.

This is an interesting explanation of bulgur: http://sanaacooks.com/2013/02/what-do-you-know-about-bulgur-tomato-bulgur-pilaf/  Four- and five-year olds chasing crows off the roof?  All the ones who don’t fall off must really enjoy this.

Anyways, I don’t top this dish with the tuna, I mix it in. Fresh herbs are great. Dried will work.

There is a LOT of nutrition in bulgur; protein, magnesium, Vitamin-6, and a lot of iron – all those things female bodies (especially) need to make healthy blood and healthy bones. Add in the tuna and the other sprightly ingredients, a person could handily make this for fast lunches or to bring as a salad or side dish to dinner at someone’s house. (Well, only if they invite you first, I suppose.)

About capers. You can buy them in your grocery store capers aisle (next to the mad-cap rom-coms). OR you can save upwards of $1-3 per year by gathering nasturtium seed pods at the end of summer; put them in a jar of cider vinegar in the refrigerator. I chop the capers to get that piquant caper- flavor in every bite.

I’ve been waiting for an occasion to use the word piquant.

I’ve made this for company dinners several times, as well as for just us.  http://www.sarahwaldman.com/artichoke-tart-with-polenta-crust/

Polenta isn’t hard to make, you just need to hang out in your kitchen so you can follow the instructions and stir the cornmeal mush every two minutes.  To get the polenta into the tart pan (or cookie sheet, or the bottom of a sheet cake pan); oil your fingers to simply just push, flatten, and then build up the crust edges.

I’ve made this with goat cheese but also with cheaper feta; canned artichokes, parmesan out of the green canister. This stuff is elegant and also – wait for it - piquant.

Sometimes the world gives us way too much high fructose corn syrup and drive-through salt and all the rest of those things that taste so good going down, but are not, in the long run, our friends.  I thought I’d share possible foods that are just as addictive - which are actually healthy for us and our kids and our friends.

Do you have unusually delicious, healthy, inexpensive and fancy recipes?

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The Mindful Chickens are Wordy Today

Other people call them “frugal things I did lately”. I call them Mindful Chickens because they are about:

  • Being Cheap (cheap, cheep).
  • Being thoughtful about how choices affect our community and our earth.
  • Paying attention to the constant tumble of dollars and choices.

This is my collection of wise choices and dastardly schemes from the last two months.

ONE: Our electric toothbrush/water pick would no longer hold a charge but a new one costs more than $100. Len took it to the battery store where they replaced it for $15.

Mindful Chickens - Plastic & Hunger 12/20/2020

I went for a walk on Wednesday and saw this mitten on a sidewalk. When I was at the same spot on Friday, it was still there, so I brought it home because it is a hand-knitted kid mitten, ya know? Any knitters out there interested in making it a mate, so that we could give it to a kid in my community or your? It's 7" from top to ribbed bottom. 

...

The point of “Mindful Chickens” is to spend less money while being mindful of the environment and our human values. We can try, right?

Holy Mackerel! Mindful Chickens 12/12/2020

Yamiche and Weijia licking out the mackerel bowl this morning.

...

I said I would write “mindful things” we did this week. The agenda of “Mindful Chickens” is to spend less money plus be mindful of the environment and our other values at the same time. Sometimes, one of those purposes wins over the other, but we can think before we spend, right?

1. I cut my hair. This is not a particular skill of mine, but I can do it well enough to not look like the Pittsburgh Paint Dutch boy.

Who Let the Chickens Out?

Mindful Chickens i.e., being frugal and living by our values instead of by blithering consumerism is how this blog started. Yet I seldom post lists anymore about choices Len and I make that hit that marker because I can tell from who follows me that this is not why most of you are here.

But today I have a lot of things I want to accomplish. Preparing the Light Posts takes me a long time so I am not going to do one – I do plan to be back at it Monday.

7-6-2020 Mindful QUARANTINED Chickens

(Thanks, KJR, for the funny fluffy chicken photo!) 

Other people call them “frugal things I did lately”. I call them Mindful Chickens because they are about:

Making (a little) Sense of Medicare by Len Lamberg

Friends learned recently that they are facing imminent retirement with the accompanying medicare and insurance decisions - that have to be made now and made right. They asked how we figured out what to do. I asked Len if he could write up what he knows in plain English - and thought this would take him 20 minutes.

This took Len several hours over several days.

Our friends say this makes more sense than anything else they have read so far.

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