This recipe could also be called cleaning out the frig, freezer, or just downright "fast food". It starts by needing to eat quickly, having stuff in the frig, freezer, or pantry available to use, and not being afraid to throw things together without "needing" a recipe.
Here is what is in our meal:
(1) A whole grain starch/carbohydrate - bulgur wheat fits that bill, and quickly, too as it can cook up in a short amount of time compared to brown rice. So does 100% whole wheat bread I had made a few weeks ago, cut sections into manageable sizes and put into the freezer.
(2) Garbanzo beans for a healthy vegetarian protein source plus lots of fiber and multiple additional health-promoting phytochemicals. These are easy to keep on your pantry shelf already pre-cooked. I buy them dried in bulk and then cook them all before freezing in 1 or 2 cup portions, ready to make my own hummus or throw into a dish like this.
(3) One 15 oz. can of organic diced tomatoes (yes I do have a few canned tomatoes on my pantry shelf in addition to our home-made canned tomatoes).
(4) Fresh kale (of course!) - just wash, chop, and add to the stewed tomatoes to cook.
(5) A bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese for flavor
(6) Top with some crunch, using our own roasted squash seeds (now that we are doing that, which is so easy!, I don't think we'll ever compost those seeds again.)
(7) Seasonings of your choice - curry, smoked paprika (I am now hooked on this - thanks, Graham B!), powdered garlic and/or onion, etc.
Instructions are easy.
• Start bulgur cooking - basically I add 2 cups of boiling water to 1 cup of bulgur, let sit for 20 minutes, if all water is not absorbed, put into a colander and drain.
• Wash, remove the tough stems, and chop a "bunch of kale" - which is 3-4 cups
• In a 3 quart saucepan, combine tomatoes, garbanzo beans, kale, seasonings and heat through until kale is wilted but still bright green.
Layer as follows:
I served this with whole grain bread, olive oil for dipping, and homemade applesauce (not pictured).
This easily serves 2 people with plenty left over for a lunch or two later during the week.
Yum, yum, yum - quick, too - our own fast food with a little bit of pre-cooking. This recipes shows the advantages of cooking "extra" or cooking ahead whenever possible. In this case, any extra bulgur will be frozen ready to use at another meal, the garbanzos easily came out of the freezer to be added, the squash seeds were cooked after a previous meal while the oven was still warm, the tomatoes and applesauce were made last fall, etc, etc, you get the idea!
No recipe, at least no cookbook!, required for this meal. Be creative - try your own hand at creating a healthy recipe or meal from "this and that"!
I'll end with this short blessing of thanks for our food:
God who invites us always to spiritual delights,
give blessing over your gifts so that might deserve
to partake in the blessed things which ought to be
added to your name.
Let your gifts refresh us, Lord,
and let your grace comfort us.
~~Early Christian grace (6th century)
Yes, this was a refreshing meal, reminding us of our many gifts.
Diana Dyer, MS, RD