Source: Flickr (cc) beggs
Wishing you prosperity!
It’s Chinese New Year and we are welcoming the Year of the Rabbit. Every aspect of this holiday is filled with tradition and meaning. And, as my friend Joanne pointed out to me, most of it involves food and eating.
The first sign of celebration is when the lion dancers invade the office. A cacophony of drums, cymbals and gongs announce the lion who winds his way through the cubicles. All work stops. Along the way the lion “eats the green.” Be sure to feed the lion some green (i.e., money) to insure prosperity in the new year.
During New Years gifts of food are exchanged. And families gather for feasts. Each food brings its own good wishes for the new year. Oranges are for good luck and wealth. Noodles are for long life—the longer the better. A whole fish is for abundance. Gao symbolizes reaching new heights. Sweets bring a sweet life.
Gao? What’s that? Sweets? Uh oh.
Source: Flickr (cc) sundaykofax
Starbucks announced their biggest drink yet: the “Trenta.”
The reaction was swift, negative, and probably not what the folks at Starbucks expected. I was surprised that such a big deal was made about it.
At 31 oz. it’s not the biggest drink out there. Heck the Super Big Gulp at 7-Eleven is 44 oz. And conventional wisdom advises drinking 64 oz. of water each day for good health—admittedly conventional wisdom doesn’t say to drink all 64 oz. in one sitting.
Why was there such a strong reaction? Possibly because of how it was reported by Canada’s National Post. What they did was very clever. They answered the question “What does this mean?” with a graphic. And that graphic went viral. It showed that the “Trenta” is bigger than the average person’s stomach. Continue reading
2 Bean Chili with Bulgur
When I looked up bulgur recipes online I found so many possibilities I wanted to try more than just a simple pilaf. Many of the bulgur recipes I found are from Mediterranean or Middle Eastern cuisines.
I made a Spicy Two-Bean Vegetarian Chili. It promised and delivered yumminess.
The recipe is a pretty standard vegetarian chili with black beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, bell pepper and jalepeño. The surprise was 1/2 cup of bulgur added for texture mostly.
Bulgur seems to play one of two roles in main dishes. It either adds texture and a little bulk, or it is a base like risotto. Either way it’s makes for an easy, healthful dish filled with yumminess.
Total Rating for Bulgur = 4-1/2 plates*
- Yumminess = 1-1/2
- Goodness = 1
- Easy to find & prepare = 1
- Yummy to family = 1
*Read about my 5-plate Taste Test scale here.
Getting to Know Great Grains: Bulgur
Whole grains like bulgur (also spelled bulghur) are a really good for you. But is it good and yummy? I decided to test it out.
Source: Flickr (cc)diekatrin
Bulgur is whole wheat that’s been cleaned, cracked and cooked, then dried. This processing makes it quick to cook (soak in hot liquid for 20-25 minutes) and easy to store (in a sealed container on the pantry shelf or in the refrigerator). And most of the bran is left in place, so bulgur is still a whole grain.
You’ve probably eaten bulgur prepared as tabbouleh salad. The most common version of tabbouleh in the U.S. has cooked bulgur mixed with parsley, mint, tomatoes and cucumber, then dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.
Bulgur and tabbouleh are incredibly versatile. I found over 20 recipes called tabbouleh listed on a single website. Some added feta. Others beans. And still others added chicken. This grain can be easily prepared as a porridge, a side or the base for a main dish.
Bulgur is easy to find in the local supermarket. And it proved really easy to prepare. Continue reading
Are single-size packages a good thing?
As I wandered through the grocery store today I was struck by how many foods are available in single servings. There’s yogurt (of course) and string cheese, cream cheese, milk (dairy and soy), and tuna, and ice cream, and so much more.
And it got me to wondering “Is this a good thing?”
On the up-side, a single serving provides portion control. There’s no eye-balling 1/3 of a can or 1/6 of a jar to get the right serving size. I know that the carb count of the label is what I am eating.
Single servings are easy to take along with me. I can have a snack pack in my purse or glove box. It’s really handy to have a pack of tuna and crackers in my desk drawer — especially on those days I’m “too busy” to take a lunch break.
BUT… Continue reading