Ms. Mirabile Goes Earth Mother: Shopping & Bulgur with Savory Greens

Surrounded by vegetables clear copyMy blood pressure is so low I’m almost not here.

“So long as you feel all right,” the doctor said, startled.

I can’t explain; they can’t explain.  It’s always been low, but perhaps my new vegetarian diet has lowered it a few millimeters.

I switched from once-a-week meat to an all-vegetarian diet in September.  Although I certainly can’t see having Thanksgiving without turkey, I became repulsed by chemical chicken and meat.

You know the chicken?  The kind that’s all shot up with hormones and has a funny taste?

And we can’t afford free-range chicken.

My whole book budget would go.

So I have gone vegetarian, because vegetables and grains are cheaper and more nutritious, and though I allow my husband to eat meat in theory, I am throwing out his “bad-choice” prepared foods like Ramen noodles and Campbell’s soup.

“There’s not that much sodium in it.”  He yearns to eat Ramen noodles and Campbell’s soup, but his blood pressure is not as low as mine.

“No, we need to make homemade vegetable soup on the weekends,” I said.

I can’t imagine why I said that.  I don’t make week-long batches of vegetable soup on the weekends.  I’m not an Earth Mother.  On the other hand, I am no longer going on the crazy long bike rides, getting lost on the prairie while he speeds a dozen miles ahead, and having no idea which direction to turn, since I don’t know the name of the town where I’m headed.   “Umm, sir/ma’am?  Is there a town nearby to the north, south, east, or west?”  (N.B.  Wives don’t have to do this stuff.  It’s for chippies and chumps.  Why didn’t I realize that earlier?)

Yesterday I hopped on my bike and rode to Whole Foods.

We usually shop at the Hy-Vee.  It  is closer and cheaper.  Plus I grew up going to the Hy-Vee.

Whole Foods

Whole Foods

But Whole Foods has better produce, and the organic is the same price as organic at Hy-Vee.  Both stores sell the same brand of strawberries, but  they’re ripe at Whole Foods, never ripe at Hy-Vee.

So Whole Foods for me is about produce, though naturally I look at everything else, too.  I desperately wanted a new “organic” lipstick, as opposed to my lipstick with all the metals in it, but I said to myself:


I wandered around and thought of buying coconut milk yogurt, but I’m not a vegan. Anyway, shouldn’t I make my yogurt at home?  Where is my yogurt maker?

I considered goat cheese, but is there an advantage to goat cheese?  Is goat cheese dairy?

The baguettes were slightly too big for my backpack.

I have concluded brown lentils don’t exist, because I couldn’t find them and my husband says they don’t have them at the Hy-Vee.  And yet one of my cookbooks specifically says “brown” lentils.  Does it matter what color they are?  Help!

Anyway, I rode home and made a delicious dinner.  Really, I’m so proud of myself.  I’m an Earth Mother now.   We had Bulgur with Savory Greens, one of our favorite meals.   Here’s the recipe from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Cookbook:

2 1/2 cups chopped onions
4 garlic cloves
1 tbls olive oil
1 pound Swiss chard or escarole, chopped
2 tbls fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups bulgur
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups water

ground black pepper to taste
lemon wedges (optional)
fresh mint leaves (optional)

In a large skillet saute the onions and garlic in the oil for about 8 minutes, until the onions are clear. Add the greens and lemon juice, cover, and cook until the greens have just wilted. Stir in the bulgur and salt. Add the water, cover, and cook on med-low heat for about 15 minutes, until the bulgur is tender and most of the water has been absorbed. Sprinkle with pepper and add more lemon juice to taste. Serve garnished with lemon wedges and mint and sprinkle with vinegar if desired.

5 thoughts on “Ms. Mirabile Goes Earth Mother: Shopping & Bulgur with Savory Greens

  1. Yum! I love bulgur and eat it most days for lunch with a variety of vegetables and pulses. Good on you for eating so well!

  2. Jen, where are the damned brown lentils?:)
    Karen, you can help me with my new vegetarian habits. Bulgur is delicious, so much better than couscous, which we also have. So if you come across any good recipes, wave me in that direction.

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