Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

No more teasing about a funny-sounding ingredient; Mediterranean Salad's power-packed

I doubt that I’m the only person that has succumbed to doing a “sounds-like” on bulgur’s funny name. When I first saw the title of Citrus Bulgur Salad about which I blogged some weeks ago, I couldn’t help myself—it just “sounded like” Citrus Vulgar Salad to me. I mean, who eats bulgur on a regular basis? Certainly not me—that is before I became a fan.

Well, no longer do I get anywhere close to tee-heeing about bulgur being “vulgar”. Citrus Bulgur Salad brought lots of accolades, including mine. So recently when Southern Living (in that same marvelous issue that spawned yesterday’s Praline Pecan French Toast) featured Mediterranean Chicken Salad that had bulgur as one of its chief ingredients, I yanked that recipe up quickly and had to try it.

The bulgur wheat, with its mild, nutty flavor, gets prepared in the same way one might prepare rice on the stovetop: two cups of water to one cup of bulgur; boil, reduce heat, simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Into that mixture, once cooled, goes all kinds of good garden stuff: chopped tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, fresh parsley. Toss in cooked chicken, feta cheese, garlic, salt substitute, and fat-free Italian dressing. Chill a little while or serve immediately over spinach or Bibb lettuce. (Remember that bulgur’s main redeeming quality is that it’s a great source of dietary fiber and protein. As I mentioned earlier, just a single portion of bulgur provides nearly all of the daily requirement for whole-grain foods.)

Well, this salad recipe made oodles and oodles; we’ll be sorry to see it finally disappear from the jumbo salad bowl. Hubby uses this appellation a lot: “best salad ever”, but in this case, I think he may be right for all-times.

Mediterranean Chicken Salad

2 cups boiling water
1 cup uncooked bulgur wheat
1 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided (or salt substitute)
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 garlic cloves, pressed
3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup bottled fat-free Italian dressing
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 (4-ounce) package crumbled feta cheese
1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 head Bibb lettuce or spinach leaves

Combine boiling water, bulgur wheat, and 1 teaspoon salt substitute. Cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until bulgur is tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Allow to cool slightly. Combine bulgur wheat, chicken, next 7 ingredients, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt substitute. Serve over greens. Makes 6 servings.

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