"You know you're getting old when you look up and Judy Collins is 70. The singer-songwriter, who released her first album at age 22, still performs, almost constantly." But performing isn't all Judy is doing!
-"Sunday Routine: She Always Cooks with Onions", by Corey Kilgannon, New York Times February 18, 2010
If you are viewing this via email click here to get to the web version and all the links.
I loved Judy Collins back in 1970. And I still do. Both Sides Now. Send in the Clowns. And then, what about Crosby, Stills, and Nash's, Suite: Judy Blue Eyes?
When I read this delightful glimpse into Judy Collins' life I thought, "I can't believe it! I'm just like Judy Collins."
Yes, I know, I can't sing. I don't perform. I'm not famous. And I don't travel 40 weekends out of the year. But, Judy & I both pack our breakfast, lunch, and dinner when we go to work. We both love to see movies on the big screen--in theaters--and we're both fans of Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington.
Plus, we both really like cooking dinner--especially on Sundays--and we always start it with browning an onion.
And on Sunday evenings--we both like to just relax, maybe watch a little TV and chill at home. That's when Judy also gets in her 60 minutes of exercise. I do mine in the morning.
Judy Collins' Secrets to Staying Healthy
"I have a strict food plan and I always prepare my meals, no matter where I am.
I travel with my meals prepacked in insulated bags, and I carry a scale with me and I'll weigh and measure my portions. It's a big enterprise, but it's necessary.
I don't have cravings and I'm never hungry. I only eat what I'm supposed to be eating, because in this line of work, you have to live like an athlete.
(For Sunday movie matinees) I pack my lunch: measured amounts of fruit and yogurt, or cheese and vegetables and dip.
I've had a 50-year career and I'm working more than ever. The word retire is not in my lexicon.
I love that my work has increased rather than decreased. I can't find enough hours in the day." (Judy is also releasing a new CD, "Paradise" in May, and she's in the middle of writing her memoir.)
My Sunday Supper - Bulgur with Swiss Chard, Chickpeas, and Feta
While Judy was browning onions on Sunday, I was making this easy, delectable, hearty, healthy dish.
Truth be told, I really made it on Saturday afternoon--because my husband & I went out to eat on Sunday--with some of the same college gang who were also listening to Judy Collins back in 1970.
Back to the recipe. This is a variation of Martha Rose Shulman's "Recipes for Health". It cooked up in a flash, and I made sure that my husband didn't touch the leftovers so we had supper ready to go after work on Monday.
This casserole has it all! It's got bulgur, made from whole grain wheat that's loaded with fiber--as in 7 grams a serving. Add in the anti-oxidant vitamin-packed Swiss chard and chickpeas and you've got an award-winner.
*OK--it does have feta, and if you're a purist you could leave it out--but, honestly, the feta gives this dish pizazz! I used a low-fat version from Trader Joe's (and there's only 1/2 ounce a serving), but if you want to try your hand at a vegan version, Bryanna Clark Grogan has a recipe for vegan feta. I even checked with her and she says it's a winner. But, that's for me to try at another time.
photo by Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times
Serves 4 generously (big eaters)
Adapted from Martha Rose Shulman's recipe in the New York Times, February 8, 2010
1 cup bulgur (medium or coarse grade) Note: look for "whole-grain" bulgur--that's coarser & darker in color--the taste & texture is preferable)
Salt to taste
1 pound Swiss chard, 2 inches of the stem ends removed, washed well, and chopped
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas)
1/4 generous cup chopped fresh dill (you can use parsley, but dill is fabulous)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 ounces reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbed or cut in small squares
1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the bulgur and salt to taste, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and uncover. Place a clean dish towel over the pan, then replace the lid. Allow to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil spray (or not) a 2-quart baking dish. Spread the cooked bulgur in the baking dish in an even layer.
3. Heat a tablespoon of broth in a large frying pan. Add the garlic. Cook, stirring, just until fragrant and translucent, 30 seconds to a minute. Add the chopped Swiss chard to the pan and lightly saute until wilted and tender. Don't overcook.
4. Add the chickpeas and dill into the pan. Season with salt and pepper, and toss together.
5. Lay the chard mixture over the bulgur, gently mixing it lightly into the bulgur. Top with the feta, and gently push the feta cheese down into this mixture.
6. Bake covered for 30 minutes or until sizzling. Serve hot.
Advance preparation: Reconstituted bulgur keeps well in the refrigerator for three or four days and can be frozen. Reheat in the oven (350 degrees for 20 minutes), in a pan on top of the stove or in the microwave. Sauteed chard & garlic will keep for three days in the refrigerator. You can assemble the dish several hours before baking. Cover and chill if holding for more than an hour.
Enjoy! We did!
If you prefer to try Martha's version with 1/4 cup of oil, click here.