Summer Fresh: Basil and Bulgar Salad

This recipe is always a total crowd pleaser (and won’t heat up your kitchen). As the tomatoes, basil, and cucumbers are flourishing in ours gardens and at the farmer’s markets, let’s keep it fresh! Bulgar wheat is easily found in the bulk food sections of more natural-type grocery stores. If you are cutting gluten from your diet, try quinoa instead. It is just as delicious!

Basil and Bulgur Salad


1 cup fine bulgur (cracked wheat)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
2 tbsp. chopped walnuts
1 cup basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
juice of one lemon
salt, to taste

A drizzle of olive oil


1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
1 tbsp. olive oil

1tbsp. red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Bring the vegetable broth to a boil and add the bulgur. Remove from the heat and cover. Let it stand about 20 minutes until wheat is tender and water is absorbed.

Place the walnuts into the food processor and puree. And the basil, garlic, and half of the lemon juice, and process until a coarse paste is formed. Add salt and olive oil  and additional lemon juice to taste. Process one more time. Combine the bulgur with the pesto and toss well. Set aside. (The bulgar/pesto combo can either be served warm or at room temperature…both equally delicious).

For the topping, combine all ingredients and toss to coat.

Divide the bulgar between bowls and top with the cucumber/tomato topping. Eat it all up! (A little secret? It’s vegan too!)

Happy Eating!


Stephanie is currently trying to tackle apartment gardening. So far, the leafy greens are rocking the house!

Summer Sucks

Do you know what I used to do all summer?  Sit on my butt. Well technically I was paid to make sure swimmers didn’t drown. But there were many many hours when I did little else but swim laps, nap, read People or musty paperbacks, re-apply tanning lotion and eat cold delicious cantaloupe out of my little cooler.  And that was just the days! Every night I would hang with my friends laughing, sipping beer, flirting with boys, listening to live music.
Years later my husband and I would start the weekend by sleeping in, then we’d get iced coffees and sit by the pool passing sections of the paper back and forth.  When we were bored we’d take dunks.  At dusk we’d have people over, grill steaks, sit on the patio and stare at the fire.
Oh man I loved summer.

Things I used to worry about in the summer
1.  ummm
2.  or… eh… my towel didn’t dry completely from the day before?

Things I worry about in the summer now that I have kids
1.  Sunscreen
2.  Whether my kids’ sunscreen is made out of poison
3.  Insect Repellent
4.  That every walk or hike = Lyme disease if I’m not diligent about #3
5. Bald baby not wearing a hat
6.  UV blocking scuba suits- you know what I mean- those horrible long sleeve things for albinos
7. Sand in kids’ eyes, hair, private areas, new car
8. Sweaty baby wanting to cuddle or be worn
9. Horrible non absorbent and crazy expensive swim diapers
10.  Poop in swim diaper
11. Evil Ice Cream Truck
12.  Snack Bars and the begging related to snack bars
13. Burning Hot Metal Playground Slides
14.  Bees, Wasps
15.  Gross, freaky street fairs with carnies from central casting and rides that last 90 seconds and cost more than a gallon of milk
16.  Stupid long days where it is broad daylight at bedtime and blackout shades are not cutting it
17.  Sauna cars and toasty carseats with melted buckles
18.  Meat locker AC too cold for baby
19. Concrete around pools- why has someone not invented rubber pool decks?
20.  Drowning, Drowning, Drowning

My teacher friends will cry when I write this, but how long ‘til September?

Rebecca and her family, including sons ages 3 and 1, live in New Jersey.  Someday when she is very brave she will join her fellow residents and summer “down the shore”.  But for now the local pool and tennis club is about all the fun she can manage.