I heard my oldest saying, “Mama, I need to go pee!” I helped her undress from the said leotard that she “needed” to wear as she quickly went about her business to promptly stand up to announce, “Okay mama, let’s go see Miss Jill!” Miss Jill is her physical therapist (PT) she’s been seeing a couple of times as we are on the waiting list. How do I put it? She absolutely loves her “exercises” she does with Miss Jill (a.k.a. gym time). Isn’t it amazing how exercise is “play & fun” to a child, while it’s “work” to the majority of the population over 18.
As I mentioned in my previous post about joining Jogo (which actually means play), I’ve been amazed at all the body parts being worked, thoughts circulating: “I can’t do that,” when I can and how what I’m doing strengthens core muscles that V is in need of strengthening, as well. I read this snippet by a Crossfit trainer (who is certified to teach Kids Crossfit) and it made me smile. When I hear from Jill that V is accepting various movements and shows great signs of improvement; as well as, read articles about individuals who use what seems like “work” to me–is extremely beneficial for people who deal with a myriad of special needs–I’m beyond grateful. It’s amazing how exercise is so much more than looking good in swimsuits, or fitting in smaller clothing, or feeling affirmed by Hollywood’s standards. When I look at my little girl, it’s allowing her a chance to function with others, manipulate common objects we, with full functioning central nervous systems, take for granted (using a fork, zipping, drawing, etc).
Then, I think about heaven. I see people with physical disabilities. There is this young man who has some mental disability in town, but loves dancing. You’ll see him at the local events with music dancing to his rhythm. I smile and I see him in heaven dancing with full range of motion, no inability–just complete freedom. I know our daughter’s disabilities really are minute compared to others, but I delight in seeing her blossom through PT & I delight in knowing that someday, God’s redemptive love will transcend it all (not just her, but all of us). So in this here & now, we try to bring acts of God’s redemptive love to others. I see Jill doing that for our daughter. I see our good friends the Pells (whom I’ll talk more about in a later post) who, like many, adopted their son from Ethiopia. If my eyes are open a bit bigger, then I see it in so many places.
And as you either experience through giving or receiving this redemptive love, maybe you can do it around a shared meal of this wonderful salad. It’s great even the next day. Ben after eating it said, “by looking at it you think, this is healthy. And, when you taste it you know it’s healthy, but not in a bad way,” which in a simple way is—it’s healthy without lacking flavor.
Bulgur, Arugula, & Baby Artichoke Salad (printable recipe)
You could easily put some toasted walnuts with this salad. If you don’t have walnut oil, then just use olive oil. I really like the addition of preserved lemons, but you can easily substitute lemon zest. Canned artichoke hearts would work fine, but I would plead with you to make use of baby artichokes if they’re available in your area. And this would easily work as a main dish salad & perfect for gatherings.
4 cups water
2 cups medium grind bulgur
6 baby artichokes
2 medium carrots
1 small onion, thinly sliced in crescent-like shape
2 Tb chopped preserved lemons or 3-4 Tb of fresh lemon zest
freshly ground pepper
Artichokes: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper & set aside. Baby artichokes don’t have all that choke part like the big ones, so cut off the stems, along with a 1/4 inch of the bottom. Cut off 1/4-1/2 inch off tops. Quarter the artichokes and remove the outer leaves, until you see the leaves that don’t have any green on them (don’t worry too much if the tops are a bit green). Put them in a bowl and squeeze with lemon to prevent browning as you prepare the rest. Put all the prepared artichokes on the lined baking sheet with the insides facing up, drizzle with olive oil so they’re coated and sprinkle with kosher salt. Roast for 20 minutes or so, check for doneness. Once finished, transfer to a dish leaving the parchment lined sheet available for further roasting. Increase heat to 415 degrees.
Bulgur:While the artichokes are roasting, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Once the water hits a boil, add your bulgur; stir & cover. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat & drain excess water. Using a fine-mesh sieve, cool with cold water and gently squeeze out excess water. Transfer to a serving bowl.
Onions: Slice onions in half with the root attached to both ends of your halves. Then, with a chef knife, thinly slice with the grain into crescent shapes (don’t cut on the part as if you were making half onion rings). Place on used parchment sheet and roast for 7-10 minutes. Do not use any oil. Once done, transfer to a bowl.
Carrots: Peel carrots, then shave them into long, thin slices. Put on parchment lined sheet and toast for about 2 minutes.
Arugula: Remove stem part, wash & spin out excess water. Cut into large chunks.
Putting it altogether: If you want to slice the roasted artichokes in half you can. Remove the outer leaf if it’s too tough. Add the chokes to the cooked bulgur. Add the arugula & carrots. Mix together with tongs. Add minced preserved lemon or lemon zest. Drizzle with walnut oil (about 2-3 Tb) & squeeze juice from lemon. Combine with tongs. Add a bit more oil to taste, along with salt & pepper. Top with onions & serve.