Quick and easy calories

Calories are necessary for sustaining academic work! Here are some of my favorite recipes/tips and tricks for keeping things running with a minimum of effort (and money) to:

  • Make a 1-pot tabbouleh that “cooks” itself overnight
  • Extract pomegranate seeds efficiently and without mess
  • Contribute to potlucks with minimum effort

Overnight tabbouleh (adapted from Eat fresh food), p. 86


  • 8 ounces dry bulgur wheat [1]
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds [2]
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots, zucchini, or cucumber [3]
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red, orange or yellow bell pepper
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green peppers
  • 1 cup tomato juice [4]
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice [5]
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup cold water
  1. I get the bulghur at Persian supermarkets (Get No. 2 or No. 3) or in bulk from stores like Whole Foods or co-ops.
  2. It’s easy to toast your own sesame seeds over the stove. Just stir some sesame seeds in a nonstick skillet over medium heat for a minute or two until they turn golden brown.
  3. Persian/Lebanese cucumbers are really good in this.
  4. I use a can of V8 or tomato juice and then pour the water into the can and out from the can into the tabbouleh to help get all the juice out. I’ve also used Bloody Mary Mix.
  5. I squeeze the juice from 1 lemon in.


  1. Put all the ingredients in a large bowl
  2. Mix well
  3. Cover and refrigerate overnight
  4. Stir before serving

Extracting pomegranate seeds

No need to buy extracted pomegranate seeds when it’s so easy to extract them yourself. The trick is to do it under water to avoid splashing and facilitate separation, as shown in this demo video from Sigona’s Farmers Market:

Contributing to potlucks

My favorite recipe for this for potluck ninja style points comes from Kie Zuraw:

Potluck Ninja Edamame

-Dump package of frozen, shelled (i.e., no shell) edamame into container
-Sprinkle with salt, black sesame seeds, and sesame oil
-Close container and carry to work (KY: the shaking from walking to work evenly distributes the seasoning and helps promote thawing)
-Do not refrigerate (so it thaws)


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