Thursday, April 23, 2015

William Shakespeare and Spinach and Black Bean Burrito

William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" According to historians' best guess, William Shakespeare's 451th birthday would be today, Thursday April 23, 2015. Stratford-Upon-Avon is a town synonymous with William Shakespeare where he was born and grew up there.

Brain Snacks: Tasty Tidbits of Knowledge
  • Shakespeare's surviving works add up to a staggering 884,647 words and 118,406 lines.
  • Hamlet is Shakespeare's longest play, clocking in at 4,042 lines. His shortest is The Comedy of Errors, with 1,787.
  • Though commonly attributed to the Bard, Shakespeare never wrote or said "Oh what a tangled web we weave / When first we practice to deceive." The line belongs to Sir Walter Scott, from his 1808 poem Marmion.
  • According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Shakespeare coined more than 500 new words, many of which are still commonly used in English speech. Popular Will-isms include: amazement, bump, lonely, countless, useful, radiance and lackluster.
  • Shakespeare has been translated into at least 80 languages, including Chinese, Bengali, Tagalog, and Uzbek.
  • When the First Folio was published in 1623, you could buy a copy for £1, worth as much at the time as several hundred dollars today. In 2006, a surviving original copy of the First Folio (one of only about 230 in the world) sold for nearly $5 million.
  • "Shakespeare" is spelled 80 different ways in documents dating from the Bard's time, including "Shaxpere" and "Shaxberd."
  • A ticket to the Globe Theatre in Shakespeare's time would have cost you a penny, or $1.66 in today's money. At a posh indoor theater like Blackfriars, tickets started at a whopping sixpence (about $10). If you were rolling large, you could sit on the stage for two shillings ($40) or buy a box for half-a-crown ($50).
  • The average number of actors required for a Shakespearean comedy is 18. For the tragedies, it's 27. Histories require 35.
  • In his will, William Shakespeare bequeathed to his wife Anne Hathaway only his "second best bed." (Under the law, she was also automatically entitled to one-third of his estate and lifelong occupancy of Shakespeare's home.) There's no way of knowing whether this was a thoughtful bequest (hey, maybe she really liked that bed), some kind of inside joke, or a rather nasty insult.

Spinach and Black Bean Burrito
Cook's notes: A Healthy Meal 
Spinach & Bean Burrito Wraps not only taste amazing, but they are also packed with tons of nutrients! Each wrap has a whopping 13 grams of protein and one whole cup of spinach and weigh in at only 282 calories per wrap. Serves 6.
Recipe from

  • 6 cups baby spinach, loosely packed 
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained 
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked brown rice or Mexican Rice (following manufacturer's directions on the box) 
  • 3/4 cups chopped romaine heart lettuce 
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, reduced-fat 
  • 3/4 cup chunky salsa or Pico de Gallo 
  • 7 tablespoons Greek yogurt, fat-free 
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste 
  • 6 (8" whole grain) wraps or tortillas 
  • optional 1 cup of corn and 1 cup diced grape tomatoes
  • To warm tortillas, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Stack tortillas, wrap in foil, place on a cookie sheet and warm 15 minutes while preparing ingredients. 
  • Place spinach in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, or use a knife to dice leaves. In a large skillet turn to medium-heat, add black beans and spinach. Heat until spinach is wilted, approximately 3 minutes. 
  • Evenly distribute spinach and bean mixture in the middle of the wraps (leaving about 2" on one end for folding), add 1/4 cup rice to each wrap, add lettuce, cheese, salsa and Greek yogurt evenly over wraps. Fold wraps over and under on the ends. 

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