How is it already August? Where has summer gone? Don't worry, it's not over yet...there are still several more weeks of warm weather and sunshine, time at the pool or at the beach, meals to enjoy outside on the patio.
Last weekend, as I was enjoying the beautiful cloudless sky, I was growing anxious. What was making my gut twist and turn with feelings of anxiety? The week ahead. This week that I have just endured, this week that is over today at 4pm. Today is the final day of my 200-hour yoga teacher training!
Every week of these 4 weeks of training has been stress-inducing, on some level. There was so much to learn everyday, information that was new to me, that I needed to commit to practice and to memory. Some topics were more interesting than others, but I needed to learn everything on the extensive syllabus. I was determined, from day 1, to do my very best, and that is what I have done. It hasn't been easy every day, I've oftentimes had to step outside of my comfort-zone, but as I'm reaching the end, I have made it to my goal of successful completion.
Besides the support of my husband, family, and friends, the most useful thing that has sustained me throughout this intense 4-week period has been being prepared. Self-care, adequate sleep, and hydration have all been important factors. But having nourishing and delicious food available at my fingertips each day has been paramount to keeping me thriving. I haven't had the luxury of time to spend in the kitchen during this training, and trust me, I can't wait to get back to my endless hours of playing in the kitchen! Knowing how to prepare the ingredients that provide my body with all of the nutrition it needs has been critical. Making un-fussy food has become routine.
On Sunday afternoon, as I looked over my assignments for this week, I decided that I needed to have a game-plan in place. I knew that I was not going to be able to spend much time preparing meals during the week. With a relatively sparse vegetable drawer, I managed to piece together this week's recipe, a delicious Lemony-Dill Quinoa Salad. I ate this salad throughout the week, its flavor became even more herbaceous as it had time to marinate in the fridge. I'm no stranger to quinoa salads, they're frequent-flyers in my house...so simple to throw together with whatever is on-hand! The key to this salad is the lemon-dill dressing. It's quick and easy, fresh and vibrant.
Being prepared with a delicious fridge-stable quinoa salad really helped me this week, I was able to focus my attention on my classwork and studies, instead of on how I was going to feed myself. If you're wondering about my husband - he enjoyed this salad for dinner early in the week, then departed for the West Coast. Lucky me, I got to eat the rest of this salad throughout the week!
The BIG news, is that as of 4pm today, I'm able to call myself a Yoga Teacher! I will be teaching private sessions, individual or small group, starting very soon. If you're interested, please let me know and we can start a conversation about your own goals for a yoga practice.
In other news, my Fall culinary teaching schedule is finalized, I will be sharing my course offerings in an upcoming newsletter. Stay tuned! Looking for private culinary instruction in your own kitchen? Let me know...perhaps we can cook and practice yoga together all in the same day!
Wishing you a relaxing weekend, full of delicious food, health & wellness.
Ingredients: (note - use organic whenever possible)
1 C quinoa
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced (approximately 1C)
2 stalks celery, diced (approximately 1C)
2 medium carrots, diced (approximately 1C)
1 C cooked beans (canned or from dry)
3 T fresh dill, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 T fresh dill, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
1 t sea salt, or more, to taste
Cook the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer, until the water runs clear. Add the rinsed quinoa and 2 cups of filtered water to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes, keeping the lid on the pan. Turn off the heat, remove the pan from the stove and keep the lid on, to allow the quinoa to continue to steam, for an additional 15 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff the quinoa with a fork, and cool to room temperature. Quinoa can be prepared one day in advance, keep chilled until ready to continue with the recipe. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.
Heat 2 T extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the diced red onion, celery and carrots to the pan. Sauté until the vegetables have softened and are lightly browned on the edges, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes. At the end of sautéing, add the beans to the pan, toss to coat in the vegetable mixture, and set aside.
Make the dressing. Combine the lemon juice, 3 T fresh dill, garlic, 1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil, and 1 t sea salt in a small food processor or blender. Blend the ingredients together until the garlic is finely chopped. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed.
Pour the room temperature quinoa into a large mixing bowl. Pour the vegetable-bean mixture in to the bowl, along with the remaining chopped dill and scallions. Toss the ingredients together. Add the dressing to the bowl and gently stir to mix all of the ingredients together. Taste for seasoning, adjust if needed.
Serve the salad at room temperature, over a bed of fresh greens, if desired.
recipe yields 6 generous servings
leftovers keep well, in a covered container, chilled for 3-4 days
substitute any other quick-cooking vegetables for the carrots & celery to make the salad your own!