Hey there, sugar pies!
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend and are soaking up some sun. It is definitely getting hot around here! There are no complaints from me, though; I much prefer hot to cold. Are you a snow bunny or beach baby? What is your favorite thing to do to cool down?
One reason why today's heat was especially amazing was because it made for a special treat at my yoga teacher training. On Wednesday's, we usually practice Mysore style Ashtanga inside, aided by heating lamps. However, today was hot enough that we were able to move outside onto my teacher's new deck instead. Also, it was my teacher's birthday so we decided to honor her with sun salutations in the number of her age. That would be 59 Suryanamaskara As! We counted together and each said something that we love about our teacher while in down dog.
All I can say is that the practice was absolutely breathtaking! I felt so honored to be able to partake in a beautiful practice to celebrate an inspiring woman. Just image 10 or so yogis doing sun salutations surrounded by the lush leaves of strong trees. Amazing. Completely amazing.
This was such a wonderful way to honor my teacher and the beautiful world we live in.
Another way I have been honoring this beautiful earth is through nourishing my body with the fruits of its labor.
Bowls of oats adorned with lots of fresh berries always seem to start my day off right.
Strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, oh my!
Apparently I just cannot get enough of this combo. Could it get any better? Yes, my friends; the answer is raspberries.
Unfortunately, (as you can probably see,) the sun's bounty outside has not translated into natural lighting inside. It seems that the sun only shines its beauty in random little place in my new house, like a little patch in my step-dad's office. (Yes, we moved! That is how I spent my 4th of July.) Luckily, I found a new spot this morning.
...And still only a flicker! Sun, I love you; will you please come in to play?
With fresh, local, and sometimes even organic vegetables in large supply at the farmer's market, I cannot help but take advantage of it. Lately I have really enjoyed having big salads for lunch. I feel like I say that a lot on this blog, but the truth is, salads are such a nourishing, energizing, and satisfying meal that it is hard not to enjoy them often.
I never really understood the appeal until I started to appreciate the natural flavors of produce and seek out good quality. I am now able to play with flavors and textures, confident that if my produce is fresh and of good quality, all will turn out great.
Oh, and a few Mary's Gone Crackers would not hurt as well. Crunch.
Even though I usually prefer my salads naked, today I felt like something a little bit different.
I decided for a light sauce to compliment and enhance the flavor of my salad, rather than overwhelm it.
I simply mixed ~1 tsp of original almond milk with 1/2 tsp of tahini and a pinch or two of cinnamon. I added this to the mixture, minus the romaine lettuce, and tossed. I was surprised by the mild flavor it produced, especially because I am not the hugest fan of tahini by itself. Anyway, it was just what I was looking for. It was simple, light, and creamy; yum!
Dinner has been anything but consistent... except for millet, of course. Not surprisingly, millet is a staple food for me. It is just so versatile and delicious!
Mexican stir-fry to celebrate July 4th? Why not.
The big plate was definitely brought out on this occasion. It took me a few stages to finish this plate, but you can bet I did. What can I say, I am a veggie heavy-weight!
Feeling simple? Black beans, millet, and greens (broccoli&&brussels) to the rescue.
Oh, and cauliflower and nooch sauce were added for good measure.
Feeling like something completely different on the tofu front? Have 3 jars of more dijon mustard than you know what to do with (thanks to combining households)? Googling recipes will almost always help.
Not necessarily nice to look at, my lemon dijon tofu was an interesting change from the usual simple Braggs marinating. I mixed 1 tbs Whole Foods dijon mustard, 1.5 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp minced garlic (=1 clove), and ~1tbs water to thin. Next I marinated the tofu for about 15 minutes before baking it in a 400* oven for 30 minutes.
The resulting tofu was creamy and saucy; it complemented the delicate flavors of the steamed asparagus, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli well.
While all of these dinners were random but delicious in their own right, last night's stole the show. How could it not when it included kabocha?
I think I finally understand why macrobiotic diets include lots of kabocha and adzuki beans---both are delicious and naturally sweet. Yum! Would you laugh if I told you that I even sprinkled cinnamon on my beans? I am a proud cinnamon lover!
On that note, I want to leave you with a little food for thought. One of my homework assignments for teacher training this week is to write an essay describing happiness. I think this is such an interesting topic to write about because we all use the word "happy" quite a bit. However, I have never really taken the time to figure out what it means to me exactly. What does happiness mean to you? What has recently made you happy?
Have a lovely day!