It was a pastel morning yesterday . . . . baby blue, pink and lavender sky. Amazing! The sun slowly made it’s way up through the gentle fog and into the break in the clouds to shine, perfectly, on the frost that covered every branch of every tree. I watched it unfold as we moved through our morning routine – rising, breakfast, drive to school. I enjoyed fully, two hours of this magical winter landscape. It seemed to match my rhythm, or at any rate, exactly what I needed . . . to gently step into the day.
Winter makes me feel this way, a bit slow. The cold sinks deep into my bones and mostly, I just want to curl up with a warm blanket and not emerge until March! But the sunrise and the sunsets are different this time of year. They’re breathtaking and one of my favorite things about Winter! Truly, I hear the sky shouting, there’s beautiful things going on out here, wake up and join us! Maybe it’s the way the light reflects off the snow or that there’s less leaves on the trees so we can see things in a new way. Winter forces us to find the beauty and inspiration in unexpected places, I think . . . I’m always grateful for the brilliant colors that keep me looking up and out!
As the Winter winds have kept us inside a little more than usual we’ve found ourselves with a bit more kitchen time. We’ve made soups and stir-frys and lots of salads . . . Mick has been helping. I think it’s inspired him to want to learn more about creating in the kitchen (funny how that works)! Mostly, it’s been a time of setting the Christmas cookies (and other treats) aside and getting back to plenty of fresh produce. And what I’m noticing so clearly is how much better I feel . . . lighter, more vibrant and healthy. THAT’S inspiration for me!
Here’s a few things we’ve been weaving into our days and a couple of our favorites:
- Plain non-fat Greek Yogurt with a few teaspoons of Lemon Curd and Pomegranate Seeds – bright and sweet
- Simple Black Bean Tacos (see November Post) with fresh lime juice – citrus so wonderful this time of year
- Avocados – EVERY way, in salads, on bean tacos, sliced with fresh lime juice, as guacamole, even for breakfast or mid-morning snack – very satiating!
- Roasted Vegetables – mostly Brussels Sprouts & Broccoli – roasting brings out awesome caramelized flavor
- Greens – LOTS of them – A large salad most days, combining spinach, arugula, spring mix and kale in a variety of different ways. Mostly, with avocados, nuts and citrus (see new recipe below)
- Bowls of Grapefruits, Oranges and Clementines – also great sliced up with plain or vanilla yogurt and a drizzle of honey! So good for breakfast or snack!
So speaking of all those greens, last week I found a salad at Naturally Ella that I made for my mom and sister. It was amazing with arugula, feta cheese and a bright lemon vinaigrette. With permission, I’m sharing it along with a link to Erin Alderson’s fabulous food blog! She has been an inspiration to me for some time and most especially since Mick has been eating vegetarian. Her photography and recipe ideas are delightful and I’m grateful and excited to share her salad! You’ll find Erin here, http://www.naturallyella.com.
Happy New Year Everyone – I wish you beautiful sunsets, good food, good health and an inspired New Year!! Enjoy!
- 2 cups arugula
- 2 cups spring mix
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced thin (4-5)
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled
- ¼ cup pistachios, chopped
- 1 – 2 ounces feta
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced dill
- 2 teaspoons honey
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Wash and spin dry the arugula and spring greens. Place in a large bowl and add the scallions, quinoa, pistachios and feta cheese.
- In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the ingredients for the dressing and shake vigorously. Pour over the salad and toss until everything is well coated.
Erin’s original recipe called for watermelon radishes, sunflower seeds and arugula as the lettuce. I was unable to find the radishes so I left them out and mixed up the greens a bit by adding spring mix. Also, I had pistachios on hand so I substituted these for sunflower seeds. I’m sure the sunflower seeds are amazing too!
Recipe used with permission by:
Erin Alderson, http://www.naturallyella.com