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All in a Day’s Work

The dishes needed washing. There were two huge stacks – one by the sink and another over by the stove. One downside to cooking from scratch.

“All we had was salmon and spinach,” my husband said.

“But the teriyaki marinade* was homemade, remember?” Plus, during lunch, I’d been experimenting with homemade pasta sauce.

The dishes sat overnight. Today, evaluating the mess, I realized the entire kitchen needed attention – countertops, floors, fridge – along with the dining room, family room, and bathrooms.

I’ve never been obsessed with cleaning, but even this mess was grating on me.

On the other hand, it was 60 degrees and sunny outside. And I’ve been waiting for this weather since November.

But then again my parents were coming to visit later in the week, so I knew I really should tidy up.

I wasted 20 minutes debating, which included a phone consultation with my husband:

Him: You should definitely rollerblade – the weather is great.
Me: But I was going to wash all those dishes.
Him: Well, on second thought . . .

And an internal argument over the merits of what it means to be a person who writes about mindful living:

Me: A Zen Master of Cleaning would emphasize the importance of living an “uncluttered” life.
Me: But fresh air and exercise will balance out your day.

In the end I decided to blade. The President’s Challenge is underway and I committed to participating on this very blog . . . so you know . . . rollerblading is part of my job.

~~~

*Teriyaki Sauce from The Maker’s Diet: 1 T fresh, grated ginger; 3 cloves garlic, mashed; 1 T toasted sesame oil; 1 T rice vinegar; 1 T raw honey; ½ cup of soy sauce. Whisk together.

Wasa with Ricotta Cheese, Pistachio and Raisin Spread

Ingredients

½ cup skim ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoon raisins
4 teaspoons pistachios, shelled and chopped
½ ounce dark chocolate, grated
3 pieces WASA Light Rye

Directions

Soak raisins in a bowl of boiling water until soft (approximately 10 minutes). Drain and return to bowl.
Add ricotta cheese, honey and pistachio nuts to bowl. Mix well.
Spoon equal amounts of spread on crispbreads and top with grated chocolate.

TIP: Substitute cottage cheese for ricotta cheese if desired.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Serves 1

Nutritional Value Per Serving

Calories 149
Total Fat 7 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 13 mg
Sodium 113 mg
Total Carbohydrate 5 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Protein 7 g
Calcium 13% of required daily value

Hearty Vegetable Lentil Soup

We’ve been making this lentil soup* all winter. We finally have it down:

I pour 5 cups of organic, low sodium chicken broth into the big pot.
Ron chops 2 celery stalks, 1 large carrot, and minces 2 cloves of garlic.
I chop 1 medium onion, 1 red pepper, and 1 green pepper. Then measure out 1 cup of dry lentils.

We toss this first batch of ingredients into the pot and stir. Turn on the burner and, after it begins to boil, reduce it to a simmer for 40 minutes.

While it’s cooking, Ron and I are back to the cutting boards.

He’s got 3 red potatoes.
I have 1 zucchini.
He measures out the curry powder and basil (half a teaspoon each).
I measure out a half a cup of organic tomato sauce and drain a can of diced tomatoes.

Our second batch of ingredients goes in the pot for an extra 15 minutes at the end.

We keep sourdough bread in the freezer, and Ron thaws it out and toasts it up so we can dip it in the soup.

So tasty.

It’s the only part of winter I’m gonna miss.

~~~

*recipe from a Pritikin book I found on my parents’ bookshelf

My Kind of Yogi

My car crunches over the gravel as I pull into the parking lot of the yoga studio. Climbing up the rickety stairs of the wood building, I’m filled with hope.

This is the ninth yoga instructor I’ve tried since moving to DC. For whatever reason, I can’t seem to find a teacher that feels like the right fit. In part, I’m grieving the loss of my instructor from Los Angeles whom I adored. And I admit I don’t mind the teachers I’ve practiced with here, but I find yoga easier to maintain when I feel a strong authentic connection.

A few months ago I tried a class where the teacher did seem like a great fit. But when I returned, she was no longer there. I scoured the web searching for her to pop up in another studio around town. I only had a first name to go off of, but I think I might have found her and that’s why I’m here today.

I sign in at the desk and walk into the studio. The teacher is asking the class to get two blocks, a blanket, and a strap. Yep, that’s her. I can tell by the sound of her voice.

She walks by me on her way to close the door of the studio, but she pauses before reaching her destination. She watches me as I pull back my hair back into a loose ponytail.

“Hi. I’m Jenny. I’m a drop-in,” I say.

“I know you,” she says.

I sigh in relief. She remembers me.

“I took a restorative yoga class you taught in another studio a few months ago. I’ve been looking for you ever since. You’re hard to find,” I explain.

“Yes,” she nods, remembering the class. “It’s taken me awhile to get going and figure out where to set up shop.”

Well no wonder I couldn’t find her. She’s a new teacher. Later, I discover that she had a health scare which caused her to re-evaluate her entire career as a molecular biologist. Once she recovered, she decided to become a yoga teacher. Love that (I had a similar experience three years ago and that’s when I began writing).

We open by chanting three Oms. Then she tells us to be sure not to miss class three weeks from now. She’ll be teaching it outside where we will all face the trees so we can experience a “yoga foliage festival.” Oh yeah, she’s my kind of yogi. Š

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