White Bean Summer Salad

White Bean Summer Salad

White Bean Summer Salad

Before you run to the store to snag your last minute Independence Day foods, scan this recipe!

I promise it won't disappoint and will add some delish veggies to your regular holiday BBQ! Your fam will thank you - or maybe they won't, but at least you'll feel nourished :) 

This summer salad is nutrient rich and with foods like cucumber in abundance, it's naturally cooling and hydrating to the body - crucial this time of year!

PRE- S: if you want to know more about "this time of year" be sure to download my latest FREE Elemental Guide!

 

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At the last Elemental Living Community Retreat, we gathered around a table to prepare and share this meal. Even the skeptics were pleased with the burst of flavor and how it satiated our starving bellies!

What's even better?

NO COOKING!

Nope - just about 10-15 minutes to slice, dice & rice. 

 

WHITE BEAN SUMMER SALAD

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large can white beans, drained & rinsed
    • (Cannelloni, Great White, Northern or even Butter Beans!)
  • 3-4 small cucumbers, diced 
  • 1 bunch radishes, sliced 
  • 1-2 broccoli florets, riced
  • 1 big handful fresh basil, finely chopped 
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut anyway!
  • 1/2 purple onion, diced
  • Pine Nuts (or any other "topper" you desire)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare veggies as indicated above.
  2. Drizzle EVOO + Red Wine Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar(1-2TBL of each) over the bowl of veggies, mix well then let marinate for 15+ minutes.
  3. Add the white beans, mix well & chill (you & the meal!).

TO SERVE
Top with pine nuts + Vegan Arugula Pesto when serving. 
Note: you can absolutely add quinoa for a heartier salad or top with tuna, avocado or whatever your heart desires - get creative & tell me about it!

VEGAN ARUGULA PESTO

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 cup basil
  • 1 cup soaked walnuts
  • 1/4 cups pine nuts
  • 4-5 gloves garlic
  • 1 whole lemon, juiced 
  • EVOO

DIRECTIONS

  1. Add ingredients to a food processor & blend on low.

  2. Add water as needed. You want the pesto to be in between a salad dressing & a thick sauce texture.

     

I'm in Bali and here's how it happened.

Hi from Bali! I know it's been quite awhile since my last post, but my travels have sparked a need to share in me. Mainly because I've received an abundance of messages and texts asking what I'm doing, why I'm doing it and how it all happened. So here's the story...

After quitting my full time job and starting a business a few years ago, I experienced a flood of emotions. Excitement, insecurity, doubt, empowerment, elation, anxiety and depression. Within a short span of time, I went from being unmarried, living in a low maintenance townhouse and working a regular 8-5 job in fundraising and event planning to married, historic home owner (meaning a wealth of renovation and construction in my future) and an entrepreneur. Basically, I went from independence, financial security and stability to well, everything but. Flash forward to February 2015, I'm sitting in a completely disorganized home office on a dreary southern winter day feeling a strong case of the winter blues. It was a cold, rainy Monday and I was overcome with the reality and responsibility that I was the only person that could dictate my success, future and joy. WHOA. It felt big. It still does. There's no manager or supervisor to help guide, praise or criticize me or my work. IT'S ONLY ME. For an extrovert, that's a challenging truth. 

I decided I needed support, training, travel, basically any external source of wisdom. So began the search for further education. I sat in my cluttered office googling every combination of nutrition, yoga and wellness training I could imagine. I knew that I wanted something that combined yoga and food. I searched all the big wellness education centers in the US, but everything was so expensive. Thousands of dollars for a short, inconclusive training that didn't include my airfare and sometimes lodging. Then, I found it. Attuning to the Seasons by Swara Yoga in Tuscany, Italy.  Call it dumb luck, call it excellent googling skills, call it divine intervention - who knows. I stumbled on a website that to this day I have not been able to find through search, only typing in the exact web address. I was totally enthralled. Two yoga classes a day and 1 cooking class everyday all centered around balancing your body to each season. It was affordable and I could use sky miles on Delta to get there. I searched more to figure out if this was even real - was it a scam? Are they Yoga Alliance certified? It all checked out. But the big question, can I do this? Can I leave and just go to Italy by myself? Later that day a close friend and workout buddy, Jenna, countered that question with why not? Why couldn't I and would't I do this? After a month or so, I booked it. Done. I was going to Italy by myself for 6 days in Tuscany learning about yoga and nutrition according to seasonal changes. 

What I experienced there was more than I can put into words, several blog posts on their own. In short, I can tell you that I truly discovered how nourishing and balancing the right combination of yoga and nutrition can be. It was profound. That training combined with the experience of 10 days solo travel changed me. I felt direction and passion in a way I had never experienced. Truth be told, when I got off the train in Italy, I half expected not to be picked up. A big part of me wondered if I had transferred money to a scam artist. But it worked out - the way life does when you are living your truth and on your path. I met amazing people from all over the world (I was the only American there) and experienced 6 days of clean, sustainable living. 

 

As the training came to a close, I learned about their 300hr Yoga Teacher Training in Bali. A 30 day immersion from October-November 2016. I asked a lot of questions, but mainly tried to convince them to offer the training in Central America. I explained all the reasons I could NEVER leave for a month for Bali. I told them it was too far. I would miss my husband, my parents & sister, my sweet Lollie girl. I couldn't leave my clients. I didn't have the money....blah blah blah. One limiting statement after another. My teacher explained to me why the training was in Bali (Spiritual Center) and why it had to be an immersion (depth and gravity of content). 

I thought about the training almost daily. I thought of every reason I couldn't do it. However, just like my decision to leave my cushy job and start a business, I continued to feel a strong pull to do this. I've always had a take the road less traveled way of life anyway. So in spring 2016, I began emailing with the instructor and eventually went through the application and interview process to be accepted. After a million conversations with my husband and mom, I pulled the trigger. I put down my first deposit and set the wheels in motion. 

Leaving BHM with my ginger tea

Leaving BHM with my ginger tea

So, now I'm in Bali washing clothes in a sink, staying in a bungalow with no AC or hot water for $27/night and I'm loving life. It took me 42 hours to get here and I really have no idea what to expect, other than certainty that this is right for me. I will be in training from October 26-November 25 with limited access to the internet. There are several people and elements that came into play in preparing for this trip that I want to share, but that's another post. For now, I'm in Bali for the next 6 weeks. My husband will meet me here just before training ends, so we can relax and enjoy this unique experience together. My normal life will resume on December 5, but I imagine "normal" will be redefined, as it is after life changing events. 

For now, I would like to leave you with one quote. This quote was read in my very first yoga class by my first teacher and over the past 10 years, it has had a sneaky way of reappearing in my life and just the right moments. It reminds me that I am meant to be great and that anything is possible, when you are living your passion and truth.  Our Deepest Fear, by Marianne Williamson. 

 

Farm to Table: Fall Peppers

There has been an abundance of peppers in my Hepzibah Farms CSA the past few weeks. Sweet peppers, hot peppers, bell peppers - I could go on like Bubba in Forrest Gump, but you get the idea. These peppers are tiny and adorable. You can't help but love them. They smell sweet and have boundless benefits. 

These cheerful little guys brighten up any dish. Having a variety of colors on your plate means a variety of nutrients, too! Most people don't even realize how nutrient rich peppers are! They are chocked full of Vitamin C, beta-carotine, B-6, and capsaicin. 

With all those benefits, who wouldn't want an abundance of these delicious peppers? The challenge is that there aren't a TON of whole meals centered around peppers, so I've had to get creative! My first thought was TACO NIGHT! Which isn't surprising, because I'm a bit of a taco addict. 

Over Labor Day, my dad and I teamed up in the kitchen to try a few recipes out. He made fish tacos. I made guac and roasted pepper salsa. I'm a big fan of that salsa. It was spicy and delicious! Three weeks of local CSA peppers goes further than one taco night, so we actually only used about 1/4 of the peppers I had on hand. So, I've found a few more recipes to accommodate our peppery season! 


Recipes

Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

Personally, I LOVE to add peppers to salads, wraps, pastas or any veggie night! Their rich flavor gives you the ability to eat them raw or cooked. Gotta love that versatility!