I had a great conversation the other day with a good creative friend of mine. This person is a songwriter, and music is a passion – I should say a fairly prominent and driving passion in this person’s life. As with all creative folks from time to time, my dear friend is currently struggling with a writer’s block, a long and seemingly endless drought of inspiration, and is, as you can imagine, feeling sad and (just a little) frustrated.
I am sure this sounds familiar to many of you, as no matter what those passionate endeavors are that we pursue to keep us sane, there are always times when the inspiration just doesn’t flow. When our ideas are tapped and we feel like we’ve lost it. When we are blank. I know it is true for me, as there are times when the only thing I can do is precisely what I advised my dearest pal to do: get out and live.
Whatever drives our passions or sets our hearts on fire, can only be stoked and kept thriving by the gentle prodding that is the rhythm of living, and of experience. Those times when we are empty just (IMO) means we are due for a rest. And after rest comes new experiences. New visions. New landscapes & new sounds & smells & tastes & feelings. New people in our lives. Whatever it is that we are called to experience & absorb & filter back out to the world with our own personal touch added. Those are the things that fill us back up, and give our minds things to process and our hearts new feelings to feel.
It is life, and living it to the best of our abilities that fills us up. I’d love to hear what you guys do to fuel up after a drought, as I’m always game to hear new ideas! And with that we are off on an adventure — our family is ducking out for the weekend to Oregon, where we’ll be hitting Portland for a few days followed by a visit to the coast and the beach. It’ll be short, but sometimes that’s all it takes. Looking forward to absorbing all this time has to offer.
Here is a simple yet delicious salad combo from our epic shared meal last week. Warning: it seems like the type of salad anyone could make, and it is. It just happens to be completely delicious too! Especially if you are a dill fan 🙂
Less standard boring salad fare means more exciting plant-based combos. Fewer complicated, blender required salad dressings means less clean up and simple preparation. Less bagged & pre-made ‘health’ foods means more care & love in each and every bowl, so folks don’t just taste the goods, but can feel the heart that went into it too.
More tasty fresh herbs means each dinner is a new adventure. More simple steps till dinner’s ready means food prep is never discouraging. More fresh colorful foods means more joy for your eyes and your taste buds, so taking advantage of the seasonal goodness brings happiness to your senses and your tummy as well.
Grated Beet, Fresh Dill & Feta Salad:
- (1) head red leaf lettuce, washed and torn (or 2 giant handfuls of spring greens)
- (1) beet, peeled & grated
- (1/2) cup fresh dill, chopped
- (1/2) cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
- (1/2) cup feta cheese, cubed or crumbled
- (1/2-1) cup cherry tomatoes, washed & halved
- (1) recipe balsamic dressing
Balsamic Crema Dressing:
- (1/4) cup olive oil
- (1/4) cup balsamic crema
- (1) tsp salt
- (1) tbsp fresh dill, minced
- black pepper as desired
First toast pumpkin seeds for 5 minutes in a pre-heated cast iron pan or in the oven at 350 degrees until fragrant and turning brown (they will start to pop and that is when they are done). Remove the seeds to a bowl to cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.
In a salad bowl, tear the lettuce in bite sized pieces and toss it all in. Layer the salad with the grated beets, dill, cherry tomatoes & feta. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl – this will be a wonderfully thick mixture from the use of balsamic crema – I highly recommend sourcing this as it is wonderful in this recipe (the small squeezy bottles of thick reduced balsamic – about 7-8$ in most stores). If you use balsamic vinegar instead, I suggest a tbsp of sugar or so to thicken and sweeten the dressing.
Sprinkle the salad with the pumpkin seeds once they are cool, reserving a few to use as a garnish. Just before serving, toss the salad with the dressing a separate mixing bowl to well coat the entire mixture. Transfer back into the serving bowl or serve on individual plates. Top with a little reserved dill and the pumpkin seeds and enjoy.
This recipe will serve 4-6 hungry folks depending on what else it is served with. We enjoyed it with the corn salad from the last post and a hearty veggie-loaded fritatta. With amazing bread too of course 🙂 I am sure this would be just as epic with some of that tofu feta I’ve seen around the blog world and have yet to try.
All you adventurous vegan friends of mine I’d love to hear if you try it that way!