Stress was the topic of Alex and my conversation on our drive home from work today. Why is it that some people carry so much stress in life, whereas others seem to be content no matter what the circumstance?
I used to be one of those stressed people. I was stressed about my job, family relationships, friend relationships; worried that I wasn’t measuring up. I internalized the stress of those around me, and felt like I was constantly falling behind, fearful I’d accidentally drop the ball by forgetting my mom’s birthday or not returning a client’s email.
Somewhere in the past few years, Alex and I decided to reverse the stress trend. One of our inspirations was a wise saying from a friend that “the opposite of entitlement is gratitude”. Instead of being stressed about our work, why not be thankful that our jobs provide a means for keeping us alive? Instead of complaining about a person or situation, why not focus on words that build up instead of put down?
The more we thought on the positive, the more stress seemed to drain out of our lives. While this philosophy doesn’t eliminate stress overnight, it’s a practice that brings gratitude and abundance.
Tonight, I was grateful to be able to create this salad. With spring radishes and spinach, quinoa and zesty lemon, it’s both nutritious and delightfully fresh tasting. We served it as a light dinner with greens and bread. What a change from the “old” us of quick microwave dinners, served with a side of work. For that, we’re grateful.
- 2 cups quinoa
- 2 cups chopped spinach leaves
- 1 bunch radishes
- 3 scallions
- 1½ cans white beans (or ~ 2½ cups cooked)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 lemon (zest and juice)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Chopped walnuts or pepitas (optional)
- Make the quinoa.
- Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables: chop or chiffonade the spinach. Thinly slice the radishes and scallions. Drain and rinse the beans. Place the vegetables in a large bowl with 3 tablespoons olive oil. 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Mix to combine.
- When the quinoa is done, let it cool to about room temperature (to quickly cool it down, spread it out onto a baking sheet or jelly roll pan in a thin layer; it will cool in a few minutes).
- Mix the quinoa with the vegetables, then add lemon zest. Immediately prior to serving, squeeze on the juice of 1 lemon. If desired, serve topped with chopped walnuts or pepitas for some crunch.
- *Note: If making ahead, make sure to leave out the lemon and nuts until immediately prior to serving; the same is true when eating leftovers, since the lemon taste fades over time.