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 uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups chopped spinach leaves
- 1 bunch radishes
- 3 green onions
- 1½ cans white beans (or 2¼ 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, chop or thinly slice (chiffonade ) the spinach. Thinly slice the radishes and 3 green onions. Drain and rinse the white 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 room temperature (to quickly cool it, spread quinoa in a thin layer on a baking sheet or jelly roll pan and it will cool in a few minutes).
- Mix the quinoa with the vegetables, then add the zest of 1 lemon. 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, add the lemon and nuts immediately prior to serving; the same is true when storing leftovers.