Date, avocado, and quinoa salad

A simple meal in a bowl with crunchy roasted hazelnuts and creamy dressing made from Greek yogurt.

In Praise of Leftovers
Date, avocado, and quinoa salad with roasted broccoli, crunchy hazelnuts and a creamy yogurt dressing.

For me this has been Salad Month. For this one, if you've prepped on Sunday, you can tear up some washed greens into a bowl. (Here's it's butter lettuce, kale, and arugula). Then dice half an avocado over the top and sprinkle some cooked quinoa. (I do mine in the rice cooker with half the amount of water most recipes call for: 1 cup quinoa to 1 cup water.)

Chop a couple dates, add some of the broccoli you roasted when you got home from the grocery store, and scatter some roasted hazelnuts and homemade dressing over the top. (In this case, yogurt ranch, made from Greek yogurt, garlic, fresh herbs, lemon juice, olive oil, and a little bit of mayo.) There is also some rose petal dukkah on there, but that's just ridiculous.

And if you want to keep reading, of course I have things to say that have nothing to do with salad.

I'm on a Rob Bell kick lately, and listened to this podcast yesterday on my walk. He talks about the difference between good and perfect, and isn't that something we all need to hear? "Good" is the word used in the creation poem at the beginning of the Bible: "God saw that the light was good." It's used to describe the whole messy cycle of creation and death, life and the end of life, beauty and chaos. "Perfect" is the term popularized by the Greeks--Plato's ideal, achieving a state where there isn't anything left to improve upon. Yuck! Who wants that? But in our epidemic of comparison, shelter magazines, celebrity culture, and self-help addiction, it's perfection we want sometimes.

Rob talks about birth – how it's the messiest endeavor ever. Full of blood, pain, uncertainty. It's not some airbrushed vignette. As John Kabat-Zinn would say, it's Full Catastrophe Living! It's the torrent of reality that includes the highs, and lows and all the noticing in-between. Cheers to that.

Overflow

Holy, grimy, astounding world,
you make me want to write.

I've been carrying a poem inside all week,
but it can't decide what to praise.

The orange primrose I planted on my porch,
prematurely bright, presumptuous in winter.

The old man in line at the grocery store,
slowly putting his four items on the belt--

Tea, milk, steak, onion, pulling crisp cash
from his billfold with wobbly precision.

Let them be birthed,
all these fledgling poems!

However messy, however unplanned,
however painful or unbearably real.

Holy, grimy, astounding world –
what else can I do but witness?

Related post on In Praise of Leftovers: Salad Mania

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About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

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