Friday, April 22, 2011

Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad ( and a self disclosure)

Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad

RIP Nike Free +
Before I get to the eats, I have a self disclosure: I used to be am occasionally an emotionally reactive person. I like to think I'm not, but then something happens and it smacks me in the face. Case in point: I came home the other day and my dog had demolished my running shoes (I swear, he's not usually this destructive... hopefully he's just going through a phase). This has particularly upsetting consequences for two reasons: I made myself a deal to run or workout on a regular basis, and these MUCH loved shoes are discontinued. I can't just buy another pair. Emotional reactivity: flailing myself in a heap of despair onto my bed (I'm pretty sure this is not socially acceptable behavior for an adult?).

I'm not proud of this moment, okay. Don't judge. 

This moment was not my first moment of realization. I've been aware of this flaw side of myself for quite some time. Years, even. I've realized all along that I'm an emotional person (a side of myself that I like very much, by the way), but these flailing moments on the bed were not my idea of a good time. When my niece was going through the "terrible twos" more than one person lovingly drew similarities about our emotional capacities. Ha, ha, very funny, guys (note: use of sarcasm here).  I like to think we're both just passionate, wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve, kind of people. The truth is: I have moments where I BECOME my emotions. To the great relief of my husband, I have begun to cultivate my consciousness over the years and these moments are becoming less and less.

Emotions are simply experiences. They come. They go. I get to decide which ones I invite to stick around a little longer. But none of them define who I am. (Hear that anger, frustration, and pissed off... you don't own me!) If I'm not careful, if I let myself BECOME my emotions, I run the risk of giving up control of my inner dialogue. My self talk. The way I communicate with myself. MY SENSE OF CONTROL OVER WHO I AM. Not cool. Not gonna happen. Every challenging experience is an opportunity to grow. So thank you to my dog for giving me the opportunity to practice living consciously. Yeah, thanks a lot!

Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.
- Mahatma Gandhi

 A while back I started using Positive Affirmations. At first I did it only when I was tempted to have a flailing moment. This worked- many flails were adverted, yes- but it was still a reaction to my emotions. I was only consciously living when things were going in the direction I didn't want them to, rather than being proactive about taking myself toward the direction I did want to go. Rather than wait until I was already feeling overwhelmed, I've started acknowledging my awesomeness on a regular basis. Avoiding versus seeking. Moving away from something I don't want is not the same as moving toward something I do want. And I want a life of peace, happiness, and fun (which is not the same as a life without anger, frustration, and annoyance... which is completely unrealistic anyway)! I deserve it. You deserve it. Let's make it happen.

 Some positive affirmation examples

I can do anything I want to do!

I prosper wherever I turn and I know that I deserve prosperity of all kinds!
I know whatever I need to know for my well-being, success, joy, and fulfillment!

I am my own unique self - special, creative and wonderful!

Everyday I am healing!

I love to laugh and enjoy life!

All my relationships are loving and harmonious!

I see abundance and opportunity at every turn!

I take full responsibility for me!

I am a good saver of money!

I am successful at everything I do!

I am serene, peaceful, and without stress!

I choose love, joy and freedom, open my heart and allow wonderful things to flow into my life!

I promise to be myself
To trust that all will be naturally right
To know that my purpose brings love to those I touch
To dedicate myself to live in bliss
To give time to self improvement & learning
To patiently realize my life's mission
To recognize value in other people and ideas
To give time to learn
To speak potential health, and happiness to everyone I meet!

And now that we're all feeling warm and fuzzy, let's talk about food. 

My cilantro and quinoa kick continues... so bare with me. I bought another bunch of cilantro! I just can't help myself, it smells too good to pass it by. With the aromatic deliciousness wafting from my fridge, I needed to come up a recipe that would let my beloved shine in all its smell-good glory. I started out by making a cilantro dressing without any real idea of what I was going to do with it. After a peek into the fridge (which was mostly empty) my options were limited. A few veggies and a whole bunch of quinoa led to a very obvious solution: Cilantro Lime and Quinoa Salad. 

  • 5 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro (loosely packed), stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (feel free to substitute any other vinegar if you don't have white wine)
  • 4 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • dash of hot sauce (I highly recommend srirarcha). Adjust amount depending on how spicy you like it. 
  • pinch salt and pepper

  • 3/4 dry quinoa, cooked (we'll talk more about cooking quinoa in a minute)
  • 1-2 celery, chopped
  • 1-2 carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup beans

Cook your quinoa (easy peasy: put 1.5 C water and 3/4 C quinoa in pot. Bring to boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until water is absorbed) and let cool. Meanwhile, put all the ingredients for the dressing into a food processor. Pulse until well blended. Mix other salad ingredients with cooled quinoa and toss in cilantro lime dressing.

I wanted to use black beans, but since my husband is somewhat of a garbanzo bean enthusiast (he eats them straight out of the can. I know, weird), I got talked into using them. Unless you have a minor love affair with garbanzos (or live with someone who does), I'd go with black beans. Just sayin...

And, as with just about everything else I eat... feel free to put a little more hot sauce on the finished product. :)

What's your go-to positive affirmation?

This recipe was included in Gluten Free Wednesday and Real Food Weekly


  1. In every situation, you simply try your best with the resources you have available. Be it emotional or mental, energy, 'stuff', smarts, or focus. If you tried your best you look back and have no regrets.

  2. DJ- I like it! And you keep developing (cultivating) more resources along the way, too.

  3. this salad looks amazing I love cilantro! I practice affirmations daily and I think they are really the only thing you can do to fire you up and get you ready for your day, plus they boost confidence :)

  4. Exactly Kate. It's a win-win! Plus, when you can recognize your own awesomeness, it's easier to recognize it in other people too.

  5. Thank you so much for stopping by Happyolks and for your kind words. I'm so glad that it led me to your blog! This post totally had me smiling the whole time. I too, can be emotionally reactive, we're all a work in progress on that end I think. Your bio "I am an endless possibility and a work in progress. I'm constantly striving towards personal growth and enlightenment, toward integrating the physical, mental, and spiritual parts of my being into optimal health...and having fun while I do it. Mostly, I strive towards reaching my full potential and I hope to encourage others to do the same..." makes my heart happy. I'd love to call you friend in real life!

    Be well,
    Kelsey from Happyolks

  6. Thanks so much Kelsey! I'm so glad you like my blog. That means a lot, especially coming from you. Happyolks is a GREAT site! I love it!

  7. Great affirmations! I needed that!
    Your recipe looks really good. I love cilantro and quinoa

  8. Thanks Judee, I'm glad you stopped by!