Thursday, April 18, 2013

Happiness Is . . .

A watercress salad! You're laughing at me no doubt, but seriously, it's the little things in life . . .  I had a lovely morning today with my Mind-Body Group at Atlanta Functional Medicine and as I made my way out of the office the sun was shining and the air, fresher after last evening's shower. I stopped for a few things at Publix on my way home and I found this beautiful watercress. Watercress is always a treat for me. One comes across it so rarely in our area, and when I do it's usually in a pretty sad state -- tired and abused -- so I normally pass. When I saw this pretty tangle this afternoon, you can bet I snapped it right up.

This salad was just what the doctor ordered for perpetuating my "Mind-Body" happy. The fresh, tender, peppery shoots were perfect with only half an avocado, a few pine nuts, a squirt of fresh lemon and a scant drizzle of my favorite olive oil. The flavor of watercress is a perfect foil for buttery flavors like avocado and pine nuts. Obviously, this salad was so simple it doesn't even warrant a recipe format, but I'll label it that way so I can find it again if I ever follow through with a cookbook someday.

Though the salad was the lunchtime star today, I like to eat a lot, as you know, so I also enjoyed some leftovers -- a crock pot chickpea stew I made a few days ago. I'm sorry, I actually should have written this one down as I was making it, but I was in a hurry at the time and wasn't expecting anything fantastic so I didn't. As it turned out, this stew is really, really good and I'm not tired of it yet after three days. Trying to remember, I think I soaked a pound of dry peas overnight, then cooked them for about 5 hours with a strip of kombu, a handful of dried porcini mushrooms, a couple of squirts of tomato paste (from a tube I keep in the fridge), about 2 Tbsp. of shoyu and a can of organic tomato soup. I sprinkled a tiny bit of cumin, a couple of good shakes of chipotle powder and a couple of shakes of garlic powder as well, and as an afterthought in the last hour I chopped up an onion and threw it in there. I added more water as it cooked down. I will recreate it along with a pencil and paper sometime to confirm I'm telling you the truth here.  Today I warmed it with a big handful of spinach (never enough greens!) and a sprinkling of daiya. Delish!

In other news, yesterday I spent a bit of time working on the other blogs for which I write, among other projects, and as the afternoon wore on, my energy began to flag. I want to share a delicious boost which provided more hours of productivity:
It looks like Ellie could have used a little sip of my magic boost as well! She's such a sweet little ole' lady now. She's got so much gray around her face. A more soulful dog I've never known. I'm pretty sure she thinks she's a human being.

Back to my smoothie: you may say it's not too pretty, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I say it's gorgeous. This qualifies as a dessert really, in my book, since I used a cup of Silk Mocha Soy Latte as the liquid. It also contains two big handfuls of spinach, a banana and a couple of tablespoons of cacao --pow! It's been over three years since I've had a chocolate milkshake, but to my memory this was every bit as luscious, and it did the trick!

These are a few of the little things which bring me happiness today.  What are yours?


  1. That simple salad sounds so good. I need to get some pine nuts and I will be good to go. And I need to start making veggie smoothies, that sounds so good for a nice pick me up.

  2. Hi Karen - It was good! Sometimes simple is best. Thanks for reading.