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Your Guide to Ultherapy

As we age, the skin loses its natural elasticity and shine as the cells die out through a degenerative process. Though there are a lot of skin products that help in making the skin retain its smoothness and softness, most are still a temporary solution and in the long run become a hefty cost. Surgery can also be done but the pain and the costs often make people shy away from taking the option. Now here comes Ultherapy, a new alternative that gives you healthier and younger-looking skin.

What is Ultherapy?

Ultherapy is a skin treatment that doesn’t involve going under the knife or getting wheeled into a surgery room. This uses ultrasound waves to make the skin more loose and then lifting it without the need for surgery. Ultherapy stimulates the deep layers of the skin that are often addressed in skin surgery, but this therapy works without the need of injuring the tissues at all. Because of ultrasound, healthcare professionals are capable of visualizing the skin and just the right amount of energy is applied to the specific area of the skin to be treated.

How Does it Work?

Ultherapy makes use of ultrasound waves to stimulate the tissues beneath the skin, even reaching several layers up to the muscles. This makes the skin grow tighter, close pores, and make the skin look smoother. Regarded as safe by the medical community worldwide for over 50 years, Ultherapy eliminates the need for one to undergo surgery or other invasive procedures in order to make the skin look healthier and younger.

Contributed By:

Skin Tightening Clinic Singapore
Blk 125 Bt Merah Lane 1, #01-174, Singapore 150125
+6567504536
http://www.skintighteningsingapore.xyz/

Tofu Quinoa Veggie Scramble

Tofu Quinoa Veggie Scramble | The Full Helping

At this point in the summer I’ve officially put my nutrition counseling on hold until my DI is behind me, which feels bittersweet. I’m excited to return to the work with a wider skill set and more experience, and it’s good to rest before diving into clinical work. I’ll miss counseling, though, and the relationships it allows me to participate in.

One of the things I’ll miss most is the wonderful inspiration and ideas that I get from my clients! I can’t tell you how many times a recipe I’ve made was in response to a nutrition client’s request for a particular type of meal, or how many of them have been inspired by something a client told me about.

That’s definitely true of this tofu quinoa veggie scramble: I was first given the idea by a client who’d been making a non-vegan version, with eggs. She loved the way adding quinoa to the mix made it a little heartier and more filling. I thought to myself that it was an ingenious idea to fold grains into a scramble, and that I’d have to try a vegan version soon. Years later, I finally have.

Tofu Quinoa Veggie Scramble | The Full Helping

I almost always serve my tofu scrambles over toast, and that’s still a great option here, but adding the quinoa automatically makes the recipe heartier and gives it more of a power plate vibe (protein + complex carbs + healthful fats). I like what the quinoa does for texture, too, and now I’m thinking about other grains that I’d love to try in the same way: millet, rice, and bulgur, to name a few.

Of course any tofu scramble can be seasoned in countless different ways. I often add cumin and smoked paprika, but this time I was in the mood for more Mediterranean inspired flavors, so I used oregano and garlic instead. You can definitely play around with this one and make it your own, not only in terms of the seasonings used, but also in terms of trading different vegetables for the peppers and zucchini I chose.

Tofu Quinoa Veggie Scramble | The Full Helping

Tofu Quinoa Veggie Scramble
Print

Recipe type: breakfast, main dish, quick & easy
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, tree nut free, no oil option
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil (or a few tablespoons water or broth)
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup zucchini, halved lengthwise and then cut into thin, half-moon shapes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15-ounce block of extra-firm tofu, crumbled
  • 1½ cups cooked quinoa (or another grain that you’ve got leftover)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (this is a generous amount; you can use ½ teaspoon less if you don’t care for the taste but still want golden color)
  • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • A few handfuls baby spinach, kale, or finely chopped greens (optional)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • For serving (optional): Freshly chopped herbs, walnut parmesan, or yum sauce
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil (or water/broth) in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, peppers, and zucchini. Sauté the vegetables, stirring often, for 5-6 minutes, or until the onion is clear and soft. Add the garlic and sauté for one more minute, stirring constantly.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium low, then add the tofu, quinoa, nutritional yeast, turmeric, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir everything to combine well. Add the baby greens, if using, and continue cooking the scramble, stirring it gently, until the greens are tender and wilted (about 3 minutes). Stir in the lemon juice, taste the scramble, and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve with any toppings of choice alongside fresh fruit, toast, or any accompaniments you like.
Notes
Leftover scramble will keep for up to four days in an airtight container in the fridge.
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I’m a huge savory breakfast lover, but sometimes I fall back on baked oatmeal as my one and only make-ahead option. This recipe has reminded me that it’s super easy to make a great big batch of tofu scramble over the weekend, and then to enjoy it over the course of multiple weekdays. This one is definitely my new favorite, but there are a bunch of others I love, including tofu tahini scramble and very green tofu scramble. I have a feeling that all of them will make appearances in packed breakfasts for early shifts next year.

For the time being, though, I have the luxury of slow summer breakfasts at home, and I’m savoring each and every one. See you this weekend for the usual roundup!

xo

The post Tofu Quinoa Veggie Scramble appeared first on The Full Helping.

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Weekend Reading, 7.8.18

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

I was chatting with a friend—a new friend, but she already feels like an old friend—a few days ago, and it became clear that we’ve visited some similar emotional and psychological territory in the last few years. “There’s so much goodness right now,” she exclaimed (and I think I’m paraphrasing a little). “But at the same time, all of this stuff is coming up that I need to reckon with.”

She paused, and said, “I guess that’s life?” We laughed.

I’ve been thinking about her words ever since. It sounds like such a simple truth, the fact that life is patchwork. Loss and abundance coexist, along with pleasure and suffering, struggle and ease, sticky challenges alongside pockets of flow.

Yet it’s funny how readily I tend to compartmentalize my experience into good and bad categories. I do this with stuff that’s happening in the present moment, and even more when I look back on my past: I identify good years and bad years, happy times and rough ones.

Of course we can all recall particular periods in our lives that stood out as being especially hard or painful, for whatever reason, just as we can probably point to times that were especially joyous or full. But I’m all too quick to sanitize the “good” times—choosing not to remember what was painful or problematic—and to write off the “bad” ones.

I thought about this a lot on my recent trip to DC. I’ve fallen into the habit of saying that my time there was very tough, very difficult, which is true in many ways. My post-bacc itself was difficult, and there were other things: personal losses, family losses, health challenges.

Being back in the city reminded me, though, of how vivid and alive my time in DC was. The struggles that came along with the post-bacc education were met with a lot of curiosity and even some thrilling acquisition of knowledge; feeling adrift and far from home meant that I sought out new friendships, which was exciting.

I felt as if I’d left a part of myself behind in New York, and the transitions between the two cities were always a little disharmonious. But being in a new place meant letting go of a lot of components of my identity that had become stale and no longer felt authentically like “me”; I was able to grow and evolve in ways I might not have back home.

It’s easy to look back on those four years and remember the all-nighters, the poignant breakup, or the feeling of panic and grief I had when my mother endured a shocking loss over two hundred miles away from me. But how can I forget all of the excitement? And why would I want to?

My mind loves to categorize things. It feels like a relief when I do it, as if I’ve found my bearings. But categorizing encourages me to rewrite my history in such a way that I forget a lot of details. It leaves me with a story that’s neater than the unedited one, but which exists at the expense of consciously forgotten memories.

The more I grow, the more I want to hold onto all of those memories, the painful and bittersweet ones included. I’m starting to realize how precious they all are, and how precious is their coexistence. That’s life, as my friend said.

Wishing you a week that’s full and whole and spacious. Here are my reading and recipe picks from the past week.

Recipes

I’m loving Kim’s summery raspberry almond snack bars—perfect for picnics, hikes, road trips, or long days spent outside.

Emilie’s veggie dog game is seriously on point.

Refreshing eggplant and pomegranate lettuce cups from my friend Izy. Perfect for summery gatherings with friends!

I’ve been revisiting a lot of the bowls from Power Plates lately, which means that I’ve got bowl recipes on the brain. I was excited to find Erin’s flavorful sesame tofu quinoa bowls.

Finally, I can’t resist the beautiful colors of Sophie’s tie dye raspberry mango paletas (and I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to resist the flavors, either).

Reads

1. An interesting look at how brain imaging is elucidating the neuroscience of pain.

2. Boy, do I wish I’d had a tool like this when I was taking Orgo. Visualizing molecules and how they’d be oriented in three dimensions was my biggest challenge!

3. A sweet profile of Clara Cannucciari, who became a YouTube star at ninety-one years old with her show, Great Depression Cooking. The article turns a loving lens on Clara’s life story, the role of her grandson, Chris, in bringing her recipes to the world, and the power of the online world to help preserve culinary traditions.

4. I was intrigued by Laura Khoudari’s look at why the suggestion to “take a deep breath” isn’t always a helpful means of relaxing or easing for certain people with PTSD. Khoudari is a trauma informed coach and has really useful suggestions for alternative ways of getting grounded.

While I don’t have PTSD, I have found that paying attention to inhales and exhales can sometimes heighten or even trigger anxiety when I’m meditating. With the help of some good teachers, I’ve found other ways to anchor myself in meditation practice (or when I’m simply trying to relax), but it took a while to accept that breath focus isn’t always the way in. It’s nice to know that there are so many ways for different people to move into their bodies.

5. I loved Steven Petrow’s op-ed on the medicinal value of talismans, amulets, and cherished objects. He wisely frames the important roles that ritual and belief play in a person’s experience of illness, wellness, and the complicated passages in between.

Happy Sunday, friends. Before I go, I want to mention that I’m offering a giveaway for Wolf Gourmet’s new multifunction cooker on my Instagram feed right now. It’s a beautiful appliance, and if you love slow cooking as much as I do, check it out!

I’ll be back with a simple, savory breakfast recipe this week.

xo

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Vegan Chocolate Fondue Dessert Party Platter

Vegan Chocolate Fondue Dessert Party Platter | The Full Helping

Last summer New York was every bit as hot and humid as it is now, but for some reason, I was busy baking up a storm. Galettes, buckles, lemon cake, you name it—I had my oven mitts ready for it.

I happen to have made cobbler a few weeks ago, when it was still unseasonably cool, but I have a feeling this will be a summer of no-bake desserts. The heat has been getting to me more than usual, and if I do turn my oven on, I’d like for it to be for something that will show up in a few of my meals, rather than a single batch of treats.

Famous last words? Maybe. For now, this vegan chocolate fondue dessert party platter is my idea of a perfect summer sweet.

Vegan Chocolate Fondue Dessert Party Platter | The Full Helping

It’s a collection of sweets, actually, which makes it all the better for entertaining or gatherings with friends. If you’re looking to have folks over—folks whose dessert preferences might span a wide range of health needs, tastes, or strong chocolate/vanilla preferences—it’s a particularly low-stress and fun option.

The platter is a “semi-homemade” situation: you slice the fruit and make the fondue, which takes only minutes. The frozen treats here are courtesy of the folks at Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss. Coconut Bliss is one of the very first dairy-free ice creams that I truly loved. I was amazed at how rich and creamy it was: until the point the vegan ice creams I’d sampled had been light and even a little icy—more like chocolate or vanilla sorbet than traditional ice cream as I remembered it. Coconut Bliss was every bit as decadent as the stuff I’d grown up with, and it became an instant hit with me (and my mom, who remains a big fan).

Vegan Chocolate Fondue Dessert Party Platter | The Full Helping

It’s been fun to watch the brand grow since then. Today it has fourteen ice cream flavors (Vanilla Island is still my favorite, but I love the Salted Caramel and Berry Swirl, too), two ice cream sandwiches—vanilla and dark chocolate flavored—and a growing list of creative, delicious ice cream bars. I just got to sample the two latest flavors, Vanilla Island in dark chocolate and Raspberry Acai in dark chocolate, both of which are stellar! I love that the coating actually tastes like really good dark chocolate—bittersweet and powerful.

Vegan Chocolate Fondue Dessert Party Platter | The Full Helping

If I had to choose between a bar and a cookie sandwich, though, I’ll take a cookie sandwich anytime. The Coconut Bliss sandwiches feature a hemp seed chocolate chip cookie that’s a serious treat in its own right—just like the chocolate in the bars, it’s not just decorative or an afterthought—and it’s gluten free as well as vegan.

Vegan Chocolate Fondue Dessert Party Platter | The Full Helping

As I was putting this platter together it occurred to me that the Coconut Bliss desserts especially good for this kind of presentation because they’re so delightfully rich: bite-sized portions really do feel satisfying.

The rest of the platter is a combination of seasonal fruit and an easy homemade fondue. I used a mix of berries, cherries, and apples—all in season right now—and bananas, which I love to pair with chocolate anything. The fondue is so simple: dark chocolate (I recommend really dark—70% or higher—or a vegan bittersweet baking bar), non-dairy milk, a little sugar, a pinch of sea salt. A shot of espresso or a pinch of vanilla definitely wouldn’t hurt, but sea salt and chocolate are more than enough to make me very happy.

Vegan Chocolate Fondue Dessert Party Platter | The Full Helping

Vegan Chocolate Fondue Dessert Party Platter
Print

Recipe type: dessert
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, tree nut free option, soy free
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 6-12
Ingredients
For the fondue:
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk of choice (I really like full-fat coconut milk here, but almond or cashew are nice, too)
  • 4 ounces vegan dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cane or coconut sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt
For the platter:
  • 1 batch fondue (above)
  • Seasonal fruit of choice, enough to serve your people (I used a combination of cherries, strawberries, banana and apple slices)
  • 2 Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss Sandwiches (I used one each of vanilla and dark chocolate)
  • 2-4 (depending on how many you’re serving) Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss Bars (I used one each of vanilla island and raspberry acai)
Instructions
  1. To prepare the fondue, warm the milk until it’s hot but not boiling in a small saucepan. Place the chocolate, sugar, and salt in a pyrex (or other nonreactive) bowl and pour the milk over the pieces. Stir until all of the chocolate is melted and the mixture is rich and glossy.
  2. To arrange the platter, put the fondue in a serving bowl. If you like, quarter the ice cream sandwiches and/or cut the bars into strips. Arrange the frozen treats and fruit however you like, and serve with the fondue.
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Vegan Chocolate Fondue Dessert Party Platter | The Full Helping

This is such a no brainer dessert: the fresh fruit alone is a delight at this time of year, and more so when dipped in the chocolate mixture. The frozen treats make it a little more festive and are a nice contrast to the warm fondue. Something for everyone, right?

And of course you can substitute or add some of your own favorite frozen vegan treats, or—if you’re braver than I am about baking right now—a homemade cookie, brownie, or whatever’s calling to you.

Wishing you so much sweetness in these summer months. Happy weekend, and I’ll see you for the usual roundup.

xo

This post was sponsored by Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss. All opinions are my own, and I’ve long been a fan of these delicious vegan ice creams. Thanks for your support!

 

 

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Tahini Pesto Pasta Salad

Tahini Pesto Pasta Salad | The Full Helping

This is one of those recipes that felt incredibly obvious once I’d made it; given my love of tahini and love of pesto, how is it possible that I hadn’t thought to combine them before? My curried tahini pasta salad proved to me that tahini is a great creamy base for pasta salads—a little more nutritious than vegan mayo, but still tasty and accessible. And tahini and fresh herbs are always a winning combination, as lots of my favorite dressings go to show.

This tahini pesto pasta salad will be on repeat all through the summer, with new vegetables appearing as they come into season. It’s delicious, easy, and it’s pretty perfect for all of your warm weather potlucks and gatherings, 4th of July festivities included.

Tahini Pesto Pasta Salad | The Full Helping

For a long time, I used this pesto recipe religiously, and it’s still my go-to for something basic and traditional. I’ve learned, though, that other fats can be used for a pesto base, and sometimes they’re even creamier and more interesting than regular pesto. I love an avocado pesto for pasta, and now that I’ve tried tahini, I have no immediate plan to turn back.

Tahini Pesto Pasta Salad | The Full Helping

I worried at first that the flavor of tahini might be too distinctive for pesto, that it would overwhelm the basil and lemon. It’s true that this sauce doesn’t taste like a traditional pesto; it’s nuttier and earthier for sure. But for me, it still makes sense. Tahini often joins forces with parsley in Middle Eastern cooking, and that pairing is alive here; the only thing that’s really different is that there’s also plenty of basil thrown into the mix.

I didn’t add nutritional yeast to this recipe, as I usually do to pesto, but if you’re craving cheesy flavor, you can definitely include it (I listed it as an option in the recipe). You can adjust the garlic to fit your taste. Once you’ve got the sauce blended up—and it’s easy to prepare in advance of the rest of the dish—you simply toss it with pasta and veggies of choice.

It’s been scorching hot here in NYC, so I wanted to add veggies to the dish that required as little cooking as possible. I used raw cherry tomatoes and threw zucchini and peas into the pasta pot in the last few minutes of cooking. You could roast your vegetables before adding them, if you prefer, or use cucumber and shredded carrot for all raw mix-ins (this would have lots of nice crunch). I’d love to try the dish with roasted cauliflower and carrots when it’s cooler.

Tahini Pesto Pasta Salad
Print

Recipe type: main dish
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free option, no oil, soy free, tree nut free
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
For the tahini pesto:
  • 6 tablespoons tahini
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (to taste)
  • 1½ cups basil leaves
  • ½ cup parsley leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • A few turns freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
  • ¼ cup water
For the pasta salad:
  • 12 ounces pasta of choice
  • 1 heaping cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 2 cups zucchini (or another chopped green vegetable of choice), halved lengthwise and cut into ¼-inch thick slices
  • 1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen and thawed
Instructions
  1. To prepare the pesto, add the tahini, garlic, basil, parsley, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast if using to a food processor. Pulse 10-15 times, enough to break down the herbs and roughly combine everything. Turn the motor on and drizzle in the water. You’re aiming for the texture of a thick sauce—so a little thicker than a tahini dressing. Keep processing until the sauce is pretty smooth (it’s fine if some of the herbs are visible). Taste and adjust lemon, salt and pepper to taste.
  2. To prepare the pasta salad, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions; about 3 minutes before the end of cooking, add the zucchini and peas to the pot.
  3. Drain the pasta and veggies, then transfer them to a large mixing bowl and add the cherry tomatoes. Add the pesto and mix everything well to combine. Serve.
Notes
Tahini pesto will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. The pasta salad will keep in an airtight container for 2 days.
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Tahini Pesto Pasta Salad | The Full Helping

I love tinkering with the proportion of pasta to veggies in pasta salad; if you’re eager for something that’s more salad-like than pasta-like, you could definitely use 8 ounces of pasta and an extra cup or two of the zucchini and tomatoes. I’m guessing that some chopped arugula, à la this recipe, would also be lovely in the dish.

If you’re a fellow tahini addict, this one is worth your time. Even if you don’t use it in a pasta salad, it’s a great sauce for grilled veggies or grain bowls—and such a perfect way to savor the flavors of summer. Hope you enjoy it, and wishing everyone a great holiday this week, if you’re celebrating. I’ll be having a mostly regular work week around here, but I hope to find some time to gaze up at the New York City fireworks on Wednesday night!

xo

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Weekend Reading, 7.1.18

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

Happy Sunday, and happy 1st of July! Summer sure is flowing along.

This week, Maria Popova sent out a “mid-week pick-me-up” email linking back to a post from the Brain Pickings archive. It featured a 1958 letter from John Steinbeck to his son, Thom, who had written home from boarding school with a confession of having fallen in love with a young woman named Susan.

It’s worth reading the post, and the letter, in its entirety. I’d read it the first time Maria posted it, but it touched me every bit as much the second time around as it did the first. It’s not just what Steinbeck says about love, which I think is great. It’s also how he says it: simply, generously, vulnerably.

Steinbeck acknowledges the inherent specialness and value of Thom’s feelings, regardless of whether they blossom into something shared or experienced between people:

“It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another — but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.”

At the same time, he invites his son to see and respect Susan; he encourages to embrace a kind of loving that includes “the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable.”

The part that really struck me this time was this gentle suggestion:

“don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.”

Reading this, I thought of how often I greet what feels promising with urgency and fear of loss. This is something I’ve written about before, prompted by principles I’ve come across in my yoga practice—holding lightly, allowing things to come apart and turn into something else. But cultivating an unhurried approach to life is a practice that I need to revisit consciously from time to time.

There’s a seasonal component to all of this: it’s summer, and even the introverted and domestic among us often feel called to get outside and seize the day and do it all. Only weeks after writing about slowing down and taking care, I find myself feeling a lot busier and buzzier than I’d planned. That’s alright; it’s a sign of my feeling better and wanting to engage with the world around me, and I like that. I’m simply aware of my own tendency to rush after things, for fear they’ll slip through my fingers if I don’t.

I’ll be holding Steinbeck’s words close to me in the coming week, and as we move into the peak of summer, letting them turn over in my mind. When I think about it, it certainly rings true that really valuable and durable things—relationships, opportunities, gifts, desires—become manifest no matter the timing. They’re not fragile, and they’re not limited by contingencies. They have a way of finding us.

Wishing you all goodness that reveals itself exactly when it’s meant to. And a happy 4th of July, too.

Recipes

The first recipe that caught my eye this week—despite the fact that asparagus is now scarce where I live—is Sherrie’s simple, herby asparagus lentil salad.

I’m in love with the electric color of Liz’s roasted tomato red pepper soup.

A creative green salad featuring sesame crusted avocado wedges—what a cool idea! Luise uses aquafaba to make almond flour and seeds stick to the avocado before baking it.

Two summery desserts today—because why not? Frozen desserts are on my mind this week (I’ve got a vegan dessert platter post coming up soon that features some of my favorite ice-cold vegan treats), and I love the look of these dairy-free toasted coconut latte popsicles.

I know that trifles are traditional English desserts, but the color scheme sure does make them a fitting choice for the 4th of July. I love Lauren’s vegan version (which features the vanilla cake from her fabulous cookbook).

Reads

1. A cool look at how pitch and emphasis can entirely alter the meaning of a spoken phrase—and how scientists are using that information to explore the possibility of speech prosthetics for those who’ve lost their voices to illness or injury.

2. Heartbreaking reporting on the loss of monkeys and other wildlife animals to electrocution on unprotected power lines in Costa Rica.

3. Also on the topic of animals and conservation, a tribute to an unlikely whale rescuer, Joe Howlett, a fisherman who knew ensnared whales were usually trapped as a by-product of the netting that was a part of his professional livelihood. I didn’t realize how endangered right whales are becoming and how many of them endure injuries in netting each year.

4. The current issue of Lapham’s Quarterly is dedicated thematically to water. Donovan Hohn’s introductory essay pays tribute to water and its many contradictions and mysteries. I love that Hohn references Adrienne Rich’s wonderful poem, “Diving into the Wreck.”

5. Gretchen Rubin interviews Vivek Wadhwa and Alex Salkever, who are the authors of Your Happiness Was Hacked: Why Tech is Winning the Battle to Control Your Brain—and How to Fight Back. I have technology to thank for a lot of goodness and richness in my life, but like many people, I can be compulsive about checking alerts and apps on my smartphone, which often keeps me from focusing on other stuff (reading, unwinding, settling into a piece of music or a movie).

I like the authors’ thoughts on building healthy habits and especially this piece of advice from Salkever:

“Don’t beat up on yourself if you don’t succeed in building healthy habits. Establishing and maintaining healthy habits is very hard, really a lifelong process that never stops. But make sure the habits you prioritize the highest and work the hardest to fulfill are the ones that make you happiest.”

On that note, it’s time to act on some of the habits that bring peace to my Sundays (like Salkever, I include doing dishes on this list, and I’ve got a little stack of them that need my attention). I’ll be back in a day or two with a delicious vegan pasta salad that’s perfect for 4th of July get togethers. Till soon!

xo

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Vegan Peach & Cherry Cornmeal Cobbler

A few weeks ago, I declared my excitement for crisp/crumble/slump/cobbler season, but thanks to an early summer virus that declaration wasn’t followed by any immediate forays into fruity dessert territory. Finally, I went there, and this vegan peach & cherry cornmeal cobbler is the happy result.

Last summer’s go-to dessert was either this blueberry buckle or this plum galette; I loved both of them and made them each at least a half dozen times between June and September. I have a feeling that this is going to be the summer of cobbler.

Truthfully? I’ve always preferred cobbler to crisps or crumbles. It’s not that I don’t enjoy a good crisp—I definitely do—but only that I can’t resist a hefty, biscuit-like topping. I know that some cobblers have cake-like toppings (in which case they remind me of buckles—it’s hard to keep all of the nomenclature straight) and I’m a big fan of those, too. In either case, I love having something a little denser to enjoy than crumble topping, which always feels a little too dispersed and leaves me craving more.

Stone fruits are just showing up in my neck of the woods; strawberries are still reigning supreme at the market. But peaches and plums are slowly arriving, and cherries are leading the way. This dessert was inspired last week when I made a trip to the Whole Foods Market 365 in Fort Greene, which is a place where I love to shop. It’s too far to be my go-to grocery store, but I can get to it easily by train, and I’m always pleased to find a huge selection of my favorite 365 products (including canned goods, pantry staples, cleaning supplies, legumes, beans, and more).

The Whole Foods Market 365 in Brooklyn often features deals on produce as well, and this month it’s teeming with melons, cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums, berries, and grapes, as well as pre-prepped, ready-to-grill veggies. The store offers similar values and quality foods as regular Whole Foods locations—but the focus is on more affordable price points and compact, easy-to-navigate locations, both of which I appreciate.

On this trip, I also noticed that the store was carrying a new line of vegan, almond milk ice creams! I couldn’t help stocking up on two flavors (French vanilla and Berry Chantilly Cake), and they’re delicious. Just the right amount of sweet, creamy, and a nice alternative to coconut ice creams, which I love, too, but almond is a slightly lighter and more neutral base. Both of the flavors went perfectly with the cobbler.

For the cobbler itself, I picked up whole wheat pastry flour, which is my usual choice for baking (along with light spelt). I worried a little that the biscuits might be too dense without AP flour, but they’re really not—the cornmeal gives them some lightness and subtle sweetness.

Otherwise, it’s a simple recipe: tons of stone fruits, a basic vegan biscuit topping. If you’re not in the mood to break out the biscuit cutter, you can actually take a more crumble-like approach and just dot the top with the dough, until most of it’s covered; it’s a different look, but a good look! Here’s the recipe.

Vegan Peach & Cherry Cornmeal Cobbler
Print

Recipe type: dessert
Cuisine: vegan, tree nut free option, soy free option
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 50 mins
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
For the filling:
  • 4 cups of any combination of peeled, pitted and chopped peaches, plums and/or nectarines
  • 2 cups pitted and halved cherries
  • 2 tablespoons cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole wheat pastry or light spelt flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
For the biscuit topping:
  • 1½ cups whole wheat pastry or light spelt flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup cane sugar
  • 5 tablespoons vegan butter or solid coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup almond (or other non-dairy) milk, mixed with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. To prepare the filling, mix the ingredients together and pour them into a lightly oiled, 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 square baking dish (a deep pie dish or 8 x 11 rectangular dish is just fine, too).
  2. To prepare the biscuits, place the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add the vegan butter and use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into pea-sized pieces. Add the almond milk and vinegar mixture, continuing to mix with the pastry cutter, until the dough is solid and holds together when you squeeze it. If it’s very dry or crumbly, add an additional tablespoon of almond milk.
  3. Flatten the two into a rectangle about ½-inch thick, then use a biscuit cutter or cookie cutter to cut it into circles or another shape. Place the biscuits on top of the fruit in the baking dish. Continue gathering leftover bits of dough into a new rectangle and cutting it into shapes until you’ve used the dough up, making sure to handle it gently and not overwork it too much.
  4. Transfer the cobbler to the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top is golden and the fruit is bubbling. Allow it to cool for an hour before serving.
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This dessert felt like a summery rite of passage—somehow it made the season official, at least in the realm of food (it was appropriate that I made it right around solstice-time). I enjoyed the leftovers for days, savoring the contrast of the biscuits, which kept their crumbly texture well, and the sweet, juicy fruits.

I think this is a nice time to wish everyone a happy, official, and sweet summer. If you try the cobbler, I hope you’ll love it. And I’ll see you this weekend for some reads and recipes.

xo

This post is sponsored by Whole Foods Market 365. All opinions are my own. Thanks for your support!

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Weekend Reading, 6.24.18

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

A friend of mine told me that he recently went to a conference where all of the attendees seemed to be talking about perfectionism, in spite of that fact that it wasn’t the conference theme. They were discussing it as people who had been susceptible to impossible standards in the past, but now counted themselves lucky to have let perfectionism go.

As we were talking, it occurred to me that I haven’t thought about perfectionism in a long time, though it had a hold on me for years. Even after I stopped trying to do everything “right,” perfectionism (and to some extent, being “Type A”) was a big part of my identity. I called myself a “recovering perfectionist,” which was truthful, but in retrospect I think it was also my way of continuing to identify with perfectionism and communicate it to others. I didn’t want to be subject to oppressive standards anymore, but I hadn’t yet figured out who I was without them.

In the end, perfectionism exited my life out of necessity; I untangled from it because I didn’t have a choice. Living with bouts of depression and anxiety in the last few years has meant letting go of a lot of my self-imposed notions of what constitutes productivity, success, or a day well spent.

A common experience of depression, I think, is that small, routine asks can suddenly seem insurmountable: doing laundry, cleaning up, running errands. This would have sounded unbelievable to me at one point in my life, when these kinds of to-dos were just afterthoughts, but now I know what it’s like to struggle with the everyday.

I’m thinking back to an afternoon two summers ago that illustrates this perfectly: my anxiety had been particularly bad, and I’d been paralyzed by procrastination all day. By dinnertime I was genuinely proud of myself for having gotten out of the house to pick up groceries and mail a package. This was a radically different measure of productivity than I was used to, and it didn’t matter: I was relieved to have done something, anything.

I’m in a different place now, capable of fuller days, but my perspective remains valuably altered by that experience. I don’t wake up with a fixed agenda anymore. I don’t plan on doing more than I know I can handle. If I notice that tasks remain undone everyday on my modest to-do list, I take it as a sign that I need to plan on doing less, rather than wondering why I can’t do more.

I’ve learned that my capacity for doing and my tendency to get overwhelmed ebb and flow. Sometimes they shift for reasons that I can identify, like how I’m feeling physically or whether something has made me anxious. Sometimes they change suddenly and for no apparent reason. I don’t try to bully myself out of feeling overwhelmed; rather, I ask what would make me feel calmer and more steady.

I often remind myself of a mantra that my friend Maria gave herself when her MS symptoms started keeping her from the pace and routines that had become customary: “better than before.” The origin of this mantra was an ongoing struggle to keep tidy the home she shared with her young son. As Maria’s “functional self” receded, she noticed the presence of another self, who “though less physically versatile, was stronger than I ever could have imagined from the perspective of the one who functioned’ throughout the day. She began to show me things my functional self simply missed.”

One of those things, she goes on to say,

was to be able to notice when I was completely out of energy to exert myself. This might be when something was halfway wiped, or not wiped at all, but I had somehow managed to put some things away. She would know to say that’s enough for now. And she was very clever about what would satisfy my functional self, who would never have been satisfied with that’s enough. It sobered that functional self to learn when the diagnosis of MS finally came that the “forcing” she had habituated herself to was the worst thing to do if she wanted to preserve her physical abilities.  But as the saying goes, it’s really true that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. So my deeper wiser identity came up with something even more ingenious than this looming threat:

Better Than It Was.

Or, (depending on the context): Cleaner Than It Was.

These two statements became my mottos. And they still are. They allowed me to learn to pace myself while still satisfying that Functional Self that I was making what she considered progress through the daily requirements of life, even if many of them were slowed to a crawl or a downright standstill.  Better Than It Was.

Maria’s story is uniquely her own, and my own sense of high functionality has shifted for reasons that are uniquely mine. But her clever motto has given me great comfort since I first read about it on her blog. So, too, does this quote from Melody Beattie: “Our best yesterday was good enough; our best today is plenty good too.”

The best thing about letting go of perfectionism is developing a capacity to recognize that “our best” can look very different from moment to moment. There’s no longer an immovable standard of output. I wish that I’d been able to pry my ego away from productivity and being busy on my own, rather than being forced to reckon with a dramatic shift in my capacities, but in the end, it doesn’t matter how I got here. What matters is that I’m learning to be grateful for what I can do, rather than fixating on what I haven’t, or can’t.

Throughout all of this, I’ve had the tremendous luxury of being able to adjust my schedule and responsibilities in a way that allowed me to create a dynamic “new normal.” Not every person has the space to do this, depending on his or her professional and personal circumstances. I recognize and respect the many men and women who go through periods of depression and anxiety while also keeping up with fixed schedules. And of course I worry sometimes about my DI year: now that I’m learning how to take gentle care in the moments when I need to, what will it be like to temporarily lose control of my schedule and workload?

I don’t have an answer, but to some degree I suspect that I don’t need one. My routine next year will be a challenge, but so long as I can do my best without succumbing to the influence of perfectionism, I know I’ll be OK. Much as I’ve made my schedule more realistic, letting go of perfectionism has been an inside job. It resides in recognizing how futile perfectionism is, how it discourages me needlessly while keeping me from recognizing the good that I can do, and maybe have done (another observation that’s prompted by Beattie).

Here’s to a week—and a month, and a summer, and a year—of doing my best and trusting that my best is enough. I wish the same for you, too. And here’s the weekly roundup of links.

Recipes

I would never think to put fruit in a tabbouleh, but I love Katie’s creative mixture of blueberries, parsley, mint, and quinoa—I’d actually love to try it as a savory breakfast dish!

A very different kind of quinoa salad, but no less delicious: a curried mixture with red cabbage, raisins, and pumpkin seeds from Melanie of Veggie Jam.

Two recipes for summer entertaining caught my eye this past week. The first is these show-stopping chipotle cauliflower nachos from my friend Jeanine of Love & Lemons.

Number two is this platter of green summer rolls with mango miso sauce from Anya of Lazy Cat Kitchen. The sauce alone is calling to me, but I also love all of the tender green veggies here (asparagus, zucchini, broccolini).

Finally, a summery vegan pasta salad with creamy avocado dressing—perfect timing, as pasta salad’s been on my mind lately (and I may just have a recipe coming soon!).

Reads

1. This article is about a month old, but it’s very on-topic for today’s post: why you should stop being so hard on yourself, via The New York Times.

2. Ed Yong’s new article on the threat of imminent global pandemics frightened me (and the blurb under the title didn’t help), but it’s an important topic, and I’m glad that it’s being written about. Yong notes the medical supply shortages that are becoming increasingly problematic in the US; hopefully greater awareness might somehow inspire solutions.

3. Reporting on the termination of a major NIH study of alcohol, heart attack, and stroke, which was shut down when conflicts of interest were identified. It’s an important examination of the ethics of funding and scientific research.

4. Dispatches from the Gulf of California, where the vaquita—now the world’s rarest marine mammal—is on the brink of extinction.

5. I was so full of appreciation and respect when I read my friend Karen’s latest post on numbers and body acceptance.

Like Karen, I went through a long period of asking to be blind weighed at the doctor’s office and not owning a scale. That time served a purpose, but nowadays I can be aware of the number without identifying with it, which I’m grateful for. I’ve had a bunch of doctor’s appointments in the last month, and getting weighed has been the last thing on my mind: feeling more at home in my body has been my only point of focus.

Karen opens up about her own recent experience with the scale and the annual physical, then reflects on why she’s committed to being transparent about what “balance” looks like for her. It’s great to witness her journey unfolding.

On that inspiring note, happy Sunday—and from a celebratory NYC, happy pride! I’ll be circling back this week with my first fruit-filled dessert of the summer.

xo

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Creamy Cauliflower Turmeric Kale Soup

Creamy Cauliflower Turmeric Kale Soup | The Full Helping

I made and photographed this soup a few weeks ago, when I was home sick with a virus and didn’t care that it was hot and summery outside: all I wanted was a meal of soup and something bready. I’ve been thinking about this thick and creamy cauliflower turmeric kale soup ever since, and I know it’s on its way to becoming a staple for me, whatever the season.

Creamy Cauliflower Turmeric Kale Soup | The Full Helping

When I threw this soup together I had actually been planning on making, or tweaking, this recipe, but as I went along the meal took on a life of its own. I wanted to add turmeric for color and to offer my body an anti-inflammatory seasoning, and I realized before blending the soup up that I wanted it to be a lot thicker than the creamy, blended soup I was considering initially.

I’d say that the texture is someplace at the intersection of soup, stew, and curry: thick enough to scoop over rice, but still soupy enough to enjoy with a spoon. And you can adjust how soupy it is by adding more or less liquid along the way.

I gave my batch creamy texture with my all-purpose vegan cashew cream, which is my favorite means of adding richness to a recipe like this. If you’re in need of a shortcut, you could add full fat coconut milk instead. I tend to make cashew cream in double batches and store some in the freezer, since I use it so often—it’s easy enough to do, and I’m never sorry I did it!

Creamy Cauliflower Turmeric Kale Soup
Print

Recipe type: soup
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, soy free, no oil option
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil*
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus extra as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium/large head cauliflower, thickest bottom stem removed, cut into florets and pieces (about 1½ lbs after preparation)
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup all-purpose cashew cream or full fat coconut milk (from the can)
  • 1 medium bunch curly kale, stems removed and chopped (about 5-6 cups)
  • 1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Pita, naan, rice, or any other grain, for serving (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots. Sauté the vegetables for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the onion is clear and soft and the carrots are becoming tender. Add the garlic, turmeric, coriander, salt, and pepper. Sauté for one more minute, stirring constantly.
  2. Add the cauliflower and broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is completely tender.
  3. Puree half of the soup in a standing blender or with an immersion blender, for texture that’s creamy but still textured. You can also blend all of the soup, so that the whole mixture is creamy. Once you’ve blended the soup partially or entirely, return it to the pot and stir in the cashew cream. Bring the soup back to a simmer, then add the kale in handfuls. Cover the soup and simmer for 8-10 more minutes, or until the kale is tender.
  4. If the soup is too thick for your liking, add some extra water or cashew cream to loosen it up. Stir in the lime juice. Taste the soup and add extra salt, pepper, and lime as needed. Serve with pita, naan, rice, or any desired accompaniment.
Notes
*You can substitute a few tablespoons water or broth to make the recipe oil-free.

Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, the soup will keep for up to five days. It can be frozen for up to 2 months.

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Creamy Cauliflower Turmeric Kale Soup | The Full Helping

I love scooping the soup up with whole wheat pita, but homemade naan or chapatis would also be wonderful. As I was enjoying the leftovers I also served it with brown basmati rice that I’d seasoned with lime juice and chopped cilantro, and I loved that, too. It was especially nice when perched next to a few bright flowers, which offered their own healing powers to the meal.

I hope that you’ll enjoy the soup in good health, but if you happen to catch a summer cold, I can attest to how comforting the dish is. Next time I might try it with chard or collards, and I’m guessing that zucchini would be a nice addition for summer, too.

A few weeks into a genuine effort to stay engaged with work while also resting, I’m having a hard time striking a balance that works. It’s a learning process, and each week teaches me something. I’ll stick with it between now and the weekend—and I’ll see you for the Sunday roundup.

xo

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Weekend Reading, 6.17.18

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

I’m drafting this post from a room that’s only a few blocks away from where my old apartment used to be in Washington, D.C.. I’m down here because my cousin’s twin babies were baptized over the weekend, and my mom and I made the trip to celebrate them.

It’s a short trip, only two nights. My hope was to come down earlier and spend time catching up with my friends here, but with all of the recent feeling unwell, I wanted to spend more time at home last week, resting and catching up on work in a peaceful, gradual way. It was the right choice: my usual instinct when I’m in D.C. is to see as many people as I can, recognizing that we no longer live nearby, but this makes for sort of frenzied weekends.

The other upside of planning a short, family-focused weekend is that I’ve had time to experience the city quietly, privately, and reflectively. Being here brings back so much nostalgia and gratitude; every time I’m in the District I feel bowled over with the memories of how many people made me feel welcome and at home when I moved here. My time in this city was difficult in a lot of ways, but it was an incredible lesson in how generous and full of grace people can be.

In the past few days, I’ve also appreciated how rich and adventurous my time here was. Moving four and a half hours south of one’s home town for a few years may not sound very daring, but my post-bacc really was—and still is—the great adventure of my life so far.

It was something I could never have imagined doing until I did it: learning within a completely new set of disciplines, allowing myself to struggle, rather than yearning for mastery, and surrendering my need to be an “expert.” It taught me how fun it can be to learn from younger peers (as opposed to being the quintessential teacher’s pet, which had been my posture as a student in the past).

So much about that time in my life was foreign and strange. As I wandered the streets of D.C. yesterday and early this morning, I wondered how I—as a person who who tends to fear and resist novelty and change—managed to do it at all?

It took me a few steps more to recognize that I wasn’t giving my identity enough credit for being fluid. Right now, emerging from the various challenges of my last five years in New York, I’m craving stillness and grounding. But there’s a part of me, too, that’s bold and daring, and that part was in the driver’s seat during my post-bacc years.

After picking up a cup of morning coffee today, I sat on a stoop near Dupont Circle, smiled gratefully at the familiar scenery around me, and I silently thanked the part of myself that allowed me to be brave and take so many personal and professional risks when I lived here. I marveled at this “self state,” at her energy and endurance.

Then I took another moment to acknowledge where I am right now. It’s a different place, a little more bittersweet and uncertain and humble. But there’s a lot I like about it: I’m moving through life slowly and consciously, which wasn’t possible when I was careening through organic chemistry and microbiology classes and trying to keep up with work at the same time. I’m more rooted in the familiar and everyday, not out of fear but because I appreciate how vital they are to my happiness and health. I’m more attuned to my body and its needs. I’m less grandiose and more content.

It felt poignant to acknowledge past and present selves and inner capacities at once, recognizing that they’ve each served me well, depending on where I am in life. I hope I can take stock of my experience like this again in a few years, and that I’ll have interesting contrasts to consider then, as I do now.

Wishing you a gentle start to the week—and a happy Father’s Day to those of you who are celebrating.

Recipes

The first recipe that caught my eye is a quinoa salad with a tropical, summery twist: the addition of coconut flakes, mango, basil, and dried fruit.

I love my friend Emily’s simple, springy, one-pot green farro, which is easy to veganize with vegan parm or nutritional yeast.

I stuff potatoes with cooked fillings all the time, but I hadn’t thought to load them up with salad or raw veggies. These salad stuffed potatoes are such a fun idea!

My packable lunch pick of the week: protein-rich ginger peanut tofu wraps. Yum.

For dessert, I’m drooling over Tessa’s vegan (and gluten-free!) peanut butter pie. Any dessert with PB in it knows the way to my heart.

Reads

1. I love Kelsey Miller’s tribute to the company and solace of cooking and cookbooks. I spend plenty of time exploring and downloading recipes online (as these weekly posts illustrate!), but I agree with Miller that there’s nothing quite like a cookbook and its guidance. I was touched by her appreciation of Anthony Bourdain’s cookbook writing in particular:

Cookbooks are a particular comfort, on bad days or during times of grief and loss. It’s not only that they help with the cooking of comfort food — though there is healing in that, certainly — but also the people they bring to life. That’s why, I realized, I didn’t reach for Bourdain’s famous essays, but for his old cookbook. I don’t mean to knock the rest of his work — the man never wrote a boring sentence in his life, as far as I can tell — but his recipes are different. In them, Bourdain is at his most joyful.

I’m my most joyful self when I’m creating recipes, too; I think many of us are.

2. Supermarket led nutrition education interventions seem like such a smart idea to me (a captive audience, an opportunity to highlight products or ingredients in real time). How cool that Weis Markets is instituting a plant-based program in its stores.

3. A new weight loss procedure—the gastric balloon—is proving to be far more hazardous than its marketing would suggest. I’m glad that this article is publicizing the risks.

4. Pamela Druckerman offers up some wise and (for me) relatable tips on time management, which aren’t only about time management: they’re about self-knowledge and the process of identifying and prioritizing what matters.

5. A lot of healthcare practitioners, in spite of many years of training, are never really prepared for handling personality mismatches or interpersonal conflicts with the individuals who are under their care. It can be a jarring experience for a person in a helping profession to realize that he or she is grappling with feelings of discomfort or dislike around a patient.

This essay, written by a resident, captures the experience humbly. Of a patient with whom she did not easily or readily connect, and who ultimately passed away under her care, she writes,

What I remember most about Mrs. G was how imperfect our interaction was and how little it had to do with the mistakes I thought I would make — wrong medication doses or a procedure gone bad. Our relationship was rocky, our attitudes clashed, and the clinical outcome was not what any of us wanted. It was imperfect but it taught me the importance of being honest with yourself about the way you feel when you interact with others, especially patients. This will help you to both forgive yourself and others such that you can form powerful and needed relationships during difficult situations. It was a first in many ways but certainly not a last as the human interactions in medicine are part of the healing we do every day.

What an honest and human reflection.

Switching topics completely, is it officially too hot for soup? I hope not, because I have a pretty delicious one to share in the coming week. Happiest of Sundays to you.

xo

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Balsamic Tofu, Quinoa & Strawberry Summer Salad

Balsamic Tofu, Quinoa & Strawberry Summer Salad | The Full Helping

In spite of a chilly couple of evenings here in New York, it’s summer, and with summer comes the sweet arrival of fresh strawberries at the farmers market. The moment is extra special because it heralds more summer berries and fruits to come, and I’ve been celebrating by putting strawberries in and on everything—this balsamic tofu, quinoa & strawberry summer salad included.

Technically the salad spans the seasons—it’s got radishes, baby greens, and green beans, which are abundant in spring, but the strawberries give it a summery feel for sure. I love how the bitter radishes contrast with the juicy, plump sweetness of the fruit.

I mentioned recently that in spite of it being warmer now, I still tend to go for grain salads with plenty of plant-based protein, especially if that salad’s intended to be a meal. There’s protein aplenty here, both from quinoa and from firm, seasoned cubes of balsamic marinated tofu from Nasoya.

Balsamic Tofu, Quinoa & Strawberry Summer Salad | The Full Helping

I’ve been a huge fan of Nasoya tofu for a long time; the extra firm and super firm options are almost always my go-to for baking and sautéing. I love their texture (I like my tofu on the uber-dense side, which they are) and the fact that the brand has made tofu and soy foods so accessible to so many home cooks across the country.

This was my first experience using the brand’s Toss’ables, which are pre-cubed, pre-seasoned, and ready to eat. They come in two flavors, Balsamic Vinaigrette and Garlic & Herb, and for me balsamic was the clear winner. I love its sweet tart flavor, and the texture is perfect.

I’m always inviting my clients to keep pre-baked or seasoned tofu in the fridge as a handy protein option for busy times and for dishes just like this one. Experience has shown me that protein often falls by the wayside when folks don’t have enough time to meal prep. So happy to add this tasty option to my repertoire of suggestions!

Balsamic Tofu, Quinoa & Strawberry Summer Salad | The Full Helping

The rest of the salad pretty much speaks for itself: fluffy quinoa, chopped green beans, radishes, strawberries. And, oh yeah—the balsamic Dijon tahini dressing that I just can’t get enough of 🙂 Here’s the recipe.

Balsamic Tofu, Quinoa & Strawberry Summer Salad | The Full Helping

Balsamic Tofu, Quinoa & Strawberry Summer Salad
Print

Recipe type: salad, main dish
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, tree nut free
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 25 mins
Serves: 4 larger or 6 small servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cook the quinoa according to package instructions. Fluff the grain gently and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  2. Combine all of the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss well to combine. Serve.
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Balsamic Tofu, Quinoa & Strawberry Summer Salad | The Full Helping

There’s so much nutrition here; it’s most definitely a power plate! Oftentimes I find that summery salads don’t quite have the macronutrient balance that I need to stay full (protein + complex carb + healthful fat), but this one does—with plenty of fresh, seasonal flavor. A new keeper for me, for sure.

Speaking of all this, so happy that a bunch of you have already made the balsamic Dijon tahini dressing and loved it. If you’re enjoying it in your kitchen, you’re enjoying it right alongside me!

Wishing you all a sweet rest of the week. See you this weekend for some reads and recipes.

xo

This post is sponsored by Nasoya. All opinions are my own, and I love this go-to brand of tofu and soy foods! Thanks for your support.

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