I’m beginning to write myself a life handbook. Basically it’s just an Evernote list that I can refer to when I need a confidence boost, or some real-talk from myself.
I add to it in those moments when I’m feeling inspired or insightfully self-possessed and think I’ve figured out something about life…so yeah, it’s a slooow process.
Sometimes I curse in this list to get my point across. That’s something you should definitely know about me: I have a terrible mouth, which I inherited from my Grandma. I’ll do my best to not curse when I’m talking about quinoa.
One of my most important life bullet points is: Be nice to yourself. Seriously, stop being so hard on yourself.
I wish it didn’t require the seriously.
But I don’t think I’m alone on this one. I think we can all be a little hard on ourselves. We’re not making all the right moves in our careers, we’re not making enough money, we’re not fit enough, thin enough, cool enough, good enough. And all of that crap kind of has to stop.
It’s important to set goals for yourself and do your dang best, but it’s also important to ease up and show yourself a little love, kindness and leeway. Be good to yourself starting…now.
Start by packing a picnic with some fresh bread, avocado, fancy salt and this salad and heading somewhere pretty and peaceful. Roasted pears and fennel with nutty quinoa and peppery arugula will make you feel like you’re doing the right thing. Seriously.
Roasted Fennel and Pear Salad (serves 2-4)
- 1 fennel bulb cut into 1 inch/2.5 cm thick sections
- 1 pear, cut into 1/2 inch/1 cm thick sections
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 1 cup of cooked quinoa
- 1 cup arugula
- 1/4 cup goats cheese, crumbled
Honey Dijon Dressing:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine or champagne vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- splash of water
To cook quinoa: Rinse 1/2 cup of quinoa in a mesh colander. Place 1/2 cup quinoa and 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, covered. Remove from heat and let stand (covered) for 5-10 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork and serve.
Heat oven to 450 F/230 C.
Lightly oil a baking sheet and arrange the fennel and pears on it. (Keep the pears on one side and the fennel on the other, so that if you need to remove the pear before the fennel is ready, it can be done easily)
Roast for 15 minutes and check on your baking sheet. Pears should be soft and golden – this is your cue to take them out. Place the fennel back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes until soft and browned in places.
While your pears and fennel are roasting, make the dressing by whisking the ingredients together in a small bowl or pouring them in a jar with a lid and shaking vigorously.
Once the fennel is roasted, toss your quinoa and greens with 1 or 2 spoonfuls of dressing. Stir in some of your fennel and pear, reserving some to arrange on the top of the quinoa and greens. Top with crumbled goat cheese and drizzle a little more dressing on top.