After a whole week of eating chocolate scones, I needed to make up for my binge of indulgence by introducing more health conscious meals into my diet. I tend to work in extremes, when I know I’ve been eating unhealthy I will swing to the opposite side of the spectrum and eat nothing but fruits and veggies. Learning how to create balance not only in my diet but also in my life is something I’ve been working on lately. I’ve come to the realization that I’ve significantly underestimated how living a balance life contributes to our ability to live a successful and productive life.
I grew up watching my mother constantly work all the time. When we were young she was a stay at home mom but would still fill every moment of her time with volunteering, cleaning the house, taking care of the lawn, and running errands. She never stopped to take a break, relax, and have fun, it was always go…go…go… all the time. I remember her rushing around the house trying to get everything done and exclaiming “I just don’t have enough time.” Of course I believed I would never turn out to be like my mother but as I’ve gotten older I find myself also saying “I just don’t have enough time.”
The truth is, as a adult I have found myself modeling the same behaviors I observed as a child, believing that I would be more successful and accomplish more tasks if I would just work harder and longer than everyone else. However, with time I’ve learned that working hard all the time does not lead to productivity and success. When you try to apply yourself 24/7 to every part of the day you start to slip into what could most closely be described as auto pilot. You are still able to accomplish tasks but you lack to energy required to truly apply and push yourself to do something beyond what you thought was possible. So, instead of beating myself up over taking a break I need to learn to accept taking time to unwind and see it as an opportunity to be refreshed so I can tackle the next task at hand with a renewed perspective.
Sorry, I didn’t mean to delve into such a deep subject with you guys, but I’ve been thinking a lot about life lately and how I’ve chosen to live it up until this point. More than likely you will hear more from me on this topic in the near future, but for now I’ll share with you this uber healthy vegetable and protein packed bowl of goodness.
Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F. Since the parsnips take a little extra time to roast compared to the other root veggies, pop them into a microwave safe bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and then microwave them for a few minutes until they become slightly softened.
Next, toss the root veggies with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then spread them evenly over a baking sheet. Place them in the oven and roast for about 35 minutes, stopping to flip them with a spatula about halfway through. You will know they are finished when you can pierce the vegetables easily with the tip of a knife.
Now for the fun part. This will take a bit of multi-tasking but is completely do-able if you don’t mind having more than one pot cooking on the stove at the same time. Do all of the following:
Add quinoa (note: make sure to rinse the quinoa before cooking), vegetable stock, and salt to a medium sized sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook covered for 15 minutes.
For the soft boiled eggs, bring a small pot of water to a boil, reduce it to a simmer, then add the eggs and cook for 6 minutes. Remove eggs and let them cool before peeling and serving.
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat, add walnuts and endive halves with the cut side down and brown on each side for 3 minutes, stirring the walnuts intermittently to prevent them from burning.
Remove the walnuts and endive from the pan and add vegetable stock, garlic, salt, honey, and balsamic vinegar. Bring liquids to a simmer and then add the endive back into the pan cut side down. Braise for 10 minutes on each side until the liquid is almost completely absorbed and the cores can be easily pierced with a knife.
As long as nothing boils over or burns I would say you have pulled this off successfully.
For the dressing, combine balsamic vinegar, oil, honey, dijon mustard, madarin orange juice, zest, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. The roasted veggies should be finished by now and they can be removed from the oven and tossed with fresh tarragon and chives.
To serve, scoop the quinoa into a bowl and top with the roasted veggies, a slice of endive, and a halved soft boiled egg. Drizzle the dressing on top and enjoy a healthy and satisfying meal!
- 3 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 3 large beets, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- black pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
- 5 eggs
- ¾ cup low sodium vegetable stock
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons mandarin orange juice
- ½ teaspoon mandarin orange zest
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place parsnips in a microwave safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap, microwave on high for 3 minutes.
- Line two medium sized baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly coat with oil. Place the beets, parsnips, and sweet potato on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss to coat, evenly spread vegetables on the baking sheet.
- Roast for 35 minutes, flipping the vegetables with a spatula halfway through. Vegetables will be done when they can easily be pierced with the tip of a paring knife. When finished roasting, remove from the oven and toss with fresh tarragon and chives before serving.
- Meanwhile, add vegetable stock, salt, and quinoa to a medium sized sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to low and cook covered for 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes covered.
- Simultaneously, bring a pot of water to a boil, reduce to a simmer, add eggs and simmer for 6 minutes, then remove and let cool. Once eggs have cooled remove shells and slice in half right before serving.
- In the meantime, heat olive oil a large pan on medium heat, add endive halves cut side down and walnuts, cook until browned, about 3 minutes, flip and continue to brown on the other side.
- Remove walnuts and endive from pan, add vegetable stock, garlic, salt, honey, and balsamic vinegar, bring to a simmer.
- Add endive back into the pan cut side down and braise for 10 minutes, turn and continue braising for 5-10 more minutes until the core can be easily pierced with a knife and most the liquid has mostly evaporated.
- For the dressing, in a small bowl combine balsamic vinegar, oil, honey, dijon mustard, mandarin orange juice, zest, and salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, scoop quinoa into the bottom of a bowl, top with roasted vegetables, braised endive, and a soft boiled egg, drizzle with balsamic dressing.