I thought I’d take a break from IF angst to share a recipe.  The Metformin side effect hell is wearing off, and I’m actually looking forward to eating again.  Fingers crossed…

A few weeks ago I went on a yoga retreat for the week-end.  They had amazing food there – a huge buffet full of healthy, delicious options.  I bought their cookbook and then invented a salad using a couple of  the recipes for the things I couldn’t stop eating when I was there.  I call this the “Yoga Salad”.  J likes to call it “Krapalu” just because he wants to try to get a rise out of me by saying “crap” in relation to my cooking.  Ah, male humor.  But seriously, we both really love this salad and can happily eat it for days on end.  It’s a perfect meal to have in hot weather, and I think it’s great to have as you’re priming your body for IVF or are in cycle.  I can’t attest to any magical powers, of course, because I’m so very NOT preggers, but it seems to me it’s chock full of really essential nutrients.  J is not at all the yogi crunchy kind of guy, but he still loves it.  It takes a bit of prep, but it’s about an hour or less of work one evening, and then you have all the makings to supply several meals.

First, I make what they call “Pumpkin Seed-Dulse Condiment.”  Bear with me here.  Dried dulse is a kind of seaweed, but it doesn’t taste seaweedy.  It tastes kind of smoky and umami-y, which is I guess why I wanted to sprinkle this condiment over EVERYTHING I ate on the retreat.  It also adds a really interesting texture and a little crunch to the salad.  It makes the salad feel a little less healthy, the way a crouton does, but I think that the healthy seed fats and the sea vegetable make it super good for you (The Dulse package says it’s high in B6 and iodine.  I just looked up Iodine and apparently it’s integral to thyroid function.  Who knew?)

Here’s the recipe from the Kripalu cookbook:

1 cup dried pumpkin seeds

1T dried dulse flakes

In a small skillet, dry roast the seeds on medium heat, stirring constantly, until the seeds pop.  Remove and let cool.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  On a baking sheet, place the dulce and bake for 3-5 minutes (check to prevent burning).  Using a blender or mortar and pestle, blend or crush together the cooled seeds and dulse.

Now, this is pretty forgiving.  I made it from memory this time and guessed on some stuff.  I toasted all the pumpkin seeds I had without measuring them because I want to have a huge batch on hand.  I added way more dulse because I thought it’d be more nutritious.  I also turned the oven to 300 and baked for 10 minutes. It still came out toasted and crispy.

The salad dressing is also from the cookbook.  It’s called “Feta-Garlic Dressing” and it’s amazing.  I want to swim in it:

1 cup olive oil

2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup milk

1 1/2 T white wine vinegar

1/2 t chopped garlic

1/2 t dill

1/2 t salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor.  Or, reserve half of the cheese and add after blending to provide a contrasting texture.  Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.  (This dressing can be stored, covered, in the refridgerator for 7-10 days.)

Believe me, the dressing won’t last that long.  I make a couple of alterations to it.  The raw garlic clove kind of stays with you a little too much, so I put in a shake of garlic powder instead.  I also don’t have any dill, so I just left that out.  It’s a lot of oil, but it makes a LOT of dressing.  It’s great for salads or even just dipping cut vegetables into.

So, what I do then is put a crown of broccoli in the food processor to break up into a kind of confetti.  It’s raw, so I figure it’s easier to digest if it’s broken up a little bit.  That can also be stored in the fridge for numerous salads, and it adds a good helping of a cruciferous vegetable and a different texture to your salad.

This is how I build the salad:

A small helping of brown rice or quinoa

Some broccoli

Chopped romaine lettuce


Shredded carrots (I just buy the bag of pre-shredded ones)

Sliced grape tomatoes (if you’d like)

Part of an avocado, diced (if you have it around…healthy fats, after all)

Top with dressing

Sprinkle with pumpkin seed mixture

Toss around a little bit, and enjoy.  There you have it, the “Yoga Salad.”  It’s not quite so pretty once you mix it together, but it’s really good.  I find the combination of colors, flavors, and textures absolutely amazing. What I also love about it is that I feel like I can kind of shovel food into my face without feeling guilty.  I need that occasionally, but maybe that’s just me.  I think a big bowl of this salad is probably pretty healthful.  Of course, it can be customized in tons of ways.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

– Patience