Happy Friday, food fam!
Okay, I think we can all agree that this apple arugula salad is beautiful and we all want to eat it. Now that that’s out the way, can we talk about something important? I hope that’s okay.
I have a lot going on lately. I’m a full-time student, part-time worker for 3-4 different jobs, and I blog here. I do something active every day and spend a lot of time planning my meals. Needless to say, there are many nights I only sleep a few hours.
One of my goals for 2016 was to be more present in the moment I’m living, and honestly, guys, I don’t know how well I’ve been doing. I’m always thinking about the next thing 24830 things I have to do instead of just focusing on what’s in front of me. I swear my mind runs at 100 miles per hour 24/7; even when I try to finally get some sleep in the wee hours of the morning, I can’t fall asleep because I’m thinking of all the things I have to do or what I want to do or how I will decorate my apartment next year or what I’ll name my kids. <– Why that’s important right now, I have no clue.
I’m also a chronic worrier. How am I going to pay for XYZ? What if I do bad on my test? Will that extra spoonful of almond butter make me fat? I’m very skeptical of trusting that things will work out, which can bring a lot of anxiety. I’m pretty sure I spend more time worrying about what I have to do and getting it done than actually doing it – serious waste of time.
I’m slowly losing the ability to turn “off,” to just be. To laugh over dinner without talking about how much work I have to do. These moments are so precious, and I feel like I’m putting them aside for “more important things,” when really the people in our lives should be first. Sure, I take my job(s) and blog seriously and want to go big places, but what’s the point if I’ve neglected everyone along the way?
It’s very rare I do something just because. Everything I do has to have some sort of end goal – eat this to lose weight, cook this to test it for the blog, take this job to get into grad school, work out to get lean. What about going paint pottery because I like to paint or getting my nails done because I want to? My goal is to start incorporating more of these spontaneous “just because” moments in my life to give my mind and body a break from running around all day.
Maybe this means I need to reassess everything I’m doing and simplify it – who knows. I do know that sometimes I just want to lay down in bed to watch Parks & Rec without feeling guilty for not doing something productive. We all need some R&R, right?
My point is this, friends – the laundry will get folded. You’ll get your workout in; if you don’t, you’ll get one in tomorrow and the world won’t end. Whatever big project you’re staying up ’til 3 a.m. working on will be over soon. Just enjoy the little moments in between, because I really think those are the ones we’ll remember. We won’t think about that night we spent studying, but I’m sure we’ll smile when we remember spontaneously going to the movies on a Tuesday night with our friends or ordering the (vegan) pizza and enjoying it because, heck, it won’t kill us. And we’ll remember that our lives went on smoothly when we decided to do something for once just because we could.
I’m making it a point from now on to truly be present, to trust that everything will get done, and to savor the moments I have to myself and with the ones I love. You with me??
As for this salad, well, it’s freaking delicious. The peppery arugula is a perfect base for crispy, sweet apples that I spiralized using my Inspiralizer, but you can also chop them. Then we top with walnuts and hemp seeds for a serious dose of healthy fats, and amazing cinnamon roasted chickpeas. Try not to eat them all before you put them on the salad – they’re dangerous.
Everything is finished off with a cinnamon olive oil dressing like the one I used in my Roasted Butternut Squash Fall Kale Salad. It complements everything in here so nicely. A note, though: the salad will wilt if you mix it with the dressing then store it in the fridge, so if that bothers you, add the dressing when you’re ready to eat!
This is a great meal prep salad for lunches, or as a side dish for a crowd. If you try it, snap a picture and tag me on Instagram – I can’t wait to hear what you guys think about it! Have an awesome weekend, and enjoy every second of it.
Do you find yourself neglecting your personal life because of work/school? How do you deal with this? I’d love to hear your thoughts. <3
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
- ¼ cup + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons + ½ teaspoon maple syrup, divided
- ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 Granny Smith apples
- 1 7-ounce bag arugula (about 5 cups)
- ⅓ cup walnuts, chopped
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly grease or spray a baking sheet with oil or cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, place chickpeas, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon oil, ½ teaspoon maple syrup, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir until chickpeas are evenly coated. Place evenly on the baking sheet in a single layer; bake for 15 minutes, or until crispy.
- Spiralize, chop, or julienne the apples.
- In a large bowl, place arugula, apples, walnuts, and hemp seeds. Toss to combine. Add chickpeas; toss again.
- In a medium bowl (I reused the one with the chickpeas), add ¼ cup olive oil, vinegar, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon salt. Whisk to combine.
- Pour the dressing into the large salad bowl and toss, or add only when ready to eat.