Green is the color of spring, of new life, of new beginnings. Green is the color of the fourth chakra, the heart. So, how perfect it is that romaine lettuce, featured in the recipe, nourishes the heart. With a strong heart, we enjoy a healthy life. The heart is more than the beating organ that pumps our blood, which nourishes our bodies. It is also the seat of the mind/consciousness, at least according to some poets and philosophers. As we strengthen the heart, we find emotional stability, compassion, and forgiveness. When our heart is healthy, we readily discover self-acceptance. When our heart is healthy, we will also have powerful empathy with others and deeper relationships with better communication. When our heart is healthy, we have a healthy mind and a healthy body: animus sanus in corpore sano.
Recipe for Spring - Romaine Salad with marinated mushrooms and avocados
(photograph by Jon-Erik Lido)
Prepare the mushrooms:
Special equipment: food dehydrator
- 2 portobello mushrooms
- 2-3 TB first cold-press extra virgin olive oil (preferably organic)
- 2-3 TB balsamic vinegar
- 1 TB nama shoyu or tamari
- Italian seasoning spice blend
Directions: cut the mushrooms length-wise into 1/2 inch strips. Then, whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Toss the strips in this mixture until they have almost fully absorbed all the liquid. Place the strips of mushrooms on a teflex sheet. Sprinkle them with an Italian seasoning spice blend. Dehydrate for about an hour at 110 degrees. (N.B. - If you do not have a dehydrator, you can just let the mushrooms marinate at room temperature for an hour.)
These mushrooms are absolutely delicious. The balsamic vinegar leaves them with a sweet essence and they are very juicy. The inspiration for my recipe came from Everyday Raw by Matthew Kenney.
- 1 head of fresh, crisp romaine lettuce - leaves torn into pieces
- fresh or dried oregano - enough to toss throughout the entire salad
- 1 - 2 avocados - cut into cubes
- diced tomatoes, if available (I like cherry or grape tomatoes cut in half.)
- 3-4 TB first cold-press extra virgin olive oil (preferrably organic)
- 1/2 of a fresh lemon juiced
- sea salt to taste
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
Prepare the salad dressing: wisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Then, in a large bowl, toss the dressing with the remaining ingredients -- romaine lettuce leaves, oregano, avocado, and perhaps, tomatoes.
Serve: arrange the mushrooms on the top of the assembled salad. Although, you could serve this salad as a first course or alongside something else, it is certainly filling enough to eat as a main course.
So, with this recipe, celebrate spring! Renew yourself, renew your heart. Let yourself be reborn into a new moment. From there cultivate your awareness; discover compassion and empathy; practice forgiveness; and, through your heart, give to yourself the gift of self-acceptance. Let this be a new beginning.