Simple Mindful Picnic
It can be hard to think about cooking dinner after a long day at work. You get home and just want to relax and unwind. Behold, the magic of a simple picnic. This can be done either with no planning at all (that is, you decide to go for a picnic last minute) or just a little planning. Most of the time, you'll have some food in the fridge or pantry that will work well enough together. The idea is to take the stress out of dinner for a night (or more than one if you can!).
Say all you have on a certain night is half a block of cheese, an opened box of crackers, grapes, and carrots. Not to worry, that will be enough to satisfy your appetite while still leaving room to get in a relaxing trip in your area. The goal is to have simple ingredients that don't require cooking. At most, you'll be slicing veggies or mixing a couple things together.
One Wednesday night on a particularly busy week we decided to slow it down for a night and head to the beach for a picnic date. Sliced local cherry tomatoes and diced red onions went together in a couple minutes with some balsamic vinaigrette, olive oil, salt and pepper. We had some grapes left from a previous shopping trip that took a quick rinse and packed into a pyrex dish in another minute. The only planning ahead we did for this picnic was to buy a fresh locally baked baguette and a bunch of radishes that were picked that morning. Sliced radishes on french bread with salt or salted butter is one of our favorite quick snacks. If you have a chocolate bar or something from your local Co-op or Natural Food Store's bulk department, that will suffice for a quick bite of sweetness for dessert. We brought coconut haystacks, one of our favorites. When it was all said and done it took five minutes for two of us to prep this picnic dinner. That meant, less time cooking/cleaning and more time relaxing. After a 10 minute drive we were unpacking our tote bag at the local town beach.
It is important to remember to take time for yourself or yourselves amid the everyday chaos of life. If you don't slow down or stop to relax during the week, you'll find yourself flustered and praying for a day off. Even one brief evening out at a beach, park, or anywhere outside that you can relax will help free your mind. Food is meant to nourish our bodies. Relaxation is meant to nourish our minds. Make sure you are taking the time to do both or you'll be left feeling tired, sluggish, unprepared, or otherwise unwell.