My yoga teacher said something beautiful yesterday. She explained to us that yoga scrubs away our layers until we are at a place where we can say to ourselves, “I’m okay”. Yoga gets us to a place where we can make this affirmation on our own, confidently, without needing validation from external sources. And once we achieve this, we can be a beacon of light for others.
On this Monday morning, I can honestly say to myself, “I’m okay”. I know there will be times in the future where I will doubt this, where that inner strength that I have amassed will temporarily slip away. I know that there are still parts of my life and parts of my self that I want to change. But for now, I can look at my little life, and I can look into my own heart, and I can be happy about what I see. And I know that this happiness, this love, can be contagious. So I scatter those seeds of joy any way I can.
Yesterday, after two yoga classes, an epic breakfast, Mass, a nap (see: two yoga classes), and some errands, I made a delicious potato salad that I have been scheming up ever since I got some potatoes and green beans from my CSA half-share. I wrote up the recipe for my farmer (is that the right word?), Cindy, who is AWESOME. I figured I would put it up here to keep an additional record of it. This vegan potato salad don’t need no mayonnaise!
Potato Salad with Green Beans and Mustard Vinaigrette
(or, Pierre Escargot’s Favorite Potato Salad)
5 Medium Red Potatoes
1 lb green beans, washed, trimmed, and chopped into into 2-inch pieces
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large (or 2 small) clove garlic
1 T olive oil
2-3 T fresh rosemary, chopped
1 t dried thyme
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt, to taste
1-2 t freshly ground pepper
Mustard Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
1. Scrub potatoes and chop into bite-sized pieces
2. Add potatoes to a medium-sized pot. Cover with water and salt generously. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook 10 more minutes
3. While potatoes cook, boil 1 C salted water in a wok or other wide, shallow pan
4. Add green beans, letting them cook for 2 minutes (until bright green and tender-crisp)
5. Drain beans and add 1 T oil to pan (heat should be medium-high)
6. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes
7. Add garlic and cook an additional 1 minute, until fragrant
8. Add green beans and saute over medium heat for 3 – 5 minutes. You want beans to still be somewhat crisp while absorbing the flavors of the onion, garlic and oil. Season with thyme and lemon juice and remove from heat
9. When potatoes are done cooking, drain them, transfer to a large bowl, and toss with Mustard Vinaigrette and rosemary*. Add green beens, a pinch of salt, and LOTS of pepper. Serve warm or chilled.
*According to Mark Bittman, who is awesome (see below), tossing the vinaigrette with the potatoes while they are still warm is important because it helps the potatoes soak up the dressing. Thanks for the tip, Mark! (Yes, we’re on a first name basis.)
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian”, a.k.a. the Bible of vegetarian cooking, a.k.a. the cookbook that I read like it’s a novel
1/3 C Olive Oil
4 T Red wine vinegar
1 T dijon mustard
1 t grainy mustard
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until emulsified, about 30 seconds.
P.S. I ate this warm, with about 1/4 C of cooked millet and a crap-ton of nutritional yeast. It was decious and I am no longer scared of serious amounts of olive oil in my vinaigrettes.
P.P.S. This dish felt really french to me, what with the haricots verts and the mustard vinaigrette. I wanted to call it “Pierre Escargot’s Favorite Potato Salad” after the All That skit with Kenan Thompson (he of Kenan and Kel) in a bathtub in front of an Eiffel Tower backdrop. It was amazing, as you can see here: