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Spring Equinox Brown Rice Bowl

vegan spring equinox bowl // gratitude and greens // #vegan #vegetarian #plantbased #spring #recipes

Last week, I was waiting for the elevator in my building on my way to my food writing class. Two of the three elevators were out of order and after seven minutes of waiting, I felt a familiar pressure creep into my chest, coursing through my veins and into my head. The racing thoughts had begun and I was getting hot. I looked at the time and took a deep breath: I had exactly fifteen minutes to get through rush-hour traffic, onto the University of Toronto campus, and look for a parking spot. I had just rushed home from an exhausting day at work to quickly walk and feed my dog, and was flushed after quickly photographing a recipe and cleaning the kitchen just in time for my Airbnb guest. This elevator-fiasco was the last thing I needed, and for a minute, I felt as if I was melting into a puddle.

I used to have terrible anxiety and overcoming it was not easy. My therapist helped me reframe my thoughts and a few months ago, I decided I was well enough to stop seeing her as frequently. In the past two or three weeks, however, my anxiety has come back full-force and I have been a bundle of stress and nerves. It is painful when something unexpected—something that I can’t control—happens, like long elevator wait times and traffic jams. Most of my friends can’t envision me having road rage but Lewis and my sister Justina can confirm that my road rage is, in fact, off the charts.

vegan spring equinox bowl // gratitude and greens // #vegan #vegetarian #plantbased #spring #recipes

vegan spring equinox bowl // gratitude and greens // #vegan #vegetarian #plantbased #spring #recipesI feel increasingly overwhelmed, probably because I have increasingly become a Type-A-Overachiever-Perfectionist and this is doing me more harm than good. I have a backlog of photos and blog posts to edit, I’ve signed up for too many professional development classes to keep up with, I started a new job last week, and being an Airbnb host isn’t always a piece of cake. I want to “have it all”, which is, frankly, an unhealthy and unrealistic expectation that no one should hold themselves to. And when I take a step back, I realize that these “hardships” are actually privileges and opportunities that anyone would be grateful to have.

One morning last week, I decided to spend some time doing things I actually enjoyed. I slept an extra hour and poured myself a bowl of my favourite muesli when I woke up. I made myself a good cup of coffee and sat down to write. I sent an email off to my therapist and put on “You Gotta Be” by Des’ree, a song that never fails to make me feel better. My anxiety isn’t going to just magically vanish into thin air, but these baby steps will get me back where I need to be. In the meantime, I will keep reminding myself, as Lewis often does: don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

vegan spring equinox bowl // gratitude and greens // #vegan #vegetarian #plantbased #spring #recipes

SPRING EQUINOX BROWN RICE BOWL
Yields 2-3 servings.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup brown basmati rice + 2 cups water
  • 7 small radishes (527g) + 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 1/2 cups (340g) mini cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup (20g) curly parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup vegan kimchi
  • 3 1/2 cups (203g) brown mushrooms + 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • sea salt, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 205ºC/400ºF.
  2. Rinse the brown rice with water and drain. Pour 2 cups of water into a small pot and bring it to a boil on high heat. Add the rice. Cover and cook on low heat for 35-45 minutes until tender.
  3. Peel and slice the radishes. Melt the tablespoon of coconut oil and toss with the small radishes. Season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove the radishes from the oven and allow them to cool for 5 minutes when they finish cooking.
  4. While the rice and radishes are cooking, prepare the cucumbers. Slice the mini cucumbers and roughly chop the curly parsley. Toss together in a bowl with sea salt, freshly ground pepper, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
  5. Peel and mince the garlic cloves and slice the mushrooms. Sauté the garlic on medium heat until fragrant. Add the mushrooms, season with salt, and cook until soft. When the rice is done, remove the pot from the heat and allow the rice to sit for 5 minutes with the lid on. “Fluff up” the rice and give it a stir before serving.
  6. Assemble the bowls by placing 1/2 – 3/4 cup of brown rice in each bowl. Add the radishes, cucumber salad, mushrooms, and kimchi.

Your edible plant enthusiast,
Gen.

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12 Comments

  1. Allie | In This Kitchen
    April 2, 2016

    I relate to this totally. I also have a full time job, love doing my blog in my free time, and can totally get anxiety about all of it. It’s hard when the smallest things can set you off. But you’re right, in reading this post I just thought about how cool it is that you get to take a food writing class! That sounds amazing and fun in itself. Best of luck with all that you are doing!

    Reply
  2. Lisa Le
    April 2, 2016

    Aw Gen, I totally know the feels with road rage. I met up with an old friend (my ex actually) for the first time in like 2 years and I was driving and getting angry, and he was like, “I was wondering if you had changed since high school but being in the car with you just reassures me that you’re the same ol’ Lisa.” That made me question myself and freaked me out because I was like, WAIT HAVE I ALWAYS BEEN ROAD RAGEY?!

    Anyway. I’m sorry you’re dealing with anxiety, it is actually the worst. It can be so frustrating too because you’re self-aware and are like, why am I feeling this way? This is irrational, I know how I feel isn’t being productive but this is how I feel, etc etc. I’m glad you know when you get help when you need it. Much love <3

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      April 12, 2016

      Isn’t road rage the worst? It gives me so much anxiety! Thank you for empathizing and it’s so nice to know other people feel this way too <3

      Reply
  3. Amy | The Whole Food Rainbow
    April 3, 2016

    Hey Gen! Thanks so much for sharing this, I think it is so important to share such things. I have had a lot of anxiety in my life too, and these days it is still there but not as bad, although I have my moments, I just have to keep reasoning with myself like you have. It must be great to have a therapist too. Lemon and Coconut is now the Whole Food Rainbow by the way! Let me know what you think when you get a chance xx

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      April 12, 2016

      Seeing a therapist has been more helpful than I could have ever imagined. And I’m loving the new name- Whole Food Rainbow just puts a smile on my face! <3

      Reply
  4. Sarah | Well and Full
    April 4, 2016

    I really appreciate you sharing this, Gen. A lot of people don’t understand anxiety and it’s sooo important to talk about what it’s like. I really related to a lot of what you said, especially the road rage thing!! I get SO much anxiety on the road, and it’s something I’ve struggled with for years. But I find that if I listen to calming music and breathe deeply, it helps the road anxiety a little bit :)

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      April 12, 2016

      Thank you lovely! Anxiety is tricky and complicated and requires a lot of deep breathing and perspective to get me through. My secret to battling road rage is just to blast fun music and have a sing-a-long in my car. After 10 minutes of singing at the top of my lungs I usually feel better ;)

      Reply
  5. Margaret Welsh
    April 4, 2016

    Hi Gen! I never know whether to comment on here or message you haha but today I’ve decided to give your blog analytics a (tiny!) boost. I read an article a while back that talked and the pressure to ‘have it all’, even for twenty-something women who don’t have the baby-work thing to figure out. What it said was that in the 70s, second-wave feminists started using the term ‘the second shift’ – what they meant by that was that when women are able to go out to work, it doesn’t mean their domestic work reduces. Men don’t pick up the slack, what happens instead is that women have the pressure of a full-time job, PLUS the ‘second-shift’ when they get home and have to cook, clean, do childcare, etc. Anyway, this article basically argued that in a post-Internet era, women now are experiencing a ‘third-shift’. So women have jobs, go home, do domestic work, but the introduction of unhealthy relationships to social media means that as well as all that, women (much more than men) feel the pressure to then present their lives and package them in beautiful ways for the Internet. So maintaining a brand for yourself becomes this WHOLE OTHER JOB that no one had to deal with ten years ago.

    Anyway, I’m not trying to say that you’re spending too much time branding yourself at all! But when I feel quite stressed I remember how there’s this whole extra pressure to engage in social media and blogs and stuff in creative ways which can make people really stressed out. And it’s supposed to be fun! Blogs are supposed to be enjoyable things! And especially if you have a job, blogs are things that you do in your LEISURE time, you know?

    Now that I’ve written this out I realise that it may not really even be that relevant to your situation, and I don’t want it to sound like I’m putting your blog down or saying that that is the source of all your anxiety (because that would be well presumptuous). Maybe it’s just something I’ve been thinking about recently, maybe we can talk about it soon! Big hugz xxx

    Reply
    • Margaret Welsh
      April 4, 2016

      Okay, so I think the point of what I’m trying to say is this: it’s easy to feel the pressure that when you have free time you should be doing something ‘productive’ with it. And that can be great, but it can also really easily slip into taking on too many projects and then feeling guilty or stressed when you have a shit day and it’s hard to keep up with them. So what I’m getting at is, having little moments of relaxation, eating museli, listening to nice music, when you break yourself out of the feeling of having to be ‘contributing’ something ”’productive”” to the ”””””’world”””””’ is so great and I wish you many more of those little moments xx

      Reply
      • genevieve y
        April 12, 2016

        I totally get what you mean! We’ll have to talk about this the next time we Skype… I have so many feelings about this and so much to say!!! xxxx

        Reply
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