Salad with Beets, Chickpeas, Cucumbers and Blue Cheese, eaten with a side of Mindfulness

(Feb, 22, 2012 – This post is linked to Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday blog carnival)

The other day I happened to read two things that made me think about the way I eat.  The first was a New York Times piece about Mindful Eating, and then, while on my elliptical, I turned to this article in Self magazine about a woman who lost her sense of taste.  I claim to be a foodie, passionate about trying new foods and restaurants and recipes, savoring every delectable morsel, and describing in poetic detail how the delicate, yet complex balance of flavors dance upon my palate.  However, most of my meals are consumed in the presence of a toddler, so I am more mindful of him throwing rice and chicken on the floor, hurling his sippy cup at my head (or my wine glass), or taking off towards the den with fists full of yogurt.  What this leads to is shoveling down my food, barely tasting and enjoying it, not feeling physically full and/or emotionally satiated, and then eating something else that I truly wasn’t hungry for in the first place.  I would be devastated to actually lose my sense of taste, but I think I have taken it for granted lately.  This is definitely NOT mindful.

So this is my new mantra:


I put this post-it in my kitchen so that I can see it when I am making dinner, or eating with The Bug, or bringing dinner into the dining room.  A reminder to slow down and appreciate all of the sensations of food.  And life.  And people.  Because I don’t think I do that often enough.

So just before lunchtime, The Bug was happily watching Sesame Street, and I decided to look through my fridge and throw together a salad for myself.  I wanted something with a variety of tastes and textures.  Plus, I wanted to use up some odds and ends in my fridge, because one of my biggest pet peeves is throwing food away.  So this is the salad I came up with.  And I ate it.  Slowly.  MINDFULLY.  And put down my fork between each bite.  And appreciated the sweet versus salty versus tangy, crunchy versus creamy.  So good!

Salad with Beets Chickpeas Cucumbers and Blue Cheese

And then I ate handfuls of chocolate chips straight from the bag that night.  So much mindfulness.  Oh well, one step at a time…

Next time I may add a little chopped mint.  I didn’t have any, but I think it would add a great hit of freshness.  Oooh, and some walnuts, too, for crunch and omega-3’s.

Beet, Chickpea, Cucumber and Blue Cheese Salad (serves 1)

IngredientsSalad with Beets Chickpeas Cucumbers and Blue Cheese side

1 small roasted beet (about 1/2 cup), quartered and sliced

1/2 cup chickpeas (I had cooked a bunch in my crockpot, but canned would work fine, too)

1/2 cup chopped cucumber

2 T crumbled Gorgonzola or other blue cheese

1-2 T vinaigrette dressing (I had made a balsamic vinaigrette the night before, but any homemade or bottled vinaigrette, or just some balsamic vinegar and olive oil will do)


Mix everything together in a bowl, then dump over the salad greens of your choice (I used mixed baby greens).


This recipe was shared with:

Shared with Fit & Fabulous Fridays #21, at Amee’s Savory Dish.

5-Ingredient Meals