Saturday nights spent out dancing until 6 or 7 in the morning meant Sundays were for sleeping, park & beach going, and a lot of paella. Living in Spain, and a lot of other places around the world, I learned that Sundays were for rest and spending time with friends & family. Everything, yup everything, was closed. There was no rushing to get the grocery shopping done for the week or rushed plans to do XYZ. I often found myself strolling around the streets of Madrid meandering through parks, where there always seemed to be some sort of festival, exploring different parks, hitting up the bars in La Latina, or on the colder days just hanging at home and huddling 5 people in my bed to watch Lost and cooking a joint meal for dinner. I never felt stressed to get anything done. I just enjoyed the day and whatever it had to bring.
I was going through some old pictures cleaning out my closet and remembered how excited I was to live and work in another country. It was something challenging, exciting, frustrating, and adventurous that I was doing on my own. And some of my best memories come from my Sundays and giving myself a day to do whatever it was that I wanted to do.
About a year or two after I moved back to the States, I started getting into being more active and cooking with more whole foods and seasonal ingredients. I lost a lot of weight and began making activity part of my everyday. It always varied, but I was always sure to move just a bit each day. Sundays were a day for me to do whatever I wanted regarding exercise. If it was a HIIT type of class, running, biking, yoga, nothing, it didn’t matter. Sunday was my day.
And then my Sundays became a day to train hard, do a ton of cooking (still like to do that, not gonna lie), clean, hang out with friends, etc. etc. It became a day where I had to pack it full of activity to make sure I was getting the most out of it. I’m guessing this happened when I started training for triathlons and not feeling satisfied from my day job, and was always looking for a way to feel more “fulfilled.” And then my honeymoon happened. And intentional exercise took a back seat to exploring new places and cultures. Movement was always a priority, but in various forms and usually more in the outdoors with hikes, kayaking, and walks. And it felt amazing. Yes, I wasn’t in shape to do CrossFit or triathlons, but we can’t always be 100% game 100% of the time.
So after looking through those photos I started to remember how those Sundays 10 years ago made me feel. Excited to recharge my batteries for the week to come. So I have vowed to make my Sundays a day to surf with Daniel & my friends, to hike in the Santa Monica mountains, sleep in and snuggle all morning, lie in the park with a book, meet with friends at the farmers’ market, or whatever other adventure or non-adventure my Sunday brings. Comment below on your fave way to spend your Sundays!
Along with my slower Sundays I’ve been having fun making food from the market again. These collard wraps are my life right now and am wrapping up everything I can find in them. This recipe is pretty simple to substitute and swap out ingredients. I.E. you can use garbanzos instead of white beans, add olives instead of capers, and choose which veggies you want to throw in as well. You can use the collards raw or blanch them following the directions below. And that’s a wrap! (Bad joke I am going to keep on making).
Mediterranean White Bean Mash Collard Wraps
Healthy lunch finger food!
- 4 collard green leaves
- 1 small head cauliflower , chopped into florets
- 1/2 to 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1.5 cups cooked or 1 15 oz. can white beans , drained & rinsed
- 1/2 avocado , smashed or sliced (your preference)
- 2-3 tbsp . sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
- 1/2 c . marinated artichokes
- 2-3 tbsp . capers
- 2 tbsp . chopped rosemary
- S & P to taste
- 1/4 c . baba ghanoush (or hummus, or tahini)
- 1/2 c . julienned veggies , such as peppers, carrots, cabbage, cucumber, jicama, kohlrabi
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Place cauliflower onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through cooking.
In the meantime, chop the stems off of the bottom of the collard greens. Turn the leaf over and slice the thick part of the stem lengthwise to make the remaining stem a bit more tender. Boil water in a skillet. Place collards in the boiling water and remove. Place in a bowl with water & ice quickly to stop the cooking and then transfer to a clean cloth or paper towel to dry. You're now ready to use these collards!
Remove the cauliflower from the oven and allow to cool. In a medium bowl mash the white beans, cauliflower, salt, pepper & spices together until there is a mixture of bits and chunks of cauliflower and beans. Fold in 2 tbsp. sun-dried tomato, 1/2 c. marinated artichoke hearts, capers, & chopped rosemary.
Spread 2 tbsp. hummus & avocado slices/mash on each collard green wrap. Add 1/4 of the bean & cauliflower mixture to each collard. Add julienned veggies on top. Fold over one side of the collard and fold in the ends. Then fold over the remaining side and place seam side down on a plate.