Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Let's Get Organized

For lunch today, I polished off the rest of a cold quinoa salad I made the other night. I love cold salads like this because they're healthy, tasty, economical, and really refreshing when it's hot outside. They're also simple to prepare. You really don't need a recipe at all--just use your tastebuds and your imagination!

OK, maybe it wasn't very pretty, but what it lacked in beauty it made up for in flavor. Promise!

I happened to have fresh corn, tomatoes, and a jalapeno pepper from the farmers' market. I also had leftover cilantro, as well as a can of chili beans that I inherited from my grandma's pantry when she moved a couple of weeks ago. (See? Economical!)

Quinoa Salad with Beans, Corn, and Tomatoes

3/4 cup quinoa (or, 3-4 servings of your favorite grain)
1 can chili beans, drained (or, a can of your favorite beans)
2 ears fresh corn, sliced from ear
2 large tomatoes, diced
3 scallions, white and green parts, sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
handful fresh cilantro
1 medium avocado, diced (or, mashed with garlic and lemon or lime juice)
  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.
  2. While the quinoa cooks, prepare the vegetables.
  3. Add the beans and corn to the quinoa for the last 5 minutes of cooking time. 
  4. Mix the quinoa, beans, and corn with the tomatoes, scallions, and pepper.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve topped with avocado.


Delicious warm or cold, my salad made enough for four meals. It was perfect for packing in my lunch today--I just tossed it in my lunch tote with an ice pack and I was ready to go!

I spent a productive 9 hours at the day job today, and I accomplished a lot. Right now I'm working on getting organized to start the year, so I spent my morning organizing my files and putting big dates and projects into my planner.

This year I'm trying something new: In my planner, I listed all of my big projects and due dates by month. Periodically, I'll review those lists, break each project down into steps, and make daily to-do lists. I experimented with this at the end of last year, and I found that it really helped me to prioritize, stay focused, and not over-commit myself. There will definitely be things that pop up throughout the year, but it feels good to start out with a clear view of the "big picture." Getting everything down on paper today also helped calm my nerves about starting the year.

I spent the rest of the day working on another fun project, and I also enjoyed catching up with several of my coworkers.

There's no air conditioning in my room at work, and it was screamin' hot today! I worked up a nice sweat just typing away at my desk. Therefore, I'm blowing off my regular Tuesday workout to join my friend Carrie to see Eat, Pray, Love. I'm excited--I read the book a couple of years ago and loved it, and I think they cast some great actors in the movie!

I'm not only trying to get organized at work; I'm also trying to figure out how to balance my new hobby (writing Crave and Create) with the day job and the rest of my life. I'd like to keep writing daily and post at least three times weekly, but the day job has a way of getting crazy, so I think I'll just need to experiment and see what works best. I think we're off to a good start, and I hope you'll stick with me for the ride!

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