My mornings are now beginning with a brisk power walk around my neighbourhood. It helps me to clear my mind for the day ahead, to stay in shape, and to connect with nature.
When I was on my walk the other day, I noticed that the gardens were starting to have a beautiful showing of irises and alliums.
I decided to bring my camera on my walk this morning so I could share some of what I am seeing with you.
I have always loved flowers, but this year the blooms seem so wonderfully rich and full of colour.
It could be that it just seems that way after a long, cold winter or, perhaps, I am just seeing things differently lately. Sometimes we forget to stop and notice the flowers as we rush around in our busy lives.
There is something about being surrounded by nature and such beauty that is like food for your soul. No matter what kind of day you are having, it makes you feel good.
My spring routine also includes some really interesting salads. This combination of avocados and tangerines creates a lovely blend of fresh citrus with the creamy texture of the avocados. The feta and mint add the right amount of punch making it really work well together.
Avocado and Tangerine Salad
Makes 8 servings
½ cup tangerine juice
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground pepper
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 avocados, sliced
4 tangerines or clementines, peel, sliced into rounds
6 cups baby arugula
½ cup fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Simmer tangerine juice in a small saucepan until reduced to about 2 tablespoons, 5-8 minutes. Let cool.
In a medium bowl whisk together shallot, vinegar, reduced tangerine juice; season with salt and pepper. Whisk in vegetable oil and then the olive oil.
Toss avocados, tangerines, arugula, mint and vinaigrette in a large bowl and top with feta.
Recipe adapted from http://www.Epicurious.com