A few years back, my awesome friend Delana invited me to co-teach a yoga retreat with her, and now it is an annual event. Our retreat is held right nearby at a great retreat center in the middle of the redwoods. It's so peaceful and quiet and beautiful ... we had great sunny weather and the flowers were blooming and there were even cool white spiders hanging out in the calla lilies.
I like to think people come to our retreats for the glorious yoga experience, but I'm pretty sure the delicious food has something to do with it too. The food is all vegetarian, but they make it all vegan for our retreats (by request, obviously!). For breakfast, there is a plentiful oatmeal and/or granola bar with all sorts of great things you can add to your morning munchies: ground flax, walnuts, raisins, brown sugar, soy milk, dried fruits, peanut butter, jam, and so on. Plus toast, fruit, OJ, and coffee. I'm not usually a caffeinated coffee person, but I always wake up around 5:15am during the retreat to make sure I have time for my own practice, so I was stoked for a little extra boost at breakfast! Plus, at home I never buy bananas, so that was special treat for me.
Lunches are the biggest meals at the retreat center... and they can be pretty amazing! There's always a huge salad, which is totally rad. This day there was also a broccoli stir-fry of some sort, a roasted beets - walnuts - kale concoction that was totally glorious, and some stir-fried tofu & mushrooms (in the top right) that was soooooo good. Plus brown rice. Seriously, I could eat this kind of food all the time. Colors, flavors, textures, nutrients, yums! All in one!
The only problem with lunch is that they don't provide dessert! What the heck!? Ha ha. So, now it's a tradition that I make cookies and bring them along for lunch. I made some oatmeal raisin cookies from "Cookies for Everyone," and it was my first time using that book. All the recipes are soy-free, vegan, & gluten free. I had to add a little extra flour, but other than that - they were just great! Definitely encourages me to explore that book some more!
Here's lunch on our second day. I apologize for that semi-unappetizing saucy photo, but this food was too good not to mention. It was an amazing Jerk Tempeh (with extra jerk sauce), delicious black beans, and then a rice with kidney beans. I haven't had Jerk Tempeh for quite a while, so I was super stoked. Plus, I am such a bread freak that I pretty much don't let myself ever buy bread at home, so I go all crazy on the bread at the retreat! Bread with breakfast lunch and dinner!!
Here's a dark picture of dinner. Dinners at the retreat center tend to be lighter, which is especially nice when you are doing so much yoga. This night was a hearty minestrone soup and a delicious side salad. One thing I like is that they make all their own salad dressings and the dressing is different each time... keeps it fun! They also always make dessert, but I guess I was too busy eating to photo document it - we had some great banana bread one night, and then some oatmeal lemon bars the next night. Yay!