Monday, November 05, 2018

Yoga Retreat Eats!

Last month, I headed up to Graeagle, CA to lead a 3-day yoga retreat. It was my second year teaching up there, and I already have plans to go back again next fall. Graeagle is a wonderful little community about 1 hour north of Truckee... and it is just so beautiful. It's about a 6 hour drive from where I live, so it's a nice little road trip. I got a good early start so I wouldn't be stressed - and BEST of all, I had company because my mom came with me! My mom has been coming to my yoga classes for many years, and this was her first time coming to one of my retreat. We had such a great time together, like we pretty much always do. :) Plus, it was her birthday weekend! 

Momsie and Me Yoga! 

One of our road snacks: Biena Chickpeas!

Biena sent me a bunch of their chickpeas to try - and they arrived right before we left for our trip. I really love these guys - they are definitely the best store-bought roasted chickpeas I've ever had. They're perfectly seasoned, crunchy but not too dry or too starchy. Yum! 

Lunch on the Road!
I got us each a Veggie Hummus Wrap from a cafe near our house (Gayle's Bakery, for any Santa Cruz locals!) I love these wraps, they're one of my go-to options when I need a quick lunch that feels nourishing and healthy. It was a perfect road trip lunch because it was easy to eat in the car - chock full of veggies, and super delicious! Also, see how beautiful the countryside is up there??? 

Before we left for the weekend, I did a load of cooking - in fact, I cooked up pretty much all our food for the whole weekend. Graeagle does have some cute restaurants, but there's not a lot in the way of vegan options. Plus, when I'm teaching all weekend at a retreat, it's really nice to just go back to my little place and eat and be quiet - rather than having to hustle around to a restaurant. Here's what I made: 

Tofu Scramble with Kale and Sweet Potatoes
(from Vegan Brunch)

This is one of my favorite tofu scrams of all time! I made a huge batch - enough for breakfast every day for my mom and me. It's a super hearty and filling. This is the backyard at the cute little spot where we were staying. 

Potato-Kale Enchiladas
(from Veganomicon)

For our lunches, I made a large batch of these Potato-Kale Enchiladas, one of my favorite recipes of all time! I'm not sure what went wrong, but for some reason this batch of enchies was so dry! I think part of the problem may have been that I didn't use the proper type of potato... Another problem was that the microwave at our little apartment was hilariously insufficient and we had to microwave our enchies for at least 9-10 minutes to make them hot! ha ha ha. By Sunday, we realized that it was helpful to add some water while we were heating them up. We also went to the little local market and successfully located some guacamole, which was a major help! Don't let my bad experience discourage you though, this really is a great recipe, I promise! 

Red Lentil Dhal

I love this recipe SO much! It was absolutely perfect for our dinners - hearty and warming and satisfying. If you are looking for a good dhal recipe, look no further! This has been one of my favorites for so many years. Despite having to microwave it for one hundred and thirty-five minutes, it really was delicious! 

I also made COOKIES! I always like to make treats for my yoga students when I teach retreats or workshops. For this year, I wanted to make some cookies that had good autumn flavors - so I made Ginger Cookies (from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar) and I made a batch of "Grandaddies" - an amaretto cookie recipe that I made in honor of my grandpa. I love to share the joy of vegan treats with other people! Plus, we had to have a special treat for my mom's birthday!!
(photo by Emily!)

doin' backbends... thinking about cookies!
as you do.

On Saturday night, we had a really great group dinner. My friend Emily, who was hosting our retreat at her beautiful studio (Trails Within), organized the dinner and had it catered by some friends of hers. We gathered at the vacation rental that one of our group had rented, which was a totally great spot. The couple who cooked for us did an absolutely amazing job making us a very special vegan dinner: roasted pumpkin halves filled with a delicious quinoa stuffing, topped with sweetened pecans. With a side salad of a very autumnal kale salad. Then we even had a lovely apple crisp for dessert. The whole thing was really delicious and was cooked and served with so much love and affection. Their adorable little son even acted as our little waiter, and it was so sweet. The plates were made with 100% compostable palm leaves, and they even wrapped our plates with tinfoil if we had leftovers. It was such a wonderful evening and a delicious meal! 

Here are a few pictures from our adventure:

My mom and me looking out over Long Lake! On Sunday, after our last practice together, Emily led us on a group hike, which was really fun! This area is filled with open spaces, mountains, rivers, and lakes... it's just so much beauty in every direction! 

I saw some very special wild creatures: crawdads and kokanee salmon! If you look closely at the bottom left corner of the picture on the left, you'll see a pretty little red crawdad who was cruising along on the floor of the river. So sweet! There were actually about 6-7 of them, and I got so excited. I hadn't seen a crawdad since I was a little girl! 

And in the picture on the right, you can see some salmon swimming upstream to spawn. This was so special and meaningful for me. I think salmon spawning is just so emotional and amazing. How do they know what to do?? My friend Emily took me on a hike where we could see these salmon and it was so great! 

Giant pinecones from a Sugar Pine, golden autumn light, trails for hiking, wandering rivers, and more trees than you can imagine!! What a beautiful place and what a beautiful weekend with such a wonderful group of people!


  1. Great post! It captures the whole wonderful experience just perfectly. AND -- it reminds me: I'd love to have the recipe for the stuffed pumpkins. They were amazing. Could you as Emily to ask her friends for the recipe? I know we talked about it, but it fell off the map (as things do.) Thanks! XO

  2. Those pumpkins look amazing! Your cookies do, too. Meanwhile, I have a friend who lives in that area I've thought about visiting and you've made it all the more appealing. Great pictures!

  3. This looks like such a fun weekend. I'm glad you were able to share it with your mom. Lucky you.

    Your comments about the microwave made me laugh.

  4. sounds like an awesome weekend. I'm glad you and your mom had a great time together. How cool to see a salmon in the wild :) I'm intrigued by the Granddadies cookies. Any chance you would share your recipe? I'm always looking for new vegan cookie recipes to try.

  5. This sounds like such a lovely weekend. Happy birthday to your mum!


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