A little different spin on the ‘same old’ is all we need sometimes to freshen the perspective. Routine gets old, laundry lacks its luster and let’s not even talk about weeknight evening ratrace to get it all done only to hit the pillow hard. Then, it all starts over the next day.
Well, recently, I was feeling the weight of routine. My spirits low and my ability to stir up enthusiasm for the little things waned. I’m certain my girls sensed the restlessness in my complacent attitude as it approached anxious by dusk each day.
I’d go to bed promising I’d do better the next day. The next day came and my futile attempts failed.
I’m sure it sounds worse than perhaps it really was. But, the reality is this: I don’t want to live this one life God gave me without joy, enthusiastic affection for life and the gentleness and grace only a mom gives to her children.
The saga continued until I DID SOMETHING to change it. Thankfully, I’m becoming a bit of a quicker learner so it didn’t take long to realize I was letting being busy get in the way of loving the little things. I was also letting exhaustion keep me from leaning on the Lord!
It was time to switch it up…time to do things a little different, time to get back to what I know works for me and time to take on a more God-pleasing perspective. My strategies for putting a different spin on my ‘same old’ routine included:
- Starting a prayer journal. I love words, I adore writing (whether I am any good at it is a different issue…but God doesn’t care about that!). So, before bed, instead of drifting off mid-prayer, I started writing my prayers in an inspiring little blue book. Now when I miss a night, I miss it!
- Issuing a JOY challenge to my girls. We made a list of little ways we can all add ‘pieces of joy’ to our normal daily lives. Each time I catch one of my daughter’s adding joy to our family, I put a little SMILEY piece into their ‘JOY JAR’. It’s lovely!
- We Got OUT. It’s not something we can do often, but right in the dead of winter we took a fun field trip to Disney on Ice. The girls are singing praises to me for that day trip still!
- Got cooking…yep, we have been spending at least a couple hours each weekend in the kitchen together. Yes, it’s a mess and not much gets done. But, productivity is not the point. It’s TIME TOGETHER!
And, that, my friends, is where this little Quinoa Tabouli recipe was born. We had tried some tabouli the girls loved months ago. It had been on my list to try and re-create for months. We finally put our skills to the test and I am pleased to say that it’s a success!
Since my older daughter requires a gluten-free lifestyle, I made it with quinoa instead of the traditional couscous. Again, putting a different spin on an age-old recipe to bring it up to our family’s nutritional par! I actually suggest this substitution for anyone since quinoa is far more nutritious and higher in protein. I don’t have to go into much detail to describe why this dish offers a good choice…just look at the ingredient list.
Now, how can you get out of your routine in a couple little ways to inspire you to live and love each day a little more!?
With the countless tabouli recipes available, I wanted to try a different spin on it. As a vegetarian family with one member needing gluten-free foods, this option turned out awesome! A bit milder than some tabouli recipes, the girls love it and I feel happy watching them devour this high protein, real food recipe! It’s great for a main vegetarian dish or side dish. I even love topping a salad with a scoop.
- 4 cups cooked quinoa*
- ⅓ cup organic (non-gmo) canola oil
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 cup chopped tomato
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ to 1 teaspoon fine sea salt (to taste)
- Juice from one lemon
- Cook your quinoa per instructions on the package first. Let it cool as you prepare and chop the other ingredients.
- Put 4 cups of quinoa into a medium sized bowl.
- Add all other ingredients. Stir well.
- Refridgerate to chill and for flavors to combine. Serve and enjoy!
*I cooked extra quinoa to have it for the week. It's great added to soups or oatmeal in the morning.
This recipe can be used as a side dish or a main vegetarian meal with a salad or other vegetable on the side. I like to use it to top a bed of greens for lunch!