Cleansing/Clearing

Spring cleaning is a common concept in our culture and is hugely beneficial on so many levels. In yoga we often talk about non-attachment, aparigraha, whether it be to physical objects or emotions. However the truth is, most of us have quite a few material possessions these days and it’s very hard to completely detach from that desire for things. We embrace yogic concepts but we don’t live completely yogic lifestyles in the traditional sense.

One concrete exercise we can do to reconnect to this concept of non-grasping is to regularly purge and recycle excess material possessions. Use this act of Spring cleaning as an opportunity to examine your attachment to your belongings. Where do you place the most worth? It’s great to have pieces of clothes, jewelry, pottery or books  that you love and cherish. It’s the rest of the stuff that you don’t cherish that needs to go! When you’re able to let go of the things that you don’t need or truly love, it’s so freeing.

Even though these are items on the physical level, you can use this to symbolize a greater letting go. Simplifying your life by whittling down your wardrobe or cleaning your living space will allow you more mental space to become evermore expansive.

Another beautiful side effect of Spring cleaning is you get to pass on the things you don’t need anymore to someone who may actually need them. The things that have been going unused or unworn can be enjoyed by someone new!  

© 2019, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Trust/Flow/Intuition

Something that I speak about often in my classes is this idea of trusting in your intuition/the universe. I think I talk about it so much because it’s something that I’m constantly trying to work on myself. My Capricorn tendencies guide me towards overanalyzing and trying to plan for everything.  I saw this quote the other day from @spiritdaughter that said “Flowing will get you places that forcing never could,” that sparked my intention for this week. This is so relevant in our yoga practice and in life, your practice off the mat.

In asana, the physical practice of yoga, if you try to muscle your way into a new pose or into a deeper expression, your body will actually tighten up, doing just the opposite. It’s only through relaxing and breathing that you are able to go deeper and find new limits, maybe moving into a pose you didn’t think was even possible for you. It’s a beautiful metaphor for life off your mat as well. If you are able to let go and ‘go with the flow’ so to speak, opportunities often present themselves that you otherwise may not have been open to. In order to let go you have to trust the universe which I know sounds a  little corny and woowoo but if you can start to develop this level of trust and belief that things are going to work out just the way they should, little miracles will start to pop up all around you. Part of this is just recognizing and having gratitude for all of the small miracles that are already present in your life.

Another element to this trust concept is Divine Timing. We live in an outcome driven society and it’s easy to get caught up in when things will happen or how they will unfold. I’ve been noticing this a lot especially with beginners in my yoga classes. They get frustrated after a couple of weeks of doing a certain pose or a certain transition without noticeable improvement. However there are subtle shifts happening all the time. Yoga takes time and repetition, that’s why it’s called a practice. It also takes that balance of effort and ease (sthira/sukha, yin/yang). So this relates back to the intention because of course you have to put effort in to achieve things but you also have to find that level of letting go and surrendering to what will be.

When you take time to quiet your mind through meditation, yoga, walking, writing or whatever it is that makes you feel at peace, you are able to step out of the way so that your intuition can come through. Most of us move through life with our egos guiding the way, constantly chattering and telling us what we should do. Developing these practices to begin to recognize what that egoic mind sounds like and learning to shush it every now and then, gives us the clarity to tap in to what we know on a soul level.

© 2019, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

Going along with the pumpkin theme this week (and to use up the rest of the can of pureed pumpkin that I opened for the cookies) I made this delicious pumpkin oatmeal this morning. It’s so tasty and warming, definitely not any boring old oatmeal!

{serves 1}

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp Vega Protein Powder (vanilla)
  • 1/2 tbsp almond butter
  1. bring 1/2 cup oats and 3/4 cups water to a boil then turn down to a simmer, let oats soak up some liquid then add pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and protein powder and stir to combine
  2. top with a blob of almond butter and maybe a little more cinnamon and dig in!

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.






Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie

Making Pumpkin Spice stuff always reminds me of college. Not just because PSL are so often associated with college girls but because it was in my college years at Cal Poly that I started experimenting with pumpkin pie spice in recipes. There’s something about it that’s just soo comforting. It reminds me of Fall, the start of the new school year, and being so inspired in such a fun time of my life. What memories does it bring up for you? This smoothie is pretty healthy and not too sweet.

{makes 1 smoothie}

  • 1 scoop Vega Vanilla Protein Powder (a little less)
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • sprinkle hemp seeds (optional)
  1. blend first 6 ingredients in a blender
  2. pour into a cup and top with hemp seeds and maybe a little more cinnamon
  3. enjoy!

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.






Almost Vegan Pumpkin Cookies

I made this original pumpkin cookie recipe in college and today is really feelin like Fall so of course, I wanted to make something pumpkin-y, cus ’tis the season. However I wanted to make these  a little healthier so I made some substitutions et voila. I still used an egg but if you really want these to actually be vegan you can try a flax egg instead!

{makes 10 cookies}

      • 1 cup pumpkin puree
      • 1 cup coconut sugar +a little extra for sprinkling
      • 1/3 cup coconut oil
      • 1 tsp vanilla extract
      • 1 large egg (or flax egg)
      • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
      • 1 tsp baking soda
      • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
      • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
      • 1/2 tsp salt
  • spiced cashew cream frosting:
    • 1 cup cashews
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 tsp pumpkin puree
    • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    • 1 tsp each cardamom and cinnamon
    • a couple splashes almond milk
    • pepitas or another nut of your choice for the topping
  1. pre-heat oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet (or 2, mine are pretty small) with parchment
  2. in a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking soda, sugar and spices
  3. add egg, vanilla, pumpkin puree and melted coconut oil, stir until combined
  4. spoon cookies onto baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  5. remove from oven and let cool
  6. meanwhile soak cashews in hot water until the start to get soft
  7. in a small food processor blend all frosting ingredients, adding more almond milk as needed
  8. once the cookies have cooled slightly spread frosting over and decorate with pepitas and a little sugar (optional)
  9. great with chai tea. or red wine, as is everything

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.






Green and Black Noodles with a “Cheese” Sauce

This was my first real foray into making a nut-based cheese sauce but I thought I’d give it a shot. Nutritional yeast is kinda weird but REALLY works, it’s crazy. Also I wanted to use up the rest of my squid ink pasta and also use zucchini noodles so I just went ahead and combined them here. You can definitely use one or the other but you gotta admit, it does look pretty cool with two colors of noodles.

{serves 2}

  • 2 cup leftover squid ink noodles (optional)
  • 2* cups zucchini noodles (zoodles, if you will) *[FOUR cups of zoodles if not using leftover squid ink pasta]
  • 1 generous dash of everything but the bagel spice (trader joe’s)
  • 8 oz crimini mushrooms sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1/2 cup each; cashews and almonds
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp sauerkraut juice (literally the juice in the sauerkraut jar)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 dash himalayan salt
  1. soak cashews and almonds in hot water for an hour
  2. in a food processor blend nuts, and following 5 ingredients until smooth, add water if too dry
  3. in a big skillet or wok heat the olive oil and add the everything bagel seasoning over medium heat, add mushrooms, cook for about 3 minutes with lid on
  4. add zucchini noodles and coconut aminos and cook for an additional 5 minutes, you can do this in batches if it’s too much for your pan, stir occasionally
  5. then add other noodles (already cooked), if using
  6. spoon the sauce over the noodles and mushrooms and stir until combined
  7. garnish with basil or chili flakes or both, done!

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.






Matcha Spinach Protein Bowl

I love making smoothie bowls for breakfast because they’re so versatile and tasty! They also pack a ton of nutrients and don’t make me feel heavy or gross throughout the first half of my day. I always use Vega Vegan Protein Powder as a base. I’ve tried whey based ones and my stomach does not agree with them and they are usually way too sweet.  Vega also has antioxidants and greens and no artificial additives or sweeteners, so basically it’s the best! I get the vanilla one at Costco and it’s super high quality and not too expensive. I usually use matcha and frozen bananas as well but from there the recipe varies day to day! It’s always nice to add a seed or nut on top to make them crunchy and the ginger is a nice touch.

{serves one}

      • 1 scoop Vega Vanilla Protein Powder (I usually don’t fill it up all the way because the scoops are HUUUGE)
      • 1/4 tsp matcha powder (heaping)
      • 1/4 tsp ground dried ginger
      • 1/2 frozen banana
      • 1 handful frozen spinach

to top:

  • drizzle almond butter
  • 1/4 tsp crushed hemp seeds (or chia or flax)
  •  fresh fruit (whatever you have, I used raspberries, blueberries, passionfruit and melon)
  1. blend first 5 ingredients, you may need to add a little water if it’s too dry, you can add ice or more frozen banana to thicken it up if it gets too runny
  2. pour into a bowl, top with last three ingredients

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.






Squid Ink Pasta with Scallops, Tomatoes and Basil

Last weekend I went camping in Joshua Tree. It was an amazing amazing experience but by the time I got home I was ready to leave my Lara Bar/Apple/Hummus meals behind me and make some nice pasta. I picked up this squid ink pasta from Trader Joe’s a while back and hadn’t had the chance to try it yet. I’ve always like squid ink pasta, it’s super popular in Southern Italian cuisine, especially when it’s a seafood pasta. I worked at the Fish Shop during the day so I brought home these beautiful scallops :). Maybe I’m biased but I think they’re the bessssst. These roasted tomatoes are also a new Trader Joe’s item that are bomb.com.

{serves 2}

  • 6 BIG scallops
  • 1 pack squid ink pasta
  • 10 fresh cherry tomatoes
  • 10 roasted dried tomatoes (in oil)
  • 1 big handful fresh basil
  • 3 tbsp (roughly) olive oil
  • 1 pat butter
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • a splash of white wine (optional)
  1. boil water and cook pasta according to instructions
  2. gently clean scallops with a wet paper towel
  3. heat 1.5 tbsp olive oil and butter in a pan over low heat, allow the butter to start to brown, add nutmeg
  4. add scallops gently (tongs are great for this)
  5. let scallops cook on each side for about 2 minutes then flip them, they should be just starting to get some color on the bottom
  6. when they start to stick to the pan add a splash of wine to deglaze the pan
  7. when they are pure white and just starting to brown remove them from the pan, set them on a plate in the oven to keep warm
  8. strain pasta then add it back to the pasta bowl, drizzle with remaining olive oil, halve tomatoes and add them to the pasta
  9. serve pasta and top with three scallops each, drizzle with sauce from the scallop pan
  10. slice basil and use it to garnish, parmesan and red pepper flakes optional!

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.






Healthy Summer Grain Bowl

It’s been sooo hot (or at least soo hot for us coastal San Diegans) so I’ve been trying to come up with sneaky ways to avoid turning on the oven at all and still having protein/veggie rich meals. I love love love smoked fish but it can sometimes be pricy. This peppered rainbow trout from Trader Joe’s is the bomb and is also only $4 for a pack that has 4 servings. Thanks Trader Joe’s! Another shoutout to my dad’s friend, Tom, for supplying us with a steady source of avocados from his tree!

{serves 2}

  • 2 servings of peppered rainbow trout or your favorite kind of smoked/cured fish
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 handfuls lettuce
  • 1 cup bulgur (uncooked)
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 small/medium avocado
  • 5 slices cucumber
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 splash red wine vin
  • salt/pepper
  • olive oil
  1. soft boil eggs
  2. cook bulgur according to package instructions
  3. drain garbanzos and rinse, then move to a medium sized bowl and stir in dijon, red wine vin and salt and pepper to taste
  4. halve and slice tomato and avocado, slice cucumbers
  5. assemble bowls: a handful lettuce each, a spoonful of bulgur and garbanzos in each, distribute avo, tomato and cucumber evenly
  6. peel eggs and place in each bowl and lastly don’t forget the fish!
  7. dress with olive oil and more red wine vinegar

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.






Burrata, Tomato, Prosciutto and Nectarine Salad

It’s been very hot and this just sounded like the perfect thing to eat yesterday. This salad is a great Summer salad because you can chill it and it’s very refreshing. Not to mention it’s a gorgeous! The nectarines make it sweet, the tomatoes make it tart, the prosciutto makes it nice and salty and the burrata makes it creamy and decadent! Can’t forget basil and balsamic for depth of flavor! We grew these nectarines and they are AMAZING, also my uncle grew the basil which is also amazing. I will never get sick of burrata. Or prosciutto.

{serves 4 as a side salad}

  •  2 nectarines
  • 2 cups tomatoes
  • 3 (long) slices prosciutto
  • 7 large basil leaves
  • 1 large ball of burrata
  • a splash of balsamic
  1. cut nectarines into bite sized pieces
  2. cut tomatoes in half
  3. dice or slice prosciutto to the best of your ability
  4. slice basil leaves in long thin strips (you can also choose to tear prosciutto and basil)
  5. layer nectarines, tomatoes, prosciutto and basil into a long, somewhat flat dish
  6. drain burrata and lay it on top, cut a + into the burrata and spread it over the lovely produce
  7. drizzle balsamic on top and garnish with basil leaves!

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.



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