My body craves yoga.
Tuesday night is my regular class, and though it is not the only time I practice each week, my body knows when it is time for that class. It seems that, without fail, I am an angry ball of tension by 4 pm on Tuesday, when I rush to turn off my work computer, change clothes and march off to the gym. By 6:30, I am limber (well, for me), calm, kind of dopey-sleepy… and ravenous.
Like I-could-eat-a-bear ravenous. And thirsty like I’ve been in Phoenix for a week. I am afraid that if, post-yoga, someone set a baby on top of a clear glass cube and put a cold bottle of coconut water under that cube, I might knock over the baby to get to the coconut water. (Yes, it is weird that I thought about that, but I did.) I have been known to stand in front of the refrigerator and drink half a carton of lemonade, close to a quart of soy milk, etc. But my tap water is drinkable, and there’s plenty of it, so let’s get back to food.
The tricky part of being that hungry is that I have just spent a significant amount of time and effort doing something healthful, something that makes me feel good, and I don’t want to wreck it with heavy, nasty food. The easiest post-yoga meal is a fresh, green, crispy salad, but I don’t always have the patience or manual dexterity to chop all those vegetables. (We relax our fingers in this class, too.) Sometimes I will just eat a fresh tomato, chopped up with some basil or garlic and olive oil, on some greens or even pasta. But pasta can be too much. I have eaten just tomato, sans pasta, and that is not enough. See the Goldilocks theme? Tricky business. Not to mention that tomato season is almost over… but I don’t want to think about that quite yet.
Tonight, pasta is too much and I don’t have salad fixings I care to deal with, but I have a whole mess of cut watermelon, and a winning idea: Watermelon Gazpacho. YES. This is a perfect post-yoga meal. Cool, light and satisfying, it’s also super-quick to put together and reminiscent of summer. Just right. Because it is a simple recipe, it demands fresh, ripe ingredients– if you try to throw in a mealy old tomato, it will know. Luckily, the farmer’s markets and even grocery stores are still chock full of great produce, and here’s what you can do with some of it. Namaste.
- 1 large tomato
- 1/2 chile (I like serrano or jalapeno, seeds in or out to determine your heat level)
- 2 c. fresh watermelon, cubed
- 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
- 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 T. red onion or shallot, finely minced
- 1/2 cucumber, seeded and minced (about 1/2 c. total)
- 2 T. minced fresh dill
- 1/4 c. crumbled feta cheese (optional)
- kosher salt & fresh-ground pepper
In a blender, puree the tomato, chile and half the watermelon until smooth. Pour in the vinegar and olive oil and pulse to combine. Pour into a bowl; add cucumber, onion/shallot, dill and remaining watermelon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon into serving bowls and sprinkle with feta, if using, and additional dill to garnish. Makes four servings.