Talk about Mondayz.
After 5 days in stunning California, sipping on wine in Napa Valley and then taking in gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean in Big Sur, while one of my childhood friends married her soulmate, it’s been a rough one.
Alas, I’ve got all my computer issues solved and now, I can share this recipe with you all.
This spiralized version of a tabbouleh salad not only uses beet rice (learn how to make spiralized rice here), it’s also includes chickpeas and boiled eggs for more flavor, texture and filling protein.
This dish can be a side dish, a lunchtime salad or even a snack to beat those 3pm Monday blues. It’s colorful, refreshing and easy to make – no cooking required! Just lots of dicing, mincing and shopping.
Now back to daydreaming about my California week.
We flew to San Francisco last Wednesday (early morning) and drove to Napa Valley. We stayed at The Meritage Resort & Spa, which I’ve stayed at before (on a previous Napa trip with my girlfriends.)
The resort is perfect for quick trips – it has great amenities and facilities. Plus, the rooms are spacious, clean and the pool is situated underneath Trinitas Vineyard, so you get to look at gorgeous grape vines as you lay by the pool with your cocktail.
I loved their indoor-outdoor gym layout (I always fit in workouts on my vacations – long and short!) and their Blend Cafe, where I had an amazing breakfast bowl and Lu had a croissant bacon, egg and cheese sandwich that he said, “may be the best breakfast sandwich of my life.” This meal, of course, helped us stay fueled during our vineyard tours!
We started at Domaine Carneros, which was stunning (it is modeled after a French chateau) – and we sipped bubbly. Lots of it.
Then, we were off to Regusci Winery, which has a really solid Chardonnay (and I’m not a usual fan of Chardonnay.) I had been there a few years ago and I fell in love with the gorgeous views from their patio deck.
After that, we ended at Frog’s Leap . This was my favorite vineyard, not only because we loved the wine the best, but because the people were incredibly friendly, proud of their wines and their outdoor space was gorgeous, with vineyards to run around in (literally) and an unbelievable garden (chock full of veggies and greens, like lacinato kale.)
Our final stop was Farmstead, a restaurant that literally every single person recommended for our trip.
We now understand why. We ordered the wood oven grilled artichokes and the fried green tomatoes to start. Wow. What a gorgeous place with such flavorful, well prepared food.
That night, we stayed at the Yountville Hotel, where we literally passed out and didn’t wake up until the next day – which is kind of a bummer, because a) this hotel is luxurious and b) we didn’t get to experience Yountville area eats!
Hopefully, we’ll be back soon and stay longer. We did manage to wake up and run around Yountville, which was incredible. If I could run around that area all the time, I’d certainly become more of a runner.
Then we drove to Big Sur, California for the whole reason behind the trip – my childhood friend Amanda was marrying the love of her life, Spike.
Talk about gorgeous, stunning and breathtaking. Big Sur is probably the most beautiful part of the country. I haven’t seen anything more awe-inspiring. Between the Redwood trees and the Greece-like views of the Pacific Ocean, it’s just a natural beauty.
We stayed at Glen Oaks Big Sur, which was an adorable place, reminiscent of summer camp. Well, a super chic summer camp, haha. We roasted s’mores outside our room and smelt the crisp forest air every morning.
Nothing compared to their wedding, which literally left us speechless when we first arrived. The outdoor wedding oozed love, life and appreciation of nature and friendship.
The ceremony, the cocktail hour, the reception, everything was perfect – and very Amanda and Spike. To be respectful of the 10:00pm noise ordinance, the couple gave out headphones for a silent disco – so, we all danced to music that only those who wore the headphones could hear. As you can imagine, those who weren’t wearing headphones were probably even more entertained.
Some of my favorites:
Now, I’m back to business. Ready to Inspiralize this week away, eat healthy, resume normalcy and dream of future trips to California, of course.
Nutritional Information & Recipe
Weight Watchers SmartPoints*: 9 points
- 1 large beet (or 2 medium), peeled, Blade D
- ½ cups finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint
- ¾ cup diced tomatoes
- ¾ cup diced cucumbers
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup chickpeas (drained and rinsed from a can)
- 3 hard-boiled eggs, halved
- Place the beet noodles into a food processor (in batches, if necessary) and pulse until rice-like. Place in a large mixing bowl and add in the parsley, mint, tomatoes and cucumber. Set aside.
- Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the bowl with the beet rice and then add in the chickpeas. Toss to combine.
- Divide the beet mixture into two bowls and top each with a hard boiled egg.