Have you ever found yourself sort of murmuring under your breath that there’s never enough time in a day to do all that you would like to do? Does it ever feel like life just seems to be all about swimming from one buoy to the next while trying to keep your head above water, catching a breath, and then getting right back to swimming to the next buoy? I’ll raise my hand and admit that I’ve fallen victim to that way of thinking on occasion. It makes me a little grumpy, truth be told, when I begin to feel as if I don’t have quite enough of the breathing space I’d like to have in order to really take life in and fully appreciate the various shades of each and every day; I begin to feel slightly anxious when I find the moments of the day ticking away one after another, creating a blur of time that was filled with much activity but not enough conscious and necessary reflection of what is truly happening around me and how I feel about it. But then, a moment later, I find myself wondering if that really is accurate after all, or if it’s something that I’ve convinced myself as being true in my moment of frustration. You see, the mind can play little tricks; reasoning whispers into the ear that life is predominantly a whirlwind of stress and busyness that we must fight our way through on a daily basis with limbs flailing. And when that reasoning is bought into, then things can surely begin to lack luster, and the popping flavor that we sense that life contains begins to seem elusive and buried under our rubble. I have a feeling that the reality is, there is indeed enough time in a day to do all that we need and want to do and that life isn’t just about making it from one buoy to the next, barely breathing; that there are, in fact, many small moments of breathing room in the course of an ordinary day, opportunities for consciousness and reflection that perhaps are being overlooked and under-appreciated, and are there waiting to be embraced and more fully savored.
There’s no getting around the fact that we live in a society that runs in a certain way. We spend many hours at our jobs, and often times, many hours just commuting to get to those jobs. Various things around us vie for our attention and time, and before we know it, our spirits get buried underneath them and we end up feeling frustrated and burned out. At this point in my life, I feel incredibly compelled to find ways to use the precious time that is available to me, even the small amounts that I find hiding in the corners, or under the couch cushions of my day, for my benefit. And one of those pockets of time that can get pretty overlooked for most of us is that mid-day meal, or lunch time. It’s a break in the middle of a day, an opportunity provided to refuel the physical body; but it can do more that that, if treated deliberately and with a degree of importance, care and sense of necessity. The meal that is enjoyed during the half hour or hour break in our day can bring a lot of comfort and pleasure to that rest period if it’s consciously combined with peace, quiet and some reflection and meditation upon those things in life that we enjoy and hold dear; then it truly is a moment that belongs not to our job, not to our requirements, but us, personally. Preparing a lunch at home with flavorful and warming ingredients, such as a sweet, lightly spicy curried chicken salad sandwich with protein-packed roasted cashews and golden raisins that will nourish and invigorate the body and soul, is such a wonderful way of bringing a degree of deliberateness to a mid-day break; it is a way to unplug and to savor those few moments that are available to be used for refreshment, those moments that belong to us to be used as wisely as possible.
Taking the time to truly taste the moments that we do have available to us each day is what living a balanced life is all about. It’s necessary for each of us to carve out and keep special and separate those moments of time in our day that belong to us on a personal level, because those moments do add up and can affect much of our quality of life. The time we spend involved in the various areas that need our attention during the course of a given day, often leaves us feeling that we are lacking breathing room; but if we can provide true quality — true flavor — to those small quantities of available moments, then we just might find that what we do have on a daily basis will be enough and can also refresh. And with a little Sweet and Spicy Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich on toasted tandoori naan to take along and make things extra special and flavorful, you’ll realize that today is as good a day as any to really start savoring those precious little moments you do have.
Taste what’s good and pass it on.
Sweet & Lightly Spicy Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich with Roasted Cashews and Golden Raisins, on Toasted Tandoori Naan
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(Makes 1 lunch portion)
3 chicken tenderloins, cooked and finely diced
1/2 celery stalk, finely diced
1 ½ tablespoons mayonnaise (for salad), plus ½ tablespoon (to spread on the naan)
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon, scant, curry powder
¼ teaspoon, scant, turmeric powder
• Pinch salt/freshly cracked black pepper
• Pinch cayenne pepper (optional, for a little extra heat)
1 tablespoon roasted, chopped cashews
1 tablespoon golden raisins
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh cilantro leaves
1 piece tandoori naan, toasted
½ cup arugula or romaine greens, loosely packed
-To make the salad, add all ingredients through the chopped cilantro leaves into a bowl, and mix together until well combined.
-To assemble, cut the piece of toasted naan in half; spread the remaining ½ tablespoon of mayo over the two halves, and layer the greens over one of the halves; add the curried chicken salad on top of the greens and cover with the other half of the naan; to store, wrap the sandwich in foil or in plastic wrap, and keep cold in the fridge until ready to enjoy.