Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) + Quinoa, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Casserole = Sweet Surrender Casserole

    This weeks blog is inspired by something that has happened to me personally in the last week. Since my last post I have been going through the process of mourning the loss of a relationship with a beautiful man. Just like the seasons, the relationship came to a close, but so much gratitude and honor goes out to the man whom I shared the past 5 months of my life with; for his presence in my life taught me so much about myself and has helped me flourish and grow into the radiant woman I am today. As I have been going through the highs and lows this week, one of the

    things that has kept me grounded and present has been my yoga mat and getting back into the kitchen. It is interesting how certain yoga poses (or fill in the blank with anything for that matter) show up exactly when we need it. I intuitively knew a week ago that Shoulder Stand would be my pose for the blog this week. Shoulder Stand as defined in ascent’s online magazine, is called the mother of all poses. The pose symbolizes inner listening, and finding a balance between surrender and effort. As I have been upside down in shoulder stand this week, it has been a huge part of my healing, allowing me to truly see what I see, feel what I feel, and hear what I hear. I would like to tell you that it has “cured” 🙂 me of the fear gremlins and illusions of what could have been in my relationship, but that would be a dis-illusioned idea. In shoulder stand, through surrender and listening I am learning and making peace around the idea that perfection is not just the light in me but the darkness too. For it is my perfections and imperfections that make me whole.

    The recipe I created to compliment shoulder stand this week was inspired by the theme of wholeness and accepting myself just the way I am. The Sweet Surrender Casserole is a wholesome, warming, and a completely satisfying meal. On the outside it may look pretty simple, you might even, like I did, wonder if it is a balanced meal of proteins, fats, and carbs? The answer is, just like me and YOU, it is the perfectly imperfect 🙂 blend of goodness. It combines a balance of nutritious proteins, fats, and carbs that satisfies the whole and awesome person you are. I have to say I was taking a leap of faith and trusting that I knew what I was doing with the recipe but I can say the moment I took my first bite it was the perfect mixture of flavors to fill me up :).

    I hope this blog inspires to you remember you are whole and beautiful in all aspects of you, and that your inner voice always has your back. To also remember it is okay to show up as your authentic self, whether that be with a great big smile, or with a sense of sadness, for it is in the acceptance of all of it that we continue to grow, support, and share this amazing thing we call life.

    Namaste and Big Kisses,


    Ps. Use mindfulness and honest listening when practicing Shoulder Stand. Also check out the link to ascent magazine for detailed description on how to practice Shoulder Stand. Lots of Love Yogi’s.



    2 medium sweet potatoes
    1 can of organic black beans
    2/3 cup of Quinoa (optional is to cook the quinoa with fresh ginger and veggie broth to give it a richer flavor)
    2/3 cup of organic golden hunza raisins (I got them in the bulk at whole foods, you can substitute any raisin)
    1 cup of Kale (any variety)
    1/2 of portobello mushroom (optional)
    1 leek (chopped)
    2-4 cloves of garlic
    2 tbsp.s of olive oil
    2 tbsp of organic tomato paste
    2 tbsp of nutritional yeast
    2 tsp of organic garam masala
    1 tsp of cumin
    1 tsp of cardamom
    sea salt to taste

    (I know it sounds like a lot of ingredients but it is actually not so bad and most things you may already have in your cupboard)

    -The longest thing to cook will be the sweet potatoes, so get them in a pot to boil while you prep everything else. In a medium pot boil sweet potatoes for about 25 mins, or until tender.
    -While sweet potatoes are cooking, take another saucepan and add 1 1/3 cup of either water or veggie broth and bring to a boil. Once at a boil add the Quinoa and simmer for about 20 minutes until cooked.
    -Meanwhile saute the chopped leek and minced garlic with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Saute for about 4-5 mins at a med-high heat.
    -Once the leeks and garlic are cooked add to a blender or food processor with 1 can of black beans, 2 tbsps of tomato paste and salt to taste. Blend until it is a smooth consistency.
    -In the same pan you cooked the onions and garlic add kale and mushrooms with the juice of one fresh squeezed lemon, and 1 tsp. of garam masala. Cook until al dente and tender, approx. 3-4 mins.
    -Last step in the cooking I promise and then the fun part: Take the cooked sweet potatoes and put them in a food processor or blender (I just took the black bean puree out of the food processor I was using and re-used the food processor). Blend the potatoes with 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast, the other tsp of garam masala, 1 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp of cardamom, the other tbsp of olive oil and salt to taste.

    Here is the fun part the layering and preparation:

    Take a pyrex casserole dish (I used a 9×9 small square one) and begin the layering
    -Bottom Layer Quinoa
    -Next Layer is the black bean mixture
    -Then the Kale and Mushroom Mixture
    -Followed by the raisins
    -Lastly the beautiful potatoes on the top (I sprinkled a little cayenne pepper and hemp seeds for garnish)

    Cook Time:

    Place casserole in the oven at 350 for about 20-25 minutes or until potatoes have a golden brown layer on top.

    Lastly eat and enjoy. You can also get creative and serve a salad with it.

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    1. Mel, Your honesty and recipes never cease to amaze me. Thank you for reminding me that A) We don’t always have perfect relationships and B) What ever we go through, it makes us ever more radiant.

      Another thank you for this wonderful recipe.


    2. Hey beautiful lady,

      Love, love, love this week’s yoga pose and recipe….you are so creative and positively oozing with radiant Goddess energy. Your words are an inspiration to all of us whom have shared the experience of loss. Keep smiling baby girl 🙂