Around this time of year, Cat Stenberg (200-ERYT, 500-ERYT, YACEP) of Dandelion Yoga, hosts an off-grid yoga retreat on Grand Island in the Upper Peninsula. Located just outside Munising, Grand Island is a National Recreation Area that boasts beaches, dunes, bike trails, hiking, camping and cabins. With no cars allowed on the island, yogis pack their backpacks, grab their bikes, and hop the ferry to make their way to the island. The annual three day yoga retreat consists of mindfulness, meaningful conversations, meditation, yoga and meals prepared by different Michigan based chefs. I had the pleasure of preparing food for last year’s retreat. In honor of this summer tradition–and since we are not able to safely gather this year–let’s recreate this experience and treat ourselves to some healthy food full of locally grown ingredients and a mindful yoga practice. Here are three recipes and a short yoga practice to help you create your own little retreat.
The nice thing about these recipes is they can be prepared ahead of time and assembled with minimal effort. They’re great for off-grid yoga retreats, camping, or even weekday meals. Do your best to support your local growers and use local ingredients where you can, or pull from your own garden!
BREAKFAST | Overnight Oats with Local Fruit and Berries
- • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- • ½ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
- • 2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
- • 1¼ cups non-dairy milk (I LOVE oat milk)
- • Pinch of kosher salt
- • 1–2 tbsp local maple syrup
- • Fresh fruit and berries for topping
Combine all ingredients, cover and chill overnight. Serve with your choice of toppings. Assembled oats can be kept refrigerated for 4 days.
LUNCH | Vegan Pomegranate-Parsley Tabbouleh
Feel free to grab whatever fresh herbs you have in your garden or on hand. For me, sometimes that means green onions, chives, basil and parsley. Go ahead and make it your own!
- • 1 cup grain (quinoa is a nice light option, farro is a nice hearty option)
- • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- • 1 small serrano chile, finely grated (remove the seeds if you want to keep the spice level down)
- • 1 1″ piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
- • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- • 1 tsp pure maple syrup
- • 2 tbsp lemon juice (add the zest in there too if you’re feeling it)
- • 2 pomegranates, seeded (dates work too if you can’t find pomegranates)
- • 1 big bunch parsley, leaves and tender stems very coarsely chopped (about 1½ cups)
- • 1 small fennel bulb, fronds torn, bulb and stalks thinly sliced
- • Handful of mint leaves, torn if large
- • Flaky sea salt
Make the dressing first by whisking together shallot, chile, ginger, oil, lime juice, maple syrup, and lemon. Taste dressing and season with kosher salt.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Top with dressing and mix before serving. Finish with more salt if needed. Assembled salad can be kept refrigerated for 3 days.
DINNER | [Mostly] Vegan Foil Packet Bibimbap on the Grill
Go ahead and use ground pork instead of tempeh if you’re a meat lover.
- • 4 tsp canola oil
- • 1 tbsp sesame oil, plus ½ teaspoon
- • 1/2 pound tempeh, lightly cooked and browned
- • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- • 1 scallion, minced
- • 1 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
- • 1 tsp soy sauce
- • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- • Kosher salt
- • Pepper
- • 6 cups prepared sushi or white rice
- • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
- • 4 large eggs (omit if vegan)
- • 1 cup julienned carrots
- Suggested toppings: sliced cucumber (give ’em a quick pickle if you’re feeling fancy!), gochujang and toasted sesame seeds
Light or heat your grill (or campfire).
Lightly brown tempeh over medium-high heat in a pan with 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Set aside.
Arrange four 18” sheets of heavy-duty foil on work surface and baste with canola oil.
Mix the browned tempeh, ginger, scallion, vinegar, soy sauce, ½ teaspoon sesame oil and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper.
Mound a quarter of the rice in the center of the foil sheets and, using damp hands, press into 3/4-inch-thick rounds. Top each mound with one-fourth of the spinach, then crack an egg on top of each mound if you desire. Crumble one-fourth of the tempeh around each mound, then pile the carrots alongside; season with salt and pepper. Bring 2 sides of the foil up over the filling to form a seam across the top, leaving space for the egg. Fold the remaining 2 sides to seal.
Slide the foil packets onto the grill and cook over medium heat until the rice is crisp on the bottom and the egg whites are firm but the yolks are runny, 8 to 12 minutes; open once to check the eggs. Open the packets and, using a thin spatula, slide the bibimbaps onto 4 plates. Serve with cucumber, gochujang and sesame seeds.
Now that you have a nice meal ready to go, roll out that yoga mat and enjoy this 8 minute Yin Yoga Asana with Cat.
Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with asanas (postures) that are held for longer periods of time than in other styles. In other words, it’s incredibly relaxing and gentle.
For more yoga videos, or to sign up for the 2021 Dandelion Yoga Off Grid Superior Yoga Retreat, visit www.dandelion.yoga and sign up for Cat’s mailing list! Maybe I’ll see you there, and treat you to some yummy local goodness.
All photos by Dandelion Yoga
Sara Johnson is the Central UP Local Food Marketing Sales Rep. She lives in Marquette. Contact her at [email protected]