The (recovering) perfectionist salad

imageHe you guys! I have a confession to make. In a former life (read just until very recently) I used to be a perfectionist. And not the easy breezy type of perfectionist either. But rather the OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) type of Perfectionist with a capital P. This affliction, as I like to call it, has brought me much good in life, but an equal or even bigger amount of grieve. Almost nothing was ever good enough. And my perfectionism robbed me of enjoying many meals I prepared that were deemed wonderful by those eating them but left me feeling like a loser because “the sauce missed just a tiny tiny bit of salt.” Wow, those were challenging times. After much soul searching and my fair share of stress I finally got it that my perfectionism was really holding me back to be the most “perfect” version of myself that I could be. There were too many projects that never saw the day of light just because I found them not perfect enough to share with the world. In retrospect a damn shame! So I finally decided enough is enough and took steps to get rid of my perfectionism for once and for all.

One thing that really helped me is when I started looking at it as one would at alcoholism. Like an alcoholic is addicted to the buzz he gets from a drink I was addicted to the buzz I got from being (or thinking I was!!) perfect. Probably I was as much addicted to the lows and the drama when I fell short of that perfection as I was to the highs of when I got it “right” every once in a while. I started imagining myself going to the perfectionists version of an AA meeting. You got it, the PA (Perfectionists Anonomous) meeting. ,,Hello everybody. My name is Daniëlle and I’m a perfectionist.” ,, Welcome, Daniëlle.”

imageFunny though this may seem, getting rid of perfectionism takes at least a 12 step programme, serious dedication and work. Just a whole lot of good old  hard work. Everytime I made a dish that didn’t seem quite “perfect” enough before panicking I’d have to sit myself down and have a serious chat with myself. Was it really that bad? Was there anything I could do to improve it without calling myself ugly names in the process? And most importantly; was it really that important? Would creating the perfect dish really make people love me more??? Peleasseeee. Hell no! And so bit by bit, baby step by tiny baby step I got my perfectionism in check and for the most part have been living like a healthy recovering perfectionist ever since.

But….. Like any addict I am in constant danger of relasping. Especially in the business I am in with one “perfect” food photo after another being shamelessly thrusted upon me from blogs to facebook pages to instagram, pinterest, cooking magazines and what have you not. It is a real challenge not to constantly compare myself with others. Especially with those that seem more “perfect” than I am. 80% of the time I stand my ground. But being the perfect imperfect human that I am sometimes I falter.

imageWhich is what happened to me these past two months. Which is why you haven’t heard from me for so long. That, plus the fact that I was on the verge of burning myself out after 7 months of working my tiny (well in a perfect world that is!) butt off. Believe me, I really really wanted to post something but just didn’t find anything I made “perfect” enough for posting. First the ingredient to this or that recipe was out of stock. Than the winter light was too shaby to take good pictures. Another recipe missed that special X factor. My christmas inspiration died, and so on and so on.  I should have never stopped attending those darn PA meetings! Sigh…

And so I kept postponing and postponing writing a new post until today. When I finally grabbed myself by the collar, sat that tiny (this is my perfect world, yep!) ass behind the computer and just started typing. Hmm, so far so good I guess…. In the end I decided that the fact that I am brave enough to share whatever it is I share with you on these pages is perfection in itself. The fact that I get into the kitchen, cook up anything at all. Even if it is plain boiled rice (which by the way is really hard to get perfect. Oh no, here I go again!), photograph it, write about it and share it is as perfect as it’s gonna get. So my new years resolution is not a resolution at all. But rather a non-resolution. And I’ve put up a text on my phone as a screen saver to remind me of it as often as I need to be reminded. Which is daily. It says: Being perfect is so 2013!

imageAnd so in this spirit of celebrating imperfection I opened my Ipad. Searched for a picture of a dish that looked perfectly imperfect to me and am sharing the recipe with you below. I hope you enjoy it. Just to fill up the post (cause I couldn’t find anymore imperfect pictures of the salad:)) I added some new photo’s of the beetroot hummus I posted about in this post. It goes really will with this salad as a sunday brunch served along side some crusty sour dough bread and the sweet potato frittata also pictured. I had to add this picture because of the perfect imperfect combination of black socks in white flip flops I am wearing! Thanks so much for sticking around and see you next time. You guys are perfect!

The recovering perfectionist salad

For 2

By the way, what ís perfect about this salad is that all 6 tastes are represented. Sweet avocado, sour orange juice dressing, bitter endive, astringent cranberries, peppery watercress and salty himalaya rock salt. Making this the “perfect” tri dosha salad. Fit for all 3 types.

  • juice of 1 organic orange
  • zest of 1/4 organic orange
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apple vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • 50 ml good quality olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon walnut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large endive, take the big leaves apart and chop the rest up
  • 1 ripe avocado in cubes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped roasted walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • small bunch of watercress

First make the dressing by mixing the first 8 ingredients together. Compose your salad by arranging the other ingredients side by side as I did in the picture or by mixing everything together for a relaxter look. Drizzle over some dressing and save the rest for your diners to serve themselves at the table if wanted.

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