Are you in summer mode?

Summer has never felt sweeter than after 3 months of being cooped up during a pandemic. I drove to the beach with my family this weekend and I literally burst into tears as we hit the highway. I saw the beautiful rainbow flag flying proudly in the wind, I had reggae blaring, and I saw the open spans ahead and I became overwhelmed with gratitude and hope. It felt like pre-COVID times and it was glorious.

If this experience has taught me anything, it is to not take stuff for granted. Most of us would never have imagined a reality where isolation, quarantining and masks were the norm. But it’s 2020 and our personal microcosms and our global macrocosm are transforming whether we like it or not. This has been a rebirth of embracing the BE HERE NOW mentality for me. If you have the privilege to swim through the mire of the fear of infection, the loss of loved ones from the virus, the stress of finances, instability of food systems, mistrust of government and police, systemic racism and sexism, homo and trans-phobias, and the myriad of afflictions affecting humankind, and even if you don’t, this is a great time to find your faith and embrace it hard.

I do not practice a religion, however my spirituality runs deep. I cannot quite put my finger on any organized religion whose tenets I can 100 percent believe. Nor do I really like the idea of religion being “organized” at all because it creates division between groups of people which I am not a fan of. I do however believe in a God energy, nature, the universe and profound states of consciousness and connection.  I believe any and all religious belief systems are valid and valuable and just the very act of having faith can be a collective consciousness that will elevate us as a species. Most people need something, or someone, to help make sense of the insanity and instability that is our reality even in regular “stable” times. Just as children need direction, adults also need direction and often religion is the easiest guide to grasp for our own moral compass. If we spent all day contemplating our world’s spinning, the milky way, the ocean’s depth, that our planet has a core of molten hot magma, or imagining all the ways to die, we would likely all be mad, depressed or filled with crippling anxiety. This is where faith can really anchor a person. There’s a lot of religions practiced in this globe and so many of us have our own personalized belief systems which adopt pieces from some of the big guys plus our own intuitional faith. Really everyone’s belief in God is so deeply personal and that is the beauty of spirituality. It doesn’t matter, it is all the same. Having faith in something will get us all through this tumultuous time. And having faith will elevate our collective vibe which I think is the most powerful to manifest positive outcomes. This is why prayer can be so powerful! Even though we cannot hug our loved ones at this time, we can give our excess hugs to our God and maybe our God will see that we are still spiritual people in this modern world. 

So, if you can, try to get out of your bubble and get into nature this summer. Unplug the devices and plug into the deeply transformative power of nature. The ocean, the forest and the mountains are not crowded with people, but they are dense with opportunity to relax, contemplate life and God, and are wonderful reminders that our world is incredible and full of hope.



Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 mins 

Assemble: 5 mins
Yield: 3-5 bowls


1 cup quinoa

1 cup of baby spinach

3 cups of root vegetables of your choice

2 cans of black beans

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp onion powder

4 cups of shredded kale and cabbage

½ red onion

6 cherry tomatoes

1 lime

½ avocado

olive oil and salt as preferred


  1. Cook 1 cup quinoa according to package adding a pinch of salt, a drizzle of evoo and a cup of baby spinach at the end so it just wilts.
  2. Cut up root vegetables, I used Chioggia beets, fingerling potatoes, yams, Brussels sprouts and roasted on a sheet pan with olive oil and garlic salt for 20 mins at 425 degrees turning halfway.
  3. Open 2 cans of black beans, do not drain, and heat with 1tsp garlic salt and 1tsp onion powder. I threw them in a cast iron skillet and into the oven to make it super easy.
  4. Make slaw using 4 cups shredded kale and cabbage, 1/2 a red onion and 6 halved cherry tomatoes with 1 squeezed lime, 1 tsp olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Assemble in a bowl with sliced avocado, salsa of your choice and eat as is or with warm corn tortillas as I did.

Enjoy! If you make this recipe please share with Sara and VeganZine on Instagram with #VeganZineBoston.

Sara Tercero is the Better Food Guru!
You can find more of her recipes and content here.