A photoshoot and lunch alfresco

by - 12:10 PM

Farro Arugula Salad with Grilled Shrimp and Feta

I had the honor and pleasure of spending this past Tuesday with my lovely friend Amelia, a talented photographer and fellow Bali yogini, as we took some pictures for my new website and company FitGirl Wellness.

Amelia's story is one of the most emotional and inspirational that I have personally known; she is also one of the strongest people I know.

Self portrait of Amelia from her website
I didn't really get to meet Amelia until we arrived in Bali, and after spending the first full day in silence, the remainder of our trip was spent really getting to know one another on a spiritual level. I knew that she had been diagnosed with cancer, was in the process of completing her chemotherapy treatments, and the doctors had just BARELY granted her clearance to take the trip. Her hair was just beginning to grow back, and her scars made it hard for her to practice like rest of us.

But she was there in the shala, every morning, wearing some earthy, airy fabulous scarf or tunic, camera in tow, poised to capture our practice when she had to take rest from her own.
Read more about Amelia's story here
We didn't discuss the details of her cancer really until we took a break to eat lunch this week... I did not realize that after living in New York for three years, she took a quick weekend trip home to consult with a family doctor about some odd symptoms she was having and was diagnosed on the spot - not returning to her Brooklyn apartment until six months later to move her things back home.

But Amelia is so much more than this story. She is truly one of the most lovely, beautiful people I have ever met. Her light, loving and airy personality is reflected in every photograph she takes. (See more of her work here). I am so honored and lucky to have been able to spend the day shooting with my friend; this is just a taste of some of the gorgeousness she was able to capture right in my own backyard.

Ok sorry this was supposed to be a post about salad. We had a fabulous lunch together on my patio in between shooting there and the beach, but that seems kind of ridiculous to talk about now. However the salad was damn delicious so I will share the recipe as planned.

I also had a little cucumber mint water for us to sip on during the day. Super easy to make and super refreshing.

We jammed out to Michael Jackson, we got creative with yoga props to sit on, and we got super creative with a bag of Milorganite when the wind kept blowing away the our photo reflector.

And we got to spend the entire day outside. Which we agreed, was the best. Well, after agreeing that our new JOBS were the best, feeling so much gratitude for being able to do what we love.

Ok sorry the salad. It's delish.

Farro Arugula Salad with Grilled Shrimp and Feta

(measurements are guesstimated. I eyeball everything. Go with what looks good to you)
2 handfuls baby spinach
2 handfuls baby arugula
3/4 cup cooked farro
1/2 cup crumbled feta
Fresh lemon juice
Salt & Pepper to taste

Combo of Basil Infused Olive Oil and 18 Year Aged Balsamic from Oro di Oliva (any good olive oil and balsamic will do)

Pre-marinated and prepped cajun shrimp skewers from Whole Foods (buy them raw, cook right before eating or similar recipe here)

Farro Arugula Salad with Grilled Shrimp and Feta

I made 1 cup of (uncooked) farro on Monday night and it made enough to incorporate into my salads for the entire week. Farro is a nutty, superfood grain that's chock full of fiber, magnesium and is classified as a "smart carb". I like to think of it as the orzo of the grain world.

Combine spinach, arugula, salt and pepper in large mixing bowl. Add in dressing to taste, then mix in cooked farro and feta. Squeeze fresh lemon on top.

While you are prepping the salad, grill the shrimp or sear on the stove using coconut oil over medium-high heat, 1-2 minutes per side. The shrimp are tiny, so they will cook in under 4 minutes total.

Farro Arugula Salad with Grilled Shrimp and Feta

I try to keep this blog as authentic as possible, so buying the pre-prepped shrimp was a great time saver for getting this salad on the table in under 15 minutes. If you are making your own, make sure to soak the skewers first so they don't burn.

Farro Arugula Salad with Grilled Shrimp and Feta

Farro Arugula Salad with Grilled Shrimp and Feta

All in all, we were able to enjoy a fabulous lunch outside with some aged cheddar and fig spread, which we both agreed would have gone VERY well with a glass of wine...but alas, we had work to do.

Stay tuned for more photos from our day, including some fun beach shots which you will see in event and website promo in the coming months.

A HUGE thank you to the lovely Amelia Coffaro for sharing her talents and day with me.

(No thank you to our imaginary photo assistant, Shirley, who was completely worthless when we needed her for lighting adjusting/clothes pinning/holding things. She was literally replaced by a bag of poop.)

All images © 2014 Amelia Coffaro and FitGirl Wellness LLC.
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