May 25, 2013

Four Vegan Meals in 1 Hour

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. 
Psalm 139:23, 24

I love how personable this verse is, speaking directly to God. It's such a gift to be able to talk to our Creator at any moment, wherever we are, however we feel. Know my heart, Father. A request to see what we aren't seeing well: a hidden sin, a longtime hurt that hasn't been healed, anxiety about something we're tying to sweep under the bed and ignore.

Search me, Lord, know my heart, test me and KNOW my anxious thoughts. Sometimes I feel slightly "off" and I cannot figure out what is causing it. Usually I come to realize I had been filling myself with stress over either something small or big, and I had just forgotten about it for a moment. On come the anxious thoughts that leave me on the edge, and the need to pray- lift up all my cares, worries and anxieties up to the Lord, leaving them in His hands. What follows is that weight being lifted off my shoulders completely and the freedom to carry on in God's loving presence.

See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. It's a blessing to be given this scripture, because there are times when I KNOW I have something going on inside - whether it be bitterness against someone, a grudge, pride creeping in, not depending or trusting on God financially, doubting His presence or doubting His ability to make good come from a really bad situation. This prayer, petition to God, asks Him to make us KNOW what is going on deep inside of our hearts, to open our eyes so that we can SEE and do what we need to to change. Only then can we repent, ask for forgiveness, be transformed by His Spirit, and in return be "led in the way everlasting". Help me to stop doing what I am doing and instead please You in all I do. Help me to not fall into this trap again but to hold tight to You daily. Help me to follow the path You set before me instead of being entangled and enslaved by the ways of this world. Help me to be a humble, selfless servant like Christ instead of a prideful, selfish master.

God WILL open your eyes, He knows EVERY anxious unsettled thought you have, He is ABLE to transform your hearts and mind and He loves us so much that He offers the road to everlasting. Even being blinded, weary and lost in our wickedness, there is hope. Give it all up to Him, friends!


So recently I started nannying a three month old baby girl. When thinking about taking up this task, I realized and accepted the fact that meal planning was going to need to be a little less casual (text husband in the morning, ask what he would like, prep while babe plays or sleeps, have hot n' ready on the table when he arrived home for lunch) and a little more serious-business, if you know what I mean. This turned me into what I used to be and loved: a Sunday evening kitchen party thrower. I used to cook for about 1-2 hours each Sunday, and maybe an hour Wednesday, and make the meals for the week. That way, I wouldn't have to cook every night and we had plenty of meals waiting to be consumed in the fridge.

Sunday came, I prepped, and Monday night I cooked. Here's what happened. 

Dice your food.  

I cut up: broccoli, cabbage, bell pepper, serrrano chili and carrots. Can you tell we were running low on vegetables? I can tell. Ohhh could I tell. This was going to be a challenge. 

Cook grains and beans.

I ran out of quinoa, so we were left with rice, beans and tempeh. That's it. The tempeh I left raw in its package, and I cooked 5 cups of pinto beans in our pressure cooker, then steamed about 1.5 cups of brown rice. Day two then fell upon me.

Find recipes.

I went for simple: tempeh, rice, broccoli and tomato sauce with Italian seasoning. Really, don't make it hard on yourself. Toss a few cups of broccoli in a pan, add some tomato sauce and let it simmer. Add your rice, some tempeh cubes, cover and simmer some more. My tomato sauce is simply tomato puree with basil, italian seasoning, garlic and onion with red pepper flakes for a "bite". Do. Not. Make. This. Harder. Than. It. Should. Be. Just cook.

A stir fry. Broccoli and napa cabbage into a pan with Liquid Aminos, red pepper flakes and Bragg's Kelp Granules (smells fishy but adds great flavor and nutrients woot!) serve over brown rice.

A chili. Saute cabbage, broccoli and bell pepper bits in chili powder, carob or cocoa powder and onion. Add some tomato puree (if you have any, this is good without as well), shredded unsweetened coconut and serrano chili pepper for crazy good spice. Simmer, Cover, add water as needed.

Mexican rice: Saute carrots, serrano chili and bell pepper in tomato puree. Add chili powder - the spicier the better for this rice - and saute until soft veggies are present. Add rice, toss to coat and add a handful of fresh cilantro on top. Cover and cook until the rice sucks up most of the tomato spicy beauty. Mexican rice. Discard cilantro before serving, garnish with fresh cilantro if you desire.

Yes, it takes just an hour. Yes, you can do this. Dice up every vegetable in your home, cook up a serving of a few grains and beans, store everything in the fridge overnight in tupperware, and cook tomorrow. Have fun with it, learn from your mistakes (I have made 1,000,000 of them and learned something each time) and do it again next week. Good luck!

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