Background Story on the Red Beans and Couscous Mix:
Last night, my small group, “The Bible Babes”, were back in full swing. It felt could to see everyone after such a long, summer break. We are diving into Kelly Minter’s book, “All Things New”. The session video that we watched last night set the tone for the study by having us to dive into two concepts: 1) using our weakness to enable God’s strength to be present and seen by others, and 2) keeping our hearts wide open to others, even when we have been faced with some relationship challenges. Of course, wide open hearts do not take the place of exerting boundaries. However, it helps us to be vulnerable, release shame, and allow God’s grace to move in our hearts. It definitely takes the Holy Spirit to be at work in hearts to thrive, even in the midst of our pain.
As you all know by now, I am doing something with beans and legumes almost every week. About a week ago, I made a recipe that is almost gone unfortunately. It is what I called my Red Beans & Couscous mix. I didn’t use canned beans. If I would have used canned beans, the red beans and couscous mix would have been done in about 35 minutes. It ended up taking two hours just for the red beans to be ready. I literally dumped all kinds of ingredients into this mixture. Last week, I made “Black Beans and Mixed Greens”. You can find the recipe here.
Here is the recipe:
Activity: Making Red Beans & Couscous Mix
Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 35 minutes with canned beans, 2.5 hours with regular beans
1 box of couscous
1 can of mushrooms
1 can of mixed vegetables
3 cans of beans or 1 bag of beans
vegetable broth or chicken broth (non-vegan)
3 tablespoons of turmeric
3 tablespoons of cumin
3 tablespoons of garlic powder
3 tablespoons of onion powder
3 tablespoons of chili powder
1 cup of nutritional yeast
Optional: vegan mozzarella cheese or regular cheese on top
Boil the beans in water according to whether they are bagged or canned.
Saute the mushrooms and mixed vegetables while the beans are boiling.
Boil the couscous and fluff with a fork when done.
Dump all of the above ingredients into a big pot, pouring in about two and a half coups of broth.
I am sure that you’ve caught on to the fact that there are a lot of beans, legumes, and rice going on here in this house. One thing about those three items is that they are quick, inexpensive, and tasty when just the right spices are added. It is so easy to add any vegetable to beans and rice and call it a day.
After making sure that you have some type of added fat, such as olive oil, avocado, or butter, you have everything that you need for a healthy dinner on a tight budget. Last week, I featured a recipe using garbanzo beans here.
On yesterday, I went to my mom’s group. We are currently studying the book Pierced and Embraced by Kelli Worrall. After the holidays, we’ll be diving into the study on the book of James by Beth Moore. The chapter of discussion yesterday was: Sought Out and Satisfied: The Woman at the Well.
This chapter led to a pretty good discussion, as we dived right into talking about all the labels that we give ourselves as individuals, along with the lies that Satan feeds us in regards to these labels. Jesus made a special trip to meet this woman whose mind was set to fulfill a fleshly need: thirst. Little did she know that she would receive the everlasting water of life: Jesus himself.
I hope that you guys have a blessed night!
Here is the recipe:
Activity: Making Black Beans & Mixed Greens with Rice
Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 35 minutes
1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
1 1/2 cups of rice
1 can of mixed greens
2 cans of black beans
1/4 olive oil
Boil the rice.
While the rice is boiling, saute the mixed greens in olive oil, and heat up the beans.
Dump everything into one skillet once the rice is ready, and mix and stir.
A couple of nights ago, I decided to make a late night concoction of garbanzo beans with peppers and rice. It didn’t take too long, and it was surprisingly good. That was the bonus. Thursday was a pretty busy day, and so at a certain point, I realized that I had to give myself grace, and get some of the things done that I didn’t get done that day on Friday. Worst case scenario: have a small layover on the weekend. I knew God’s grace would be enough to handle what I needed for the day. I just had to remind myself of that several times.
Watching a good movie on Pureflix after cooking this meal sounded like a great idea. However, I guess I was more tired than I thought. The next thing that I knew, I was waking up to the ending credits, and some good Christian music going. I will replay the movie tonight, as well as the movie that I fell asleep on last night: “The Shunning”, by Beverly Lewis. Guess what? I probably have a list of about 30 or more movies and television shows that I have on my “To Watch” List on my phone. This is just from Pure Flix alone.
Here is the recipe:
Activity: Making Garbanzo Beans with Peppers & Rice
Total Prepping and Cooling Time: 35 minutes
1 1/2 cups of rice
Mixed Greens with garlic, Onion, and Sea Salt
2 cans of Garbanzo Beans
1/2 cup of Nutritional Yeast
2 tablespoons of turmeric
2 teaspoons of cumin
two yellow peppers
Cook the rice in two cups of water.
While the rice is cooking,
cut up and saute the yellow peppers.
saute the mixed greens.
boil the beans.
When the rice is done, dump it into the mixed greens, along with the yellow peppers and all of the rest of the ingredients, adding about a cup of water to the mix.
It’s amazing how much flavor the nutritional yeast gives this recipe.
This past weekend was one of a lot of relaxation, mixed in with an onset of allergies that came crashing my way. When my allergies get this bad, the best thing for me to do is to try to relax as much as possible, although this was my plan for the weekend anyway. While relaxing, I got caught up on the episodes of Baked in Vermont and Focus on the Family that were sitting in the DVR box. I am not a super sweets person. However, by the time that you finish watching this show, you’ll be wanting to bake with whatever ingredients that you can get your hands on.
On Sunday, I stopped at the grocery store after church to get the ingredients for this super quick vegan meal. I love the challenge of making healthy meals involving all different kinds of beans and legumes. One thing about this meal is that it only requires a few ingredients. I made the same recipe a couple of weeks ago. However, I used black-eyed peas instead of black beans. Both meals were good and filling. The black bean version kept me full longer. If you decide to give it a try, send a comment down below, or an email with your thoughts on how it turned out.
Here is the recipe:
Activity: Making Vegan Black Beans with Quinoa & Zucchini Mix
Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 30 minutes
3 teaspoons of onion powder
3 cans of organic black beans
1 box of Earthly Grains Quinoa/Brown Rice Blend with Rosemary and Olive Oil (from Aldi’s)
1/4 cup of olive oil or butter
Place the three cans of black beans and the brown rice with rosemary packet into a pan of two cups of water. (I only used a fourth of the packet to cut down on sodium).
Add the onion powder.
Cut the zucchini into strips with a potato peeler.
Saute the zucchini strips.
Dump the zucchini into the pan after about 18 minutes, letting the mixture cook for another 12 minutes.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35, NIV
As you all know, I like mixing all different ingredients together to see what kind of concoction that I can come up with. The other night, I decided to make gemelli pasta with sauteed zucchini. It was quick and tasty. When the kids and I lived in our last place, I got the idea of using the potato peeler to peel my zucchini in strips, and then saute them. On one particular night, I made zucchini strips, tried out a couple of strips, and then went upstairs to do something. By the time I got back, all of the strips were gone. My daughter said, “Oh, those were good”. She had just told me that she didn’t want any.
One thing about pasta is that it is inexpensive, and you have the option to do a lot of different things with it:
eat it hot or cold
use salad dressing, butter, pesto, or pasta sauce as a topping
dump meat or vegan alternative to add protein
add vegetables to make it more colorful and exciting
season with pepper and olive oil to add more flavor
Here is the recipe:
Activity: Making Gemelli Pasta with Zucchini
Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 45 minutes
two teaspoons of onion powder
two teaspoons of italian seasoning
two teaspoons of garlic powder
two teaspoons of cumin
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 box gemelli pasta
1 jar of pasta sauce
Add pasta to boiling water.
Add olive oil to water so that the pasta won’t stick.
While the pasta is boiling, cut the zucchini into strips using a potato peeler.
Saute the zucchini, and rinse the pasta off using a colander.
Dump the zucchini, and all the rest of the ingredients into the pot and serve.
Makes 10 to 12 servings.
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. John 15:4
Last week, I went on an adventure of trying to figure out what meals to make with the ingredients that were left. You know that it’s time to go grocery shopping soon when you start getting really creative. Either that, you’re feeling adventurous, or you’re bored. One of the three. What I ended up doing was making my own version of chili. It turned out pretty good. Last night, I decided to make it again since I had leftover ingredients. My son actually gave me a thumbs up. If he doesn’t like how something tastes, trust me, he isn’t scared to speak his mind in that area.
Racing to Get Out
It’s funny because I heated up a bowl of chili. Then, I decided that I would take a walk for some fresh air, and also drop three books off at the Train Station library while I was at it. Right before leaving out, I went upstairs to grab something. That’s when my son asked, “What are you eating down there?” And to which I replied, “A chili concoction that I made. Do you want some? Of course, the answer was yes. I had to quick heat him up some because it was starting to get dark outside, and then rush to take a quick fifteen minute walk and head on. If you are feeling adventurous, how about giving it a try. Drop a line below to let me know how yours turned out. Here is the simple recipe:
Because of the fact that my daughter is vegan, I am constantly trying to come up with vegan recipes that are fun, tasty, and simple. For quite some time now, I was thinking of trying to make vegan hamburger patties using the ground crumble, but I was unsure of what the results would be, considering that the ground crumble could simply fall apart if it isn’t bound well.
Finally, last week I gave it a try. To be more specific, I gave the vegan bites a try. The hamburger patties will be for another day and another post. I made one big bowl of this mixture. At first, I only cooked about 20% of the bowl, and refrigerated the rest. Later that day, I cooked the rest of the bowl. I noticed the difference immediately. Refrigerating the mixture causes it to stiffen and thicken up to a better consistency. Thus, my recommendations for you would be to make the mixture, and refrigerate the mixture for one hour, and then start scooping the bites. The one thing that I like about this recipe is the fact that the Mexican crumble has enough of a spicy kick, that you don’t need a lot of seasoning. Please enjoy and have a wonderful Labor Day!
Well, as you have probably figured out by now, there can’t be any cooking going on in this house without a little bit of drama attached to it. A couple of weeks ago, my daughter called me while I was over my friend’s house, and she stated that the oven had been on preheat for 40 minutes, but still didn’t come on. Hmmm. Okay, breathe. She proceeded to tell me that she didn’t realize we had just ran out of oil, so the meal that she tried cooking stuck to the bottom of the skillet, and she had to end up throwing it out. Okay, breathe. I definitely had to take a few minutes to process this one. This became number 4 on our list of repairs that needed to be done, and will have to wait.
Fast forward, my son and I were in the grocery store early last week, and I decided that I would make two breakfast bread casseroles. They would last for a week, and the kids could heat them up in the microwave and head out to school. After getting all of the ingredients except the tin foil pans from Dollar Tree, I thought, “Wait a minute. The oven doesn’t work.” This is when Plan B went into effect. My grandmother used to always say, ” There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” Although I don’t think anyone would do that. Back to the story. I kept thinking to myself would it be possible to make a bread casserole in a slow cooker. I checked Pinterest, but their slow cookers were rectangular shaped, and their casseroles were not like mine. Well, you know me by now. I decided that the worst thing that could happen is that the casserole didn’t come out right. Praise God! It was delicious! I hope you feel brave enough to try my concoction. My kids loved it. I made a vegan one, and then the next night, I made a non-vegan one. Please feel free to email me with your favorite slow cooker recipes with permission, and I will post it for others to see. Have a blessed night, and happy cooking!
Activity: Making a Vegan & Ground Turkey Slow Cooker Casserole
Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 2.5 hours
1 pack of hash browns
1 pack of ground turkey
1 pack of Lightlife Meatless Mexican Crumbles (vegan casserole)
1 can of fire-roasted salsa style diced tomatoes
1 can of cut-leaf spinach
3 tablespooons of oil
3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
2 cups of low sodium vegetable broth (vegan casserole)
2 cups of unsalted chicken broth
3 teaspoons of onion powder
3 teaspoons of garlic powder
3 teaspoons of cumin
3 teaspoons of turmeric
3 teaspoons of marjoram
3 slices of vegan bread
3 slices of non-vegan bread
1 cup of water
3 cups of milk
Make a layer of eight to ten hash browns for layer 1.
Add the layer of uncooked meat, making sure to even distribute across.
Add half of the can of spinach.
Add half of the can of tomatoes.
Break up three slices of bread into cubes.
Add the water, broth, nutritional yeast, oil, and all the rest of the seasonings.
Add 1 1/2 cups of milk. (I used oat milk.)
Cook on high for 2 1/2 hours.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. Psalms 122:1, KJV
This is a super quick and easy recipe to make for lunch or dinner. Depending on how many pounds of black lentils that you buy, you can have this to last for 5 to 7 days, even with a large family. As I mentioned in one of my more recent posts, you are going to see a lot of recipes where I use cut-leaf spinach and fire-roasted salsa style diced tomatoes. This is also one of them. They are inexpensive, and I love the combination. The tomatoes give just the right kick without being overwhelming.
It would be too much like right if I could just give the recipe without a background story or some drama behind an ingredient. My friend and I went into Whole Foods about a month ago. When we got in the store, we both went our separate ways. I was happily pouring items into bags and weighing them over in the bulk session. My friend and her daughter were in bliss over in the bakery section. I was just finishing up on grabbing the black lentils, when I decided that I would purchase some split green peas. I pulled the lever down, and the lever got stuck. Literally six to seven pounds of split green peas went all over the floor, and inside the squares into between the bulk items. A worker came over to sweep up the mess. I tried to explain what happened, but I don’t think it was any comfort. She gave me grace by not saying anything and grabbing the broom and dustpan to take care of the clean-up job. At this point, I was thinking, maybe I should grab the almond flour and head to the front.
By the time that I got to the register, my friend and her daughter were there. I tell her about what happened, and how I had an embarrassing moment in the bulk section. She proceeded to tell me about her embarrassing moment in the bakery section. What’s an adventure to the grocery store without a little bit of drama? Here’s the recipe:
Making Black Lentil Soup with Rice
Total Prepping and Cooking Time:
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
Imagine low sodium vegan broth
2 pds. of black lentils
1 can of cut leaf spinach
2 cans of fire-roasted salsa style diced tomatoes
Boil two cups of white rice.
While the white rice is bowling, boil 8 cups of water, and add two pounds of black lentils after the water starts boiling.
The lentils need to cook for about 35 minutes.
Saute the spinach and tomatoes with oil or vegan butter.
After the lentils are ready, add the broth and all the rest of the ingredients, except the rice.
Cook for another 15 minutes.
I kept the rice on the side and poured the black lentil soup on top.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
The Venture-Making Oatmeal Pumpkin Seed Coconut Cookies
I had been itching for the last couple of weeks to make oatmeal pumpkin seed coconut cookies. There are several reasons that it hadn’t happened yet:
Didn’t have the time
Had the time, but didn’t have the energy
Had the time and the energy, but I had a sink full of dishes already
Well, a few days ago, I finally got to baking the cookies. They were surprisingly delicious. On the cooking shows, they say that things are so good that they make you want to slap someone. For my purpose here, I will say that they make you want to jump up and down and dance. My kids laugh at me because most of the things that I cook or bake usually starts with my mind going, ” Oh, I wonder what would happen if I mix this and that together.” That’s what happened with these cookies. Most of the times I have good results. Other times, it’s one of those things where you know there’s always next time. I call them my concoctions. I bought the almond flour about a month ago, so I didn’t have to worry about having to run out and get it. This was my first time ever using it for baking, and I loved it. Well, so much for rambling on…
I set the oven for 350 degrees, at a 22-minute timer. At 17 minutes into the baking, the entire house smelled like almonds. My daughter said, “Mom, I think that you need to check the cookies. They smell ready.” I felt them and they were still soft. However, she reminded me that they will finish cooking even after I take them out. She was right. She is the one who is the baker, but I am learning. I hope that you enjoy these cookies. I think that next time I will add quinoa. Here is the recipe:
Activity: Making Oatmeal Pumpkin Coconut Cookies
Prepping and Baking Time: 33 minutes
(1/4) cup unsweetened coconut flakes
(1 1/2) cup of almond milk
(1/4) cup of grapeseed & sunflower seed oil blend
(1/4) cup of sunflower seeds
(1/4) cup of pumpkin seeds
(1/4) cup of raisins
(1 1/4) cup of almond flour
(1 1/4) cup of oatmeal
(1) teaspoon of vanilla extract
(1/2) cup of brown sugar
(1/2) teaspoon of baking soda
(1) tablespoon of chia seeds
(3) tablespoons of flaxseed meal and 4.5 tablespoons of water mixed together
Use parchment paper or grease a full-sized cookie sheet with oil.
Whisk together the following in bowl number one: almond flour, oatmeal, baking soda, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds.
Mix together the following in bowl number two: grapeseed oil, coconut flakes, flaxseed meal mixture, almond milk, vanilla extract, and brown sugar.
Dump bowl number one into bowl number two and mix well.
Use a cookie scoop to form balls with the cookie mixture and place them on the cookie sheet.
Enjoy and have a blessed weekend!
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.