Right now, in our world, we are faced with a situation that we have never had to deal with before. We have a virus that is worldwide, and there are lockdowns with specific instructions that are given, and each set of instructions are different for each region. No matter what these instructions are, we have been asked to stay home. Unless we have essential jobs or errands to run, we are told to stay put for the safety of ourselves, our loved ones, and the extremely vulnerable.
During this season, we have all felt a little bit of some form of anxiety or fear. Change brings anxiety. Sicknesses/Diseases bring on fear and anxiety. And lastly, but definitely not least, the unknown brings on anxiety. One unknown is that we don’t know how long the worldwide lock downs will last. We don’t know how long the shortages in the grocery stores or hoarding/panic buying will last. We don’t know how long it will be till we feel a sense of normal again. To be honest, when we think about it, will things ever really be “normal”? Those of us who haven’t had to deal with trauma are now having to ride these waves. Those of us who already have PTSD are dealing with compounded trauma.
One of the best things that we can do for ourselves during this time is to come up with a schedule that we can stick to in order to keep our bodies/minds/souls rested, renewed, and refreshed.
This is a good time for creativity. There will be times that we’ll get stuck. The important thing is us coming up with a schedule and sticking to it for the sake of our own, emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health, as well as that of the other members of our household. There will be times that we’ll have to just stop and have that cry or meltdown. It releases the trauma hormones, stress, and anxiety from our bodies and will definitely help us to feel better. This is an area that I have to remind myself of over and over again. “Get the cry out. Have self-compassion and empathy for all you have gone through. Then move forward.” Sometimes we might have to rinse and repeat several times a day.
So, what are some of the things that I have been enjoying during this time? 1) Getting to spend some time with my almost 22-year-old son. 2) Listening to the birds in the morning and then again at 8 at night when they are rounding up for the day. 3) Baking banana bread, zucchini bread, and cookies. 4) The creativity juices to write poetry as I sit on my bed among my pillows in the morning. 5) Extra time to read. 6) Time to work on writing two books.
During the week, when I am working full-time, as part of my morning routine, I start off by drinking a cup of orange juice and eating two Brazil nuts. Then, I usually eat a Cliff Bar within an hour of that. Within an hour and a half after that, I refuel with a breakfast sandwich.
The weekends are different. I still start off with the orange juice and two Brazil nuts. My need for orange juice in the morning as a wake-me-up is equivalent to other people’s necessity for coffee. My meals vary on the weekends. Why? Weekends are my times to loosen up from a super structure when it comes to eating. I believe in eating healthy. I just try to have a little bit more fun during this time.
One Saturday morning I made an Egg White with Asparagus Breakfast Sandwich. Here’s the recipe:
Cut the bagel in half and place in the oven to toast.
Place five to eight asparagus stalks on a cookie sheet with olive oil and black pepper on a cookie sheet to roast in the oven.
Put oil in a skillet and add the egg whites.
Once everything is ready, place ingredients on the bagel, sprinkle the egg whites with parsley, and enjoy!
Optional: Add cheese, mushrooms, or diced tomatoes to the egg whites.
With everything going on, it becomes very important to keep a routine, practice wellness/self-care, and continue to let our creativity juices flow. I have been continuing to make my weekly concoctions. For the last month now, Culver’s has been a Friday treat for me. It eliminates me having to cook, and I can immediately begin to enjoy my weekend.
On yesterday, I was talking to my mom, and I decided to look out the window. There were chipmunks chirping, and a bluejay flying mid-air. Before I got a chance to tell my mother about the blue-jay, I noticed a nice-sized animal in the yard. It appeared to get along with the squirrel that was standing there. I couldn’t figure it out for the life of me. I ended up sending my mother and son a picture. Then, I sent one to my neighbor next. After tossing ideas back and forth, and googling their responses, I was able to come to the conclusion that what was in my front yard was a ground hog. Of all things! I told my neighbor, “There’s never a dull moment as far as what we will see on this property”. She agreed.
Well, here’s the recipe. I hope that you will enjoy it. Have a blessed rest of your Father’s Day!
Eggplant, Lentil, & Rice Casserole
2 eggplants cut into small chunks
1 cup of black lentils
2 cans of Hunts’s garlic and herb pasta sauce
5 tablespoons of cumin, onion powder, curry, turmeric, garlic powder, parsley, chili powder
2 cups of Mexican cheese
1 cup of rice
1 can of diced tomatoes
1/3 cup of quinoa
1/2 cup of avocado oil
Boil your lentils in about 5 to 6 cups of water for about 50 minutes.
While the lentils are boiling, boil your rice and quinoa for about 20 minutes.
Stir-fry the diced tomatoes and eggplant.
Dump all of the above into a wok and stir-fry for about twenty minutes, making sure to add the oil and seasonings.
Grab a casserole pan and dump all of the above ingredients into the pan along with the cheese.
Stir with a wooden spoon.
Pour the cans of pasta sauce on top, garnishing with parsley.
Last week I decided that I wanted to have a big breakfast at some point during the Memorial Day weekend since I had a three-day holiday from work. I made Belgian waffles, grits with cheese, eggs with cheese, oatmeal, and breakfast sausage. I was grateful to God that everything turned out good. I had been wanting to use the Belgian waffle snap-in plates for two months. Unfortunately, I allowed fear to get in the way of me jumping in and giving it a try. I used Amber Honey for the waffle topping, and it was soooo good.
Normally, when there’s a holiday involved, I usually start cooking early. However, this past Monday, Memorial Day, I didn’t start cooking my dish until around 4:15 p.m. or so. I wanted to have an easy Monday and not have to rush to do anything. My son and I were eating by 5:30 p.m., which was nice. The spaghetti casserole that I decided to make was a literal concoction that I came up with on the Friday before the holiday. I hope you are enjoying some beautiful weather this weekend. Bless you all!
Here’s the recipe:
2 bunches of swiss chard
1 (8 oz.) pack of sliced mushrooms
1 can of diced tomatoes (no salt)
2 red peppers
2 green peppers
1 box of whole wheat spaghetti
1 pack of Mexican shredded cheese
2 cans of Hunt’s pasta sauce (1 four cheese can & 1 garlic and herb can)
2 cups of avocado oil
5 tablespoons of each: garlic powder, curry, onion powder, chili powder, turmeric, cumin, parsley, ginger.
Boil about four cups of water in avocado oil, then add the spaghetti.
While the pasta is preparing, Saute the mushrooms, diced tomatoes, and peppers in the avocado oil. Add all the seasonings to the mixture.
Once the above is ready, drain the spaghetti and dump it into a big bowl.
Dump the vegetables on top and mix it as best you can. You don’t have to worry about it being perfect. It’s kind of like a “messy casserole mix”.
Grab a 9 x 13 Casserole dish and cover the bottom with cheese.
Dump the contents of the bowl into the casserole pan.
Pour the two cans of pasta sauce on top.
Place in the oven on 425 degrees for 30 minutes.
Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top before eating. Man, that was so good mixed with the Mexican cheese.
One of my favorite things to do as of lately is to whip up something quick and tasty. This past weekend, I ended up making some super, simple vegan tacos for Mother’s Day. I also made two different cakes, oatmeal raisin pecan cookies, two loaves of carrot bread, and two loaves of banana chocolate chip bread. Thankfully, it wasn’t all on the same day.
I baked the cookies on Friday night. The bread was baked on Saturday night. Lastly, I made the two cakes on Sunday morning. I didn’t anticipate spending four hours in the kitchen on a Sunday morning. However, with baking two cakes, I’m not quite sure how much time I thought they would take either. Trust me, I am laughing with you. The first cake was one where I got the recipe from Delicious Miss Brown’s Show. This cake was a Caramel Apple Cake. On her show, she used a bundt cake pan. However, when I went to Walmart to buy the pan, they were all out. I ended up purchasing two 9″ round cake pans and making a two-layer caramel apple cake.
The second cake is one that I literally adlibbed on, and used a recipe off of Pinterest to make the cream cheese, substituting the powdered or confectioner’s sugar for organic cane sugar and a little bit of brown sugar. I also used vegan butter instead of regular butter. I ended up filling this one with fresh strawberries. This one was for my son. He said that the taste reminded him of cheesecake. I have included pictures of both cakes below.
My mother was very excited for her Mother’s Day gifts. It made my heart happy to see her after two months, as well as to treat her with the sweets and food that I knew were right up her alley.
After finishing both cakes on Sunday morning, I made the Simple Vegan Tacos and then made a breakfast wrap for myself and my son. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it. Now, on to the Simple Vegan Taco Recipe. Maybe it’s something that you might even think about trying to make for yourself tonight. Enjoy! Blessings to you all!
Simple Vegan Tacos
Total Prepping and Cooking Time
2 packs of Lightlife Smart Ground Mexican Vegan Crumble
Unsalted Diced Tomatoes – 2 cans
1 pack of La Preferida taco seasoning
4 tablespoons of the following: onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, turmeric, curry
1/3 cup of olive oil
1 bag of Pepperjack Daiya cheese
1 18-pack of taco shells
Optional: add salad mixture into the tacos
Place the oil in a skillet or pan.
Add the vegan crumble and diced tomatoes to the skillet.
When the mixture is almost done, dump in the seasonings and cheese.
Heat up the tacos on a cookie sheet in the oven.
Add the mixture to inside of the hard-shelled tacos.
Optional: add a salad mixture to shells as well.
Treat yourself to a cold glass of lemonade. (That’s what my mom and I did! 🙂 )
Hello! I hope that each and every one of you are finding some type of rhythm (structure) in the midst of our new normal. There are several important things that we can do during this time, and I am reminding myself of these as well: 1) give ourselves grace, 2) give others grace, 3) practice wellness and self-care, and 4) allow ourselves to feel the emotions that are stirring, and 5) grieve.
About two weeks ago, I was desperate for something to cook for dinner after realizing that I had eaten all the food that was supposed to last for an entire week. I came up with something quick, fast, and in a hurry as they say before going to bed. The nice thing about this rotini meal is that it turned out to have just enough of each ingredient without being overwhelming, and at the same time, being able to taste each one individually. Hope you enjoy it!
Total Prepping and Cooking Time
1 can of diced tomatoes with green peppers and onions
1/3 cup of sunflower seeds
1 bag of cut leaf spinach
1 box of rigatoni
4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
1/3 cup of quinoa
1 1/2 cans of Garlic and Herb pasta sauce
3 tablespoons of each: turmeric, cumin, curry, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, chili powder
1/2 cup of olive oil
Place 1/3 cup of olive oil into 4 cups of water and boil for about 15 minutes.
Dump the rotini and quinoa into the pot, and let it cook for about 20 minutes.
While the rotini is cooking, dump all the rest of the ingredients into a large non-stick or cast-iron skillet along with the rest of the olive oil.
When the rotini and quinoa is done, drain it in a mesh colander and dump it into the skillet with the rest of the mixture.
Using a wooden spoon, mix all the ingredients together and enjoy!
This past Friday was Valentine’s Day, and so I decided to treat myself with an aloe vera plant, and a meal. Then, on Saturday morning, I made some oatmeal chocolate chip raisin w/pecan cookies. One thing that I hadn’t done in a while, was to dunk my cookies in milk. Let me tell you, I wasn’t disappointed.
A few days ago, I decided that I had better quick make something from the ground turkey that I had let thaw out. The end result: spaghetti with turkey meatballs. The meal came out pretty good, and I realized later that the spices that I used made all the difference. I made the turkey meatballs the first night, and then the spaghetti the second night.
Here is the recipe:
1 16 oz. pound of ground turkey meat
3 tablespoons of parsley, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, curry, cumin, turmeric
1/3 cup of Panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup of oatmeal
3 tablespoons of flaxseed meal
(1) 1 lb. box of spaghetti
1/2 cup of olive oil
(2) 16 oz. cans of garlic and herb pasta sauce
Dump the panko, oatmeal, flaxseed meal, and all the seasonings into a mixing bowl.
Mix and stir this concoction.
Use a cookie scoop to make the balls, and then your hands if necessary.
Place the balls in a wok or skillet with olive oil.
Cook for about 20 minutes.
While the turkey meatballs are cooking, bowl 5 cups of water with olive oil to prevent the pasta from sticking.
Add the pasta and then drain when done cooking.
Dump the pasta back into the pot and add all of the above seasonings into the pot.
On yesterday, I had a day of rest that was very much so needed. I had an extremely busy, drama-filled week, and on Friday I was feeling it. It is during times like this that I learn to lean more on God’s grace, mercy, blessings, and divine intervention to get me through. At the last minute, I decided to make a very simple nachos with cheese recipe. The meat turned out moist, and it probably took about 30 minutes to make. I hope that you enjoy it as well!
Total Prepping and Cooking Time
2 (1 lb packs of lean ground turkey)
1 can of fire-roasted dice tomatoes (salsa style)
2 packs of mild taco seasoning (vegan and low sodium)
Seasonings: 2 tablespoons of the following:
1/3 cup of olive oil
3 packs of 8 oz. Mexican cheese blend
2 bags of tortilla chips
After heating the olive oil in a large skillet or pan, add the ground turkey meat and all of the seasonings.
Once the meat is browned, add the taco seasoning and water that package instructs.
Add the diced tomatoes and 1 pack of cheese.
Place the chips in a pattern on plates, adding the mixture on top and in the middle.