Breakfast Wrap

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I hope you guys have had a wonderful, restful weekend. I went for a couple errands yesterday, and then one today. Other than that, I have been taking it easy for most of the weekend. I finally finished editing a poetry book that I have been working on for the last month and a half. I read a little bit out of a good twelve books, both fiction and non-fiction, and had a book club meeting for one of the books (Little Fires Everywhere) via Zoom. And guess what? I even got some cleaning done.

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Photo by Katina Horton

Two weeks ago, I decided to make a quick breakfast wrap. It was simple, but filling, and it definitely hit the spot. The one thing that I was glad about is the fact that grating the potatoes were easier than expected. And so was the cleanup job. I hope that you enjoy it!

Ingredients:

  • 6 organic golden yellow potatoes
  • 1 cup of cheese
  • 5 tablespoons of parsley, onion powder, italian seasoning, ginger, cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder
  • 1 package of whole wheat tortilla wraps
  • 1/2 cup of avocado oil

Directions:

  • Place a grater inside a big bowl or plate.
  • Grate the potatoes.
  • Add the avocado oil to the skillet.
  • Add the potatoes and seasonings to the skillet.
  • Cook, stirring the hash browns several times until they’re nice and brown.
  • Heat up your tortilla wrap, adding the hash browns and cheese to the inside, along with any other toppings, and enjoy!

Have a blessed week!

Katina

How to Get Back in Shape After the COVID-19 Lockdown

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Happy Sunday all! Today, I am featuring a guest blog post from a fellow blogger. His name is Gabriel Patel. He enjoys writing about health and wellness, and co-founded Health Well Wise with a group of friends who share the desire to help people live happy, healthy lives. Have a blessed rest of your Sunday.

Photo via Rawpixel

If you gained weight during the coronavirus quarantine, you’re not alone. It’s normal — and completely okay — to put on a few pounds when you’re experiencing periods of stress and a serious change to your regular routine. However, self-isolation may have left you feeling less than your best. Whether you’re looking to lose weight or simply regain the energy you had pre-lockdown, check out the following tips to reclaim your wellness and get back on track!

Clean Up Your Diet

For many of us, the lockdown meant living off of freezer meals, instant noodles, and other forms of quick, easy, and accessible processed foods. But it’s time to get some nutrients back in our diets! Fortunately, there are all kinds of healthy meals you can make with basic ingredients you already have in your pantry, such as spinach tortellini soup, legume quesadillas, skillet rice, and stew. The beauty of these recipes is that you can mix in whatever vegetables or proteins you have in your kitchen. Casseroles are also great for this! Get creative and have fun coming up with nutritious meals based on the ingredients you have on hand.

If you could use some help creating a clean diet plan, consider working with a professional dietician. You can use job boards to find qualified pros, such as freelance dieticians, who can answer all of your nutrition-related questions, help you build a healthy meal plan, and coach you through any barriers you may be facing. Some other freelancers who can support you on your wellness journey include online personal trainers, yoga instructors, and therapists.

Take Steps to Avoid Injury

When you get back into exercise, do it slowly; pushing yourself too hard after an extended period of inactivity could lead to injuries. This is especially true if you’re going back to the gym. Remember, you may not be able to work out at your previous level, so go easy on yourself by reducing your reps and weight. The most important thing to remember is to listen to your body.

If you’re hesitant about returning to the gym, try at-home workouts, running, or hiking — or just go for a walk! If you were unfortunate enough to contract the coronavirus, CNET recommends talking to your healthcare provider about when it would be safe to start exercising again. Try to stick to short bursts of gentle exercise in the days and weeks following your recovery.

Get More Sleep

When it comes to fitness and overall well being, sleep is underrated. Getting enough sleep plays an important role in muscle recovery, stress reduction, and weight management — all of which will help you meet your post-lockdown fitness goals. If you’re not getting at least seven hours of good-quality sleep every night, take some steps to improve your bedroom environment and help your body wind down in the evening. Make your bedroom dark, cool, and quiet; develop a relaxing bedtime routine; avoid caffeine in the afternoon; and limit alcohol late in the evening.

Conquer Stress

Stress is one of the largest barriers to a healthy lifestyle. Stress can disrupt your sleep patterns, affect your eating habits, and reduce your motivation to exercise. Of course, we’re all experiencing heightened stress with everything that’s going on in the world right now. Even if you can’t control what’s happening all around you, you can bring a greater sense of control to your own life by taking active steps to reduce stress. Make time for your hobbies, socialize with friends and family members who make you happy, get in the habit of positive self-talk, and try to exercise daily — even if you’d rather do anything else.

While it was easy to let healthy habits fall by the wayside during the corona virus lock-down, now is the time to regain control over your fitness. Exercising, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and combating stress will do a lot to improve how you feel — and you may even lose a few pounds! Start working towards your goals today!

Eggplant, Lentil, & Rice Casserole

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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.

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Photo by Katina Horton

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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  • 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.
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Spaghetti Casserole

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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.

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Photo by Katina Horton

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!

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Photo by Katina Horton

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 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)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups of avocado oil
  • 5 tablespoons of each: garlic powder, curry, onion powder, chili powder, turmeric, cumin, parsley, ginger.

Directions

  • 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.
  • Enjoy!

Rotini & Spinach for Dinner

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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!

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photo by Katina Horton

Total Prepping and Cooking Time

45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  • 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!

Holiday Stuffing

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Background on Holiday Stuffing: It’s that time of year again. Time for cooking and baking to the max. Time for comfort food, movies, books, and cuddling up with a throw on the couch. And even with all the grief and sadness that this week has held for me, God’s daily blessings of grace and mercy have come out on top.

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I was blessed to have four Thanksgiving celebrations this year: one with friends, one at work, and two with family. The number of celebrations was a surprise, as well as the fact that my son made it home to visit. This served as a constant reminder of the goodness of God.

Except for the Thanksgiving celebration at work, fore each celebration, I decided to make Holiday stuffing and cookies as my contribution to the meal. The concoction that I had in my head and put into action didn’t disappointment. Sometimes my mind starts going, and after cooking and tasting the end result, I am left with thinking, “Oh, this didn’t turn out the way that I thought.” However, that wasn’t the case this time.

What I realized is that the spicy kick of the seasonings helped to make this stuffing a hit. I hope that you’re feeling adventurous enough to try it for yourself.

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Here is the recipe for Holiday Stuffing:

Ingredients

  • 2 bags of Whole Foods 365 Multigrain vegan stuffing
  • small bag of petite rainbow or orange carrots or 1 large bunch of orange or rainbow carrots
  • 1 bunch of celery
  • large onion
  • 2 bunches of purple or red kale
  • a container of broth
  • 4 tablespoons of each of the following: onion powder, cumin powder, curry powder, turmeric, thyme, sage, parsley, and chili powder
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Directions for Holiday Stuffing

  • Prepare the vegan stuffing in a large saucepan as directed on the package.
  • Saute the onions, kale, celery, and carrots in a separate large saucepan, adding 2 tablespoons of the above seasonings into the pan.
  • When both are done, add 2 tablespoons of all of the above seasonings into the stuffing, and then dump the vegetable mix into the vegan stuffing mix.
  • Mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon, adding 2 cups of broth and stir.
  • Place the Holiday stuffing into a casserole pan or two, and then into the oven.
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Lentil Asparagus Tacos

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Lentil Asparagus Tacos Background Story

Last week, we had our first surprise snow. Of course, no one was prepared for it. There were several jokes going around on social media due to the fact that the snow, along with the temperatures that trailed soon after were replicating that of what would be going on in the month of January. Surprisingly, even with all the snow and cold temps, I still had about ten kids to come to the door for candy.

Last week, I made another concoction. It turned out good, and the best part about this particular one is that it left you feeling energized and overall in good spirits after eating it. I hope that you enjoy it as well. Have a blessed weekend in the Lord!

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Photo by Katina Horton

Total Cooking and Prepping Time:

1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of French lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups of brown rice
  • 1/2 cup of red quinoa
  • 2 bunches of asparagus
  • 2 cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • 1 pack of tortillas
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 bag of frozen cut-leaf spinach
  • Optional: 1 bag of cheese (vegan or non-vegan)
  • chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, onion powder, curry, turmeric, parsley, (5 tablespoons of each)
tacos, lentils, asparagus, brown rice, food photography, recipes, healthy living, healthy eating
Photo by Katina Horton

Directions for Lentil Asparagus Tacos:

  • Boil one bag of French lentils.
  • While the lentils are boiling, boil the brown rice and quinoa.
  • Also, while the lentils are boiling, saute the diced tomatoes, asparagus, and spinach in a skillet with olive oil.
  • Add 1/3 cup of olive to the boiling lentils.
  • Once all the ingredients are fully cooked, dump all of them into a separate large-sized pot, adding the nutritional yeast, and all of the seasonings.
  • Heat up your tortilla and add the mixture to the inside.
  • Optional: top it with cheese.
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Photo by Katina Horton

Barbecue Vegetarian Meatballs

katina horton, lifestyle, vegetarian meatballs, healthy eating, barbecue, simple functional grace-filled living, lifestyle, blogger, blog, food, food photography, family time, grace, intentionality

Background on Vegetarian Meatballs

As our kids are in the process of becoming young adults, it gets more and more challenging to carve out connection time. They have their lives. You have yours. And to top it off, if both of you are working, then you are presented with even more of a challenge.

About a week and a half ago, my son was home to visit. We were both working and extremely busy. However, we were able to carve out some connection time together a little bit before he left, and we decided to explore listening to French music, catch up on each other’s lives, and make vegetarian meatballs.

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Photo by Katina Horton

I hope that you enjoy them as much as we did.

Here’s the recipe:

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Photo by Katina Horton

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of Lightlife Smart Ground Mexican crumble (little bit of a spicy kick to it) per bowl
  • 4 teaspoons of chili powder, garlic powder, parsley, cumin, curry, onion powder, and garlic powder per bowl
  • 1 pack of shredded cheese
  • bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup of oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal
  • 4 eggs (2 per bowl)
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Photo by Katina Horton

Directions

  • Place one pack of vegan meat in two medium sized bowls.
  • Add 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal, oatmeal, seasonings, and desired cheese amount per bowl.
  • Mix the ingredients in each bowl.
  • Grab two cookie sheets and line with parchment paper.
  • Use one cookie sheet per bowl.
  • Use a cookie scoop the size of your choice to scoop the meatball mixture, carefully leveling off and pressing the scoop against the side of the bowl to solidify the mixture.
  • Place the cookie scoop as close to the parchment paper as possible and then release the ball onto the sheet to reduce crumbling.
  • Heat on 325 degrees for about 25 minutes and drizzle with barbecue sauce when done.
  • Enjoy!

What are some of the things that you like to do for fun with your young adult children?

Pasta with Black Lentils

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Background on Pasta with Black Lentils

Over the weekend, I attended a women’s conference at my church. It was a Holy Spirit-filled good time. Because of having a busy weekend, I decided that I wouldn’t cook on Saturday evening. I ordered two build-your-own pizzas, watched movies with my mom, and took it easy.

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Photo by Katina Horton

On Monday night, I decided to cook dinner for the week. I loved the end result. The dish has a little bit of a spicy kick to it. It is just enough for you to enjoy the dish, and at the same time not be overwhelmed.

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Photo by Katina Horton

I pray that you are having a blessed week so far, and preparing to embrace the weekend that is upon us.

Here is the recipe for Pasta with Black Lentils:

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Photo by Katina Horton

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of fettuccine
  • 1/2 cup of quinoa
  • 1/3 cup of oil
  • 1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 pound of black lentils
  • 4 tablespoons of onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, parsley, cumin, and curry

Directions:

Boil a pot of water, placing some oil in the water to avoid sticky pasta.

Boil the black lentils for about 30 minutes.

Place the pasta and quinoa into the boiling water.

Cut up the zucchini, and then saute the zucchini and tomatoes together.

Add the seasonings to the vegetables.

Dump the vegetables into the pot of pasta and quinoa.

Enjoy!

God bless,

Katina

French fry A la Mode

french fries, veggie burgers, barbecue sauce, spinach, super green, vegan, vegetarian, routine, establishing routines, wellness, concoctions, healthy eating, healthy recipes

Background on French Fry A la Mode

If you know me by now, you know that I love coming up with all kinds of fun food concoctions. And the other day was no exception to the rule.

Before I give you the recipe, I want to talk about some of the benefits of creating a weeknight routine.

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Food Photo by Katina Horton

Routines help to center, direct, and structure/stabilize/ground us. They also give us predictability for our minds and our bodies. Weeknight routines give us grounding and investment for a good night’s sleep. When we make time and space for the things that we are gifted/good at, and love to do, we are caring for our souls.

french fries, veggie burgers, barbecue sauce, spinach, super green, vegan, vegetarian, routine, establishing routines, wellness, concoctions, healthy eating, healthy recipes

This past week, I decided to be even more intentional in adding some things back to my weeknight routine. One of these things is walking. The benefits of walking are endless. The fresh air, automatic feel good hormones that run through your body, the blood flow, lowering of blood pressure, etc. Walking makes me feel good and keeps my mind creative and flowing with ideas. It also helps me with my writing and allows me to really appreciate nature and how great God is.

Other things that I do for my weeknight routine are listening to podcasts/preaching, dancing, reading books, showering, and drinking tea.

As an exercise tonight, think of all the things that you love to do and are gifted at. Circle all the important things that you wouldn’t want to do without. Make these things a part of your weeknight routine and see how much of a difference that they make in your overall well-being.

Here is the French Fry A La Mode for the Family Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of french fries
  • 4 Dr. Praeger’s super green veggie burgers
  • 1 container of Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce
  • 1 bag of cheese

Directions

  • Bake a bag of french fries.
  • While the fries are baking, fry 4 Dr. Praeger’s super green veggie burgers.
  • Grab bowls and add a couple of servings of fries into each bowl.
  • Cut up the veggie burgers and evenly spread them on top of the fries in each bowl.
  • Add shredded cheese and barbecue sauce on top.

Enjoy!

God bless you!

Katina