Rotini & Spinach for Dinner

rotini, spinach, diced tomatoes, nutritional yeast, healthy living, healthy eating, quinoa, food photography, food blogger, lifestyle blogger, katina horton

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!

rotini, spinach, diced tomatoes, nutritional yeast, healthy living, healthy eating, quinoa, food photography, food blogger, lifestyle blogger, katina horton
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!

Advertisements

Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs

turkey meatballs, recipes, food photography, spaghetti, food, healthy living, pasta sauce, parsley
turkey meatballs, recipes, food photography, spaghetti, food, healthy living, pasta sauce, parsley
Photo by Katina Horton

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:

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  • 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.
  • Add the pasta sauce on top and enjoy!!

Have a blessed week!

Holiday Stuffing

vegan stuffing, healthy living, healthy eating, holiday stuffing, katina horton, food photography, purple kale, red kale, organic, simple functional grace-filled living

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.

vegan stuffing, healthy living, healthy eating, holiday stuffing, katina horton, food photography, purple kale, red kale, organic, simple functional grace-filled living

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.

vegan stuffing, healthy living, healthy eating, holiday stuffing, katina horton, food photography, purple kale, red kale, organic, simple functional grace-filled living

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
vegan stuffing, healthy living, healthy eating, holiday stuffing, katina horton, food photography, purple kale, red kale, organic, simple functional grace-filled living

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!

Almond Cookies

baking fun, simple functional grace-filled living, healthy lifestyle, oatmeal almond cookies, cookies, healthy eating, simple living, katina horton, food photography, valley of grace, holiday fun, Thanksgiving

Background on Almond Cookies-Lately, I have realized that baking and cooking does the same thing for me that writing does. First, It helps to open up those creative and healing juices. Secondly, it helps me to see the unending possibilities of connecting certain things together.

almond cookies, healthy living, katina horton, food, food photography, recipes

When you are writing, one thought can connect to five other thoughts, and then, in turn, inspire you to a Holy Spirit-infused bible story and revelation. When you are cooking and baking, one ingredient can get the wheels turning to the possibilities for other ingredients. And with me, this starts the whole beginning of my concoction madness.

almond cookies, healthy living, katina horton, food, food photography, recipes

Within the last week, I have baked over 120 cookies. It was therapeutic, as I was using my hands, measuring, adding a dash of this and that. And then at the same time, praying that everything came out fine.

almond cookies, healthy living, katina horton, food, food photography, recipes

I finally tried out my “head idea” of making almond cookies. Of course, as you know me, I added oatmeal of course. However, these Almond cookies turned out so “almondy”, and of course, that isn’t a word, that you don’t even notice the oatmeal. The slivered almonds added a nice, extra crunch to the cookie.

A week ago, I made the recipe again. However, I substituted the slivered almonds for pecans just to try out something different. I promise you, they didn’t disappoint.

Here’s the recipe:

Yields about 24 cookies

Ingredients:

  • Almond flour -1 1/4 cup
  • Oatmeal – 1 1/4 cup (Rolled Oats give a chunkier look and feel!)
  • Brown sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Almond Extract- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Slivered Almonds- 1/3 cup (Can also substitute with pecans!)
  • Almond Oil- 2 tablespoons
  • Almond milk- 3/4 cup
  • Flaxseed Meal – 2 Tablespoons

Directions

  • Mix all of the above ingredients into a large bowl using a whisk
  • Use a small cookie scoop to make the balls, making sure that you press the side of the bowl with the cookie scoop to get any excess liquid off
  • Place scoops on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets
  • Bake at 330 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes depending on your oven.
  • Enjoy!

Lentil Asparagus Tacos

tacos, lentils, asparagus, brown rice, food photography, recipes, healthy living, healthy eating

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!

tacos, lentils, asparagus, brown rice, food photography, recipes, healthy living, healthy eating
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.
tacos, lentils, asparagus, brown rice, food photography, recipes, healthy living, healthy eating
Photo by Katina Horton

Pasta with Spinach & Quinoa

pasta with spinach and quinoa, healthy living, healthy recipes, diced tomatoes, food, eating, simple functional grace-filled living, valley of grace, blogging, lifestyle, choices, lunch, dinner, vegan, vegetarian, friends, fun, outside, adventure, katina horton

Background Story for Pasta with Spinach & Quinoa

It is amazing how we are all are wired up differently, and with this wiring, we all have different things that take us back to childhood. For the last few nights, I have been taking a quick five minute walk in the neighborhood in order to get a whisp of the slightly cool, fresh air and to hear the sound of the crickets. These two things have been my favorite since I was a kid. They remind me of visiting my relatives in Memphis and hearing the calming effect of the crickets at night.

pasta with spinach and quinoa, healthy living, healthy recipes, diced tomatoes, food, eating, simple functional grace-filled living, valley of grace, blogging, lifestyle, choices, lunch, dinner, vegan, vegetarian, friends, fun, outside, adventure, katina horton
Photo by Katina Horton

About a week ago, I was trying to decide what to make for dinner. My mind landed on the box of pasta that was still in the cabinet. I decided to jazz it up with my two favorite ingredients for most meals: spinach and diced tomatoes.

Here is the recipe:

Total Prepping and Cooking Time:

45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of penne pasta
  • 2 jars of tomato and basil pasta sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of thyme
  • 3 tablespoons of parsley
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of cut-leaf spinach
  • 1/3 cup of quinoa
  • 1/4 cup of oil

Directions:

  • Boil a pot of water, adding the oil to the water to prevent the pasta from sticking.
  • Add the pasta and the quinoa once the water has started boiling.
  • While the pasta and quinoa are cooking, saute the spinach and diced tomatoes.
  • Drain the pasta and quinoa in a colander and dump them back into the pot.
  • Dump all the rest of the ingredients into the pot and stir.
  • Eat and enjoy!

Food for thought:

What foods do you eat, or activities do you participate in that take you back to your childhood? Would love to hear your comments!

Vegetarian Bean Party

arugula, vegetarian beans, quinoa, brown rice, nutritional yeast, healthy living, vegan, dinner. lunch, food, food photography, blogger, blogs, podcaster, author

Background on Vegetarian Bean Party

The last bean recipe that I posted, “Black Bean Mishmash“, can be found here. Today’s recipe is entitled Vegetarian Bean Party Bowl. Before we get to the recipe, I would like to take you on my reading adventure.

arugula, vegetarian beans, quinoa, brown rice, nutritional yeast, healthy living, vegan, dinner. lunch, food, food photography, blogger, blogs, podcaster, author
Vegetarian Bean Party Bowl

. Today’s recipe is entitled Vegetarian Bean Party Bowl. Before we get to the recipe, I would like to take you on my reading adventure.

I have been reading “How People Grow” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. I was excited because I found this book at Goodwill a few months ago, and I just started reading it a couple of weeks ago. It is one of those self-help books where once you get into it, it becomes very hard to put it down.

Like all self-help books, there are some concepts mentioned that we realize we are currently implementing that are fine. There are others that need fine-tuning. We have some that need some serious help; then there are some that we have known and implement, but the examples given makes things come more to life than they have ever been.

For me, it was the real-life examples of the effects of how the “Body of Christ” works. What I have noticed myself is that in order to reap the benefits of this “Body/community”, trust is of utmost importance, and then real vulnerability is easier to follow. When one person opens the door to honesty, then for sure others will follow.

Here is the Vegetarian Bean Party Bowl:

Activity: Making Vegetarian Bean Party Bowl

Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 35 Minutes

Ingredients:

1 can of vegetarian beans

1 small can of tomato paste

1/2 cup of arugula

1/4 cup of nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons of curry powder, onion powder, cumin, turmeric, and chili powder

1/3 cup of quinoa

1/2 cup of brown rice

1/4 cup of vegetable broth

Directions:

Bowl the ice and quinoa in two separate pots for 20 minutes.

While the grains are cooking, heat up beans in vegetable broth in a skillet for twenty minutes.

Add all ingredients to the skillet, stirring occasionally for another 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

Black Bean Mishmash

black beans, healthy living, simple meals, mixed vegetables, rice, vegan, vegetarian, eating, food, food photography

Background on Black Bean Fun

With the way that the weather has been within the last few days, it makes one want to snuggle up with a throw and a book, or perhaps a movie, and just relax. Before we get into the black bean recipe, I would like to share a little bit of my reading adventure from the last few months.

I have been reading so many different books within the last few weeks that it’s a wonder that I can keep up with what’s going on in each book.

One book that I am currently reading is entitled, “The Sharper the Knife, The Less You Cry”. Because of taking four years of french in high school, and enjoying every minute of it, I decided to purchase this book at a rummage sale a few months ago. The main character, Kathleen, decides to leave the corporate world, move to Paris, and attend Le Cordon Bleu to pursue her dreams.

There are several different adventures that she has along the way. Some of which involve the relationships between her and her colleagues, her and her boyfriend, and her and her instructors whom she grows to love. This book is filled with French recipes and tons of laughter. Kathleen quickly finds out that life and recipes have a lot in common. As Christians, we are all too familiar with that as well.

Life Analysis

When it comes to recipes, we can have all the ingredients, make the dish exactly as described, and then everything comes out perfect. And such is the Christian life. But then, there are other times that we follow the recipe to a tee, and it turns out a disaster. Perhaps the oil got too brown, we overcooked the rice, or we ended up with meat that was too dry.


God is driving the bus. And we often forget that. Life isn’t a recipe or a secret formula. And although we think we have it all under control, things may fall apart just like the recipe that we knew we followed the directions to a tee. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us: 
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)

black beans, healthy living, simple meals, mixed vegetables, rice, vegan, vegetarian, eating, food, food photography

Here is the the recipe:

Activity: Making Black Bean Mishmash

Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 35 Minutes

Ingredients:

1 onion

1/4 cup of nutritional yeast

1 can of mixed vegetables

2 cans of organic black beans

1 box of Quinoa w/brown rice & Rosemary

1/4 cup of oil

onion powder -2 tablespoons

garlic powder -2 tablespoons

cumin -2 tablespoons

Directions:

Boil the box of quinoa w/brown rice mixture.

While the quinoa mix is boiling, do the following:

  • Cut up and saute the onion in a skillet.
  • Boil the mixed vegetables.
  • Heat up the organic black beans.
  • Dump all the cooked ingredients into the skillet with the onion, adding the seasonings and nutritional yeast as well.
  • Enjoy!

Here are other bean recipes in case you’re interested:

Simple Beans and Zucchini Soup

Everything Chili

God bless!

Katina


God is driving the bus. And we often forget that. Life isn’t a recipe or a secret formula. And although we think we have it all under control, things may fall apart just like the recipe that we knew we followed the directions to a tee. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)