Pasta with Spinach & Quinoa

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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!

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Dealing with a Bad Day

Background

Every now and then, we tend to have those bad days.  When I say bad days, I am speaking of bad emotional days where you know that the only thing that you can do is to ride them out.  Last week was one of those weeks.  Praise God that this week is starting off better.  Along with praying and reading God’s word, I took a walk to the beach, and let the sand and water run through my feet. I notice that for me, it tends to happen when I already have a few issues that I am dealing with, and then unfortunately, a few to several more are taking place.   These are those days when I thank God for Lamentations 3: 22-24, which says:

adult background beach blue
Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

 

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!” NKJV

This verse gives us hope in knowing that every morning we get a new set of mercies, and that although we feel like our state is going to last forever, it isn’t.  God is gracious, and joy does come in the morning.  Praise the Lord!

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There are several things that I have found works for me when I am having a bad day:

  • Saturating myself in God’s word.  Sometimes we have a favorite book of the bible, or a favorite verse that we can recite over and over.
  • Praying to God for relief and provision during this time.  Sometimes I’ve literally laid my hands on myself, or laid out prostrate for God to break through, reciting his word back to him, and reminding him that he promises that his word would not return unto him void.  I also pray and ask God to help me to get to the root of what is causing this if I am not 100% sure of the cause.
  • Getting outside for fresh air.  It’s good for the adrenal glands, and an overall good feeling. If the sun is out, we get free Vitamin D.
  • Going for a walk.  When we walk, our blood is flowing, oxygen is running through, and it gives our bodies an overall good feeling.
  • Taking an additional Vitamin D if needed.
  • Going out with friends and having a discussion about some of the issues that are going on, along with talking about things that you like to do that will help to lift your mood.  Remember, we weren’t made to bear all of our burdens on our own.
  • If you live close to a beach or pond, watching the water gives a calming effect.  
  • Journaling:  Writing down a list of the things that you are dealing with, and going to God in your writing can also help release some of the weight.
  • Creativity:  This could include painting, upcycling, poetry, scrapbooking, etc.

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But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I gave Egypt for your ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
Since you were precious in My sight,
You have been honored,
And I have loved you;
Therefore I will give men for you,
And people for your life.
Fear not, for I am with you;
I will bring your descendants from the east,
And gather you from the west;
I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’
Bring My sons from afar,
And My daughters from the ends of the earth—
Everyone who is called by My name,
Whom I have created for My glory;
I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”

Isaiah 43: 1-7, NKJV

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