Simple Stuffing

dressing, stuffing, Christmas Eve, Remember God, carrots, celery, zucchini, broth, food, food photography, blogger, recipes, healthy recipes, healthy eating

Background on Simple Stuffing

For the last five days, I have been reading Remember God by Annie F. Downs. It is good. I believe that it is a combination of things that pulls the reader in: the style of writing, the rawness of emotions, and then the fact that it is written in story form. I can’t believe that I am already on page 130 after just a few days.

There are several things that resonated with me while reading this book. I am going to discuss two: I was deep into the story of her Job experience, where everything seemed to go wrong right before Thanksgiving. Why? Because that is exactly what happened to me this year. You can find that whole story here by listening to the podcast: Dancing in the Rain.

The second thing is when she talked about the sweet spot of her life at that time. I heard one particular message on the sweet spot about three years ago, and it still resonates now. Basically, our sweet spot is the spot where we push past our comfort zone into the pain and hard work, but right where God can use this pain and tension for his glory.

I made the recipe below for a Christmas Eve get-together that I had with some dear friends who are just like family to me. Have a blessed week!

dressing, stuffing, Christmas Eve, Remember God, carrots, celery, zucchini, broth, food, food photography, blogger, recipes, healthy recipes, healthy eating

Activity: Making Simple Stuffing

Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • cumin – two tablespoons
  • basil – two tablespoons
  • onion powder – two tablespoons
  • garlic powder – two tablespoons
  • minced garlic – two tablespoons
  • two zucchinis
  • two carrots
  • one onion
  • one piece of a celery stalk
  • two boxes of cornbread stuffing
  • 6 slices of honey wheat bread
  • 2 cups of broth

Directions:

  • Boil two cups of water with butter.
  • Saute the carrots, zucchini, and onions.
  • While the vegetables are sauteing, cut up six slices of bread into cubes.
  • Season with basil, and then place in the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Add the two boxes of cornbread stuffing mix and cubed bread cubes to the water.
  • Add the sauteed vegetables, celery, garlic, seasonings, and broth.
  • Throw it into a casserole pan at 425 degrees for 25 minutes.

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Everything Chili

beans, chili, vegan, vegetarian, food, blog, healthy eating, food photography, Christmas gathering

Background Story for Simple Everything Chili

Simple Everything Chili: 

Since Christmas time is approaching, churches, organizations, and families everywhere are squeezing in the last of the shopping, get-togethers, and worship preparations.  On Friday night, I had the pleasure of attending the “Women’s Christmas Gathering” at another church.  One of my favorite things to do during this season is to sing Christian Christmas carols to help me in reigning in my heart, mind, and soul into the reason for this season:  reflecting on that precious baby who was brought into the world to bring hope in a weary land.

My second favorite thing to do is to watch Christmas movies on Lifetime, Hallmark, and Netflix.  Because of the fact that my free time is mainly in the evenings, and it is usually when I am tired that I’m trying to watch these movies, I end up falling asleep about a third of the way.  And of course, on the following day, I am trying to figure out where I left off.  Even so, for some odd reason, just having these movies playing, as I am sitting on the couch with a throw in my comfy corner of the couch is enough for me.

The last recipe that I featured was “Simple Beans and Zucchini Soup.  You can find that recipe here.  Today, I have included a recipe for chili that I made a few days ago.  It’s called “Simple Everything Chili”.  Why the name?  I literally dumped everything in it to make it work.  Send me a line letting me know if you decide to make it.

Activity:  Making “Simple Everything Chili”

Total Prepping and Cooking Time:  2 1/2 hours

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons of cumin
  • 4 tablespoons of turmeric
  • 4 tablespoons of onion powder
  • 5 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons of garlic powder
  • 5 tablespoons of parsley
  • 2 cans of vegetable soup
  • 2 cups of pinto beans
  • 1 cup of lentils
  • 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth

 Directions:  

  • Dump the pinto beans into a pot of water, boiling them for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Add the lentils to the pot, boiling it for an additional 40 minutes.
  • Add all the rest of the ingredients plus 2 cans of water, boiling for an additional 20 minutes.
  • Throw sour cream and cheese on top for fun!

Enjoy!

God bless, 

Katina

Simple Chicken Burgers

friends, family, food, food photography, empathy, sympathy, simple, salads, recipes, kitchen, healthy food, grace-filled ,functional, food dancing community, busy, author ,adventure, simple

Background on the Simple Chicken Burgers

I have been reading a variety of books lately.  Along with this fact, I’ve also been listening to a lot of sermons.  Sometimes, I have listened to so many sermons, and read so many books at one time, that I start to second guess myself as to which book or preacher said what.  At this point, I usually have to go back and double check that I am giving the right author credit.

friends, family, food, food photography, empathy, sympathy, simple, salads, recipes, kitchen, healthy food, grace-filled ,functional, food dancing community, busy, author ,adventure, simple

In this season of my life, I have been hearing God’s small voice repeatedly encouraging me along the way.  I can picture myself taking off at the starting point with my number on, and God on the sidelines with his flag shouting, “Keep running!  You can do it! ”

friends, family, food, food photography, empathy, sympathy, simple, salads, recipes, kitchen, healthy food, grace-filled ,functional, food dancing community, busy, author ,adventure, simple

Earlier today, I was reading more of the book on leadership by Brene Brown.  The chapter that I am now focusing on is dealing with empathy.  Later this evening, I listened to a sermon by Joyce Meyer.  As God would have it, she was also preaching on empathy.  The key points that were stated from both is the following:

  • Empathy means being able to connect through the emotion that someone else is feeling.
  • Empathy doesn’t mean giving advice.
  • Having empathy shouldn’t lead to a comparison game of who has had the worst suffering.

friends, family, food, food photography, empathy, sympathy, simple, salads, recipes, kitchen, healthy food, grace-filled ,functional, food dancing community, busy, author ,adventure, simple

A few nights ago, I decided to make what I call Simple Chicken Burgers.  They turned out super moist and required very few ingredients.

friends, family, food, food photography, empathy, sympathy, simple, salads, recipes, kitchen, healthy food, grace-filled ,functional, food dancing community, busy, author ,adventure, simple

Here is the recipe:

Activity:  Making Simple Chicken Burgers

Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 6

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of oatmeal
  •  cumin (1 tb)
  •  onion powder (1 tb)
  •  garlic powder (1 tb)
  • 1 16 oz. pack of ground chicken
  • 2 tablespoons of flax seed meal
  • 3 tablespoons of water

Directions:

  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet.
  • Dump all of the above ingredients into a bowl.
  • Make burger patty shapes with your hands.
  • Place the six patties into a skillet, or as many as you can at once. (use 2 skillets if necessary)
  • Take the burgers out when they are brown on both sides.
  • Top with hummus and garnish with basil or spinach if you like.
  • Enjoy!

God Bless,

 

Katina

Simple Spaghetti

recipes, eating, food, food photography, healthy eating, healthy recipes, vegan, vegetarian, friends, family, drama, lifestyle,

Background Story on Simple Spaghetti

I have been reading Brene Brown’s new book, Dare to Lead for a couple of weeks now.  If I was just reading that one book, I would be done by now.  However, I am reading about six books at the same time.  What I love is that the Holy Spirit has intertwined several themes across the board with all of these books:  vulnerability, shame, joy, gratitude, dealing with the unexpected, hustling for self-worth, and filling our thirst.

There are several things that stuck out with me so far in this book.  I would like to quote three of them:

Quote #1

“Embodying and practicing gratitude changes everything.  It is not a personal construct, it’s a human construct-a unifying part of our existence-and it’s the antidote to foreboding joy, plain and simple.  It’s allowing yourself the pleasure of accomplishment, or love, or joy-of really feeling it, of basking in it-by conjuring up gratitude for the moment and for the opportunity”. (Dare to Lead, Brene Brown, pg. 83)

This reminds of last night.  I got together with a group of friends.  I allowed myself to not dismiss the reality that my life has been filled with lots of drama and trauma within the last six months.  However, my heart was full.  It was so, so full.  I thanked God for my friends, the food, the fellowship, time to decompress, and the laughs from the movie.  I thanked him for all his goodness in spite of what my real life problems were.

recipes, eating, food, food photography, healthy eating, healthy recipes, vegan, vegetarian, friends, family, drama, lifestyle,
Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

Quote #2

“Something as simple as starting or ending meetings with a gratitude check, when everyone shares one thing they’re grateful for, can build trust and connection, serve as container-building, and give your group permission to lean into joy.” (Dare to Lead, Brene Brown, pg. 83)

The second quote was a Holy Spirit moment because just a week ago, I had an accident.  I allowed myself to sink in anger about all the inconveniences, but then quickly gave myself a gratitude check.  That post can be found here.  The funny thing about it is that I titled the post “Gratitude Check” prior to reading page 83 of Dare to Lead.  God knows how to bring all things together.

Quote #3

The last quote is from page 97, which was another Holy Spirit moment.  It reminded me of my IT job from years ago, where I sought to prove that I could sit at the table with others who made a certain salary, instead of being discriminated against.  I didn’t realize that the only table that I needed to have recognition at is the table of Christ.  The “Heavenly Places” blog post can be found here.

“When people don’t understand where they’re strong and where they deliver value for the organization or even for a single effort, they hustle.  The kind that’s hard to be around because we are jumping in everywhere, including where we’re not strong or not needed, to prove that we deserve a seat at the table.” (Dare to Lead, by Brene Brown, page 97)

A few days ago, I decided to try my hands at a simple spaghetti recipe.  There were very few ingredients.  It turned out pretty good.  The only problem was that I put too many red pepper flakes.  I would take a bite to eat, then feel flames at the back of my throat.  This cycle repeated itself until the bowl was empty.  Enjoy!

Here is the recipe:

recipes, eating, food, food photography, healthy eating, healthy recipes, vegan, vegetarian, friends, family, drama, lifestyle,

 

Activity:  Making Simple Spaghetti

Total cooking and Prepping Time: 40 minutes

Servings: about 12

Ingredients:  

  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons of onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons of basil
  • 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1 box of spaghetti
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce
  • 1 small can of tomato soup (low-sodium)
  • basil or spinach leaves (for garnish and eating)

recipes, eating, food, food photography, healthy eating, healthy recipes, vegan, vegetarian, friends, family, drama, lifestyle,
Valley of Grace Cutting Board-Shopify Store

Directions: 

  • Boil six cups of water with olive oil or butter so that the spaghetti won’t stick.
  • Add the spaghetti to the boiling water.
  • Drain the spaghetti.
  • Dump the pasta sauce and tomato soup into the pot.
  • Add one can of water to the pot.
  • Dump all the seasonings into the pot.
  • Serve in bowls or on plates.
  • Garnish with basil or spinach leaves.
  • Enjoy!

 

God bless,

Katina

Turkey Burgers and Potato Wedges with Tomatillo Sauce

I absolutely love turkey burgers and french fries with ketchup.  For the last couple of months, it seems as though I have experimenting with all different kinds of ingredients for turkey burgers.  I have finally decided that this recipe is the one that I like best.  My teenage daughter says that she thinks that I just get a kick out of mixing things together.  That is probably true.  One thing that I noticed about this recipe is that if you add a little bit more water than what is required for the flaxseed mixture, then the burgers turn out really moist.  Even more important than the recipe, is engaging and enjoying family and friends.  This is one meal where everyone can get involved in the process.

 

Activity:  Making Turkey Burgers and Potato Wedges with Tomatillo Sauce for Dinner

Total Prepping and Cooking Time:  60 minutes

turkey burgers, flaxseed meal, turkey burgers, nutritional yeast

Ingredients: 

  • (1) 18 oz.  container of oatmeal  – $2.00
  • (2) 16 oz. packs of ground turkey – $5.99
  • four tablespoons of nutritional yeast (4.0 oz of nutritional yeast is $2.50 at Whole Foods)
  • 4 tablespoons flaxseed meal – $3.79 for 16 oz. bag
  • 1 container of oregano – $1.00
  • 1 container of cumin – $1.00
  • 1 container of parsley flakes – $1.00
  • 1 container of onion powder – $1.00
  • 1 container of chili powder – $1.00
  • (1) container of regular butter , vegan butter, or olive oil (for potatoes and frying the burgers) – $3.80
  • (1) bag of potatoes – $1.99
  • 2 lbs. of tomatillos – $1.50
  • 1 bunch of cilantro – $.50
  • 1 jar of minced garlic – $1.90
  • 2 packs of cheese – $5.00
  • 2 lbs. of tomatoes – $1.99
  • 2 loaves of bread – $3.50

Total Cost: $ 39.46

Cost per day: $9.87, family of three

Cost per day: $19.73, family of six

cheese garlic, olive oil, parsley

Estimated Duration of Food:  2 days for a family of 6, 4 days for a family of 3

turkey burgers, cheese, healthy living

 

tomatillo sauce, turkey burgers, food, healthy living

Directions:  

  • Preheat the oven at 425 degrees.
  • Rinse and cut up about 6 potatoes into wedges, placing them in a bowl, and covering them with olive oil or butter, taking a wooden spoon, and turning them to make sure they are completely covered.
  • Sprinkle oregano and chili powder all over them, and toss with wooden spoon again.
  • While the potatoes are in the oven, cut up two pounds of tomatillos into wedges.
  • Pour olive oil on them, and place them into the oven, setting the timer for twenty-five minutes.
  • Place the following into bowls:
    • cumin
    • onion powder
    • chili powder
    • parsley
    • 1/2 cup of cheese
    • 1/2 cup of oatmeal
    • 4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
    • 2 lbs. of ground turkey
    • 4 tablespoons of flaxseed meal mixed with 10 tablespoons of water – equivalent to four eggs 
  • Dump the cumin, onion powder, chili powder and parsley on top of the ground turkey meat.
  • Add the oatmeal, nutritional yeast, and flaxseed meal mix.
  • Fold in the cheese and make the patties.
  • Pour oil into the skillet, and place the six patties in the skillet.
  • While the burgers are going, you can place the tomatillos, a bunch of cut-up cilantro, minced garlic, and olive oil into a blender or food processor to make the tomatillo sauce.
  • Toast the bread or buns.
  • Cut up the tomatoes.
  • Take the potato wedges out of the oven.
  • Once the turkey burgers are ready, place shredded cheese on top first, and then the tomatillo sauce on top second.
  • Place tomatoes on top.
  • Fellowship and enjoy!

 

 

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Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?

Matthew 6:26, NLT

Penne Pasta with Spinach

Here at Valley of Grace, our main goal is to instill hope while you are in your valley, whatever that may be, and lead the way with ideas for living simple, functional, and grace-filled lives.  That includes healthy, inexpensive recipes that will save you time and money.  I cooked the following recipe of penne pasta with spinach the other night, and my daughter and I enjoyed it.  As of lately, I have decided to make everything from a vegan base, since my daughter is vegan, and then, if we need extra protein for my son and I, I can always add ground turkey or chicken.    This also helps to save money.  However, for this recipe, I didn’t make any on the side protein additions.  I hope that you will enjoy!  Blessings!

pasta, food, mushrooms, vegan, spinach

Activity:  Cooking Penne Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms for Dinner

Total Prepping and Cooking Time:  40 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 1 box of penne pasta  – $1.00
  • (2)  15 oz. cans of low sodium pasta sauce –  $3.00
  • (1)  .75 oz of parsley flakes  – $1.00
  • (1) .75 oz of onion powder  – $1.00
  • (1)  .75 oz of oregano  – $1.00
  • (1)  8 oz. of mushrooms  – $2.20
  • (1) 13.5 oz can of cut spinach – $.80
  • 1 container of butter or bottle of olive oil or vegan butter – $3.69

Total Cost: $ 13.69

Cost for two days: $6.85

Cost for four days: $3.42

Estimated Duration of Food:  2 days for a family of 4-6, 4 or more days for a family of 1-3

spinach, mushrooms, healthy eating

pasta, food, healthy living, vegan

Directions:  

  • Boil the water for the pasta in a big pot or saucepan, along with one tablespoon of butter or olive oil so that the pasta doesn’t stick.
  • While the water is boiling, you can drain the can of spinach and add the spinach to a nonstick pan with olive oil or butter.  If you like minced garlic, you can also add this to the spinach.  
  • Heat up the spinach for about ten to twelve minutes.
  • Add the pasta to the boiling water, and after about 15 minutes to 18 minutes, the pasta will be ready.
  • Drain the pasta, and then add the two cans of pasta sauce, along with all of the spices above, and two tablespoons of olive oil or butter.
  • Rinse the mushrooms and place them in a skillet, or whatever pan you have, along with butter.  
  • Cook the mushrooms for about 12 to 15 minutes, and then add the mushrooms and spinach to the pan of pasta.
  • Stir and eat!

Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God:

 Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:

Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The Lord looseth the prisoners:

 The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind: the Lord raiseth them that are bowed down: the Lord loveth the righteous:

 The Lord preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.

The Lord shall reign for ever, even thy God, O Zion, unto all generations. Praise ye the Lord.

Psalms 146: 5-10, KJV