Food and Nutrition, Food For Thought Friday - FFTF, Spiritual, Uncategorized

FFTF: Spirit – Patience & not giving up / Body – Chicken Veggie Risotto


It’s Food For Thought Friday.  Food for the spirit and the body.

Spirit

I absolutely love Albert Einstein.  I think much of what he said was absolutely genius.  I mean, he was considered a genius.  He is one of the people from the past that is suspected to have had Asperger’s Syndrome.  So, being that my son is an ‘Aspie’ I have even more of an appreciation for him now.  The following is one of his quotes.

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People that have Asperger’s Syndrome tend to become obsessed with whatever it is that interests them at the time.  Right now my son is all into dinosaurs.  He literally becomes one.  I’m teaching him to read in English and I’m using a phonics course online by ‘Clicknkids’.  It’s phenomenal and very helpful in having a structured step-by-step process of learning the language.  However, he started to get really upset and was traumatized by seeing his name on the screen.  I decided to change his screen name to ‘Velociraptor’ and now he’s very happy to continue learning.

I will confess that I am not a patient person, and my experiences with Cauê have just proven that more and more. This quote above speaks to me about patience and not giving up, which is something that is very ‘real’ for me right now.  It’s like the saying goes, “Good things come to those who wait”.

Albert Einstein knew the benefits of being patient. He didn’t expect microwavable results. He knew that if he persevered and lingered in the presence of the problem at hand, he would see good come of it.  That would be his reward.  His answers and understanding would come to him, so longing he stayed with the problem longer.  So longing he was patient enough to wait it out.

Food For Thought:
How about you?  Would you consider yourself a patient person?  What problems do you need to stay with longer in order to see breakthrough?  Are you waiting it out? Leave a comment if you would…=)

Body

Chicken Veggie Risotto-2.jpg

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breast fillets
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 pepper (green, red, yellow, etc.)
  • 2 tomatos
  • 1 carrot shredded
  • 2 cups shredded kale
  • 1 bouillon cube (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon mixed seasoning (like Mrs. Dash or Italian)
  • 1 cup long grain brown rice
  • a little olive oil
  • 3 cups water

Directions:

Put a little olive oil in a small pot, add the rice and mix on low heat until the oil has coated the rice.  add three cups of water and allow to cook (you won’t cook all the way through though.  Just until it’s almost done.)

Cut the chicken in cubes.  Chop the garlic, onion, pepper and tomato.

Sauté the garlic and bouillon cube for 30 seconds in 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan or wok on low heat.  Add the chicken and stir fry until it’s no longer pink.  Add the onions first, and then soon after add the pepper and tomato.  Stir fry for a few minutes until the onions and peppers are soft.  Add the salt, seasoning, broccoli and shredded carrot. Transfer the rice (almost done) over to the large saucepan/wok and stir in to incorporate it with the chicken and veggies.  Add the shredded kale right before finishing, cooking it just enough to soften it.

Enjoy.  Have a great weekend.

Food and Nutrition, Food For Thought Friday - FFTF, Spiritual

FFTF – Spirit: Breath of Heaven Body: Healthy Prestigio (Chocolate Coconut) Tarts


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Ok, it’s another FFTF (Food for Thought Friday) – Food for the body and the spirit.  I loooooovvve the Christmas season, so this post is very befitting.  For the spirit I will be sharing a bit about how the Christmas song, “Breath of Heaven” has impacted me.  And for the body, “Healthy Superfood Prestigio (Chocolate Coconut) tarts.  Hope you enjoy.

Breath of Heaven Pic

I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I’ve done
Holy Father, You have come
And chosen me now to carry Your Son

I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now, be with me now.

Breath of Heaven, hold me together
Be forever near me, Breath of Heaven
Breath of Heaven, lighten my darkness
Pour over me Your holiness for You are holy
Breath of Heaven

Do you wonder as you watch my face
If a wiser one should have had my place?
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of Your plan
Help me be strong, help me be, help me

Amy Grant

Listen to a version by Eden’s Bridge here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLXvGNUOtZM

Sometimes when I listen to this song I start to cry.  I think it’s because of the simplicity of it and the way that Mary addresses God, “Breath of Heaven”.  She was just a young girl when a unexepected visitor showed up and shared a message with her that essentially changed the entire course of her life.  She was engaged to be married to a simple carpenter, and she herself, was just a simple girl – that loved God.

As she silently prays to her maker, she’s extremely vulnerable and expresses to Him just how scared she is.  She knows that the world is a cold place and she is feeling all alone.  And rightly so.  Imagine being in her place.  A virgin, engaged to be married, in a society where it is absolutely unacceptable and punishable to have had sexual relations before marriage.  And now she is carrying the son of God.

She pours her soul out to the only one that could possibly understand what she is going through.  God, hold me together (I’m losing it).  God, be forever near me (I feel so lost).  God, lighten my darkness (the stone cold reality of this world is blinding me (I can’t see you).  God, pour over me your holiness (for you are the only one that can ease my anguished heart and replace the lack of tranquility with overwhelming peace).

I think it’s amazing how she addresses God as, “Breath of Heaven”.  The word breath signifies life.  Every bodily function depends on breathing as breathing is the most fundamental of all the body’s systems.  It’s at the very core of life.  When one stops breathing, one dies.

She also recognizes that she’s weak.  She doesn’t see herself as one that is wise enough to be carrying such a serious responsibility.  But the beautiful thing is that, even though she’s full of doubts and even though she considers herself as unwise, it didn’t matter to God.  What mattered was that she was willing to offer all that she is.  What mattered was that she had a heart of humility and recognized she needed His strength, and not her own.

What do you think of this song?  What are your thoughts concerning it?  Leave a comment and let me know.

Ok, who else out there loves a good dessert or tasty little treat, but hates the refined sugar?  Being that it’s the Christmas season and all, I thought I’d create this little goody for my kids (ok, for me too, I confess).  Try it out and let me know what you think.

Healthy Prestigio Tarts Pic

Yes, this is my little girl enjoying what’s left over of the filling

Healthy Prestigio (chocolate & coconut) tarts

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup chopped cashews
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup dates
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter or coconut oil
  • pinch of salt

Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until incorporated.  Fill mini cupcake tins with paper liners.  Press 1 heaping teaspoon of the mixture into each to form a crust.

Filling:

  • 4 small bananas or 2 large
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 honey
  • 4 Tbsp coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter or coconut oil

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until fully incorporated.  Spoon around 2 good teaspoons of the mixture into the cups.  You can garnish with some shredded coconut and then place in the freezer until ready to enjoy.

Food and Nutrition, Food For Thought Friday - FFTF

Food For Thought Friday – Zucchini Crust Pizza and Intertwined in Intimacy


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For the Body: I am always interested in new, different and healthy ways to prepare food.  And, of course, how to incorporate more and more veggies into my and my family’s diet.  This week I made a pizza for my family, however, I made it with a zucchini crust.  It was so yummy and it’s a great way to get your veggies, not to mention, get veggies into your kids.  It is also a lot lighter than your traditional pizza and is gluten/wheat/simple carb- free.  The following recipe has been tweaked from here: http://www.foodandnewyorkcity.com/2013/09/skinny-zucchini-pizza-crust.html

Zucchini pizza pic

Crust: 2-3 small zucchinis, 1 egg, 1 egg white, 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese shredded, 1 tsp garlic powder, black pepper to taste, a pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp cumin, any other seasoning you like

Toppings: 1 cup ground chicken or turkey seasoned, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese shredded, 4 Tbsp tomato or pizza sauce, 1/2 onion, 1 bell pepper, 1 tomato, 1Tbsp olive oil, 1/8 – 1/4 cup thinly sliced olives

Directions: First make the pizza crust.  Shred the zucchinis and extract the maximum amount of water possible.  You can either put in a cheese cloth and wring it until you just can’t wring anymore, or you can place in a strainer and press with a bowl to allow the excess liquid to come out.  Place in a medium sized bowl and add the shredded cheese, egg, egg white, garlic powder, pepper, salt, cumin and other seasonings.  Then line a pizza pan with parchment paper and press the mixture into it to form the crust.  Bake in a preheated oven at 230C (450F) for 20-40 minutes (depending on your oven – here, in Brazil we use a gas oven and it took a good 40-45 minutes).

Cook up the ground meat and season it as desired.  Cut up the onion, bell pepper and tomato and saute in the olive oil over low heat.  I also add a little salt, but you don’t have to if you don’t like.

Once the crust is done, place the toppings in the following order.  First the tomato or pizza sauce, then the cheese, onion/peppers/tomato mixture, ground meat, olives, and cilantro.  I also put a bit of spinach, but it’s up to you.

Check out my facebook page for the nutritional benefits of Zucchini-good and healthy. Please leave a comment and the bottom and let me know what you think.  Or if you have any other ideas or suggestions for other uses with zucchini.

 

Intertwined in intimacy pic

For the Spirit: I love my morning quiet times.  I also love my late afternoon prayer walks.  Oh my goodness, they’re so refreshing.  They’re a time for me to be renewed, to get centered and to be strengthened in my spirit.  Most importantly though, it’s the time I come to meet with my creator.  He lives in me, and without Him I am nothing.  He and I are intertwined in an intimacy involving every fibre of my being (quoted by: Jesus Calling – Sarah Young).  I used to struggle with my morning quiet times.  I am not an early morning person.  Just ask my mom and brother.  They can tell you the horror stories of my morning attitudes and of me coming out of my bedroom, looking like a ghost.  I have recently, however, found a system that really works for me.  And not just for me, but for my whole family as well.  I love my morning coffee.  However, I don’t get around to having it until everyone has had their breakfast, made their beds, had their shower and gotten dressed.  By that time I am wide awake and alert.  I put on Youtube educational videos for Caue (my son) in my room and a short dvd for Hannah (my daughter) in her room.  I then sit down with my tablet (which has my devotional book and Bible) and hot cup of coffee, close my eyes and enter into that place of peace, tranquility, stillness of spirit, soul and being. I lift my thoughts and prayers up to the Almighty and He sits with me in that time and strengthens me.  I read His word and my devotional and am fully fed.  And once again, I can sense that I am not my own.  That He’s with me.  That He’s in me.  That He knows be better than I know myself.  And life just becomes so simple, stress-less and free.  I wouldn’t change that for anything.

How about you?  Do you have a special place or a special time that you come away to be with your maker?  How does God touch your heart and meet with you?  I would love to hear your experience.  Please leave a comment and let me know.

Food and Nutrition

FFTF – Eggplant and “Where does your confidence reside?


Food For Thought Friday – YEAH!

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I have found a new yummy dish, inspired by my wanderings around the internet on different foodie sites.  As I’ve mentioned before, I am passionate about being healthy, eating well and staying fit.  It does wonders for me, not just physically, but for my spirit as well.  God made me and caused yummy delicacies to grow on this earth so that we humans could be creative and inventive with the resources He has provided.  And so, here you have it: my fun little experiment with eggplant.  It was soooooo delish, and even my hubby liked it.  There will be no problem in making this savory dish again, because I know he will appreciate it and we both will eat it all up with no problem at all.

Eggplants are loaded with good, healthy stuff.  Not only are they an excellent source of soluble fibre, manganese and potassium, they are also very low in calories and fat.  They are also high in antioxidants and are great for cardiovascular health.

So here you have it:

Stacked Eggplant Pizza Rings – Serves 2

-8 1/4 inch eggplant rounds

-1 egg plus 1 egg white

-panko or bread crumbs (enough to bread the eggplant)

-Canadian bacon or turkey breast (or meat of choice or omit)

-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

-1/2 cup tomato or pizza sauce

-1 red or yellow pepper sliced (can use green if you want)

-1 small onion sliced

-2 cloves garlic chopped

-1 Tbsp olive oil

-2 tsp salt

-1 tsp demarara (raw) sugar

1. Chop the garlic and slice the peppers and onion.  Caramelize along with the garlic on low heat with the olive oil, salt and sugar.  Put aside.

2.  Place eggs in a bowl and the bread/panko crumbs in another bowl.  Take the eggplant rounds and dip in the egg wash, then cover with the cumbs.  Line a square pan with tin foil, place 4 eggplant rounds on the bottom.  Then place the meat, followed by the cheese, half the mixture of peppers and onion, and tomato/pizza sauce.  Then place the other 4 rounds of breaded eggplant and top with the rest of the sauce, cheese and peppers/onions.

Preheat your over for 5 minutes at 205C (400F), then bake for 1/2 hours.

And there you have it, 2 stacked eggplant pizza rounds each.  You can have together with a nice side salad of mixed greens and a light dressing and you’re set.

Ok, I always like to post a recipe together with some “Food for Thought”, because just as our physical bodies need food for life, our spirit also needs to be fed.  I absolutely love the devotional book by Sarah Young, “Jesus Calling – Enjoying Peace in His Presence” (http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Calling-Enjoying-Peace-Presence/dp/1591451884).  I try to read it everyday in the morning.  God has really used it to bring his word to life in such an intimate and personal way.

Have you learnt to appreciate difficult days?  Do you believe that, together with God you can handle anything?  We, as humans may change like shifting shadows, but God is always the same – today, yesterday, tomorrow, forever.  Our confidence resides in this.  In Him we live and move and have our being.  Our very breath depends on Him.  Do you believe this?  Please leave a comment and let me know.  Or go into my facebook page (button on the right side) and press like and let’s discuss this topic a bit.