Hope you guys are doing well on this beautiful Sunday afternoon in the Midwest. Be blessed! Here is a recipe for Chocolate Chunk Cookies:
2 cups of oatmeal
2 cups of almond flour
1/2 cup of chocolate chip chunks
3/4 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of coconut flakes
2 tablespoons of flax seed meal
1/3 cup of sunflower seeds
1/3 cup of sliced almonds
1/3 cup of walnuts
3/4 cup of almond milk
Grab a large bowl, mixing all of the above ingredients.
Place parchment paper onto two cookie sheets.
Scoop the mixture with a small ice-cream scooper, making sure that you press the sides of the scooper against the bowl in order to drain off excess liquid before placing the scoop on the parchment paper.
Right now, in our world, we are faced with a situation that we have never had to deal with before. We have a virus that is worldwide, and there are lockdowns with specific instructions that are given, and each set of instructions are different for each region. No matter what these instructions are, we have been asked to stay home. Unless we have essential jobs or errands to run, we are told to stay put for the safety of ourselves, our loved ones, and the extremely vulnerable.
During this season, we have all felt a little bit of some form of anxiety or fear. Change brings anxiety. Sicknesses/Diseases bring on fear and anxiety. And lastly, but definitely not least, the unknown brings on anxiety. One unknown is that we don’t know how long the worldwide lock downs will last. We don’t know how long the shortages in the grocery stores or hoarding/panic buying will last. We don’t know how long it will be till we feel a sense of normal again. To be honest, when we think about it, will things ever really be “normal”? Those of us who haven’t had to deal with trauma are now having to ride these waves. Those of us who already have PTSD are dealing with compounded trauma.
One of the best things that we can do for ourselves during this time is to come up with a schedule that we can stick to in order to keep our bodies/minds/souls rested, renewed, and refreshed.
This is a good time for creativity. There will be times that we’ll get stuck. The important thing is us coming up with a schedule and sticking to it for the sake of our own, emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health, as well as that of the other members of our household. There will be times that we’ll have to just stop and have that cry or meltdown. It releases the trauma hormones, stress, and anxiety from our bodies and will definitely help us to feel better. This is an area that I have to remind myself of over and over again. “Get the cry out. Have self-compassion and empathy for all you have gone through. Then move forward.” Sometimes we might have to rinse and repeat several times a day.
So, what are some of the things that I have been enjoying during this time? 1) Getting to spend some time with my almost 22-year-old son. 2) Listening to the birds in the morning and then again at 8 at night when they are rounding up for the day. 3) Baking banana bread, zucchini bread, and cookies. 4) The creativity juices to write poetry as I sit on my bed among my pillows in the morning. 5) Extra time to read. 6) Time to work on writing two books.
During the week, when I am working full-time, as part of my morning routine, I start off by drinking a cup of orange juice and eating two Brazil nuts. Then, I usually eat a Cliff Bar within an hour of that. Within an hour and a half after that, I refuel with a breakfast sandwich.
The weekends are different. I still start off with the orange juice and two Brazil nuts. My need for orange juice in the morning as a wake-me-up is equivalent to other people’s necessity for coffee. My meals vary on the weekends. Why? Weekends are my times to loosen up from a super structure when it comes to eating. I believe in eating healthy. I just try to have a little bit more fun during this time.
One Saturday morning I made an Egg White with Asparagus Breakfast Sandwich. Here’s the recipe:
Cut the bagel in half and place in the oven to toast.
Place five to eight asparagus stalks on a cookie sheet with olive oil and black pepper on a cookie sheet to roast in the oven.
Put oil in a skillet and add the egg whites.
Once everything is ready, place ingredients on the bagel, sprinkle the egg whites with parsley, and enjoy!
Optional: Add cheese, mushrooms, or diced tomatoes to the egg whites.
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!
Total Prepping and Cooking Time
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
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!
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
Here is the recipe for Holiday Stuffing:
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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!
Total Cooking and Prepping Time:
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)
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.