Eggplant, Lentil, & Rice Casserole

With everything going on, it becomes very important to keep a routine, practice wellness/self-care, and continue to let our creativity juices flow. I have been continuing to make my weekly concoctions. For the last month now, Culver’s has been a Friday treat for me. It eliminates me having to cook, and I can immediately begin to enjoy my weekend.

On yesterday, I was talking to my mom, and I decided to look out the window. There were chipmunks chirping, and a bluejay flying mid-air. Before I got a chance to tell my mother about the blue-jay, I noticed a nice-sized animal in the yard. It appeared to get along with the squirrel that was standing there. I couldn’t figure it out for the life of me. I ended up sending my mother and son a picture. Then, I sent one to my neighbor next. After tossing ideas back and forth, and googling their responses, I was able to come to the conclusion that what was in my front yard was a ground hog. Of all things! I told my neighbor, “There’s never a dull moment as far as what we will see on this property”. She agreed.

Eggplant Lentil and Rice Casserole, healthy eating, vegetarian, food, quinoa, food, food photography, katina horton, simple functional grace-filled living
Photo by Katina Horton

Well, here’s the recipe. I hope that you will enjoy it. Have a blessed rest of your Father’s Day!

Eggplant, Lentil, & Rice Casserole


  • 2 eggplants cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup of black lentils
  • 2 cans of Hunts’s garlic and herb pasta sauce
  • 5 tablespoons of cumin, onion powder, curry, turmeric, garlic powder, parsley, chili powder
  • 2 cups of Mexican cheese
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup of quinoa
  • 1/2 cup of avocado oil


  • Boil your lentils in about 5 to 6 cups of water for about 50 minutes.
  • While the lentils are boiling, boil your rice and quinoa for about 20 minutes.
  • Stir-fry the diced tomatoes and eggplant.
  • Dump all of the above into a wok and stir-fry for about twenty minutes, making sure to add the oil and seasonings.
  • Grab a casserole pan and dump all of the above ingredients into the pan along with the cheese.
  • Stir with a wooden spoon.
  • Pour the cans of pasta sauce on top, garnishing with parsley.
  • Bake at 425 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Rotini & Spinach for Dinner

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

45 minutes


  • 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!

Vegetarian Bean Party

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


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


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.


Grits And Quinoa Casserole Pie

Going for the Grits

When it comes to breakfast, most of us eat the same few things every morning.  I know I do.  I am one who has always needed the extra protein boost.  I always start off by munching on two to three brazil nuts in the morning.  If there’s orange juice available, you can believe that a small glass is just enough to get me going.  Sometimes, I immediately figure out what I am going to eat for breakfast.  However, most times it’s just too early to process everything, and so, if it’s a weekday, I then proceed to figure out what I can make my kids really quick so that they can head out the door for school.  Then, I can take my time to fix myself something to eat.  This time, I decided to something different with grits.

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Photo by Pixabay on

I love cheesy grits.  On this past Monday, I wanted to do something with a little bit of a twist than the usual, so after making the grits the regular way, I decided to add quinoa and bake it for twenty minutes.  I liked the end result, and I hope that you do too.  Have a blessed rest of your week!

DSCN0950 (2)

Activity:  Grits & Quinoa Casserole Pie for Breakfast and/or Brunch

Total Prepping and Cooking Time:  40 minutes


  • (2) cups of grits
  • (1/2) cup of quinoa
  • (1) teaspoon of onion powder
  • (1) teaspoon of garlic powder
  • (1/2) cup of  cheddar cheese or vegan cheese
  • (1/4) cup of grapeseed, butter, or whatever oil you have
  • (1/2) cup of soymilk or almond milk
  • (1) tablespoon of parsley

grits, vegan, pie, parsley, quinoa, food, recipe


  1. Bring three cups of water to a boil.
  2. Boil the quinoa for twenty minutes.
  3. Add two cups of grits to the boiling water.
  4. Stir the grits ever so often with a whisk.
  5. Add the milk, butter, cheese, quinoa, seasoning, and parsley to the pot and whisk together.
  6. Bake at 365 degrees for 22 minutes.
  7. Cut into triangle pie wedges after ten minutes.
  8. Makes 6 servings.
  9. Enjoy!

For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.

27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.

28 Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.

Proverbs 3: 26-28, KJV

Oatmeal Bowl

I find that there’s nothing as comforting than something warm and soothing in your stomach in the morning.  For me, a bowl of oatmeal seems to do the trick every time.  This recipe is just what you need to get the day going.  Ideas for variety for this oatmeal bowl would be switching out the pumpkin seeds for sunflower or other seeds,  trying goji berries, golden raisins, and other fruit.  On some days, switching out the oatmeal for  grits, polenta, or malt-o-meal might interest you as well.  Brazil nuts can be swapped with walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, etc.  

The thing that I like is that you don’t need to use a lot of the ingredients to get in all of your nutrition.  Just the quinoa alone gives you a great protein boost.  Plus, I love the colors that are in this bowl.  Yes, I do like the aesthetic appeal of things.  Just as a tip, quinoa, oatmeal, coconut, and chia seeds are inexpensive when you buy them by the bulk, or you can go to places like Whole Foods to scoop them in your storage containers or bags.  I just recently learned this secret. 

For example, I measured out about $1.30 worth of chia seeds, and it’s been almost three weeks since I bought them, and I still have some left over.  I have found out that every store has certain things that they sell that are inexpensive compared to others.  The sacrifice is the time and energy involved in finding out what items are cheapest in what stores.  If your valley is financial like mine, it is worth the adventure and planning.  Happy eating!

oatmeal bowl ingredients, chia seeds, coconut flakes, quinoa, raisins, vegan bowl

Activity:  Making an Oatmeal Bowl

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Oatmeal Bowl

Total Prepping and Cooking Time:  20 minutes


  • (8) 42 oz.  containers of oatmeal  – $24.00
  • scoops of coconut flakes –  $3.00
  • scoops of chia seeds  – $3.00
  • (1) bag of pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds  – $8.00
  • (5)  lbs of quinoa  – $16.00
  • (1) 24 oz. container of honey  – $2.20
  • (1) container of regular butter or vegan butter (I like Earth Balance.) – $3.80
  • (6) cartons of milk – $15.00
  • (1) pound of brazil nuts – $16.00 (excellent source of selenium)
  • (2) cartons of raisins – $6.00

Total Cost: $ 97.00

Cost for one day: $3.23

Estimated Duration of Food:  1 month for a family of 4 to 6, 2 months or longer for a family of 1 to 3


  • Boil two pots of water, one having just water in it, and the other, along with quinoa. 
  • While the water is boiling, place the following in small, clear glass bowls, or whatever bowls that you have:
    • coconut flakes
    • pumpkin seeds
    • chia seeds
    • raisins
    • brazil nuts
    • honey
    • butter
    • milk
  • Chop up about three brazil nuts, placing them back into the bowl when finished.
  • Add the oatmeal to the boiling water.
  • After quinoa is done, you can drain off excess liquid with a strainer, and place it into a clear bowl.
  • When oatmeal is ready, add butter and milk.
  • Pass out the bowls and everyone can add their own toppings.
  • Enjoy!

I have been young, and now am old,
    yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
    or his children begging for bread.
 He is ever lending generously,
    and his children become a blessing. 

Psalms 37: 25-26, ESV