Black Bean Penne Pasta with Tomatoes

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Last week, I made some black bean penne pasta. It was quick to make. But even better, it was good. When I cook, I often share find myself sharing the pictures with mother and son. And in turn, they share their meals with me. The message behind it all is that we share a common bond in doing what is both fun and nourishing to our souls.

This is just one way that we keep ourselves resilient and flourishing: eating healthy meals and discussing what is meaningful in our lives. Maybe your thing isn’t cooking. Maybe it’s knitting, playing chess, boardgames, or cards. Whatever it is that lights you up as a person is what can be shared with others. Sometimes we allow distance to get in the way both inside and outside of having a pandemic. We can get creative in keeping our relationships open. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of stretching outside of our comfort zones in order to make that happen. Stretching isn’t fun, but worth every minute.

Link to Last Post: The Danger of Burnout

black bean penne pasta with tomatoes, healthy recipes, vegetarian, resilience, katina horton,  flourishing, food photography, food, recipes, from broken relationships to resilience and flourishing
Photo by Katina Horton

Before I give you the recipe for black bean penne pasta, I have to tell you a funny story. I made this pasta before. However, I was doing three other things at the time. Instead of setting a timer on the stove, I figured I would remember. By the time I looked in the pot, the pasta was mush. I didn’t want to waste it, so I doctored it up with ingredients, and put it on top of tortilla chips with cheese, diced tomatoes, and avocado, and I promise you, I was on cloud nine. So, fair warning, unless you want a refried beans effect, watch the time!

Here’s the recipe:

Black Bean Penne Recipe with Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 2 boxes of black bean penne pasta
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of avocado oil
  • Garden vegetable pasta sauce-2 jars
  • 3 teaspoons of each:

curry powder, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, turmeric, basil

Directions:

  • Boil four cups of water with a 1/3 cup of avocado oil.
  • Add pasta.
  • Rinse pasta and place back in wok with pasta sauce, seasonings, and tomatoes.
  • Add the rest of the avocado oil.
  • Heat up for 15 more minutes and enjoy!

Bless ya!

Katina

P.S. Would love to hear how you are keeping your relationships flourishing during times of distance!

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Lentil, Pasta, & Eggplant Soup

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Three weeks ago, I made lentil and eggplant soup.  I promise you, it did not disappoint.  So, if you are up for something new, why not try it out?  Enjoy and have a blessed rest of your week!

lentil pasta and eggplant soup, simple functional grace-filled living, simple functional grace-filled news, soup, healthy living, healthy eating, recipes, dinner, lunch, blogger, food photography

Lentil, Pasta, and Eggplant Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 box of Rotini pasta
  • 1 lb of French lentils
  • 1 lb of ground turkey meat
  • 2 eggplants
  • 1/2 jar of garlic pasta sauce
  • 1/2 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons of cumin, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, turmeric, ginger,curry, and parsley
  • 1/2 cup of quinoa
  • 1 cup of avocado oil
  • 1 cup of broth
  • 2 bunches of asparagus

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Directions

  • Boil the french lentils for about one hour, simultaneously, boiling the rotini and quinoa together in water and 1/2 cup of oil for about 25 minutes.
  • While they are boiling, brown the ground turkey meat in 1/4 cup of oil.
  • Saute the eggplant, asparagus, and diced tomatoes together.
  • After the rotini and quinoa finishes boiling, add them, the vegetable mix, the ground turkey, and all the other ingredients into a bigger pot and boil for about 45 minutes longer.
  • Enjoy!

Egg White with Asparagus Breakfast Sandwich

egg whites, recipes, food photography, breakfast sandwich, food, healthy living, asparagus, parsley

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.

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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:

egg whites, recipes, food photography, breakfast sandwich, food, healthy living, asparagus, parsley

Ingredients

  • Egg White
  • Asparagus
  • Ground Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Bagel
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Directions

  • 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.

Spaghetti Casserole

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Last week I decided that I wanted to have a big breakfast at some point during the Memorial Day weekend since I had a three-day holiday from work. I made Belgian waffles, grits with cheese, eggs with cheese, oatmeal, and breakfast sausage. I was grateful to God that everything turned out good. I had been wanting to use the Belgian waffle snap-in plates for two months. Unfortunately, I allowed fear to get in the way of me jumping in and giving it a try. I used Amber Honey for the waffle topping, and it was soooo good.

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Photo by Katina Horton

Normally, when there’s a holiday involved, I usually start cooking early. However, this past Monday, Memorial Day, I didn’t start cooking my dish until around 4:15 p.m. or so. I wanted to have an easy Monday and not have to rush to do anything. My son and I were eating by 5:30 p.m., which was nice. The spaghetti casserole that I decided to make was a literal concoction that I came up with on the Friday before the holiday. I hope you are enjoying some beautiful weather this weekend. Bless you all!

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Photo by Katina Horton

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches of swiss chard
  • 1 (8 oz.) pack of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (no salt)
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 box of whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 pack of Mexican shredded cheese
  • 2 cans of Hunt’s pasta sauce (1 four cheese can & 1 garlic and herb can)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups of avocado oil
  • 5 tablespoons of each: garlic powder, curry, onion powder, chili powder, turmeric, cumin, parsley, ginger.

Directions

  • Boil about four cups of water in avocado oil, then add the spaghetti.
  • While the pasta is preparing, Saute the mushrooms, diced tomatoes, and peppers in the avocado oil. Add all the seasonings to the mixture.
  • Once the above is ready, drain the spaghetti and dump it into a big bowl.
  • Dump the vegetables on top and mix it as best you can. You don’t have to worry about it being perfect. It’s kind of like a “messy casserole mix”.
  • Grab a 9 x 13 Casserole dish and cover the bottom with cheese.
  • Dump the contents of the bowl into the casserole pan.
  • Pour the two cans of pasta sauce on top.
  • Place in the oven on 425 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top before eating. Man, that was so good mixed with the Mexican cheese.
  • Enjoy!

Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs

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turkey meatballs, recipes, food photography, spaghetti, food, healthy living, pasta sauce, parsley
Photo by Katina Horton

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:

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  • 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.
  • Add the pasta sauce on top and enjoy!!

Have a blessed week!

Lentil Asparagus Tacos

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Lentil Asparagus Tacos Background Story

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!

tacos, lentils, asparagus, brown rice, food photography, recipes, healthy living, healthy eating
Photo by Katina Horton

Total Cooking and Prepping Time:

1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 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)
tacos, lentils, asparagus, brown rice, food photography, recipes, healthy living, healthy eating
Photo by Katina Horton

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.
  • Optional: top it with cheese.
tacos, lentils, asparagus, brown rice, food photography, recipes, healthy living, healthy eating
Photo by Katina Horton

Oatmeal Raisin Pecan Cookies

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Last week, I had a sweet tooth for cookies. And so, on Friday I purchased some pecans, and got to making this desire a reality on Sunday after church. I was surprised that they came out pretty good since it was my first time trying out the oatmeal raisin cookie combination.

I will definitely have to make these cookies again. If you are feeling adventurous enough to try them out, send me an email and a picture letting me know what you think. Have a blessed week!

oatmeal raisin pecan cookies, recipes, healthy eating. lifestyle, food photography,food, katina horton, blogger, food blogger, simple functional grace-filled living
Photo by Katina Horton

Total Prepping and Cooking Time

35 minutes

Ingredients

  • oatmeal- 1 1/2 cups
  • raisins- 1/2 cup
  • almond milk – 1 cup
  • chopped or whole pecans – 1/2 cup
  • sugar – 1/2 cup
  • almond flour – 1 1/2 cups
  • flaxseed meal – 3 tablespoons

Directions

  • Mix all of the above ingredients in a large bowl using a whisk or wooden spoon.
  • Using a cookie scoop, grab one scoop at a time, making sure that you press against the side of the bowl to rid of any excess liquid.
  • Place the scoops on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake on 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Pasta with Black Lentils

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Background on Pasta with Black Lentils

Over the weekend, I attended a women’s conference at my church. It was a Holy Spirit-filled good time. Because of having a busy weekend, I decided that I wouldn’t cook on Saturday evening. I ordered two build-your-own pizzas, watched movies with my mom, and took it easy.

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Photo by Katina Horton

On Monday night, I decided to cook dinner for the week. I loved the end result. The dish has a little bit of a spicy kick to it. It is just enough for you to enjoy the dish, and at the same time not be overwhelmed.

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Photo by Katina Horton

I pray that you are having a blessed week so far, and preparing to embrace the weekend that is upon us.

Here is the recipe for Pasta with Black Lentils:

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Photo by Katina Horton

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of fettuccine
  • 1/2 cup of quinoa
  • 1/3 cup of oil
  • 1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 pound of black lentils
  • 4 tablespoons of onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, parsley, cumin, and curry

Directions:

Boil a pot of water, placing some oil in the water to avoid sticky pasta.

Boil the black lentils for about 30 minutes.

Place the pasta and quinoa into the boiling water.

Cut up the zucchini, and then saute the zucchini and tomatoes together.

Add the seasonings to the vegetables.

Dump the vegetables into the pot of pasta and quinoa.

Enjoy!

God bless,

Katina

Summertime Salad

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Background Story on Summertime Salad

My mother and two nieces came to visit me this weekend. I picked them up on Saturday, hoping beforehand to have made at least four out of six stops completed prior to picking them up from the train station. Well, I got three done. I had to talk myself down to the fact that I would have to make three stops with two little ones. It wasn’t that bad after all.

After all of the stopping and putting away groceries, we decided that it would be best to grill on Sunday after church. It rained overnight and Sunday morning. However, as the weather man predicted, the rain stopped at around 1:00 p.m. By 2:00 we were ready to grill.

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Summertime Salad Photo by Katina Horton

Some of the highlights of my weekend were: 1) watching a two-year old dance and climb a flight of stairs with the look of joy on her face, 2) watching both nieces play with twigs and branches in the backyard 3) listening to 70s, 80s, and 90s slow jams, 4) watching movies, 5) baking oatmeal lemon nut and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with my niece, and 6) grilling for the first time since living here. I hope and pray that you had a simple, functional grace-filled weekend as well.

Here is the recipe for the Summertime Salad that I made on Sunday:

Ingredients

  • 5 medium beets
  • 3 tablespoons of Italian seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons of minced onions
  • dressing of your choice
  • 3 medium green bell peppers
  • 6 to 8 mini sweet peppers
  • 10 radishes
  • 1 tub of mixed green salad
  • 6 tomatoes cut into wedges or slices

Directions

  • Roast the beets for 45 minutes on 350, pouring olive oil and wrapping them individually in foil and placing them on a cookie sheet beforehand.
  • When they are done, allow them to cool off for 15 minutes and then peel off the skin with a towel.
  • Cut the beets into wedges.
  • Dump the mixed green salad into a bowl.
  • Dump the tomato slices or wedges into the bowl.
  • Dump all the rest of the ingredients and sprinkle the seasonings last.
  • Enjoy!

God bless,

Katina

Seasoned Chicken Breasts

Background Story on “Seasoned Chicken Breast”

I am reading about six books at one time. This is almost always the norm as of the last couple of years. One of the books that I am reading is entitled, “I Thought It Was Just Me (But IT Isn’t) by Brene Brown. I just recently started this book. This particular read hones in on shame and perfectionism, how they work together, and how we can employ shame resilience.

Although I am only at the beginning part of the book, what stuck out to me is the correlation between shame and performance. We have all been guilty of using shame to get the end result of performance. This happens everywhere, including work, home, and in our churches. However, using shame to get this result only damages both side. It damages the shamer and it damages the one being shamed.

No one is left feeling good about themselves. Why is that? Shame reaches into areas of our lives that stirs all kind of unwanted emotions. In order for people to change, we have to have a motivator for ourselves, not from the pressure of other people via shaming or any other form of pressure. Change will not last in this manner. Consequences are not always enough to produce change. Understanding what our behavior does to others will.

Now, on to the recipe. This recipe that I made two weeks ago is a quick recipe for seasoned chicken breasts that can be made in no time and then placed on buns to make a chicken breast sandwich restaurant-style. Hope you enjoy!

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Photo by Katina Horton

Activity: Making Seasoned Chicken Breasts

Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Parsley- 3 teaspoons
  • Onion powder-2 teaspoons
  • Curry-3 tablespoons
  • Chili powder -2 teaspoons
  • Black Pepper – 2 teaspoons
  • Cumin-2 teaspoons
  • 3 large chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil

Directions:

  • Rinse off three large chicken breasts.
  • Cut them up into chunks, season them on one side, and place them in a skillet of oil.
  • Turn them over after 13 minutes and season the other side.
  • Eat them paired with sides, alone, or in between two pieces of specialty bread.