Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

It seems that I am always making some version of chocolate chip cookies. A couple of weeks ago, I made almond chocolate chip cookies again. Every time that I make them, I usually tweak a few things. Sometimes this is on purpose. Other times it’s because I am out of something, and desperate for something sweet.

When we are lacking something, we can focus on the lack, or we can come out of our scarcity mindset, let our creative juices start flowing, and see what God gives us as an alternative. God is the God of abundance.

Here is the recipe:


  • 1/2 bag of Enjoy Life mega chunk chocolate chips
  • 2 capfuls of almond extract
  • 1/3 cup of slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • almond oil -1/2 cup
  • 1/4 cup of flaxseed meal
  • 1 1/2 cups of almond flour
  • 1 cup of oatmeal for binding and thickness
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Photo by Katina Horton


  • Dump all the above ingredients into a huge mixing bowl.
  • Mix everything with a wooden spoon.
  • Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Using a cooking scoop or tablespoon, scoop purposely uneven portions of the cookie mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. The more cookies on the sheet, the longer it will take.
  • You might want to use two cookie sheets.
  • Enjoy!

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Coconut Lemon Cookies

Simple Spaghetti Casserole

Background on Simple Spaghetti Casserole

simple, spaghetti, casserole, vegan, vegetarian, pasta, healthy eating, food, food photography, blog, blogger, recipes, healthy, brunch, Christmas, party

This morning was the Christmas party celebration for my Moms’ Ministry small group.  We had a ton of food and a ton of fun.  This year has definitely been an eye opener from God to me, in realizing that yes, gifts are nice.  They are wonderful.  However, the best gifts in life do not come wrapped with a pretty bow.  Because of God’s love toward us, we are indeed able to share this gift of love. 

simple, spaghetti, casserole, vegan, vegetarian, pasta, healthy eating, food, food photography, blog, blogger, recipes, healthy, brunch, Christmas, party

There is something about friendship, fellowship, food, and laughs that makes you appreciate all the wonderful blessings that life has to offer.  I think the craziest part of the morning was when we played charades, which featured words that centered around winter and Christmas time.  The highlights of this game was when I tried acting out Christmas stockings, and did a goofy swirl with my body.  Then, we had the other team recreating the nativity scene.  What fun!

simple, spaghetti, casserole, vegan, vegetarian, pasta, healthy eating, food, food photography, blog, blogger, recipes, healthy, brunch, Christmas, party

Last night, it dawned on me that I had signed up to bring cookies and a cold pasta dish to this celebration.  What I decided to do was to make spaghetti to eat, and then this morning, my wheels started turning, and that spaghetti transformed into my “Simple Spaghetti Casserole”.  You can find the last simple recipe that I made here.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.

God bless!

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Activity:  Making Simple Spaghetti Casserole

simple, spaghetti, casserole, vegan, vegetarian, pasta, healthy eating, food, food photography, blog, blogger, recipes, healthy, brunch, Christmas, party

Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 1 1/2 hours


  • 3 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 can of French cut green beans
  • 2 tablespoons of vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 box of spaghetti
  • 1 can of pasta sauce
  • 5 tablespoons of parsley
  • 1/2 cup of vegan or non-vegan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder


  • Boil one box of spaghetti in five cups of water.
  • Pour the olive oil into the water so that the spaghetti won’t stick.
  • Saute the corn and french green beans with butter and chili powder.
  • Rinse the spaghetti when done, then add the pasta sauce, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add all of the rest of the seasonings except for the cheese and parsley.
  • Cook for 10 ten minutes, and then dump into a large casserole pan, at 425 degrees for 25 minutes, completely covering with the shredded cheese and the parsley on top.
  • Enjoy!


Mexican Crumble Chili

Background to the Chili Story

Last week, I went on an adventure of trying to figure out what meals to make with the ingredients that were left.  You know that it’s time to go grocery shopping soon when you start getting really creative.  Either that, you’re feeling adventurous, or you’re bored.  One of the three.  What I ended up doing was making my own version of chili.  It turned out pretty good.  Last night, I decided to make it again since I had leftover ingredients.  My son actually gave me a thumbs up.  If he doesn’t like how something tastes, trust me, he isn’t scared to speak his mind in that area.

Racing to Get Out

It’s funny because I heated up a bowl of chili.  Then, I decided that I would take a walk for some fresh air, and also drop three books off at the Train Station library while I was at it.  Right before leaving out, I went upstairs to grab something.  That’s when my son asked, “What are you eating down there?”  And to which I replied, “A chili concoction that I made.  Do you want some? Of course, the answer was yes.  I had to quick heat him up some because it was starting to get dark outside, and then rush to take a quick fifteen minute walk and head on.  If you are feeling adventurous, how about giving it a try.  Drop a line below to let me know how yours turned out.  Here is the simple recipe:

Activity:  Making Mexican Crumble Chili

Mexican crumble chili

Total Prepping and Cooking Time: 30 minutes


2 teaspoons of garlic powder

2 teaspoons of onion powder

2 teaspoons of turmeric

2 teaspoons of cumin

2 teaspoons of italian seasoning

3 teaspoons of chili powder

2 teaspoons parsley

1 cup of tomato juice

1 pack of Lightlife Vegan Mexican SmartGround Crumble

3 cans of black-eyed peas

3 cups of vegetable broth (for vegan) or chicken broth (non-vegan)

1 cup of water

1 cup of cheese


Dump all of the above ingredients into a pot and heat up for 30 minutes.

Garnish with cheese on top.

Optional to crunch in crackers while you’re at it.

vegan chili, healthy eating, healthy recipes
Mexican Crumble Chili


Have a blessed night!


Vegan Mexican Hashbrown Bites

Because of the fact that my daughter is vegan, I am constantly trying to come up with vegan recipes that are fun, tasty, and simple.  For quite some time now, I was thinking of trying to make vegan hamburger patties using the ground crumble, but I was unsure of what the results would be, considering that the ground crumble could simply fall apart if it isn’t bound well.

Finally, last week I gave it a try.  To be more specific, I gave the vegan bites a try.  The hamburger patties will be for another day and another post.  I made one big bowl of this mixture.  At first, I only cooked about 20% of the bowl, and refrigerated the rest.  Later that day, I cooked the rest of the bowl.  I noticed the difference immediately.  Refrigerating the mixture causes it to stiffen and thicken up to a better consistency.  Thus, my recommendations for you would be to make the mixture, and refrigerate the mixture for one hour, and then start scooping the bites.  The one thing that I like about this recipe is the fact that the Mexican crumble has enough of a spicy kick, that you don’t need a lot of seasoning.  Please enjoy and have a wonderful Labor Day!

vegan recipes, healthy eating, healthy recipes, food

Activity:  Making Vegan Mexican Hashbrown Bites

Total Prepping and Cooking Time:  95 minutes

vegan recipes, healthy eating, healthy recipes, food




  • Dump all of the above ingredients, except the oil into a bowl.
  • Use a small cookie scoop or your hands to roll the bites.
  • Place the bites into the oiled skillet, turning them every so often with a small spatula.
  • Enjoy the vegan bites!


You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.  Psalms 128:2




Oatmeal Chocolate Delights

Most people who know me have figured out the fact that I don’t bake a lot.  However, it is something that I have wanted to learn how to get better at, and lately, I am becoming a little bit more courageous about this new adventure.  I usually leave the baking up to my daughter, who can whip up something in a minute.  Yesterday’s adventure was oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

I was pleased with the result, and I had to force myself to stop after cookie number three.  The flaxseed meal makes these cookies really moist on the inside.  The bonus to making these cookies is that I had everything at home already.

oatmeal, chocolate, food, cookies, vegan


Activity:  Baking Oatmeal Chocolate Delights

Total Prepping and Cooking Time:  45 minutes

oatmeal, chocolate, food, recipes, cinnamon, brown sugar, milk


  • (1 1/2) cups of oatmeal
  • (1/4) cup of semi-sweet organic chocolate chips 
  • (2) tablespoons of flaxseed meal mixed with 3 tablespoons of water
  • (1 1/2) cups of flour
  • (1/4) cup of brown sugar 
  • (2) teaspoons of vanilla extract 
  • (1/4) cup of coconut oil
  • (1/4) cup of grapeseed and sunflower oil blend
  • (1/4) cup of sunflower seeds
  • (1) teaspoon of baking soda
  • (1/4) cup of vegan milk (soy, almond, etc.)
  • (1/4) cup of cinnamon


DSCN0746 (2)


  1. Prepare two cookie sheets by greasing them with the grapeseed oil using a paper towel or optional, using parchment paper.  (I ran out, so there was no option.)
  2. Whisk together the flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, sunflower seeds, and baking soda in a bowl.
  3. Mix together the brown sugar, vanilla extract, coconut oil, and vegan milk in another bowl.
  4. Pour the brown sugar mixture into the dry mixture.
  5. Add the grapeseed blend and stir.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Use a small cookie scoop to place the dough on the cookie sheets.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 22 minutes.
  9. Enjoy!

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” –Isaiah 52:7

Breakfast Bread Casserole

Background Story

A few days ago, I decided to make two of what I call a breakfast bread casserole.  Sometimes I get in the mood of mixing different ingredients together to see how they come out, based upon several other meals that I cooked that were similar.  This one turned out even better than I thought.  I love the challenge of tweaking recipes to accommodate my daughter, who is vegan.  What I realized is that there was not a whole lot of substitutions to make for this recipe.  Instead of buying vegan and non-vegan bread, you can just use vegan bread, and call it a day.  The meat and cheese are major substitutes of course.  The only other substitute is using one tablespoon of flaxseed meal, mixed with two and half tablespoons of water in a bowl, per egg requirement.  This is also a great substitute for baking, and if you are like me, and you have to watch the cholesterol for health reasons.  Have a blessed week in the Lord!  Happy cooking!

Activity:  Cooking Two Bread Casseroles for Breakfast

Total Prepping and Cooking Time:  90 minutes

healthy living, vegan recipe, breakfast casserole


  • (1) loaf of bread – $3.99
  • (1) pack of Fieldcrest vegan sausages   –  $4.99
  • (1)  .75 oz of parsley flakes  – $1.00
  • (1) .75 oz of onion powder  – $1.00
  • (1)  .75 oz of chili powder  – $1.00
  • (1)  .75 oz of oregano  – $1.00
  • (1) pack of  Pepperjack vegan cheese  – $3.49
  • (1) pack of cheddar cheese  – $1.88
  • (1) 16 oz. pack of ground turkey  – $2.00
  • (1) carton of eggs – $0.88
  • (2) 13.5 oz can of cut spinach – $.75
  • (1) container of butter or bottle of olive oil or vegan butter – $3.69
  • (6) plum tomatoes -$2.00
  • (1) small bag of flax seed meal – $3.69
  • (1) non-dairy milk – $2.59

Total Cost for Breakfast Bread Casserole: $ 33.95

Cost per day for two days: $16.98

Cost per day for three days: $11.32

Estimated Duration of Food:  2-3 days for a family of 4-6, 5-6 days for a family of 1-3

healthy living, vegan recipe, breakfast casserole, food


  1. Place two casserole dishes on the table.
  2. Put butter or oil into two separate skillets, and then place the meat inside both of them with the seasoning.
  3. Cut up six tomatoes.
  4. Drain the two cans of spinach.
  5. Pour oil or butter into a third pan, placing the spinach and tomatoes inside afterwards.
  6. Take eight slices of bread, and cut them into cubes.
  7. Grab two medium-sized to large bowls, placing three cups of non-dairy vegan milk into both.
  8. Place three eggs into one bowl, and three flaxseed mixtures into the other bowl.  (Use one tablespoon of flaxseed meal and two and a half tablespoons of water and mix for each egg requirement.)
  9. Use the meat as the first layer, spinach and tomato as the second layer, and sprinkle cheese on top.
  10. Place the cubes of bread into both casserole pans.
  11. Place another layer of cheese on top.
  12. Pour the milk mixture into both casserole pans.
  13. Place another layer of cheese on top.
  14. Enjoy!

healthy living, vegan recipe, breakfast casserole

I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.

O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.

This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.

The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Psalms 34: 1-8, KJV

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


  • 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


  • 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