Tag Archives: veggies

Journey Journal: Days 96-97

Day 96: Saturday, April 6, 2013

Slept in. Breakfast of Ezekiel 4:9 Golden Flax cereal with raspberries, banana slices, and almond milk, and a French Press of coffee. Went to Goga for 20 minutes of workout and 15 minutes of sauna time. Brought a book to read in the sauna (Reckless Abandon by David Sitton, an autobiography of a missionary to PNG). After that, I came home, filled my water bottle, grabbed a granola bar, and went on a 5 mile walk in the neighborhoods surrounding ours. I am so thankful for this sunshine and the new blooms of springtime! After a hot shower, I met Bryan downtown, since he was there studying for his Microbiology test all day. I grabbed some red pepper strips and a mandarin orange on my way out the door and enjoyed them with a Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad from Port City Java. He studied for a bit more, then we checked out the new Anthropology store downtown (very cool, by the way!) before heading to dinner at 21 East. Bryan got a burger with root beer caramelized onions and a side of fries; I wasn’t super hungry (since the salad wasn’t that long ago), so I just got a single cajun crawfish taco (which was delicious! I might just have to get the 3 for $10 next time). It was a relaxing evening! I love date night!

Day 97: Sunday, April 7, 2013

Church this morning. Then 2nd grade Journey Group, where we talked about God being “Unchanging.” Had my cousin, his girlfriend, and another friend over for a lunch of tacos and taco salad (beef with cumin and garlic; and shrimp with curry powder, red pepper flakes, and garlic; plus loads of fresh veggies). Shared a French Press of Columbian coffee with our guests. While Bryan and the gang continued to study, I went for another 5 mile walk…this time with book in hand. I read and walked and enjoyed the fresh air! Bryan grilled burgers for dinner, and I had a side of carrot sticks. Made some lemon corn muffins with a lemon glaze for dessert, which got gobbled up very quickly! (Recipe here; I used about a cup of powdered sugar instead of 1/3 c. white sugar in the glaze, and I used Jiffy cornbread mix instead of the suggested brand.) Will have to remember that! Watched some clips on Food Network, while sipping a vanilla almond iced coffee (leftovers from this afternoon’s brew). Time for a hot, Epsom salt bath before getting ready for bed and grabbing my book one more time for the weekend.

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Journey Journal: Days 61-64

Day 61: Saturday, March 2, 2013

Slept in, which felt great after several late nights last week–been reading a new novel that’s been hard to put down…more on that later. Spent most of the day with my sister and nephews. Then Bryan and I grabbed coffees at Starbucks and went on a drive–one of our favorite dates–driving through the countryside and several small towns for about two hours before dinner. Made a large batch of Curried Vegetable Lentil Soup, which consisted of carrots, leeks, garlic, tri-colored bell peppers, daikon root, spinach, fresh sage, curry powder, vegetable bouillon, and red lentils, and was topped with fresh cilantro. It turned out very flavorful. If desired, a little sriracha sauce or crushed red pepper flakes would add a nice, extra kick to the dish. Serve with hearty bread, if desired.

Day 62: Sunday, March 3, 2013

Day of Worship. Day of Rest. Lunch with Bryan’s folks–it was good to see them again. We started with a small bowl of the Curried Vegetable Lentil Soup and Homemade Bread, then had a London Broil dinner (seen below), and finished with berries, dark chocolate, and walnuts for dessert. Since I had to make the potatoes dairy-free, I decided to add a little beef broth, a pinch of marjoram and garlic, and two tablespoons of mayonnaise (instead of butter and sour cream). They tasted great–even I was surprised! Of course, the gravy is a secret recipe, which makes everything taste amazing.

London Broil, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and Sauteed Onion, Pepper, Mushroom Medley

London Broil, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and a Sautéed Onion, Pepper, Mushroom Medley

Day 63: Monday, March 4, 2013

Down another 2 pounds last week! Very excited! Had a slice of homemade bread for breakfast and leftover London Broil with sides for lunch. It was a long day, and I wasn’t feeling the greatest, so after work, I ended up having soup for dinner with fresh bread, sweet tea, and a good book (or at least, it’s good so far–I withhold full judgment until I’ve completed the reading).

photo-4

Dinner and a book…

Day 64: Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hearty oatmeal breakfast with berries, almonds, and a touch of maple syrup, accompanied by two turkey sausage links and coffee. Lunch of curried vegetable lentil soup with my friend Shannah (the last of this batch of soup), and a “vegetable salad” she made that had cabbage, carrots, onions, red peppers, and a sweet celery seed vinaigrette dressing. After work, came home to burgers with guacamole for dinner with a side of sweet potato fries. Thank you, Bryan! Now, to finish that book…or at least come close… Good night.

“Compost Pizza”

After a long week, we often try to use our extra fruit and veggies up in creative ways. You’ve seen the Brown Rice Bar (aka Unfried Rice) idea before. Every time we make it, there’s a slightly different combination of ingredients, but it’s always delicious.

This particular week, the ingredients included snow peas, onion, red and green peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, granny smith apples, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, avocado, yellow squash, fresh garlic, parsley, cilantro, sauteed shrimp, feta cheese, butter, dried apricots, dried dates, raisins, and peanuts, plus the brown rice, of course.

When we were finished, there was no shrimp left, so I combined all the fresh fruits and vegetables together in one container.

The next night was our weekly dinner group and pizza was on the menu. At first, I wished I had stored all the ingredients in separate containers, but we decided to just throw everything on the pizza and see how it worked. We added green and black olives, as well as pepperoni, to the mix. I was a little leery of putting snow peas and Granny Smith apples on a pizza, but it turned out really delicious!

As we were making it, one of our friends (shout out to Nathan Melsom) said it reminded him of everything we would put in our compost bin, and thus coined the phrase “Compost Pizza,” which will live in infamy in our house. Thanks, Nate.

So, before you throw those leftover chopped veggies and fruit in your compost bin, considering making Compost Pizza! It’s more delicious than it sounds.

Recipe: Veggie Fried Rice with Stir-fried Eggs (aka Rice & Eggs)

Rice & Eggs is a staple at our house. It’s a great way to use up cooked rice. Bryan’s family made this growing up.

Rice: Bring 1 c. uncooked rice to a boil in 2 c. water. Reduce heat to low or medium low and cover (leaving lid slightly ajar, so it doesn’t seal and boil over). Simmer for 15 minutes and remove from heat.

Meanwhile, scramble about 6 eggs in butter. Add cooked rice to eggs and continue to stirfry. Add a generous sprinkling of garlic powder. (Salt and pepper are optional.)

At this point, Bryan’s dish is done.

But…while he’s cooking the rice and eggs, I prepped my own veggies. I stir-fried 1/4 c. finely chopped red onions, 1/4 c. finely chopped bell peppers, 1/2 c. chopped grape tomatoes in about a teaspoon of olive oil (or butter). Meanwhile, I steamed one bunch of chopped swiss chard with a little butter, salt and pepper. In a separate pot, I steamed a small head of broccoli and a handful of “de-podded” fresh peas from our produce basket. We both had broccoli, and the rest of the veggies went in my fried rice.

Serves 4 (dinner last night for both of us + lunch today for both of us).

Theme: God’s Faithfulness

I’m doing a little research on God’s Faithfulness (hence, the latest post on Learning from Elisabeth Elliot). I’m in charge of decorations for an upcoming Mercy Ministry Dinner for some ladies in our church and I want to make the decor match the theme of the evening: God’s Faithfulness.

I’m still playing with several ideas. Here’s what I have so far:

  • “Great is Thy Faithfulness” sheet music cut into pendants and sewn into banners as table runners

  • Fresh flowers (violets, irises and rosemary symbolize faithfulness)

from BHG.com

  • Maybe incorporating tea cups as vases

from Midwest Living

from KatieBrownBlog.com

  • Candlescapes
  • Rocks that say “Faith” on them (is that cheezy?)
  • Egg theme, since we’re close to Easter

from BHG.com

  • Cross decor?
  • Rainbows (or scattered crystals that would create rainbows when hit with light)
  • The colors white and silver can be symbolic of faith
  • “Fruit of the Spirit” route, decorating with fresh or artificial fruit arrangements (maybe a pear or apple with a ribbon tied to the stem with a card that says “Faithfulness” in a pretty font (like Zapfino)

from BHG.com

  • “Faith as a grain of mustard seed” concept?

from Midwest Living

A secondary theme is Amy Carmichael, so I’ve thought about the following:

  • Adding some of her quotes scattered on the table
  • Adding some of her quotes as part of a decoupage placemat

  • Adding some of her quotes into the “Great is Thy Faithfulness” banner idea

Here are some other ideas I like:

from Southern Living

from BHG.com

from BHG.com

from BHG.com

I also have to keep in mind that they’ll be using white china with gold trim for the place settings, so I can’t be too informal. I want to use bright spring colors. Oh, and I have a budget of $100 for 20 tables. Any ideas?!

All Wrapped Up!

This past weekend, we tried out the new Brown Rice Bar for one of our dinners. See the spread here. There was a good bit of leftover veggies, so I decided to toss them in a Sundried Tomato Wrap with some kalamata olives, Green Garlic dressing, and goat cheese. Yum!

You could use any freshly diced veggies for this! Feta would also be nice!

All wrapped up!

Venison and Brown Rice Bar (aka “Unfried Rice”)

Our friends, Greg and Catherine, joined us for dinner on Friday night. Catherine focuses on a raw vegan diet as much as possible, so we wanted to have a fun spread. They did, however, provide some venison that had been given to them. Everything was delicious and very simple. Greg and Catherine arrived around 2:30 in the afternoon. We prepped the Raw Pumpkin Pie and began the meat marinade while we caught up and enjoyed each others’ company. We ate around 5 and finished with a great board game. It was so much fun to cook as couples and try new things.

Nothing says southern hospitality like a glass of iced tea! (Of course it's sweet!) All photography in this post courtesy of Bryan McKinnon, http://www.shadowlight.smugmug.com.

The Spread: Brown Rice Bar with Fresh Mix-Ins, Pan-fried Venison, Tossed Salad with Mushrooms and Tomatoes, Carrot Salad with Cinnamon, and Sweet Tea.

Meat for the Man Folk: venison marinated in apple cider vinegar, garlic salt, onion salt, pepper and olive oil for 1 hour prior to battering in Italian panko (bread crumbs) and pan frying in canola oil. Yum!

Fresh Raw Ingredients for the Rice Bar: tomatoes, zucchini, apples, carrots, green onions, radishes, green and red peppers, white onions, pumpkin, garlic.

More Rice Bar Add-Ins: Pomegranate, Goat Cheese, Parsley, Paprika, Curry, and Mint Leaves. I highly recommend the combination of garlic and curry. This was a great feature and I will definitely serve it again. So tasty, and everyone gets to pick their own add-ins! You can please vegetarians, and it doesn't matter if the rice gets cold because it still tastes great!

We concluded the evening with a rousing game of Settlers of Catan, Organic French Press Coffee for the ladies and Earl Grey Tea for the men. (Okay, I took this pic, obviously.)

Bright and Beautiful Veggies!

I had some wonderful vegetables in my fridge this week. Below are some examples of what I did with them.

Veggie Pizza: Homemade Sourdough Wheat Crust drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with garlic and basil, and topped with fresh spinach, sliced red peppers, sliced green tomatoes, onions and blue cheese. Mmm!

Veggies that Wanted to Be Eaten! Hmm...what to do with them...

Stuffed Peppers! Slice off top (and just enough of the bottom so they sit flat). Chop excess peppers, green onions, and green tomato. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, pepper, dill weed, and cumin. Mix and stuff peppers.

One for dinner and one for tomorrow's lunch! Crunchy, sweet, and savory all at the same time!

What to do with over ripe avocados? Make pudding, of course! 2 small avocados, 3 Tbsp. agave nectar and 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder. Blend till smooth. You may need to add 1/4 c. to 1 c. of water to get desired smoothness.

Creamy chocolate pudding serves 4.