The Waiting

2 Feb

“40” from U2’s War album has been on repeat in my head for the past few days.

How long to sing this song?
How long…how long…how long…

I am in a time of waiting.  Waiting for things that I presume shall fulfill my immediate longings and bring clarity and order to my life.  Some of these things have been in the queue for months, and others for years.  These desires can’t simply be forgotten.  They are woven into my personal journey.

Waiting.  Waiting.  Day after day after month after month after year.  How long will I wait?  At this point, I am emotionally folding my arms, stomping my feet, and pouting like a 5-year-old in a corner!!  I recognize this in myself, and it’s finally driven me to the question: How can I wait well with grace, poise, and dignity? 

Compare the words of Isaiah 40:30-31 alongside those of David in Psalm 40, (which just so happens to be the “40” Bono is singing). Isaiah says that those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength, soar on wings like eagles, run and not grow weary, etc.  Pssshaw!  This all has not sat well with me.  In my time of waiting, I haven’t felt exhilarated.  I don’t feel strong, and I certainly don’t feel renewed.  Waiting’s exhausting.

There’ s one keyword in these passages I’ve been glossing over: I’m weary because I am not waiting on the LORD….I’m waiting on the THING!! 

So back to my question: how do I go about waiting well?

For one thing, the object of my desire simply cannot be a condition that defines my success.  Consider the differences between a goal and a desire. Goals are achievable with hard work.  Desires are different…think: aspirations, wishes, longings.  They are arrows aimed at targets.  We can do everything to set up perfect conditions for the arrow to hit that bullseye, and then we have to keep our fingers crossed that a rogue gust of wind doesn’t knock it off course.

I want some things really badly, but in reality, I have no control over whether they come to me.  How much power am I giving those desires in my life?  I don’t know.  But it helps to identify what’s in my power to accomplish, versus what I can only cross my fingers for.

Secondly, I have recently noticed a few steps outlined in Psalm 40.  I have to share, because it provides a little more clarity on how to wait, with excellence.  

1.  Choose patience in word and action.  Though the waiting is at times a desperate feeling, our actions don’t have to be desparate.  Feelings often catch up.

2.  Believe He hears, upholds us and is our firm place to stand.  No matter how long.  He will deliver us from this, through this, or to something else.  Belief is very empowering, and can carry us through times of uncertainty.

3.  Get a new song in your mouth.  (Sounds better than the 5-year-old whining I default to).  The scripture says He puts it there!  It doesn’t come from willpower!  This new song is a hymn of praise for God and the beauty in creation that surrounds us.  Honestly, it’s much more beautiful to everyone’s ears.

4.  From a place of speaking, believing, seeing beauty…we are able to openly share the story of His goodness.  What a place from which to encourage others!

Waiting, with his grace…
Leigh

 

Liquid Breakfast.

30 Apr

I am not a proponent of smoothies.  Drinking calories, as it were.  In my heart, I feel that smoothies can be sugary calorie bombs, without providing satiety.  I scoff at the Vitamix guy at Costco making them for people, proclaiming the health benefits…then when no one is looking he caps it off with a 1/2 cup of agave.

Enter 4th child.  This season of life, I am looking for time hacks around every corner.  I have perfected the art of the 40-second shower, stopped folding our laundry, and (gasp!) started drinking my breakfast.

Because the days of softly scrambled eggs topped with natural sausage, over sautéed greens and sliced avocado are gone for a while.  Sorry breakfast, you are not a life-event anymore.

It’s so handy!  It’s only taken me 100 tries to get it to taste right.  :)  My hubby and I drink this a few times a week now.  We tweak it with a spoonful of nut butter here and there, and I always throw in my prenatal vitamins.  They are the worst.

Pile these ingredients into the blender in the following order:

1. 3/4 c milk of your preference
2. 1/2 c cottage cheese (sorry–dairy.  Sub 1/2 avocado, but up the liquid.)
3. 1 c greens (packed & overflowing out of the cup)
4. 1 frozen banana broken into 3 pieces
5. 1/2 c frozen mango–or any frozen fruit

Blend until smooth.

 Vitamix is nice and fastest, but it is not necessary.  Greens? Check.  Potassium?  Check.  Protein? Check.  Breakfast done, and well-rounded enough for me.  Carpe diem!

Kid Approved. Alternatively titled: Got Smoothie?

This is the same recipe, substituting the blueberries with mango.

This is the same recipe, I used blueberries instead of mango.

Heart Satiety

10 Mar

I haven’t posted anything in quite a while.  I’m riding a long wave of creative apathy and straight-up boredom in the kitchen.  I have been making the same things over and over; I am not creating new foods over here, and really not searching for any either.  In fact, Heather and I have contemplated turning the blog off because we have nothing new to tell you about.  Besides, everyone who eats a primal diet appears to have started a blog about it, and with much better photography!

In terms of food-spiration, I have nothing.  I know how to employ a clean-diet, it is a great tool.  I feel sad, because I have seen the paleo/Whole30 community take a turn to the obsessive side over the past few years.  Orthorexia is a thing now.  For heaven’s sake, have we not just swapped out one crazy for another?  All the blogs, and food pics and pins, and humblebragging on social media.  Craziness.

The saddest thing is when my own friends feel like authentic failures if they have a month or two, or twelve, of bad eating.  It is a crazy-cycle.  Feelings of tremendous success and pride after accomplishing a month of clean eating, which are subsequently chased away by “failure” (eating some bad food).  It becomes ridiculously mentally consuming.  Are we equating failing at life with eating sugar/grain/dairy?

There is so much talk about “satiety” after meals, and striking that perfect macronutrient-balance, which supports activity but not body fat.  That is a great place to be.  A clean diet provides plenty of physical benefits, but it offers zero relief for the emotional hunger we endure.  That emotional hunger will eat us alive if we do not respond to it properly…we will scratch for anything to fill the void.

Heart Satiety is what we need.

Isn’t heart-satiety what we are all chasing after, above and beyond the satiety of the stomach?  Where can we find such satisfaction of the soul?  I have a hint: it starts at taking the focus entirely off of self, and meeting people’s needs with no abandon.  That might sound harsh.  But tirelessly giving back will never make anyone’s day feel worthless.

Take on only the good of the clean-diet lifestyle.   Good food and the workouts serve ME, and not the other way around.  This mindset is freeing, and makes clean eating all the more enjoyable.  There is a general trajectory of good health-choices, which include a healthy social life, and systematically serving others.  Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up (1 Corinthians 8:1).  Relationships are more important than food!

In the trenches too,
Leigh

 

 

 

I don’t really agree with this.  And, I am not attracted to Ryan.

 

Creamy Curry Meatballs

24 Aug

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I am so excited.  After SO MANY MONTHS of not cooking, not trying new recipes, (honestly, not even really that eating clean, eeek),  I finally found a recipe that inspires and suits me: convenient, filling, and utterly delectable.  Between pregnancy and moving to Hawaii, blogging and cooking have really taken a back seat.  But like every passion the fire returned, even after all this time!

I won’t even apologize that this is not my original recipe, and it may even be old news to many of you.  But, I came across this and wanted to share just in case anyone was not aware of this awesomeness from Everyday Paleo.  I kept the meatball recipe the same, but I did make some minor adjustments to the sauce–to make it creamy, and mostly because her sauce called for only half-a-can of some things…I don’t like doing that.  :)

 

Meatballs

3 lbs ground beef
(feed a crowd, enjoy leftovers or freeze half for next time!)

1 cup finely diced onion

1 cup apple finely diced

1 egg

2 tablespoons curry powder

½ tablespoon sea salt

black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl, place all of the meatball ingredients and mix well by hand.  Form into golf-ball sized meatballs, and place into a large glass baking dish.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  While the meatballs are roasting, whip up the sauce!

Curry Sauce

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons curry powder

1 can (6 oz) tomato paste

1 can (14 oz) coconut milk

1/2 c water

juice of 1 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan whisk all ingredients together, bring to a simmer.  Add a few more tablespoons of water if you prefer the sauce slightly thinner…I like mine thick!  After the meatballs are done, drain them in a colander, and return them to their baking dish.  Pour the sauce over them, make sure they are well-coated.  Yum!

I served them over sautéed kale and cauliflower rice.  My kids gobbled these up, and the leftovers tasted even better.  I loved that I had all the ingredients on hand!  These meatballs would also make a phenomenal freezer meal.

Enjoy!
Leigh

 

 

Meatballs are a great meal for kids to help with!

Meatballs are a great meal for kids to help with!

Easy, creamy, curry sauce

Easy, creamy, curry sauce

Piggies in a Pancake

11 Aug

This weekend my kids were begging to make cake pops and I indulged them, of course–mostly because we have a cake pop machine that takes the hassle out of the usual time-consuming preparation. Then, perhaps it was my newfound (yet very much delayed!) interest in Pinterest affecting my brain, but I began to try various different cake pop options. My favorite was the breakfast cake pop: a paleo friendly twist on something my kids repeatedly beg for in the freezer breakfast section. Next on my list to try will be a corn dog variation. Anything cute and portable always seems to get the kids’ approval!

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup nut flour (I’ve been hooked on cashew meal from Trader Joe’s lately)
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk
1/4 raw honey, maple syrup or sub 2 mashed bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
links of your favorite nitrate free breakfast sausage, cooked and cut in pieces

Preparation:

Preheat cake pop maker or oven to 350. Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and whisk into a smooth thick batter.

For mini muffins: Grease tins with coconut oil liberally, add a bit of batter, place your piece of sausage, add remainder of batter to cover sausage. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

For cake pop maker: Grease cake pop maker with coconut oil, add a bit of batter, place your piece of sausage, add remainder of batter to cover sausage. Bake for 2-4 minutes until done, or according to your machine instructions. They get done very fast!

Make a couple of batches and refrigerate or freeze leftovers for easy, fast, or on-the-go school day breakfasts!

Enjoy!

Heather

Salmon a la Leslie

5 Aug

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Years ago, my dear friend Leslie shared this fantastic salmon recipe with me, and it’s been in my regulars ever since. When the hot and humid weather hits, I turn to it often because it’s simple and revitalizing. The original recipe is from Rachel Ray, and the only adjustments I made were adding more butter and eliminating the sugar. I’ve tried it a few times adding honey to the cucumber onion salad, but prefer it without. Try it for yourself and decide! Enjoy!

2 Tbsp grass-fed or organic butter
4-6 wild caught salmon filets
2 cups chicken broth or water (water is totally fine)
4 tsp dried dill or 4 Tbsp fresh dill
1 seedless cucumber
1 medium sweet onion
1 bunch bok choy stalks or 3-4 radishes (both offer a peppery taste)
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup white vinegar or white wine vinegar
1-2 tsp raw honey (optional)
pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Spread 2 Tbsp butter in 9×13 glass baking dish. Place salmon in pan skin side down. Add chicken broth and half of the dill to pan. Bake for 12-14 minutes until done. While salmon is cooking, prepare cucumber salad. Finely dice onion, cucumber, and bok choy or radishes and mix in medium bowl. Add vinegar, salt, and dill. Combine and season with pepper or extra dill to taste. I recommend making this ahead to give time for flavors to meld together in the fridge, but it’s also excellent straight away. Remove salmon from oven, top with cucumber salad and serve. We love this with mixed greens or cauliflower rice to compliment the cucumber onion salad.

Happy Summer,

Heather

Zesty Chimichurri

4 May
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put this on everything :)

It’s been a WHILE since I’ve tried any new recipes worthy of sharing with the world!  I have been in a winter slump in a lot of ways, and I am so thankful that this Kansas winter has lifted!  A good friend of mine–who happens to be a chef–recently hosted a small get together, and she served this chimichurri sauce with grilled chicken.  I just about fell out of my chair.  It was so zesty and fragrant, and bright.  It made me rediscover my passion to go home and make good food.  Thanks for sharing, Valentine ;)!!

Chimichurri complements any protein beautifully.  I served mine with pulled pork today, it was a great change-up from barbecue sauce.  It would taste awesome with a juicy grilled steak.  All 3 of my children loved this.  It delivers a true summer flair to the plate.

1/2 c olive oil
1/8 c white (or red) wine vinegar
juice of 1 lime
1 large shallot
1 garlic clove
2 seeded jalapenos
1 1/2 c fresh cilantro
1 1/2 c fresh italian parsley
1/4 c shelled pistachios
3/4 tsp kosher salt

Place ingredients in a blender or food processor in the order listed.  Blend until it reaches desired consistency.   Refrigerate leftovers.  

Enjoy!
Leigh

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