Posted in Uplifting

I’m going to win!

On my morning walk the other day I heard a big commotion at the front door of a house I was getting ready to walk past. As I looked up to see what was going on I notice a very rambunctious 3–4-year-old girl trying to get ahead of her dad and older sister. She moved past with speed and shouting with all her might of “I’m going to win!” and of course, she did, she made it to their car way ahead of her family who could have cared less, in fact were telling her to slow down, but that didn’t dampen her spirits she jumped up and down with happiness in knowing what she already knew. She had indeed won!

How many of us still have that childlike excitement of things. Or have that ownership of good things to come. The knowing that we can do whatever we put our minds to. That little girl didn’t look at the obvious which was her dad or sister could have beat her with little effort. Instead, she buzzed pass in the firm reassurance of winning even before she made it to the car.

The fact that most of us look at overwhelming odds then choose to see defeat instead of shouting and seizing the victory. Is maybe something that happens as we age. We seem to get jaded by life and the monotony if living can bring.

But….what would it be like if we took some of our life experiences, lessons learned and kept the excitement of the little child in all of us. There would be no stopping us! What would it be like to dream again and go for it. I don’t believe you are ever too old to dream, if you have a pulse and breath coming and going from our lungs then why not?

As I was reflecting on this I am reminded of the parable of the talents that Jesus told.

Matthew 25:14-30English Standard Version

The Parable of the Talents

14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[b] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[c] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

You may say Jesus is a little over the top with casting the one servant into outer darkness but isn’t that what happens when we let what is given to us be left unused? We are then left in the darkness of despair, feeling less than, depression and hopelessness sets in, to me that is uttermost darkness. I think the one who made us knew we are meant for great things and when we settle for less the overwhelming darkness sets in, but He didn’t want that to happen.

I know with the new year hear maybe with a fresh start we could decide this will be our year to fully embrace our God given potential and not let the nay sayers win. To use our talents and just make a run for it.

I love how Martin Luther King said it ” If you can’t fly the run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”.

Posted in essential oils, Recipes

Honey Lime Chicken Tacos

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The cold that seems to be hanging on has me dreaming of warmer days and easy meals with fresh ingredients. So, with my daydream of warm weather I was trying to think up a good recipe to share that is easy and uses essential oils in it.

I couldn’t come up with anything, maybe the cold has got me stuck and unable to think of something good to make, so I decided to look in a great recipe book and found exactly what I was wanting but didn’t realize it. Todays recipe comes from a great little recipe book The Essential DIY Recipe Series.

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I got it from Young Living but I’ sure you could find it any place online.

I am going to give the exact recipe for Honey Lime Chicken Tacos but when I make it for me or others that don’t eat meat, I substitute the chicken with tofu and adjust the cooking time accordingly, so instead of hours I can do this in about 30 minutes because I use tofu.

Honey Lime Chicken Tacos

Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Honey

1/4 Cup Lime Juice

2 Cups salsa Verde

2 Teaspoon of Taco Seasoning (I use my own assortment of seasoning such as Chile, Cumin, white and black Pepper, Onion, Garlic powder, and salt)

4-5 Chicken Breast (or meatless option 2 14oz extra firm tofu)

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

4 Drops Lime Essential Oil

1 Drop Cumin

Garnish Ingredients:

Shredded Cheese

Sliced Avocado

Diced Tomato

Cilantro Leaves

Red Onion Slices

Instructions:

Stir together honey, lime juice, salsa verde and taco seasoning. If using chicken add a little of the sauce to the slow cooker (enough to coat the bottom) place chicken breast in the slow cooker and top with remaining sauce. Cover, and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. When chicken is done shred with forks. Stir together the chicken, sauce, sour cream, and essential oils. Keep warm until ready to eat.

(For tofu, drain tofu and remove all moisture out of tofu by covering tofu with towel and placing a heavy object on top for at least 10 minutes then cut into cubes. Pour small amount of sauce in a warm pan add cubed tofu and remaining sauce, sour cream and essential oils, simmer for about 20 minutes. I have done it this way and browned the tofu first then added sauce, either way this is a good substitute for chicken tacos.)

When serving fill corn taco shells or corn tortillas with chicken/tofu mixture and add the garnishes, enjoy.

Quick little tip when cooking with essential oils always remember not all oils are safe to ingest. You must always use high-quality pure therapeutic grade essential oils and ALWAYS read the label on the bottle to make sure it is safe to use internally.

Posted in Uplifting

The Grand Finale

I have always enjoyed fireworks but loved the grand finale the best. Just knowing that the best is coming at the end, the anticipation of all the different fireworks put together for one last impressive show is the best part for me.

It doesn’t stop there for me the grand finale at the end of The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade can almost bring a tear to my eye.

Maybe for me the ending of things is the beginning of something new is also another reason for me to enjoy the grand finale, who knows.

I have been thinking a lot of endings and beginnings lately, maybe because of a new year or because of my career and business adventure who knows but as I pondered this a thought came to mind that I had never really thought of.

I have always loved being a girl, even at a young age I would state with such pride “girl power”. I never understood how some males thought females are second class. I can get on my soap box on that one and stay on it instead I will spare you.  I believe that we were created by God, that we are so special that each of us are unique but as I read Genesis 2 about creation I realized that us women were not created as an after thought or second but as the grand finale. He wrapped up his creation with women. How awesome is that!

Genesis 2:20-24 New International Version (NIV)
20) So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam[a] no suitable helper was found. 21) So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[b] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22) Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[c] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23) The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”

In this world as women we can beat ourselves up and accept the thought we are second class but if we stop with the self-loathing, comparing…..on and on goes our list that bring doubt and not living our best lives.  Instead maybe when we start to go down the list of we aren’t enough we can stop and tell ourselves we are the grand finale so in that itself we are special and so loved by God that He chose to save the best for last.

Posted in Recipes

Vegetable Curry Soup

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With my love of all types of soup I am always looking or coming up with some kind of soup during these colder months.

Every place you look you can find a veggie curry soup but last week I made this soup adding my own twist. I am not sure if anything I did would make this a true curry soup, but it worked so I thought I would share it today plus it is such a fast soup to make that it’s great when in a hurry and the health benefits are great!

Bok Choy has significant amounts of A and C so with just those two benefits alone this soup can really help you during these cold months when our immune system is taxed. There are so many more benefits to this veggie, but I won’t list them at this time instead did you know that eating this plant raw could interfere with your thyroid function? True you would need to eat a good amount of it raw, but I find this so amazing. The reason this plant that offers so many great benefits for our heart, immune system and even fighting cancer when cooked can cause problems with our thyroid when raw is because some plants like Bok Choy and other cruciferous plants produce several enzymes that help protect them from herbivores.

So, when making this soup as tempting as it may be to graze as you cut up your veggies maybe hold back a little with the Bok Choy, besides you’ll have more for your soup that way too.

Vegetable Curry Soup:

2 1/2 cups of Veggie Stock

1 can (unsweetened) Coconut Milk

Small punch of Bok Choy cut up in bite size pieces even the tops but divided up.

2 Small Carrots cut in bite size pieces

1 Cup of Kale cut up in small pieces

Small Purple Onion (diced but save for a garnish)

4-5 Gloves of Garlic (diced)

Fresh Ginger Root (peeled and diced)

Turmeric, Coriander and Curry Powder to taste

Olive Oil (about 1 Tablespoon)

1 pack Japanese Style Soba Noodles

In a pot pour olive oil in then add diced garlic and ginger sautéing together for a few minutes. Next add your dry seasonings continue to sauté a minute or two longer, add cut up carrots, white part of the Bok Choy You will want to sauté for a few minutes before adding your veggie stock and coconut milk. After adding the liquid simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until your veggies are almost done then add chopped kale and Bok Choy tops for a few more minutes they will cook fast, so it won’t take long.

While you have your soup cooking, cooked Soba noodles per package directions then add them to the soup the last minute or two. Serve and enjoy!

Posted in Recipes

Quick Vegan Chili

To say I enjoy a nice bowel of chili is an understatement. I believe I could live off of chili or soup. I am always trying new ways to make both or as I look for new recipes on Pinterest it can lead to hours of scrolling and drooling as I find so many great recipes out there.

Today my picture falls flat on a Pinterest level but looks are deceiving because this chili is actually very good.

I came home from shopping hungry and a little cold so of course I turned to a chili or soup. I only had one can of red beans, half of a package of soy chorizo, half a can of corn with little time to boot but the chili turned out great so I thought I’d share.

Short on time but want to enjoy something tasty? This turns out to be a very cheep meal and who isn’t trying to watch their spending nowadays.

Quick Vegan Chili :

3-4 Servings, Time 20-25 minutes

1 16 ounce can of Red Beans

8 ounce of Soy Chorizo

1/2 can of Corn (about 8 ounces)

1 15 ounce can diced Tomatoes

1 8 ounce Tomato Sauce

1/4 of a onion diced

6 cloves of garlic diced

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

In a large pot on medium/high heat add olive oil, garlic and onion sautéing until the onion is almost translucent then add the soy chorizo cooking a few more minutes. Turn burner down to a low heat adding the remaining ingredients. Let simmer for about 15 minutes then serve.

I used vegan shredded cheese to top my chili and of course crackers but a nice side of corn bread would also be so very good, Enjoy!

Posted in Uplifting

Loving the Unlovable

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I was a very young preschooler when my mom left the east coast and my biological dad. It was just the three of us. My mom, older sister and I went to make a new start in the west. My mom having so much courage to start new, to make a great home for us with little to no money.

This did not stop her, she worked tirelessly giving not only a roof over our heads but giving us attention becoming mom/dad to my sister and me. My hats always been off to my brave mom, but I didn’t always act this way. Being so young I had no idea what was really going on. Because I did not understand or know much at the time for a while I acted out. That’s putting it nicely, I did everything that would make the average person want to pull their hair out.

To my mom’s credit she kept her hair. She did what is so hard to do, she showed me love and kindness in spite of my actions. She would hold me tighter even during my fight.

I am sure time dragged on for my mom, but her loving actions paid off BIG time. I finally gave up the fight I allowed my mom to love me. I accepted what was going on, I was still hurting but I knew I had a soft place to fall.

I not only had my mom and sister but down the road I had a man who chose us, he married my mom and gave my sister and I his last name. Talk about love.

I reflect on this today because Christmas is coming up and for me it shows the best act of love we could ever witness. God, choose to show such great love to us unruly and a lot of times unlovable humans by sending us Jesus. Not only did Jesus come to die for us so we can live forever in heaven, but it was the lovingly way he lived his short life that speaks volumes on how we should be. I have people in my life that seem to be so unlovable, but I know I need to show love just like I was shown, and maybe at this time of year we can find it easier to love those unlovable in our lives and perhaps it will become easier for the rest of the year.

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Posted in Recipes

Quinoa Stew

I had told my family that this quick spur of the moment dish was quinoa chili but changed it because I didn’t want to add to the debate of what chili is, so I decided that perhaps this hot spicy stew is just that, it is a stew and stay out of the debate.

This only takes a short amount of time; one pot and you can add to it to make it even better. With quinoa as the star, I was thinking latter that perhaps a nice white bean to go along with the quinoa would be great too. You still get the benefits of great fiber and clean protein that assist with bodybuilding as well as stabilizing your sugar, plus so many more vitamins and minerals, so you still get great health benefits if you choose just quinoa in it.

Quinoa Stew:

1 1/2 – 2 cups of quinoa (I used golden)

6-8 cups of water

Vegan chicken broth base (follow back of container for amount per your water)

1/2 – 3/4 cup cilantro lime salsa (depends on your taste)

1 small white onion diced

4-5 cloves of garlic diced

1 small green bell pepper

1 15 ounces of corn

1 15 ounces of diced tomatoes

1 small can dice green chilies

1-2 tablespoon of olive oil

Clean quinoa, set aside. Chop onion, garlic and green bell pepper. In a large pot over medium/high heat add olive oil, onion, garlic and green bell pepper sauteing until the green bell pepper is half cooked then add the can of green chilies, corn and tomatoes. Cook for a few more minutes then add washed quinoa, water and broth base. Stir altogether, lower heat add lid cook for about 15-20 minutes.

Serve in deep bowl, top with grated cheese, corn chips

(This dish is even great as leftovers!)

Posted in Recipes

Wild Rice with, Cranberries, and Pecans

I think no matter what holiday is coming up for you, this recipe will make a great side dish. I made this for Thanksgiving and found I liked it as well as my bread stuffing and it offers some great health benefits.

Wild rice is actually grain free with antioxidants so that means they help combat free radicals, which are unstable molecules that damage the body’s cells making them prone to cancer as well as other health problems like heart and digestion to name a few. Then you add the benefits of cranberries with their antioxidants and helping our body’s immune system, urinary tract infections, tooth decay and brain function. Wrapping it up with pecans that also help with anti-inflammatory. This dish is perfect for this time of year when maybe the cold has you feeling less than your best.

 

Wild rice with, cranberries, and pecans:

1 cup wild rice (cooked according to package directions)

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium stalk of celery, finely sliced

1 Teaspoon of fine sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 Teaspoon of poultry seasoning

1/2 cup of vegetable stock

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1 Tablespoons flat parsley, chopped

1 green onions, finely chopped

 

Yields 4-6 servings

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add celery, nuts and onions sauté for 1-2 minutes then add cranberries and seasoning sauté’ 1-2 minutes more before adding vegetable bouillon. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until celery is soft. Add the rice and parsley, stir then pour into oven safe dish with a lid. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, remove from oven and serve then enjoy.

 

Posted in Recipes

Creamy Turkey Taco Soup

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For most of us this coming week is a celebration of Thanksgiving and with that comes a lot of left-over turkey. If you are looking for a quick way to use up your turkey but need a change from classic Thanksgiving Day food then today’s recipe will come in handy, you could even replace the turkey with tofurky giving this a meatless meal like I do.

If you like taco soup, this is great for you too. I combine a turkey soup with a creamy version of taco soup for something different but still so good and warms you up,

The seasonings will differ depending on taste.

Creamy Turkey Taco Soup:

2 cups of diced tofurky (or shredded turkey)

2 cups of veggie chicken broth (but if using turkey, you can use chicken broth)

1 cup of milk (I use almond or soy I just make sure they are sugar-free)

1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil

2/3 cup of Salsa any kind that you like will do

A can of black beans

1 small Onion diced

4 cloves of Garlic diced

About 1/4 cups of flour

About 1 cups of grated cheese (1/2 cup for in the soup, the rest for on top)

The following seasoning per your taste: Salt, black pepper, chili powder, cumin, onion and garlic powder

In a large pot add olive oil, onion, garlic and sauté then make a roux by adding your flour and cooking a minute longer. Add salsa, turkey (if using tofurky wait to add until the last 10 minutes) black beans. Next the veggie chicken broth, milk, seasonings and stir together. Let simmer on low about 30 minutes or 20 if making this with a tofurky. Add cheese last stir until melted then serve.

Toppings: Crunched up corn chips, diced avocado, spoon of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt and just a little more grated cheese.

Posted in Recipes

Vegan “Chicken” and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings are one dish that I really enjoy when cold weather comes calling.

Some say that it originated in the southern part of the United States with corn bread dumplings and greens. Other sources say it is French Canadian during economic hardship of the great depression. I lean more towards the French Canadian thought because my one Grandma’s family was just that and she could win over even the most sceptic with her chicken and dumplings. However this dish came to be I appreciate this heart warming comfort food.

Vegan, Vegetarian or if you do eat meat I think you will find this dish has it all. You have protein, veggies and biscuits in a thick broth. You really can’t go wrong with this all in one dish that warms you up from the inside out.

I made this dish a few different ways with out the chicken but this time I used a meat substitute I bought. I try eating less of the premade meatless options but once in awhile I find that it is fine to eat them and they really help change things up when you are trying to eat less or no meat. I used Quorn meatless meatballs that you can find in the freezer section of most stores. I think the meatless meatballs pull this dish together nicely and holds up well.

If you have cooked or even eaten a meatless option you know how sometimes the texture can be lacking or the taste is off but this time I think they work well for this dish.

I will be trying these great little meatless balls in a nice marinara soon but for now lets get to todays recipe.

Vegan Chicken and Dumplings:

3-4 Servings Prep 15 minutes Cook Time 40 minutes

2-3 Red Potatoes cut in bite size pieces

1-2 Carrots cut in bite size pieces

1/2 small Onion diced

1 Celery strip diced

4-5 Bouillon cube

1/2 bag of Quorn meatless meatballs frozen

5 Cups of water

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

In a large pot sauté onion and celery until onion is almost clear add water, carrots, potatoes, bouillon and salt/pepper to taste. Cook on a low simmer. While the vegetables are simmering start making your dumpling mixture.

Dumplings:

1 1/2 cup of Flour

2 1/4 Teaspoon of Baking Powder

1/2 Teaspoon of Salt

1 1/2 Tablespoon of cold Butter (vegan butter)

2/3 cup of unsweetened Flax Milk (or any other non dairy milk of your choice)

Add flour, baking powder and salt then stir. Add the cold butter to the flour mixture. With a fork brake up the butter until you have small little flour pebbles then add the milk, it may take a little less than 2/3 of the cup but you want to slowly stir in the milk until it is a biscuit texture.

Now turn the the pot with your veggies up to a high boil add the frozen meatless meatballs. when the pot is a rapid boil add spoonful of the biscuit mixture to the pot then turn to a medium boil adding a lid cook for 20 miniutes.

Then dish up and enjoy!