Tag Archives: verucaspice.com

Adventures in Cuisine

Meatless Monday ended up being Meatless Saturday, which was a blazing 90+ degrees with high humidity and ozone warnings. We had Chef Salads, and although our meal was meatless, I did include half a hard-boiled egg in each salad and a few cubes of cheddar cheese for protein. I had made Chunky Vegetable Chowder on Friday to have with our Friday Hammy Sammys, so we had the leftover chowder with our salad. Here’s the recipe. It makes a lovely summery, veggie soup.

Chunky Vegetable Chowder from Betty Crocker 30 Minute Meals for Diabetes

6 large servings 3 carbohydrate choices

Ingredients:

  1. 1 tablespoon butter
  2. 1 medium green bell pepper, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
  3. 1 medium red bell pepper, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
  4. 8 medium green onions, sliced (½ cup)
  5. 3 cups water
  6. ¾ pound small red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (2 ½ cups)
  7. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme OR 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  8. ½ teaspoon salt
  9. 1 cup fat-free half-and-half
  10. 1/8 teaspoon of pepper
  11. 2 cans (14.75 oz each) cream-style corn

Directions:

  • In 4-quart Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add bell peppers and onions; cook 3 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in water, potatoes, thyme and salt. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until potatoes and tender.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients; cook about 1 minute or until hot (Do not boil, or it will curdle).

Seriously, get this cookbook, Betty Crocker 30 Minute Meals for Diabetes.  It is fabulous!!

In an effort to educate our palates and try some new things to keep some spice in our marriage 😉 Mike and I made a curry together for the first time ever. Yes, we cooked it together. I found a relatively easy recipe at verucaspice.com. Here’s the recipe…and, oh yeah, it was delicious!

Indian Chicken Curry by Nirali Patel at verucaspice.com

4 Servings

Ingredients:

  1. 1 pound chicken breasts, cubed to bite size
  2. 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  3. 1-8 oz can tomato puree
  4. ½ a red onion, fine chopped (1 cup)
  5. 1 heaping teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  6. 1 heaping teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  7. 1 Serrano chili, finely chopped (optional)
  8. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  9. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  10. 1 teaspoon ground garam masala
  11. ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  12. ½ teaspoon red chili powder to taste
  13. Juice of ½ a lime
  14. Salt and pepper to taste
  15. A little over 1 cup of water

Directions:

  • Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and fry until they are golden for 6-7 minutes.
  • Add ginger and garlic and fry for 30 seconds, reducing heat to medium.
  • Add tomato puree and continue to cook for 6-7 minutes until a lot of the water has evaporated and oil starts to seep through the mixture.
  • Add spices (except garam masala). Fry spices in mixture for about 5 minutes.
  • Add cubed chicken and stir, coating all pieces.
  • Add the water and stir well. (Stir in the Serrano pepper here, if you choose to use it.)
  • Cook, partially covered for 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through. You can uncover and let moisture cook out if you wish.
  • When at desired consistency, add garam masal, lime juice, salt and pepper.
  • Enjoy!

I know it looks complicated, but it really wasn’t. And it was so tasty, and not at all spicy hot. I don’t think I’ve ever had the spices turmeric or garam masala in my kitchen before.  Turneric is so pretty…and tasty.  We didn’t use the optional Serrano pepper, but we will try it next time. Mike likes spicy hot foods, and I’m willing to try it once anyway.

As for progress on the rest of my quest: Joan and I have now been to the Rec Center to walk for 4 days.

  • Day one-I walked 4 times around the track…thought I was gonna die!
  • Day two-I walked 5 times around the track…pretty sure I did die for a minute there. 🙂
  • Day three-I walked 4 times around the track and quit because it was 90+ degrees and humid out, and I was going grocery shopping from the Rec center. I was fairly OK after the Rec Center, and circling around a stroke after grocery shopping.  I will not push that hard on such a hot and humid day again!
  • Day four-I walked 7 times around the track. After six laps I felt really good so I thought, “What the heck; I’ll do one more lap.” Then after my seventh lap, my feet, knees and back were VERY unhappy.

Tomorrow will be Day 5 at the Rec Center. I plan to be in the moment (not just thinking about getting it over with), and I will listen to my body, stopping at the first sign of actual distress.  And hey, 13 laps is a mile, so I made it over a half mile yesterday. Woop!!

Thanks for reading, dear friends! God bless your day

Donna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Miracle

Hello Dear Readers,

Welcome back! I want to share something that happened to me several years ago. On a spring day, I attended a half-day women’s retreat at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. If you’ve not been to the Chicago Botanic Gardens, it is a lush, green, stunningly beautiful place to walk and wander amid the scent of the flowers and plants surrounding you. I highly recommend it as a place of quiet meditation, or as a place to contemplate nature at its manicured finest!

Anyway…about a dozen women met there at 9:00 am. We chatted together for a bit then were sent off to write down our thoughts in several areas of the Gardens.  We met back at 10:00 am and then again at 11:00 am to share our thoughts. Then we met at noon in the cafeteria for lunch and wrap-up.

At one point in the morning, we were sent off to find a quiet place to to sit and pray and then to pick a question out of our retreat booklet to answer.  I chose: “What type of a plant are you.” I thought, “What is this Barbara Walters?” It was one of her favorite questions when interviewing celebrities. (Actually it was, “What kind of a tree are you?”) Here is what I wrote after my prayer time:

“In the precious garden where God’s human’s handiwork is seen, where do you see you? Are you the prairie grass standing tall, stretching up and up to praise God and feel the warmth of the Son? Do you bend gently with the wind in joy at your freedom? Do you bend sharply in the bluster of winter?”

“Who are you?”

“Are you the willow, long and slender, reaching up for the heavens, then dropping down to caress the waters of the earth? Do you dance and sway to nature’s music?”

“What, in nature, are you?”

“Are you the rose, vermillion in your beauty and splendor? Do you bloom under God’s watchful eye, pleasing those around you and hiding your prickles in shadows?”

“Me? I am the English Oak. Solid…sturdy…stocky. Yes, I bend with the wind, I, too, dance and sway for my creator. But my roots go down deep. My roots grow down, down, down into the solid packed earth, gripping rocks and soil to stay rooted. Rooted in God’s Word.”

“In God’s garden, there is room for all. Each of us on our own path, yet each of us is designed as part of one plan. Too small and busy are we to see the whole garden, but we can believe the One who holds the whole garden in his hands.”

That’s it, and believe it now more than ever. If we are just content to bloom where we are planted and then trust God for the rest, we live our lives in perfect peace. I am where I am because of God’s plan and my own choices.  And right here and right now God can use me for his purposes.  And wants to use me AND you, too.

And here’s the miracle: when we gathered back to share which question we had chosen the ladies read, one by one, the question they had chosen and their thoughts and meditations. When it came to my turn, I kept flipping back and forth to find the question that I had answered. (“What type of a plant are you?”) Hmmm…even though I had read and reread that  question many times in my meditation, it was nowhere to be found in the retreat booklet. God let me see the question that I needed to answer. I am still humbled and in awe of this simple gift God gave to me on that morning. God is good!

Blessings, my peeps.

Donna

PS: I rejoined the Rec Center and plan to meet my friend Joan there three days a week to walk.  I know I could step out my door and walk, but with the heat of summer and the poor walking condition that I am in, the Rec Center is a better option.  I can do a lap and then sit to recover, then walk another lap, sit to recover, etc… Also I have started planning better meals and cooking with purpose again. And on Saturday I will make my first Indian dish, “Indian Chicken Curry-Quick and Easy” recipe by Veruca Spice. Check out the website at http://www.verucaspice.com. Really good stuff for expanding the palate!