Indian Night

This was my dinner tonight. It was good.

Both dishes are Indian Dishes posted on Susan V’s Fat Free Vegan Kitchen recipe blog site. Have I ever mentioned that I love that site? If I haven’t, I’ll say it now: I love that site! I saw these two recipes while I was perusing the site a few days ago, decided to have an Indian night sometime this week and went out to buy all the ingredients.

I was especially excited about the okra dish because I’ve never eaten, not to mention cooked, okra before. From the picture on Susan’s site, the okra didn’t look all gooey like I’ve seen cooked okra look before. I must admit, I was a little worried while I was cutting up the little green guys cause the ooze was getting on the knife, but she had note about making sure to throughly dry the okra to keep it from getting slimy. So I did.

The preparation of the okra was fairly simple and straight forward.

Toast some cumin seeds, sauté some onion and garlic, add seasonings and okra and cook until browned. Boom, boom, blam. Bhindi Masala done.

The other dish, which is an eggplant and chickpea curry, was slightly more complicated. I had to cook, peel and cut the eggplant first and all the spices weren’t added simultaneously. But it wasn’t too bad.

After I got all the ingredients in the pan, I was able to get the kitchen cleaned while both dishes were cooking. That was an added bonus. Usually, I leave the kitchen looking like a tornado blew through it (one of the benefits of living alone).

I would post the recipes on here, but I think I’d be breaking some copyright rules or something. At the very least, I’d be going against Susan V’s request that they not be reposted. So go to her site so you can see the original recipes for yourselves. While you’re at it, browse around her site. She has a lot of great recipes that carnis and omnis alike would enjoy.

 

Bhindi Masala &  Eggplant and Chickpea Curry

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Quick Dinner

I decided to post what I had for dinner tonight because it was such a fast, easy, tasty meal. If you’re not a mushroom person, then you probably wouldn’t like it but if you are, Portobellos are great because they’re so hearty and easy to cook. All I did tonight was sauté some minced garlic in about 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil with rosemary, thyme and marjoram. Then added the mushroom, a little lime juice and a pinch of sea salt. I cooked it covered for about 15 mins, turning it a couple of times. I also heated up some frozen spinach I had in the freezer and added a little Liquid Aminos. The result is what you see to your left.

Search for a Church: Revisited, Part I

So a while ago I set out to find a church home in out here in SoCal. Considering the fact that there’s a church on every other corner out here, one would think that this would be a relatively easy task to complete. But for me, the number of different churches in the area makes finding one to join completely overwhelming. I can’t just walk into any ol’ church house and say “ok, I found one” and be done with it. I wouldn’t do that with a husband so why would I do it with a church? Some of my friends may remember when I tried finding one a little while back. I did join a church, but for a few reasons I stopped attending, so now I’m back at square one.

Well, I’m actually kinda past square one because I visited a church today that I really liked. I found it online and it was much closer than the last church I went to. I really enjoyed the service. I’ll definitely visit that church again.

I figure since I found the message relevant to my life, I’ll post my notes in case someone else finds it useful as well.

Pray Like Jesus Part 4: “Thy Will Be Done”

Matthew 6:10b

Three Dimensions of Intervention

  1. God’s will be done in OUR world
  2. God’s will be done in MY world
  3. God’s will be done in my LIFE

A. How is God’s will done in heaven?

If you study the angels, you find they do God’s will:

  • Unquestionably
  • Quickly
  • Consistently
  • Fully
  • Joyfully

B. Why is it hard for us to ask that God’s will be done?

  • We don’t want to give up control
  • We doubt that God’s will is the best
  • We know God’s will may involve suffering (ain’t that the truth!)
  • We know it means resistance against the status quo
  • Satan hates this prayer

C. What happens when we REALLY pray that God’s will be done?

  • We learn the power of obedience:  1 John 5:3,4 – “3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”
  • We invite the guidance of God:  Sometimes we aren’t sure what the will of God is for our lives, but the best way for us to find out is to follow His reveled will. That is, do what He has already commanded in His Word.
  • We discover the beauty of ‘nevertheless’:  Matthew 26:39 – “39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.‘” Praying for God’s will doesn’t mean we should deny our own will. We should still ask for what we want, but surrender our will to what God wants. (Even Jesus made his desire to NOT have to endure the cross known, but did so because it was God’s will).
  • We invite divine intervention:  We can and should claim the general promises (will) of God boldly, while humbly leaving room for His specific will
  • We trust our mysteries to His majesty:  Surrendering  our right to an explanation as to why God does what he does
  • We experience God’s promises: 1 John 1:10 – “10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

” There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.'” – CS Lewis

Random List of Places I Eat When I’m Too Lazy to Make My Own Food

I just felt like highlighting some of the places that I’ve come to love on those days when I want to get out and let someone else make my food (I just had lunch so food is on my brain).

1. Chipotle – I LOVE Chipotle. I have for some time now and that love didn’t die when I stopped eating meat; I just changed what I order. I used to get a chicken bowl, now I just get a veggie bowl loaded with black beans and lettuce (and usually without rice). The Chipotle by my job even offers a meat substitute, but I prefer getting the veggie bowl cause then I don’t have to pay extra for guacamole.

2. Salad Creations – This is probably my FAVORITE place to go for lunch (there’s one close to my job). Anything you can think to put on a salad they have. Plus they have red wine and balsamic vinegar for those days when I don’t want a fatty dressing.

3. zpizza – I lived right by a zpizza for years and never tried it until after I gave up meat & dairy and learned they offer a dairy free cheese substitute. Now I love this place. Every pizza I’ve had here has been delicious. Like most other pizza places, they have online ordering and delivery.

4. Subway – When ever I want to spend no more than $5 on lunch, I go to Subway. The Veggie Delite does me right.

5. Veggie Grill – Every now and then I get the hankerin’ for a burger, just without the meat (and the fat and the cholesterol that comes with it). When I do, I usually go to Veggie Grill for lunch. While this isn’t my favorite vegan restaurant, it does have a number of tasty menu items that I enjoy.

6. Native Foods Cafe – Ok, THIS in my favorite vegan restaurant so far. If only there were one close to me… *sigh* Going to Native Foods is always a treat. It’s great for omnis and carnis alike. I’ve taken a few friends there and they all liked what they had.

7. “Ethnic” Restaurants – Why does it seem like every other type of cuisine is 20-times more vegetarian friendly than American cuisine? If going out, I love places that serve Thai, Greek/Mediterranean, Indian, Afghan/Pakistan, etc… Point being I can usually find some great “fare” at a restaurant that serves food other than American.

8. Burger Joints –  So now that I’ve talked all this mess about American cuisine, I will say that most burger chains (think Red Robin, Johnny Rockets, etc) do offer a veggie burger. This usually isn’t my first choice of places to go (I’d much rather hit up Native Foods for a “Chicken Run Ranch Burger”), but if I’m with people who want to go to a burger place or if I want a burger, but don’t wanna make it and don’t feel like driving to LA or the OC, I’ll just settle for the nearest burger place that’ll give me a veggie patty.

So there’s my list. I’m sure this list will grow as I continue trying new places, but this is what it is for now.

The New Years Post

Okay, so I know that we’re well into the second month of this year and it may be a little late to refer to this as a New Years post, but the nice thing about having a blog is that I can call my posts whatever I want 🙂

In a sense, today was like New Years for me. Around the beginning of the new year people often take time to reflect on the year that passed and begin to determine what they want for their lives in the coming year. Well, that’s exactly what today was like for me. The past few months have been very difficult (that’s why I haven’t posted anything on here lately). A number of events occurred in my personal life that really took a toll on me, emotionally, physically and spiritually. So when the new year came around, I wasn’t really in the emotional state to do all the usual new year resolutioning. In fact, I wasn’t in the emotional state to do much of anything productive….

But today felt like an awakening of sorts.  I woke up this morning with a renewed enthusiasm for life and decided to write a set of goals that I have for the coming year. The result was a goal packet I created for myself. Yes, I ended up with a packet, not just a list. It started as a list, but then I realized that a list doesn’t really get me far. I needed a plan of action, a set of concrete steps that I will take to accomplish my goals.  So that’s what I did. Now, my packet isn’t complete yet, but I’d say I’m off to a good start.

I have to admit, initially I felt kinda guilty because most of my goals seemed somewhat selfish to me, but my mommy told me it’s okay because I’m at a stage in life where I’m supposed to be working on me and establishing myself. So now I can look at my packet guilt free.  Thanks mom!

In case you’re curious, here’s the list that I started with. It’s very personal, but I decided to share it anyway because maybe there’s something on my list that someone who’s reading this wants to do as well or there may be something someone can help me accomplish. At any rate, here it is:

Bernadette’s Goals: 2011

Financial

1. Research various investment options (via online resources and/or discussion with broker)

2. Wisely invest $1,000

3. Increase savings by $5,000

4. Pay $5,500 toward car

5. Pay $2,000 toward student loan

Personal

6. Read Moby Dick, Uncle Tom’s Cabin and The Good Earth

7. Take a vacation

8. Volunteer 2+ times a month

9. Dance 1+ times a month

10. Drop 5+ lbs

11. Continue study of Japanese language (via books, class and/or software)

12. Continue study of piano (via class and/or personal instruction)

13. Host 2+ “ladies night” get togethers

Spiritual

14. Find a church home (stay put Bernadette!)

15. Join a ministry (choir doesn’t count)

16. Attend weekly Bible study

17. Fast quarterly (to include study and prayer)

18. No sex

19. Create 1+ Bible study lessons a month

20. Find godly woman mentor