I haven’t blogged too much recently, or posted too much, but something’s you just have to share, because they’re too good.
Over the past couple months I feel like I’ve been able to allow moderation into my life in a way I never have been able to before. I have grace for myself, and increasingly for others, where before I experienced impatience and a judgemental attitude. In my relationship with Christ it is all or nothing, but in everything else? Moderation, a willingness to listen to Gods direction, and softness.
What does this have to do with food?
Oh, let me tell you!
For a perfectionist as I am, eating healthy meant basically all veggies or nothing, if it wasn’t perfectly healthy in every way, it wasn’t entering my body (with the strange exception of dark chocolate and coconut milk ice cream!) but if I abandoned that way of eating it wasn’t like I embraced this moderate, healthy, whole foods diet, nope, I jumped on the most unhealthy foods I could get my hands on. Most perfectionists will sympathize with this, if it’s not perfect, why bother? Anything less than perfect is failure! So, since God has started working on my heart, first by revealing his grace to me in a more profound way than I ever have experienced before, it has poured into nearly every facet of my life. Shopping isn’t an addiction anymore, eating healthy isn’t a crippling habit, my heart is full of grace from God, and I’m beginning to see that grace pour out. The best thing about all this, is that it hasn’t been a work of my own! Totally Gods work. No will power, or self discipline required! (Before you freak out (self-discipline is a fruit of the spirit!) let me share that for me practising self discipline has not been a holy thing, it has been pride, perfectionism, and extremism). I hope that through Gods grace I am able to get over this, but for now I am incredibly grateful for grace, and allowing His grace to pour into everything, essentially excepting grace for myself instead of always condemning myself! So, with food it has allowed me to accept a more moderate diet with no real rules, just to cook real food, get a lot of fruits and veggies, and not to eat anything processed. (I also am really enjoying the works of Michael Pollan!)
This diet is really yummy. I also really enjoy cooking whole foods, I find the practise of meal planning, grocery shopping, and preparing beautiful meals so fun! It is a creative and peace-making activity for me. I don’t feel like I have to set rules! (This is huge for me, I usually decide what I am going to do and then write out creeds (not joking)! My journals are full of new sets of rules for living – constantly!)
Anyways, as I walk this journey, I figured I’d share some recipes, some stories, some ideas, anything that the Holy Spirit reveals. (Blogging can become dangerous for me (its easy to become an attention addict!) but there is something in my soul that wants to be writing and producing (written or otherwise) and through therapy I’ve learnt that that is part of my character and not a bad thing, all things are good, but if they become bad through the heart, they are bad. So I’ll give it another try!)
Poached Eggs over Spinach with Mom’s Orange-Raisins Muffins
This is comfort food to me; medium poach eggs, spinach in butter, and muffins that remind me of growing up (because I grew up with them!). My mom is the muffin-master, and yesterday I had the privilege of learning some tips from her and scored two of her all time best muffin recipes! I’m pretty happy about that.
Soundtrack for cooking: Motown, Funk, and Soul (well at least for me)
Poached Eggs and Spinach
What you need:
- Eggs (enough for as many people as you are serving)
- Baby spinach* (about three cups raw for each person)
- Butter (about 1 tsp per person)
- Vinegar (optional)
*baby spinach is one of those things that its worth to buy organic or grow your own – no use risking salmonella poisoning!
What you do:
- Fill a sauté pan about 3/4 full with water and a dribble of vinegar if using. Some people say the vinegar helps keep the egg from separating it when you drop it into the water, but others find the vinegar taste mixed with the eggs awful, so experiment and do what you like! I usually always choose the vinegar option in life, but with eggs, I go vinegar free. Take your eggs out of the fridge and let them come to room temperature.
- Place sauté pan over medium high heat and bring the water to where it’s boiling enough to have small bubbles on the side of the pan. Now, this next part you can do one of two ways, you either take a wooden spoon and circle the water in the pan to create a whirlpool action and then crack your egg as closely as you can to the water, right into the centre of the whirlpool, OR crack the egg into a small ramekin and pour the egg into the water as closely as you can.
- Let the eggs poach (you can gently shape them with a spoon or rubber spatula if they separate) for about 3 minutes, 1-1/2 minutes on heat and 1-1/2 minutes off heat. This will give you a medium yolk, if you like it softer or harder, adjust your time.
- While the eggs are poaching, melt butter in a saucepan with a couple twists of salt and any other herbs or spices you feel like (I went simple with butter and salt). When the butter has melted, add spinach and stir/cook until just wilted, or longer, I’d just rather air on the side of raw than mushy, but if stewed spinach is your thing, please, by all means!
- Spoon, or tong the spinach on to a plate and serve your poached eggs on top. Plate it however you feel looks beautiful or yummy.
Mom’s Orange Muffins
What you need:
- 1 whole orange (peel and all, cut off end)
- 1/4 cup liquid + more (the fat in this recipe has been drastically reduced, therefore liquid is used to make up for it, use what you have, juice, milk, water etc. start with 1/4 and use more if you need it)
- 1/4 cup soft butter (or whatever fat you prefer, I used olive oil)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup sugar (sugar is bad for you, but as far as I can tell, almost all sweeteners are bad for you, so use what you prefer, honey, sugar, agave, whatever and adjust accordingly – I want to experiment with this recipe more and try to make it low sugar-sweetener or ever sugar free)
- 1½ cup flour (I used organic whole wheat)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup raisins or cranberries (don’t buy sweetened or any dried fruit that is loaded with preservatives, it’s just not good for you, regardless of how cheap it is monetarily, you and your families health is far more priceless)
What you do:
- Preheat your oven to 375*f and either grease or line a muffin tray. This will make 10-12 muffins.
- This part blows my mind! Cut the butt-end (lol) off the orange and place the rest of the orange in a food processor or blender and blend away (yes the peel and all!). Be amazed.
- Add fat, liquid, and egg. Blend.
- Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Then pour your orange mixture into it and mix until just combined. The best consistency for these is on the dryer side so, somewhere in between cookie dough and pancake batter, but nowhere near cake batter consistency. Add your raisins or cranberries (or frozen berries, or whatever you have or want).
- Fill muffin cups all the way and be generous, build them up a little if you want!
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a small paring knife comes out clean.
So enjoy those if you like. I did, and it was a fabulous breakfast.
Now it is time for me to start my day. I pray that you’re able to see Gods grace and love for you no matter where you sit emotionally, physically, or spiritually, today.