Category Archives: SOUP: Water and Vegetables

Chop and Chat

Whether you’re new to cooking at home or have been doing it for decades, cooking can sometimes feel like a chore. We eat every day, so we can potentially cook every day. Just like we go to bed on time or exercise more often when we make it fun, we’ll cook more often if we make it enjoyable.

  1. books-headphonesCook with your ears. Listen to an audio book while you cook or put on some music that’ll make your toes and your chopping knife tap together. If the audio book is a tear jerker, chop up a bag of onions and freeze the extra for later.
  2. 2014 June 049Rise and reward. Rise early twice a week to prep your recipes: chop the veggies or measure spices and save them in a little container. Get your ingredients set so that when you’re tired and hungry and it’s time to cook dinner, all you have to do is heat the pan and throw it all together. Or, in the case of a casserole, throw it in the oven. Reward yourself for your early effort with a special coffee or a favorite fruit salad. For many moms, being able to cook in peace and quiet in the early hours is a reward unto itself. If you use a slow cooker, your meal can be ready and waiting when you walk in the door.
  3. kids cook togetherThis last suggestion is my favorite: host a Chop and Chat. Invite a friend over and cook together. Yes, you will have different tastes and styles, but you will learn from each other and the cooking is accomplished—that’s the point, after all. Make salad together, scrape and cut carrot sticks for snacking, make a batch of soup or a fruit salad. We get together with friends to talk, but why not make our hands as productive as our mouths?

Cooking from scratch at home takes extra time and effort, but it’s worth it and can be enjoyable. Figure out what works for you. My favorite part of home cooking? The thing that inspires me to cook day after day, meal after meal? I love to eat and it tastes so good!

 

friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17:17 (NIV)

 

Images courtesy of: www.parentmap.com (headphones), me (knife), http://www.pinterest.com (kids)

Biblical Responses To Hunger

P1010170Got the munchies?  Not sure what to do?  Let’s take a look at the Bible to see how our spiritual ancestors handled their growling tummies.  Some of these people showed wisdom and some showed folly.  Let’s see if you can spot my 2 favorites for application in our own lives!

1. Sell your birthright for red lentil stew. (Genesis 25:29-34)  Poor Esau.  Let’s hope it was the best stew he’d ever had!  Think he got seconds?

2. Threaten to wipe out an inhospitable man and his entire family. (1 Samuel 25)  I don’t really blame David here.  Hungry war bands should be fed right away, especially if they asked nicely.  Good thing Abigail was there to smooth things over.

3. Borrow a kid’s lunch and share it with five thousand men and their families. (Mark 6:30-44) This one might be above our pay grade.

4. Eat only vegetables. (Daniel 1:8-20) Daniel and his friends did this for ten days and became the best looking young men in Babylon’s captive-to-magi training program.

P10101655. Give the last of your food to a prophet. (1 Kings 17:7-16) You’re going to die anyway, right?  May as well please God before you do; He has a way of taking care of his own.

6. Drink some water and wait for God to send you ravens carrying food. (1 Kings 17:1-6) This is a good idea even if you’re not hiding in a desert ravine to save your life.  God might not send ravens your way, but the concept is good: drink and wait.

Did you catch my favorites?  That’s right: #4 and #6!  Eat vegetables, drink, and wait.  When your body asks to be filled, do it right!  And for the entrepreneurs out there, make some really, really good lentil stew and buy your family’s inheritance cheap.

Plan Your Produce

imageCooking meals at home helps your family eat healthy and save money, but if you don’t shop with a plan, you can end up throwing expensive produce away. It’s happened to most of us at some point. You head to the grocery store with good intentions, buy a lot of random produce,—because with ten pounds of broccoli in the house, you can’t fail to lose weight, right?—and then half of that produce spends the next two weeks being nudged closer and closer to the back of the fridge before it’s finally tossed in the trash. It’s frustrating and discouraging. For you and for the produce.

2014 June 003The solution to this problem is to plan your produce. Here’s how.

  1. Choose one day a week to sit down and plan your meals for the week. If you’re new to cooking at home, pick one or two meals. Baby steps, baby spinach, baby bellas, baby got back on track. Try to choose menu items that share common vegetables. For example, a bag of spinach can make a spinach salad and a mushroom spinach omelet, or one head of cabbage can make Mu Shu Vegetables and Fried Cabbage. As you plan, make a shopping list of what you need to cook the recipes you’ve selected.

 

  1. 2014 March 007Take your list to the store and don’t stray from it. There are going to be produce items that you always keep on hand like garlic and onions, and items that you only buy when you need them like bell peppers and broccoli. It all depends on your family and your preferences. For example, I always have carrots in the house. My boys like to snack on them (when given the choice of carrots or nothing), I like to mindlessly crunch them in front of the TV, they’re cheap, and they’re useful in a plethora of recipes. It’s a staple. Cauliflower, on the other hand, only comes home with me when I have a plan for it. It’s like the out of town relative you enjoy having over, but feel like you have to entertain.

 

  1. End the week with either a batch of homemade vegetable soup or veggie stir fry. Take your leftover bits and stems and combine them into something wonderful. Now your fridge is reset for the week to come and nothing goes to waste.

 

Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. Genesis 25:29 (NIV)

Eat More Vegetables with VISIBLE VEGETABLES™!

Eating vegetables is important, but how can you be sure you’re eating enough of them? New from the makers of VISIBLE WATER™ come VISIBLE VEGETABLES™! VISIBLE VEGETABLES™ are nutritious, delicious, and naturally inspire the hand to mouth motion that guarantees VISIBLE VEGETABLES™ will end up in your stomach where they belong.

P1080046VISIBLE VEGETABLES™ are easy to use! Simply place VISIBLE VEGETABLES™ on a table or kitchen counter or inside a lunchbox or cooler and watch them disappear! As you pass by VISIBLE VEGETABLES™, your hands will automatically reach for the bright colors and cool textures. You’ll enjoy hours of happy crunching!

Don’t settle for invisible vegetables that cower in refrigerator drawers and plastic containers. You deserve vegetables that are VISIBLE™!

VISIBLE VEGETABLES™ come in a rainbow of colors like Red Pepper, Orange Potato, Yellow Squash, Green Spinach, and Purple Eggplant! You can match your dinner to your outfit, your table setting, or your mood ring.

VISIBLE VEGETABLES™ provides bowel-cleansing, disease preventing fiber and health-promoting vitamins and nutrients! Add VISIBLE WATER™ for an extra health boost!

imageVISIBLE VEGETABLES™ come in two nifty varieties: Pre-Prepped™ and DIY™!

Enjoy our Pre-Prepped option straight from the store. Dine on carrot sticks, bites sized peppers, and ready-to-sauté zucchini, mushrooms, onion, and more! VISIBLE VEGETABLES Pre-Prepped™ are even available in easy-serve party trays for family snacking.

VISIBLE VEGETABLES™ also offers handy Do It Yourself kits for the adventurous consumers. VISIBLE VEGETABLES DIY™ comes complete with vegetable peeler, paring knife, and a variety of whole vegetables like carrots, celery, bell peppers, and zucchini. Simply peel, chop, see, and eat!

IMG_5283VISIBLE VEGETABLES™ are great for night binging in front of the television and mindless munching during long car rides. VISIBLE VEGETABLES™ are portable, eco-friendly, filling, and satisfying. Display your VISIBLE VEGETABLES™ today and feel the benefits!

VISIBLE VEGETABLES™: If you see them, you eat them!

Don’t forget to try VISIBLE VEGETABLES for KIDS™! They stop the “I’m hungry! When’s dinner?” mantra. Plug those complaining mouths with growth promoting goodness!

 

“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.” Colossians 1:16a

 

 

Soup: the Power Tool Collection

veggie-power-toolsSoup is the second word in the title of this blog because soup reminds us to drink plenty of water and to eat our vegetables. Vegetables are packed with vitamins, nutrients, and fiber which are the tools your body needs to function properly. Vegetable hammers help produce red blood cells, the vegetable saw cuts down cholesterol, the fiber shovel improves bowel function, and the vitamin drill and nutrient crowbar reduce your risk for heart disease, type two diabetes, and possibly your risk for cancer.

Sleep is a crew of workmen who spend the night building, cleaning, and repairing your body. Vegetables are the tools they use and water is their transportation. When the workmen don’t have the right tools, they improvise, but the result isn’t the same. You can build a house using only a crowbar, but we all prefer to live in a house built with a complete toolbox. Don’t live in an improvised body; give your workmen the tools and time they need and you’ll be amazed by their good work.

2014 March 006Vegetables are important for weight loss, but not because they magically melt fat or lock your mouth when a cookie comes near it. In fact, studies show that if you add vegetables to your diet, but make no other changes, you won’t lose weight. Veggies help you lose weight when you replace non-veggie food with veggie-food. The equation is not 3 burgers + 1 apple = weight loss, but 1 burger + 3 apples = weight loss. It’s this replacement of high calorie foods for low calorie plants that makes the scale move. Yes, technically you can lose weight by reducing your calorie intake and not include veggies—the Chocolate Cake Diet™, for example, lets you eat a slice of chocolate cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and nothing else—but it doesn’t help your overall health.

imageThere’s only so much space in your stomach toolbox. High calorie foods are a tape measure. You definitely need one: healthy high calorie foods have protein and good fats your body needs. But filling your toolbox with only tape measures doesn’t help you build a house you want to live in; it only helps you measure your house’s expansion. Ba-dum-bum-ching! Expanding waistline joke! Vegetables fill up a lot of space on your plate and in your stomach but contain very few calories so it’s like filling your toolbox with titanium tools that are strong but light. Many veggies are made up of 90% water, so they help hydrate you as well as fill you. Building your house body well is important because you and your body are in this for the long haul; till death do you part. Know what else we’ve done to death? This metaphor.

You might not like vegetables. When we were kids, my siblings and I tried to explain to our parents that they liked vegetables and we didn’t because their taste buds were old and dying. The truth is that your taste buds adjust to what they encounter regularly, be it spicy foods, salt, sweets, or vegetables. The more you eat vegetables, the more you crave vegetables. It’s like buying your first power drill. You get along okay with screw drivers and hammers, but once you get a feel for the power drill, you’re not going back to that battery-less wasteland. Vegetables are power tools and your body loves using them, so fill your toolbox with titanium tools, shed that unnecessary insulation, and build your house well.

 

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. Genesis 1:29 (NIV)

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/fruits-veggies-don-lead-weight-loss-study-article-1.1844944 Fruits and Veggies Don’t Lead to Weight Loss

 

God’s Gatorade (part 2)

Most fruits and vegetables are 80-90% water, so they help hydrate your body as well as fill it with vitamins and nutrients. Here are three more highly hydrating snacks to quench your cravings.

035Field Irrigation: Watermelon and sunflower seeds. Sweet and salty, this snack satisfies both cravings. Just make sure you pay attention to which seeds you eat and which you spit.

 

036Mediterranean Berries: Greek yogurt and berries. Fill a small plastic container with Greek yogurt and add a few tablespoons of frozen raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries and your snack is ready to travel without refrigeration.

 

037newCooling Waters: Cucumber smoothie. Blend a peeled and de-seeded cucumber with fruit and milk. Refreshing, sweet, and a great way to consume the bounty of a too-prolific cucumber plant in your summer garden.

 

Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil;  for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.   Romans 14:16,17 (NIV)

God’s Gatorade (part 1)

What hydrates your body better than water? Better than sports drinks? Vegetables!

Most vegetables are 90% water or more and they contain natural sugars, amino acids, mineral salts, and vitamins. This combination does for your body what sports drinks advertise, but without chemicals. At 97% water content, cucumbers are God’s Gatorade.

Studies show that the food you eat provides 20% of the water your body needs each day. When you snack on vegetables, you get hydration, restocking of the minerals, acids, and vitamins your body needs, and fiber to move along what your body doesn’t need. Add a little protein to that snack and it’ll keep the energy flowing for hours.

Here are some super-hydrating protein-packed super-snacks. Any fruit or vegetable is going to have at least 75% water content, but the ones listed in these snacks are at least 90% water:

 

032The Aqueduct: celery with nut butter. This crunchy nutty combination is not just for kids. Let the water and protein flow.

 

033Muddle the Puddle: hummus and cucumber slices. Hummus comes in a variety of flavors to keep things interesting as well as hydrated.

 

034Bell Pepper Boats: half a bell pepper boat filled with tuna salad. This can be a snack, or two boats can be lunch. Easy to take on the go and they store well.

 

 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6 (NIV)