Diet, A Few Recipes and What’s New

 

Just an update on what we are up to lately, besides getting over the flu. :)

1. Diet Details and a Recipe.

Many of you have asked about the details of my new diet. I am the last one to be giving diet advice since I have a long lasting love affair with One-Bowl Brownies and Breyer’s Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream, and I am still figuring out what I am doing, but for right now, I’ve eliminated several things from my diet: white flour and sugar, hydrogenated oil, high fructose corn syrup and anything “highly processed”–meaning that if it is a chemical name that I don’t recognize, I don’t eat it. My grandmother has not eaten flour or sugar for years, and I am beginning to think that her sensitivities to them are hereditary. :)

So far it is going well. The biggest surprise of this diet is that my energy level is back to normal for the first time in two years. After my bout with mono, I had resigned myself to a life of low energy. I am beyond thankful that my energy has returned. I no longer feel like I “need” a cup of coffee in the a.m. As a matter of fact, I skipped coffee a few days last week and never noticed.

So, what am I eating? Fruits, veggies, salads, chicken, beef, roasted root vegetables (sweet potato is a fav) whole grains, soups, nuts, etc…

Here is a great recipe that I enjoy for Crustless Quiche. What I love about it is that it is very forgiving. I rarely make it the same way twice and it always comes out great. Here is the original recipe:

Crustless Quiche with cheddar, onion, mushrooms, pepper and baby spinach.

Crustless Quiche

4. c thinly sliced and unpeeled zucchini

1 c. chopped onions

1/4 c. water

2 eggs, well beaten

8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

2. T parsley

1/2 t. salt

1/2 t. pepper

1/4 t. garlic powder

1/4 t. oregano

1/4 t. basil

Saute zucchini and onions in water for 10 minutes; drain. Combine eggs, cheese and seasonings. Fold into zucchini mixture. Pour into 10 inch pie plate. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

***My variations:

First of all, I use 6 eggs for my family and double the spices. I bake it in 9X12″ glass pan. I use whatever veggies I have on hand that day. Today I used 2 small onions, baby spinach, 1 cup chopped mushrooms and some yellow pepper and fresh chopped basil. In total it was about 4 cups of veggies. I also substituted sharp cheddar cheese. After I put it in the pan, I topped it with sliced fresh tomato slices.  I bake it for about 8 minutes longer for the bigger version, so that the sides are browned slightly. This recipe is from an older woman in our church, (a woman who had 15 children!!), and I love it because it is economical and delish! :)

2. Family News:

This weekend my daughter Emily was part of the Southeastern Mass. District Orchestra. It was a great experience for her, and we are blessed that she was given this opportunity.

Proud parents. :)

3. Books I’m Enjoying:

I am reading The French Twist: Twelve Secrets of Decadent Dining and Natural Weight Management and am thoroughly enjoying it. Of course, books like this make sweeping generalizations about a culture when they write about what the “French” do, but still, it is a great look into areas of obvious differences in thinking between our two cultures.

For instance, French women value quality in their food. We tend to value quantity. (and our bodies are showing it!) The French use internal cues to tell them to stop eating, as in “I am full.” Americans use external cues, as in, my plate is clean, or this TV show is over. If one symbol could depict American’s eating habits, it would be a car; the French, a table. It is a very insightful read. :)

Also, I’m reading How to Look Expensive: A Beauty Editor’s Secrets to Getting Gorgeous without Breaking the Bank. It is full of common sense beauty tips and she references Kate Middleton quite a bit. Enough said. It covers how to ask for the right hair cut, applying make up without looking cheap and made up, the top ten lipstick shades that make up artists swear by and other awesome tips I’d never heard of. For instance, did you know that to apply the right amount of perfume, you should squirt a little on your hairbrush and comb your hair? It will cling to the natural oils in your hair in just the right amounts so that your scent is not overpowering! :) (Caveat: I have had to take my black sharpie to several words in this book.)

4. Favorite Products:

This winter we started our fifth child on Considering God’s Creation. I was reminded again how much I love this program. It is notebook-y in a way, but uses the power of observation to help guide the child in classifying plants, bugs and animals. I love that it melds the scientific method with a Charlotte Mason-ey flair. :) If you haven’t used it, I would highly recommend it.

Hope just started Considering God's Creation this semester.

5. A Fabulous Recipe from a man’s blog! :) Who knew?

I knew I had to try this recipe when I stumbled upon the title “100 Year Old Recipe” on Tim’s blog. I made this treat for my family and can verify that it was indeed delicious. (I tried a bite! ahem!) Anyway, it is full of apples and cinnamon with a caramel glaze and would be great with coffee or tea.

100 year old cake recipe.

I love trying old recipes and love reading old “receipt” books. Years ago, recipes were not more than a list of ingredients, hence the term receipts. I am always fascinated that women years ago had a general understanding of what measurements yielded soft, fluffy biscuits or a fluffy cake without worrying about exact measurements.

6. Quotes I’m Pondering 

“Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble.”

The highest glory of the creature is in being only a vessel, to receive and enjoy and show forth the glory of God. It can do this only as it is willing to be nothing in itself, that God may be all. Water always fills first the lowest places. The lower, the emptier a man lies before God, the speedier and the fuller will be the inflow of the diving glory.”

Andrew Murray

Your turn!  Tell me what you’re reading, products you’re loving this winter, or link to fabulous recipes you’re making right now. AND any diet tips are welcome! :)

5 comments

  1. Susan McCurdy says:

    Great post Sarah. Congratulations on your daughter being in the orchestra. I loved your “humility” quote. I just got a link to an obituary of a dear old friend who was a real Titus 2 mentor to me. Her life reflected that quote. How she was so humble without being “emotionaless” is beyond me. She was a person full of joy and good words. Your diet inspires me….hopefully I can get past the inspiration and put it into practice.

    • Sarah Beals says:

      Yes, I loved that quote as well. All is calm within even when things are out of control around us when we are focused on the right things. Thankful you had a real, flesh and blood Titus 2 mentor. What would we do without them?? :)

  2. Tim says:

    Sarah, I am stoked that you liked the apple cake recipe so much. Thanks for the shout out!

    Great humility quote too. here’s one I like from C.S. Lewis:

    Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call “humble” nowadays; he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. (Mere Christianity.)

    And then there’s Paul’s take, of course:

    Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. (Romans 12:3.)

    And congratulations to your daughter. I can still remember being in the all state honor band back in high school. Fun times for all us band geeks!

    Cheers,
    Tim

    • Sarah Beals says:

      Oh, that is a great quote! C.S. Lewis was so insightful, wasn’t he?? Humility looks outside of itself to the needs of others. I have been blessed to know some truly great humble Christian people and am blessed to have known them!

  3. Oh the fascination with the French and their eating. That pretty much sums it up, though. Eating/quality of cooking and food has a long heritage in France.

    Keeping in theme with the food books, I am really loving Kitchen Counter Cooking School…totally inspiring me to cook (and that’s saying something…)