Instead I am growing, very slowly, in learning how to pray about things daily, with open hands. And this week, I discovered another way to cultivate reliance on God.
That's right. Through food.
For years my friend Mo has called our pantry "Y2K" because it is ridiculously overloaded with a ton of stuff - from overenthusiastic Costco runs to leftovers from youth group events to ambitious purchases from Trader Joe's. Couple that with a bursting bag each week from Fairview Gardens, and I have more than enough to eat.
BUT... regardless of how much I have, I usually think I am still missing that one *necessary* ingredient for a certain recipe I just found, or lacking something I am craving.... and off to the store I go!
However, since I am learning in new ways how God provides, I decided this week to create "manna" meals (see Exodus 16 for a refreshing reminder of this story) out of what I have already received.
In other words, I got a little inspired. So I'm sharing two recipes for meals I just made up myself, out of the bounty of what I have been given. I don't want to ever be caught grumbling like those ancient Israelites... I have a full tummy and a warm bed. I am inordinately blessed!
BEET GREENS with BACON SOUP
1 onion, sliced in half moons
2 tsp crushed garlic (or more, if you really like garlic)
4 slices uncured bacon
1 lb yukon gold potatoes, cubed
1 large bunch beet greens, cut roughly
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1-2 carrots, diced
6 c vegetable broth (Amount can vary based on whether you want this to be more like soup or stew)
1 c uncooked barley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
1. Cook bacon in large pot till crispy. Remove bacon and set aside. Sauté onion and garlic in bacon grease till onion browns slightly. Add potato and carrot, and cook in the bacon grease until vegetables soften - about 5 minutes.
2. Pour in the vinegar and cook, stirring, until the flavor mellows, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Throw in beet greens and all spices, reducing heat to low. (Broth will get pink-colored, which is kinda cool!)
4. Cover pot and cook for at least 1 hour. (But it can cook longer). Use potato masher to break down the soup after it has cooked for the hour.
5. Half an hour before you want to eat, pour in barley and return cover to pot. Stir occasionally.
Top with shredded parmesan before serving. Add warm french bread and a glass of wine.
GYOZA with FAVA BEANS
Half package of defrosted Trader Joe's Vegetable Gyoza (usually crammed in the back of your freezer, forgotten, like mine was....)
1 bundle of udon noodles, uncooked
1 cup shelled and cooked fava beans (see directions for preparation below)
1 carrot, diced very small (because I hate carrots. But God provided them, so I just add them for color!)
1-2 yukon gold potatoes (can you tell I had a bag of potatoes??)
3-4 chard leaves
1/2 c fresh cilantro, diced
1 tb soy sauce
2 tb rice vinegar
1 tb sesame oil
1 tsp salt
1. Shell 1 lb of fava beans. Bring pot of water to boil and put beans in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, rinse beans with cold water. After allowing them to cool, squeeze beans from white outer shells. (Yes, they are a lot of work, but they're worth it)
2. Boil another pot of water and cook udon noodles. Rinse and set aside.
3. Poke the potatoes a few times with a fork, then place in microwave for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes (until soft). Dice them up into small cubes. Then place the chard leaves in the microwave for 30-40 seconds. Dice up roughly
4. Cut gyoza in half and place in bowl. Toss in shelled fava beans, diced chard leaves, carrot, potato, cilantro, udon noodles. Pour in soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and salt. Toss everything together well.
5. Cover bowl with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
This meal wasn't real pretty, but YUM it tasted good!
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. (Exodus 16:4)