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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

GF = Good Food

Hang on. Don't skip this post if you're not a gluten-free eater. This is just plain ol' good food. With all the amazing vegetables in season right now, I'm living large, and not feeling like I'm sacrificing anything by needing to eat gluten free. This month marks 3 years of eating this way. I'll spare the details as to why I needed to take this route, but let's just say, my digestion is SO much better now.

Regardless of whether you eat gluten-free or not, try these recipes because they do not use sub-par substitution ingredients. They are tasty, and best of all, they come together easily when it's 5pm and you don't know what to make for dinner. Plus, the leftovers taste even better the next day!

I brought this first one to Bible study tonight because I was pressed for time, and a friend wandered close and asked for a bite as I was eating it because it smelled so good!

Crustless Leek, Greens, and Herb Quiche
serves 4

30 minutes or fewer

(Thank you Vegetarian Times... though I have to admit, this would be even better with bacon - go for it!)

Make a quiche for dinner with your favorite greens, then save a slice for lunch with a salad or raw veggies the next day. P.S. I added mushrooms to tonight's quiche, and plan on using zucchini next time. This would work great with onions, cabbage, brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, spinach... 

2 Tbs. fine dry breadcrumbs (yes, I used gluten-free breadcrumbs)
2 small leeks, white and light green parts halved and sliced ½-inch thick
2 cups chopped Swiss chard, kale, collard greens, or mustard greens
4 egg whites
3 whole eggs, beaten
¼ cup low-fat milk
⅛ tsp. nutmeg
1 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp. chopped fresh basil
2 oz. soft goat cheese (or feta)

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat bottom and sides of 9-inch glass pie dish with olive oil cooking spray. Scatter breadcrumbs over bottom of pie dish.

2. Bring 4 cups salted water to a boil in large pot. Add leeks; boil 3 minutes. Remove pot from heat, add Swiss chard, and let stand 30 to 45 seconds, or until greens are wilted. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again, squeezing out excess water with hands. Set aside.

3. Whisk egg whites until frothy. Whisk in eggs. Whisk in milk and nutmeg; season with salt and pepper, if desired. Whisk in tarragon and basil.

4. Scatter leeks and Swiss chard over breadcrumbs in prepared pie dish. Dot cheese on top. Pour egg mixture into pie pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown on top. Cool 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

These other recipes are back in heavy rotation right now:

Thai Curried Noodles

Broccoli Pesto

Arroz Negrito (Gallo Pinto)

Almost Alfredo

To paraphrase The Most Interesting Man in the World, "Stay hungry, my friends."

Saturday, May 12, 2012


I love reading several blogs, of "real" friends (as in, yes, I know them) and blog friends. As I read through them today I was caught up short in realizing I haven't posted anything in over two weeks. Not good, when my goal is to post at least twice a week....

But I'm happy to say it's not for lack of anything interesting to write about! I have so many things going on that it feels like I'm sitting under a waterfall and enjoying an abundance of adventures and challenges and opportunities. As the saying goes, when it rains it pours. I also know what it's like when things are so heavy and dark that it is nearly impossible to get out of bed, so I take these good times as gifts to be enjoyed to the fullest, and not clung to.

Some of the fun is found in little things... discovering a new blog that makes me smile, using swiss chard from the garden to make an omelette, listening to a bunch of new music and rev up for summer, taking yet another great ride along Alameda Padre Serra on my "scoot scoot" (looking at sailboats in the harbor, the Channel Islands, scudding clouds in the sky...) with such a big smile that I'm sure I come home with bugs in my teeth!

Additionally, some adventures have to include my ongoing life with young people: the joy of seeing beloved students graduate from Westmont last weekend, catching lunch with former youth groupies and continuing to be deeply touched by their earnest souls, teaching my new class of students for Westmont Mayterm, and sneaking in a remarkable lunch with a high school student who asks such. hard. questions. week after week. See? It's a waterfall of goodness!

I look forward to other endeavors soon to come ~ the kickoff for Year 2 of Free Methodist Summer Interns this week, a cool new leadership development conference in Seattle that is one big unknown, a lovely week of vacation in Grand Teton National Park, plus a wide assortment of consulting and coaching that ranges from Washington State to Florida to all over So Cal. More waves of God's faithful care wash over me, and I am grateful.

These words speak to some of what I am living:
These words were spoken to Catherine of Siena, a fourteenth-century mystic: “Beloved daughter, everything I give to you comes from the love and care I have for men and women. I desire to show my mercy to the whole world and my protective love to those who want it. My care is constant. I did all this so that they will know me and rejoice to see me forever.” 

Henri Nouwen: When the mother of James and John asks Jesus to give her sons a special place in his Kingdom, Jesus responds,  "Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?"  (Matthew 20:22).   "Can we drink the cup?" is the most challenging and radical question we can ask ourselves.  The cup is the cup of life, full of sorrows and joys.  Can we hold our cups and claim them as our own?  Can we lift our cups to offer  blessings to others, and can we drink our cups to the bottom as cups that bring us salvation?
By God's grace, I have been able to choose to drink deeply of my cup. As I prayed this morning, "I accept my story. While it has pain and grief that still hurt, it has brought me to a tender and open place where I hunger deeply for your Spirit on a daily basis. THAT is worth it. I am free, I am happy to be in this creative and encouraging place."

Pray this with me...

Psalm 108:

1 My heart is confident in you, O God;
    no wonder I can sing your praises with all my heart!
2 Wake up, lyre and harp!
    I will wake the dawn with my song.
3 I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.
    I will sing your praises among the nations.
4 For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens.
    Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.
    May your glory shine over all the earth.