Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fifteen Days In

I've successfully not eaten one bit of meat since December 31st! I feel absolutely great. I've had plenty of energy and have only craved it once! It has really helped flush out my system. Also, I've decided that come February 1st, when I start allowing meat in my diet, to weigh it. Hold myself more accountable to portion sizes and limit them. It's definitely been an adventure trying to come up with new recipe ideas. More times then not, when I've thought of doing this, it's always been, "Well, we can eat a salad..." There is so much more than just salad I can eat! I even made a pizza!! Granted, I did a Pinterest experiment with it and made it with a cauliflower crust so I wasn't being weighed down by carbs. Plus, banana pancakes! Hello, yum! Just FYI, I am making the pancakes again this week if that tells you how good they are. It's all about accountability in your actions and in what you eat.

I am finishing up my last week of orientation for school this week, so that means next week, it gets real. I must say I am ready for this, I really am. I've been out it off for too long.

I find it amusing, how many people still ask me what I am going to school for. Why is it amusing? Because I have posted and said what I've wanted to do for the last four years and so I figured when I got in school it wouldn't be any giant secret. Now, when I was younger, I changed what I wanted to do a lot. I wanted to be a teacher, I wanted to be a cosmetologist, I wanted to be a pastry chef (I still wanting to halfway do this, but a a side job out of my home, maybe?). I wanted to be some big flashy singer at one point too. I wanted to be a graphic designer and do Internet design and etc.
All of these I have played around with in one form or another. I did daycare teaching (think I've gotten that completely out of my system), I use to cut my Dad's and siblings hair (oh, yes, there are horror stories), I still love to bake! Everyone can use a cheesecake or someone to make 200 cupcakes (I will probably never forget that I did that!). Singing, sure I did some small bands with my friends, wrote lyrics, sang in the worship team, but full term? Probably not the best thing ever. Oh, and graphic design. I set up some web pages, edited HTML, worked on some interior computer things (I've stated I'm a self proclaimed techie). But out of all the things I thought about, would any of them be me as far as job wise and something I would love? Possibly. Who knows. As I began to think about who I am and what I've been bred to do, one thing stood out.

I like to help people. Get them to organize their thoughts. Help them make sense of things and be able to take my own experiences and so on out of the equation. It only made sense what my job choice should be. Have you guessed it yet?? Or Facebook creeped me at this point! I mean, who wants to read some crummy blog?

I feel like basic psychology runs through my veins. I've done volunteer work since I was five and love to make people's days better. My mom will tell you stories about how I'd go with her to this place she volunteered at that helped pregnant women with items for their newborns and make notes with smiley faces on them and hand them out to the women. Make their day change completely. I love listening to people tell me what's going on and help them get past whatever it is and do a follow through. I know deep down, this is what I was made for. That this is what I am called to do. Who knows where it will lead me? All I know is that whatever happens, I will be ready for it, and I will make a difference in somebody's life one day.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Garden Vegetable Tortellini

I swear, I'm not going to become one of those crazy psycho food bloggers. That's not my intent at all. Nor do I want to become one. But sharing an occasionally recipe ever now and then won't kill me either.

As I mentioned in my last blog, I'm taking the month of January on by not eating meat. So I've had to get a tad creative in my thinking for foods so that it doesn't get redundant and bland. I've seen on the Internet a few recipes involving vegetables and tortellini and they look good! Unfortunately, they seem to add in weird ingredients and of course, some sort of meat, mainly chicken. Also when I look for food, I try to cut out most forms of sodium and never add anything overly processed.

One of my main challenges this month is my husband. For anyone who knows Shaun, he is a carnivore to say the least. He's all about eating meat. So when I can get him to eat a dish entirely without meat and not complain, that's a major plus!

This recipe I just had to wing some of the quantities, so eye what you think works right.

Garden Vegetable Tortellini

1 lg package Buitoni Spinach and Ricotta, cooked
1 1/2 C fresh spinach
10 oz container Italian Herbs and Cheese cooking creme
4 - 5 C broccoli
1/2 C fresh mushrooms
1/2 green pepper
1/2 red pepper
20 - 25 grape tomatoes (this can be omitted if desired, it was an usual taste cooked to me, but someone might prefer it)
Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the spinach, broccoli, and cooking creme together in a 13x9 pan. Layer on peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Top with tortellini and cover in Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.

Enjoy! I truly loved the taste of the dish and its really easy to prepare.