Saturday, February 23, 2013

Mixed Breed

I like to cook.  I love the mixing and the motions that go into making something yummy.  Creating with food is rewarding.  I mean, I get nothing soulful from spaghettios in the microwave other than easy clean up, less time in the kitchen and processed awesomeness. And, you?  I would like to report that I have a steadfast scientific art to meals in our home, but I don't.  Yes, in my secret life of "Meghan the Great", I  would mimic the handful of friends I have who grade out  beyond rockstar. I have friends who plan their meals and grocery lists on a monthly basis.  I have friends who are utterly wicked freaktastic at clipping coupons and stockpiling like motha truckas.  I even have a friend who has pre-made homemade pancake mix in mason jars with the recipe twined around the top for guests who visit her family's home.  Coincidentally, her handwriting happens to be on the recipe card above.

And, I LOVE THESE FRIENDS.  I look up to them.  They inspire me to be more intentional.  More connected to our family's money and what it provides to the nourishment of our bodies.  On running a family fluidly, I am a mutt of sorts. I am.  I absolutely love the German Shepard pedigree status of creator/artist that I am.  But, I totally cross bred that gift with a scattered/semi-composed/quasi organized Chihuahua down the road.  Ewww, right?  I am but a fledgling in the "art of planned".  How about that for an oxymoron?  I aim to work on it.  I do.  Scratch that.  I am working on it.  S    l    o   w   l   y.
This recipe is one of my all-time easy favorites.  I beam each time I make it.  My taste buds bounce right out of my mouth just thinking about this concoction.  My sweet homegirl, Trisha, first made this dish for me at my house.  Allow me to explain how rockstar she is.  She and her daughter, Camdyn, came to stay with Eli and me the weekend before I was due to have Casey.  {I was big.  I was CAP LOCK PREGGERS. ABOUT TO POP IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT.  Go here for a looksee.}  That particular weekend Kenny, along with Trisha's husband and 11 other men, were on their annual cabin retreat.  Trisha took it upon herself to bring Camdyn down to stay with us just to make sure we were okay.  She drove 4.5 hours with a 22 month old and had a car LOADED with groceries to cook for us for the weekend so that I didn't have to. {And, she left me recipe cards for each meal she cooked.}   What the what?  I know.  That, my friends, is called friendship & compassion in action.  She will forever rank as one of my role models in so many ways.
I beam because this dish is freakin' awesome to taste.  It has fresh cilantro.  Need I say more?  Yes.  You garnish the dish with fresh shredded Parmesan cheese.  Um, I need a moment.       There.  I'm back.  I love this concoction because it's healthy too. I like LOVE donuts as much as the next doll, but I clock in overtime on things that I know my body deserves.  Good food makes me feel good.  Wine does too.  Moderation peeps.  
But, honestly, I would say the high marks this meal receives is for the memory it signifies each time that I make it.  I think about Trisha.  I think about her character and her selfless heart.  I think about a grocery laden car with a 22 month old and 4.5 hours just to help me.  To make my life a little easier.  Safer.  Just in case.  It's these people that I praise God for.  Not just then, but now too.  Those people that aren't necessarily a part of your everyday, but in your every now & again that provide a pillar of strength to you.  Through their outstretched arms and God given gifts, they press in upon your heart.  They make you more.  And, they don't even realize it.  It's just them. I am thankful for these connections.  I'm thankful for God's placement of so many outstanding characters in my walk here on Earth.  Through them, I learn so much about His love.  The Chihuahua in me is ever grateful for my homegirl, Trisha.

Black Bean & Salsa Noodle Soup
  • 3 cans (14 oz. each) vegetable broth
  • 1 jar (16 oz.) salsa
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained. (I use 2)
  • 1 can (11. oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 package (5 oz.) Japanese curly noodles or spaghetti noodles
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

1.  Heat broth to boiling in large sauce pan.  Stir in remaining ingredients except cheese.  Reduce to medium heat.

2.  Cook 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally until noodles are tender. Sprinkle with cheese.

6 servings
220 calories
2 grams of fat
8 grams of fiber
0 mg cholesterol

.mac :)

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