Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Surrendering in the Kitchen...Chicken Fajita Pasta

One of the areas of our lives that the Lord is asking me to surrender to Him is how we eat...more specifically...what we eat.  There are SO many foods that look so appealing and we know from experience are VERY tasty, that it is difficult to remember that they are not healthy for us.  

My husband, Will, has Type II Diabetes and really needs to watch his blood sugars and caffeine intake.  I need to lose quite a bit of weight in order to get healthy which isn't just about how I look but how I feel including my energy levels, moods, stress, and ability to focus.  Our boys do a lot better focusing and with their moods when we eat more healthy meals and less junk and refined sugar as well.  

When looking at all of these facts, the Lord began to show me that the main problem is that we need to honor God in all we do including what we eat and how much we eat of it.
 Well, whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all for God's glory.    --1 Corinthians 10:31
I also realized that even though Will and I both really enjoy eating...the purpose for eating is to give us the fuel that we need to serve and bring glory to God.  

The Lord has been challenging me to really look at the kinds of foods that I am preparing for our family and to ask myself these questions...

Are they good, healthy foods that will provide us with enjoyment and the fuel we need to be able to have the energy, focus, and stable moods to better serve Him in our daily lives?  

Or are they foods that we enjoy eating but are mainly empty calories that give us a burst of energy but also put us on a blood sugar and mood roller coaster and do not help us to focus and thereby not being able to do the work that the Lord calls us to do to serve Him?

And there was one more question too!!!

If they are good for us and give us what we need to better serve much of it are we eating?  Are we being gluttons by indulging in more than we need or is good for us?  

This is a journey of surrendering that we are still on...some days we do better than others.  But in the process, I am learning a lot about food and what happens to different kinds of foods as our bodies digest it and how it can help us or hurt us.

I am on a mission to find good tasting, healthy foods that help stabalize our blood sugar, moods, energy, focus.

I've been asked about some of the recipes I am using lately...some of them I have found in great cookbooks or on-line...others are the result of my experimenting with different ingredients and seasonings in our kitchen at home.

So we have decided that I will share some of the recipes for foods that seem to be winners with our family.  I would love to hear about some of your healthy favorites too!

So here is one that evolved in our kitchen with Will and I bouncing some ideas around as I was cooking one night.  I hope you like it!

Chicken Fajita Pasta

3 Chicken Breasts cut into bite size pieces
1 medium green bell pepper (use whatever colors you like!!!) cut in large chunks
1 medium sweet onion cut in large chunks
1 medium granny smith apple cut in large chunks
2 handfuls of fresh spinach
2 cans of diced tomatoes or 4/5 fresh tomatoes including the juice and seeds cut into large chunks
1/2 cup cup olive oil
1-2 teaspoons of minced garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon of paprika
1 tablespoon dried basil flakes or 6 leaves of fresh basil
1/2 cup of lite Italian Dressing
1 pound of whole wheat penne pasta
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Put olive oil, Italian dressing in a 4-6 quart pot and add chicken and seasonings and saute.  When chicken is almost done add the onion, green pepper, spinach and apples (if you have fresh tomatoes add them now).  Continue sauteing.  If you are using canned tomatoes add them now.  Add 1 tablespoon of corn starch.  Simmer for 30 minutes.

I hope you will forgive the fact that I didn't remember to take pictures of the steps before the sauce was ready to simmer...but here it is simmering on our stove...

When you only have about 10 minutes left of simmering time...boil pasta until el dente and then drain.

Add pasta to sauce in pot.  Toss/stir thoroughly so that all of the pasta is coated with the sauce.  Serve with shredded cheddar cheese sprinkled over each portion.

We were very surprised at how well it turned out!  For the was Will who came up with the secret ingredients.  The Granny Smith apples really set off the other flavors nicely!  

Question:  What are some things you do to stay focused on bringing glory to God through the meals we eat?  I would really love to hear about it!

Dancing with my family at the foot of the Cross,

Mrs Mary Joy Pershing

Be sure to check out these other helpful resources...

Raising Homemakers Wednesday Homemaking Link-Up

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace

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