The second gathering for our Happy, Healthy & Full of Life!! fellowship and potluck night was a wonderful success!
If you read our last post…old man winter did not cooperate with our last scheduled gathering as the temps were -10 degrees below zero that night with howling winds and we had to cancel it except for our little family in the cozy warmth of our own home! And, it was not a total loss- we sure enjoyed the spoils of our efforts- HOME-MADE PIZZA! If you missed it and would like to see the delicious results and get the recipes you can check it all out here- Family PIZZA Night .
So, what should the menu be for our second meeting, considering the extremely cold winter weather we have been experiencing here this season?? Nothing seemed more fitting for the main course than a BIG pot of spicy, hearty, warm, CHILI!! The kind of thick, hearty, stick-to-your-ribs stuff that will warm you from the inside out! The kind of stuff real cowboys like to eat sitting around the camp fire after along hard day to warm up and fill their stomachs!
OK…silly I know. But we have to have a little fun when we can too! 😉 Now, I don’t think this recipe will do this too you! But, you know the kind of good, hearty stuff I am talking about! Before our family turned our attention to more healthy food choices, I had a killer chili recipe that EVERYONE loved! I even gave the recipe to some friends who won a chili cook-off with it. It was GOOD STUFF! It had both beef and pork sausage in it. But, our health has won out over our taste buds and I didn’t fix it any more, thinking there was no way I could recreate it without all the meat in it. But, one cold, wintry day, I decided to give it a go to see what I could come up with. So I looked at some other vegan chili recipes for some ideas of where to start and went from there using my old favorite recipe as a guide to making our own. I have to say- it is great stuff! Never even miss the meat!! Now, we can have some good, warm-you-all-the-way-down-to-you-toes chili on these cold, blustery winter days!! Next time I fix it- I am going to take a nicer picture of it- but this one will have to do for now…still shows how thick and hearty it is! Since we do live on a horse farm and like to consider ourselves cowboys and cowgirls of sorts- we named it after our farm- Three Feathers Ranch Chili! (recipe here)
Now, chili is a good start for the menu, what to add to it? Our family has always liked to serve grilled cheese sandwiches with out chili. Gosh darn it- another item we thought we had to drop off our menu after giving up dairy in favor of better health! BUT, we found a solution to that as well!! There are many wonderful varieties of non-dairy cheese available today! Even our local Kroger’s is carrying them now! The one we use is almond based and quite tasty! I use our home-made Honey Whole Wheat Bread (recipe here) , add the sliced cheese and then grill on my panini press to get nice, hot, gooey-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside, grilled cheese sandwiches! (recipe here)
Now, we need some sort of fresh salad or veggies of some sort to round things out. I decided to bring something everyone likes- veggies and ranch dip. Now, we all know those commercially packaged varieties of dip are tasty, but full of yucky stuff that is not good for our bodies! So, back to the kitchen to see if we can find a more healthy alternative. Think we found it! Y-U-M! Decided to stick with the trend and call it Three Feathers Ranch Dip! 😉 (recipe here)
OK, we are still here in America where no meal is complete is seems without a little something sweet to end it all with. So, I decided on these Chocolate Muddle Bars (recipe here) to finish things up with. Just enough sweet punch in a small bite to tame your tongue from the spicy chili and tangy dip!
Old man winter was kinder to us this time around and we were able to have more than just our wee little family for this potluck! We had several nice families join us who also brought dishes to share!! I love potlucks bring a dish or 2 and get to eat from a bunch of others too!! What great idea! Whoever started the idea needs a prize of some sort! 😉 I took my camera and managed to snap a few shots of some of the other dishes that were brought. We had no idea what everyone was bringing, but it was if someone planned it as it all went so well together! We had a Mexican Layered Dish– (recipe Below)
And then there was some delicious, fresh and crispy Apple Crisp Salad (recipe here) …. (Note- Beth added a nice handful of oats scattered over the top and then a small sprinkling of chocolate or carob chips to top it off! Very tasty additions!)
And, what could be better than another little something sweet like these All Natural Oatmeal Banana Cookies?!! (recipe below) Yummy!
So, we had a great meal, awesome fellowship and some fun too! After dinner, we discussed reasons we all had for making an effort to be healthy, such as- to live a long, happy, disease-free life, to be around long enough to enjoy children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren, to serve God and others, to live life to the fullest, etc! Louis pointed out most people are more cautious with what they put into their automobiles than what type of “fuel” they put into their own bodies, and that just like our autos – they will NOT run and operate properly without the proper fuel. We were reminded that God created these magnificent bodies of ours and what gift they are! Genesis 1:29 states the diet God designed man to eat to nourish his body. These amazing bodies are designed to heal themselves and maintain health –IF we will only give them proper nourishment to provide the fuel in which to do so! He wants us to be healthy as it tells us in 3 John 1:2 “I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in health, as I know it is well with your soul.” Some remarked at the amazing things the body of Christ – His Church – could do for His kingdom if only we were healthier. All the time and efforts spent on our health problems could be spent serving others and all those prayers sent heavenward for health problems could be directed in other areas! Just imagine!! We then discussed ideas for topics in upcoming get-togethers, etc.
We invite you to come and join us for our next Happy, Healthy & Full Of Life potluck and fellowship get-together! We will be meeting the 2nd and 4th Monday each month to share a great meal, fellowship, recipes, information, encouragement and lots of FUN! We meet at Ninevah Christian Church in Lawrenceburg, KY at 6:00 PM. These events are FREE! Just bring a dish and the recipe to share with the group! We will have a brief discussion after each meal on a different health topic, share testimonies and information to help you make better informed choices for you and your family’s health!
Live too far away to join us in person? We invite you to follow along and join us on-line on our Facebook page! Be sure to “like” the page so you will receive notifications when new information is added. Share your favorite healthy recipes and ideas with us too! Happy, Healthy & Full Of Life Facebook Page
Wishing you a Happy, Healthy and Full of Life year in 2014!! Blessings!
Recipe for Mexican Layered Dish shared with us by Audrey-
10 corn tortillas
2 cans black beans, drained
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 package non-dairy cheese
1/2 medium onion
1/2 package sliced fresh mushrooms
3 – 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
salt, pepper, chili powder, onion powder and cumin to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Saute onion, mushrooms and garlic until soft. Add remaining spices and mix well. Set aside. In separate pan, add beans and simmer until soft, then mash. In a baking dish, layer tortilla shells, tomatoes, mushrooms, beans and then cheese. Repeat making 3 layers. Bake for 15 minutes covered. Uncover and reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 20 minutes. bake an additional
Recipe for All Natural Oatmeal Banana Cookies shared with us by Beth- (adapted from http://www.cookiemadness.net/2008/01/1392/)
1/3 cup coconut oil
3 ripe bananas
2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup almond milk
dark chocolate or carob chips (optional)
1 – Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2 – Melt coconut oil in pan on stove over low heat.
3 – Add remaining ingredients, except almond milk- only add as much as needed to moisten batter.
4 – Let stand for about 5 minutes to soak oats.
5 – Stir in Chocolate chips (optional)
6 – Lightly grease cookie sheet with coconut oil.
7 – Drop by spoonfuls of about 1 tablespoon into cookie sheet.
8 – Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until lightly brown.
9 – Allow to cool before eating.