Zucchini Strips With Portobello Bolognese

Today I am sharing with you a recipe I made for my Mr this week. Since changing his diet due to health reasons I have been slowly easing him into a more healthful diet. Mr is an Italian and loves to eat. The problem is he loves to eat all the wrong things but by introducing him to dishes with lots of flavor he’s learning that eating healthy doesn’t have to mean boring or tasteless.  I hope you will also enjoy this delicious healthy meal for yourself and your family. In the photos I share with you the stages of this recipe and down below you will find the complete ingredient list and directions.

Here is what you’ll need to begin.

 

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Pictured here is, minced garlic, minced celery, onion and carrots along with Portobello caps.

After you’ve minced your vegetables, garlic and onion you will also want to finely chop your portobello caps. Add all of these ingredients to a pan and saute. 

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While your veggies are sauteing you will want to strip your zucchini’s. You can spiral them if you choose but since I don’t have a spiraler yet I just used my vegetable peeler and made wide strip zucchini noodles. 

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After you’ve cut your zucchini noodles you’ll want to saute them in olive oil just until soft.

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When the dish is complete it will look beautiful and taste even better!

 

Ingredients List: 

3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil, divided

6 Portobello Mushroom Caps, stems and gills removed and finely chopped

1/2 C minced carrot

1/2 C minced celery

1/2 C minced yellow onion

3 large garlic cloves, minced

Salt & pepper (optional)

1 TBSP tomato paste

1 – 28oz can of crushed tomatoes 

2 TSP dried oregano

1/2 C fresh basil leaves, finely chopped, plus a small bit for serving

4 medium Zucchini

Directions: 

Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  When hot add mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion and garlic. You can also add a pinch of salt and pepper if you choose. It will look like a lot of mushroom but these will cook down. 

Cook for 8 – to minutes until veggies are soft and mushrooms have released all their liquid. 

Stir in tomato paste and cook for 2 more minutes.

Stir in crushed tomatoes, oregano, and basil. Simmer for 15 minutes until sauce has thickened and the flavors have married together. 

While sauce is simmering slice your zucchini noodles or spiral them.

Heat remaining oil in a large skillet. When it’s hot add zucchini noodles. Season with salt & pepper tossing the noodles for about 2 minutes until they are just tender. Immediately remove the noodles from the skillet. You don’t want to overcook them or they will get watery. 

Divine Zucchini noodles onto plate or in bowls, pour bolognese sauce over top.

Garnish with fresh basil leaves and parmesan cheese.

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Worried

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Yes, that pretty much looks like I do right at the moment.  Just a quick back history for those who aren’t familiar. In April 2016 my husband suffered a heart attack. God decided it wasn’t his time yet and he came out of it pretty well. Fast forward a few months and my Mr began collecting fluid in his feet, ankles and lower legs. 

For almost a year we tried figuring this out. We ran almost every cardiac test you can run with the exception of a catherization because my Mr. didn’t want to undergo that again and honestly, I couldn’t blame him. All tests were showing fine. There was what we have been told a ‘minor’ issue with his heart but nothing dangerous and nothing to worry about. 

Just last month I “thought” we made a breakthrough. His water pill and blood thinner were removed from his medication regiment and suddenly the fluid went away. We could finally see his feet and ankles again.  I was incredibly relieved and incredibly grateful. 

Well, it seems to have been short lived only this time it’s not anywhere near as bad as it was. My husband is now collecting fluid again in his lower legs. Not in his feet yet nor his ankles just a small area in both lower legs with the right one being worse than the left. This is how it’s always been.

Two months ago his blood work showed a slight elevation in his kidney levels so I am going to call our family doctor on Monday to make an appointment and have the test run again. It amazes me that his problems all seem to have begun with the heart attack more than a year ago but we are told the heart attack did not cause any damage to the muscle. 

Once again, I am confused and feeling very worried. Scared actually.  My Mr is my whole world, my life and I have been full of fear and worry for over a year. Every time I think we are on the right track another softball is lobbed straight at my skull. 

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I know I need to trust in the Lord and believe me, I am trying. I am trying incredibly hard but the truth is I am scared and I am frustrated that I can’t seem to give this 100% to the Lord and know that He will take care of things. Again I ask you, please keep us in your prayers. 

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The Decision Is Made

My Decision

As most of my readers will remember, back in April of this year I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Some of you may also know I have been ill for the past 25 years but this is a new diagnoses to go along with many others. My options for treating this new diagnoses are the standard. Methotrexate injections, steroids, and other drugs. 

While I am well aware these drugs are life savers for a lot of people, at this moment in my life I am not willing to subject myself to them. I know some will think I am insane for even thinking this but the truth is, these medicines whilst I understand do help many also cause serious side affects in ones body.

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I have not seen my rheumatologist since April but am due to see him this coming week. Well, after a lot of prayer and soul searching and, after going over my test results I have come to this decision. Whilst I am in pain and I do have swelling in area’s of my body I also realize there are natural ways I may be able to help myself. Possibly through herbs, foods and changing some of my habits. Namely, kicking this sugar binge I have been on for months now. I can tell you this is a major problem for me and it is….making me sick. 

I feel the sickness a few moments after I eat a sugar filled cookie which by the way, I have been binging on for months. I feel the sickness in my body with each potato chip which I have also been binging on for many months. Why have I been eating these foods like they are going out of style? Because I can not swallow 98% of solid foods and I am skinny so, when I find something I can get down I latch on like a german shepherd in heat and don’t let go. The official diagnosis for this is called Dysphagia. 

I have decided that with trusting in God completely and spending a lot more time with Him in prayer, attending Mass again, receiving the Blessed Sacraments and spending time in Adoration,  it is time for me to take the chance and try and introduce good foods into my body even if they have to be pureed. I have to see if I can swallow them (pray I don’t choke) and I have to see if I will be able to digest them. For many years I have seen stomach doctors and always no answers and no real options besides more drugs that may or may not help. I believe, after talking with God, A LOT, it is time I started trying to heal myself with His help. 

In the coming months and weeks I will be scarce on social media with the exception of my blog as I try and learn ways to help and heal myself and I pray and hope to share all this with you here on my blog. I hope you will join me and I ask you to please pray for me. 

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How Did This Happen?

Don't complicate your mind.

Well, honestly I don’t even think it has sunk in yet but it’s here and I can’t deny it any longer. You’re probably wondering what I am speaking of. I am speaking of my youth. Its dwindling and, the proof has been put before me so that even though I see some wrinkles when I look in the mirror and make excuses and I have grey hairs, too many to count now but can cover them with hair dye there are just some things that there can be no excuses for. I am talking about menopause.

Yep, I am wading into that unknown valley. I began my menstrual cycle on June 30th and it didn’t end until July 15th. Yes, you read that right. Somewhere about the 12th I realized that hey, “wait a minute, I still have my period?!?”… Yup, it took me that long to realize it was still there because life gets busy and I was paying no attention to it until I did. I called my doctor that day in a slight panic because while it seemed like it was ending. Late that afternoon it began to pick up speed again and I thought, somethings wrong.

My doctor gave me an appointment for the next day but told me if I felt weak or sick I should go to the emergency room. I had been feeling less than stellar and more tired than usual but with all my chronic conditions it’s not un-normal for me to have times where I feel like this.

But, on the morning of the 13th I awoke feeling so incredibly weak I didn’t know if I my legs would hold me up if I got out of bed. My husband decided we shouldn’t wait for the doctor appointment and took me to the emergency room.

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As you can see in the photo I was not looking my best nor feeling it either.  After having an IV started on me and of course intake by the nurse the doctor came in… He said to me he would run some blood work but after listening to me he believes it’s most likely the beginning of menopause.

Doctor: “how old are you ?”

Me: “47”

Doctor ” Yep, the perfect age, it’s more than likely menopause but lets make sure and see where your blood levels are at”.

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Yes, that’s the look I gave him. Kind of shock, disbelief and “are you freakin kidding me?”

Then they left me sitting there for almost two hours. I’m thinking they wanted to let me stew ruminate on the shining news he gave me which translated to me as, you’re drying up, no babies, weight gain you won’t be able to lose, dryer skin, more physical pain, thinning hair etc etc. All the things that come with getting older.

 Finally the nurse came in to give me my results which were normal, unhook my IV line, release me to go home and to tell me that, she was almost sixty and ‘it’ happened to her the exact same way and “if I was lucky this would be the last one and I would be done”..

Lucky I thought? How is that lucky? This means, no babies, this means an end to, to, well, my youth as I’ve always known it. An end to something although quite more than annoying that has been with me every month for almost my entire life. .What now?

Suddenly, I thought of God.

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And thought well, maybe I am looking at all this the wrong way. Maybe I need to see the positives of all this. While yes, that means, no babies it also means, possibly, no more monthly sickness, maybe no more migraines, maybe no more having to schedule my life around when it was going to hit and block of a week off every month to be more ill than I usually am.

Then God stepped in and showed me, the nurse is right. While this is sad for me in some ways I am truly lucky. There are so many women who have never lived long enough to go into menopause. While it’s not something women look forward to it is a milestone and I know of so many women whose lives were cut short for one reason or another and they never reached this milestone so God said to me, “instead of being ungrateful, be grateful and joyful because I have given you the time to reach this milestone”

And He’s right. So, I am on too the next chapter of my life however long or short that may be and I am going to embrace menopause as much as I can and live each day as much as I can with the knowledge that I am indeed…. lucky and blessed.

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Soul Check

Soul Check

Now more than ever in the days we live in it would do us all well to do a soul check. What’s a soul check? It’s a conscious effort to seriously look into our souls and see what and or who is dwelling there. What and or who is taking priority.

In the times we live in there are so many ways and things that work their way into our souls and before we know it we are feeling lost, empty, longing for something we can not put our finger on to make us happy.

In the days of the Apostle Paul, in the church of Corinth the same thing was happening to the very young church and it’s young Christians. They were allowing the world of their time and all the things in it to pull them away from the Lord Jesus, from His Church, from His teachings. From the happiness and peace only the Lord can give us.  They were again, longing for happiness and filling it with things like, immoral sexuality, drunkeness, fighting between themselves, division, worshiping pagan idols.

So what about today? What about us? Are we so unlike those people of long ago in the church in Corinth? The reality is, we are exactly like those people and we are and have been doing the same things they did and there are consequences to this.

St. Paul tells the Corinthian people that these are the reasons they are weak and sick and some die. Is it not the same today? Do we not have fake idols we worship today? Let’s take a look at some of the idols that we have allowed ourselves to bow down too and worship because society says it’s right.. 

 

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Any of these look familiar? These are our modern day idols and we have all been victims of indoctrination.  If we are honest with ourselves how many of them rule  your soul at this moment? I know for myself I struggle with two of these but I am trying very hard to release my soul from the bonds of these modern day idols and fill it once again with who and what should be there. The who and what for me is my Lord Jesus and His teachings.

Are we capable of doing this alone? No, we sure aren’t. In fact, anything we can do is all because of the love and grace of God. So how do we get back to God and put Him where He belongs which is at the center of our souls and lives?

We ask for His help and we know we shall receive it. How can we be so sure?

Because this is what St. Paul tells us.

“No temptation has ever overtaken you that is not common to man.  God, is faithful and He will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, shun the worship of idols.”

See what St Paul says to us there? God is ever faithful. All we need do is ask and trust that He will help and provide a way for escape.

For our part we must open our souls to His help. We must begin little by little, with the help of the Lord to pull ourselves away from all the noise and things that the world tells us is good and right because deep in our souls, we know the world lies to us. 

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