Thinking About the New Year

by Tammy on November 14, 2017

I might have mentioned in my last post that I am going to put my Christmas tree up tomorrow. Both April and Ben will be home during the day, so it’s a good time to get everyone on board (and get the kids to take down the rest of Halloween). Now that the trees are bald, it’s cold and cloudy, and the days are short, it feels like the holidays, so my house might as well feel festive. I also wanted to get a head start because we will be leaving a few days after Christmas for Florida, so I won’t have quite as long to enjoy the tree (although last year, since I was finishing up school, I didn’t even decorate the tree. The cat also contributed to my decision not to. I hope she leaves it alone this year).

Anyway, thinking about Christmas has started me thinking about the New Year and New Year’s resolutions. Last year my resolution was to get healthy, and I have accomplished that goal. As of yesterday morning I weighed 118.2 pounds, I started back to the gym last week, and my diet is in great shape, so I need new goals. I have two that I can think of off the top of my head. The first is to finish school, which will be easy because I have a schedule in my mind and will have ample time to complete classes while we are in Florida since I won’t be working. That is, unless something changes between now and the end of December…

My second goal is going to take a lot more discipline. I want to become a student of the Word again. When I was in seminary, it was easy to be immersed in theology, but now that I’ve been immersed in health and fitness stuff, it’s been easy to be lax about reading my Bible and committing to my prayer time. I do not understand why I let it slide, because I know it’s hard to get started again once I do. I definitely need a schedule and some sort of devotional to help me along. This is something I want to get a handle on before the new year, though, so I will begin working on this ASAP. Prayers for discipline in this area would be greatly appreciated!

I am going to leave you with a recipe that I made tonight. It’s super simple and doesn’t sound appealing on paper, but every time I make it I fall in love with it again. It may not taste good to those who eat the standard diet, though, so don’t throw stones at me if you make it and find it lacking. :-p Also, I will leave the link to the recipe, but I’ve altered it a bit to suit my likes.

Spicy Chickpea and Quinoa Bowl

    2 cup uncooked quinoa
    2 ½ cups vegetable broth
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 onion, chopped
    2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
    1 tsp. cumin
    ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
    ¼ tsp. black pepper
    Fresh cilantro to garnish


To make quinoa, rinse and soak for about 10 minutes in warm water. Bring 2 cups of vegetable broth to a boil in a small saucepan, drain quinoa and add to boiling broth. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking for about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn heat off and allow quinoa to sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork; set aside. Alternatively, if you have an Instant Pot, you can cook the quinoa on manual setting, high pressure for one minute and allow for natural pressure release. If using stove top method, use a 2 to 1 ratio of liquid to quinoa. 1 to 1 ¼ works perfectly for the Instant Pot. I usually substitute water for the vegetable broth.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, water saute onion, mushroom, and garlic until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes and the spices (except the cilantro), stirring to combine.

Cover the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

To assemble the bowls, place ½ cup quinoa in each bowl and top with a heaping ½ cup of the chickpea mixture. Top with a little cilantro and enjoy!

Nutritional Information
Serving Size: ½ cup quinoa + ½ cup chickpea mixture • Calories: 342 • Fat: 5.8 g • Saturated Fat: 0.5 g • Carbs: 62 g • Fiber: 10.2 g • Protein: 12.4 g • Sugars: 2.2 g

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