Recipe: Vegetarian Hummus & Kale Tostadas (aka: Chalupa)

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Let’s just get down to the nitty gritty.

Is a flat, fried corn tortilla a tostada or a chalupa?

I’ve done some very, very scientific research on this matter (i.e. wikipedia and cafemom and food.com) and here’s my take:

A tostada is a toasted/fried flat or bowl shaped tortilla (usually made from corn) with toppings on it.

A chalupa is the shallow bowl tostada (unless you are going through the Taco Bell line in which case a chalupa is a soft-dough thick fried flour tortilla folded into “boat” form.

I wanted to clear that up before any fights ensued. Granted, apparently these terms vary by location, so it might be different where you live and eat!

Either way, my husband made me the most amazing tostada/chalupa today for lunch! I baked and fried some corn tortillas for tostadas the other day for the fam (which were also super yummy) and we had two left, so my hubs made up his own invention and I. loved. it.

(By the way, there is no question which of us is the better cook: HE is. Hands down.)

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Vegetarian Hummus Tostada/Chalupa

  • 2 tostadas/chalupas*
  • 1/2 cup of hummus
  • 1/4 cup of crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup of chopped kale or greens
  • 5-6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • (For vegan: substitute pine nuts in lieu of the feta)

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together hummus, feta (saving a few pieces for topping), and kale.
  2. Spread it over the tostadas.
  3. Top with a few more pieces of feta and the tomatoes.
  4. Eat!

I know it’s simple, and didn’t really need a “recipe” but it was just so yummy and so something I’d never thought about that I had to share! Props to my love, Mr. Chord Dice, for making me lunch! I wasn’t even going to post today but it was so yummy I had to share!

* Here is the recipe that I used for making tostadas

  1. Lay them flat on the oven rack at 250° for 7 minutes (keep an eye on them and take them out earlier if they are too brown).
  2. Heat up a skillet with 1/4 inch of canola oil on medium-high (I actually used half canola oil and half coconut oil because I ran out of canola)
  3. With a pair of tongs, lay the tortilla into the oil for about 20-30 seconds using the tongs to push it down into the oil, then flip it over and fry it for an additional 20 seconds.
  4. Lift the tortilla out of the pan allowing the oil to drip off and place the tortilla on a towel-lined plate (or, if you are green like me, put it on a cooling rack with a cookie sheet underneath it so that the oil just drips onto the cookie sheet).
  5. Finish with the rest of the tortillas!

And because I am the queen of selfies, I had to take one with my tostada/chalupa! Haha!

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Day 720: Remember That Time I Had A Diet Blog And Then Gained Weight???

Well, ya know how it’s not real cool to tell everyone on your diet blog that you’ve gained weight? Cause it doesn’t exactly foster “confidence” in what you are doing. Especially after you’ve had all these articles written and been interviewed for an article in The Atlantic. Yeah, gaining weight would be a totally lame thing to admit to.

But, well, I’m all about being totally open and “transparent” (that’s the new trendy Christian buzz word for “being real” right now, isn’t it?). So, I’m going to tell you that I’ve gained weight.

Only, it’s not pretty. It’s not like, “Oh, I’ve put on the Christmas 5″ or anything cute like that.

Nope, I weighed myself in August and then I weighed myself again this weekend knowing that it would be more but secretly hoping it wouldn’t be. And oh, boy howdy, it was most certainly more.

TWENTY POUNDS MORE.

Since August, people.

Uhhhhhhhhh, yeah. That’s not good.

Not. good. at. all.

So, of course, like I used to do when I weighed myself (and I haven’t weighed myself since Day 118: Trippin), I spiraled into a pit of despair and self-loathing.

Ahhhhhhhh, the life of someone who struggles with weight and eating issues.

But honestly, it didn’t surprise me. I’ve been three-day dieting for months now. You know what I’m talking about…

Monday: I’m so hard core! This is so great to be eating healthy! I feel awesome! No more sugar or bread foreverrrrrr!
Tuesday: Yeah! I’ve still got it. This time… this time is different! This time I’m gonna do it!
Wednesday: Uhhhhhhhhh… why the HECK did my husband’s client send him a box of PREMIUM chocolates?!?!?
Thursday: {Nom Nom Nom on aforementioned box of chocolates}
Friday: Since the box of chocolates is all gone, eat a bag of tortillas because it’s really the only bread in the house. I mean, might as well… cause I ate like a pig yesterday.
Saturday: Self-loathing is at its peak… perhaps sneak into the kids Christmas stocking candy. How much is is that Plexus stuff???
Sunday: Admit defeat, decide you CAN do it this time… tomorrow is the day! Soooo, gotta eat the rest of the Christmas cookies to, ya know, clear the house of their evil.
Monday: Repeat. previous. week. all. over. again. and then again. and then again.

But I’m also going to tell you a very, very important thing…

I’M. NOT. GIVING. UP.

Did I want to order Plexus immediately? Yes. Did I contemplate getting a job just to get me out of my house and away from food? Yes. Did my husband talk me down from doing both of those things? Yes.

Cause here’s the deal: Plexus is an easy fix for me but I know… I know… that it won’t solve my problem. I may not have an eating disorder (or heck, I might… I’ll let my bestie determine that… ironically, she’s a psychologist for all that stuff) but I do know that I have some disordered eating habits.

And that has got to change.

So, to change… I’ve got to make some changes.

Honestly, there are several posts coming up on that this week: changing the way we change, incorporating systems into my life to help with this cuh.ray.zay. weight gain, and most importantly, making deliberately sure that Jesus is more of my DAILY life.

I wanted to write it all here right now, but then this post would be a gazillion words long. So, I’m forcing myself to spread it out over a few days. And, well, if you’ve read this far then hopefully that means that you’ll be on this journey with me… continue on this journey with me, despite the fact that I’ve put on some poundage and because of the fact that God’s changes are on His own timing, but people… HIS CHANGES are oh. so. glorious.

So, here I go. Still journeying on that path from gluttonous… to glorious!

Day 710: I’m Just Gonna Say It… Sugar. Is. A. Drug.

I taught middle school and high school long enough to know a little bit about drugs.

I didn’t use drugs when I was in school so I don’t really have any personal experience, but all it takes is a few days where you let the kids talk and work on a project or something in class and WOW. You will learn a LOT about what is going on in their personal lives.

Wayyyyyyy more than you ever wanted to know in a lot of cases.

And I’ve counseled kids through deciding to go to rehab, telling their parents, getting busted, etc. It is a terrible, terrible road to be on when you are a child of 14 or 15.

{Now go ahead and take a minute if you need to get all political or anti-capitalist or whatever it is you do or think when you see someone talking about kids and drugs and school and America… and then, stop. Stop all of that and take a second to just pray for all these kids that are already getting wrapped up in the world of drugs that has the potential to utterly and completely ruin their hopes, their families, their lives.}

So, I’ve heard a ton of them say that they went to a few parties (or even just one) and drank some beer and then they went to a few more parties (or even just one) and they smoked a few cigarettes and then they went to a few parties (or even just one) and they smoked some pot and then they went to a few more parties (or even just one) and they smoked some crack or whatever “hard-core” drug was there.

And, after the fact, you know what I’ve heard them lament?

Not the crack.

Not the pot.

Not the cigarette.

Not the beer.

The party.

Seriously.

It’s the PARTY that they regret.

Because you know what they say… “If only I hadn’t gone to that first party. That was the thing that let everyone know that I was open to whatever.”

And gosh, don’t we, as sugar addicts have the same story. “Oh, I was doing so well until Icemageddon hit.” or “I had lost 10 pounds but then Halloween rolled around.” or what is coming up, “I really want to lose weight for Christmas when I see my whole family.” and then we proceed to eat our weight in Christmas colored Hershey Kisses.

Now, listen.

I’m not saying that sugar and drugs are the same thing.

Wait.

Ya know what? I’m gonna go ahead and say it.

Sugar. is. a. drug.

Look… there’s even been some studies done recently that are “lending support to the hypothesis that high-fat/ high sugar foods can be thought of as addictive”.

Seriously people.

That’s disturbing to me.

When I read that, it contributed to my decision to quit. Quit eating sugar.

FOR.EV.ER.

And when you look at the similarities of how those of us who struggle with this particular drug and how it compares to those who struggle with other types of drugs: the planning over how to get it, the lusting over having more, the sneaking around to get some, the lying, the guilt, the pain, the need… it’s so similar.

Yet our “drug” is legal.

It’s in our pantries. our refrigerators. our grocery stores.

It’s at our parties. our celebrations. our everything.

It’s a gift at Christmas.

Even SANTA puts it in our stocking.

It’s no wonder that so many of us find ourselves in a life-long struggle with it.

So, stop thinking that this is just a game called “weight loss”. If you struggle with sugar (or even MSG which has very similar properties) then know that your battle is real. It’s not entirely in your mind. But it also means that it’s time to get serious about getting this out of your life. I’m not saying that it’ll just suddenly go away as an issue if you get serious, but it is time for all of us to start pursuing freedom from this drug.

Christ came to set us free… come on, let’s get free.

Day 700: Stop. Collaborate. And Listen.

My husband said the other day,

“In the morning, I always know who I want to be and how I want to act and what I want to do. I know all of that in the morning. It’s maintaining that throughout the day that is the tough part.”

Then tonight, I thought the same thing as I was brushing my teeth. “Here I am at the end of my day, and I can look back and see all of the things I wish I’d done differently and I can look myself in the mirror and say ‘Tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll be who I want to be. I’ll be what I want to be. I’ll act the way I want to act.‘”

But then tomorrow always comes, and despite all of my resolve, all of my willpower, all of my hope, and self-promises, and pep talks… despite all of that, I still find myself just sleep walking right back into the “old” me. The old-me who didn’t follow through on all of that resolve, willpower, hope, promises, pep talks.

Geez.

Way to be depressing, January.

But I’m always up for a little introspective conversation, so I asked myself, “Why? Why do I know who I want to be in the morning before the day starts, then sleep walk through the day making the SAME OL STINKING CHOICES AGAIN AND AGAIN, and then know who I should have been when it’s night again?

It’s like a can’t, or don’t… stop. I need to… I just need to… stop.”

And then, of course, what started to run through my mind?

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Stop, collaborate, and listen.

Yep. That’s right. Vanilla Ice’s famous song began to run through my head.

But really. It’s so. totally. spot. on. to what I need to be doing with my life. with my eating. with my prayer.

I’ve got to stop.

And I mean literally, physically, spiritually…

STOP.

Honestly, I picture myself standing next to my fridge.

In my mind, I can see the candy buckets up on top.

And then I see myself, stopped.

Both hands on the edge of the counter.

Leaning over, looking down.

Stopped.

Praying.

Taking a deep breath.

And remembering again… remembering who I want to be. how I want to be. what I want to do.

Asking God to help make me into that image that I have in my mind.

Asking God to help make me into His image.

While I stop.

And ask God to stop with me.

And collaborate with me.

While I listen to Him.

Day 699: Icemageddon (aka: Icepocalypse)

Well, Icemageddon hit Texas this week.

And it has all but shut. us. down.

Cause you see, here in Texas, we just don’t “do” ice and cold. It’s not that we’re snotty or too good for it or weak… it’s just that we so rarely have gotten ice in years past, that a few responses tend to happen:

a) When they say ice is coming we tend to ignore the weather anchor because whenever we seem to prepare for ice then instead of ice, we have a heat wave.

b) We are almost… amazed… at this copious precipitation coming out of the sky. I mean, gosh, we’ve been under “drought” warnings for the past few years.

c) We get so excited at the prospect of being “snowed” in like those places of lore that we buy out every ounce of food in the grocery stores and, as this Observer article says, “every time the weather media goons predict the end of the world, Dallas swims in homemade chili”. Ha! So true!

d) We are called in to work despite the fact that we have one truck to sand the roads for a whole town, half of us have never even seen snow chains for tires, and from what I have personally witnessed, most Dallasites can barely drive under normal conditions… add some slick roads to the mix and we are one big pile up.

And man, I was ready just like the rest of them… I ran into the store before it hit and loaded up on food for my family for the weekend (although I have learned the hard way that cold boys eat infinitely more than usual). I thought through activities to do with my kids since we wouldn’t be able to go outside as much. I made sure jackets, coats, gloves, and hats were at the ready. And first thing yesterday morning I cranked up the space heaters and got the fire going.

But you know what?

I forgot one thing.

And I feel terrible.

I forgot my mother’s ferns.

You see, my parents sold the “family farm” (not really a farm, but a house with a few acres) several months ago and are building a house in the “big city” (okay, not really the big city, but in a suburb of Dallas) and they are currently living in a condo with zero patio space for the progeny of my mother’s extremely green thumb. So, we were given the ferns to watch over.

Well. Yeah.

I forgot. I mean, I just plain forgot. I was so busy thinking of everything inside my house and my husband was in charge of the “outside” (meaning covering the exposed pipes that have kept us without water before during freezing conditions), so I just… didn’t think about them.

And then I went back and in a feeble attempt covered them up so that the last layer of ice wouldn’t get on them, but I’m pretty sure the deed is done.

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As the ice begins to melt today, I will go outside and find them both to be just a pool of primordial sludge.

And ya know what?

My mom will totally understand.

Sure, she’ll be a little disappointed that her new beautiful patio won’t be adored by her two beautiful ferns, but it’s not like she’s gonna read this post and call me to say “Well, that’s it January. The final straw. You killed my ferns and so now we are done for. I am divorcing you as my daughter. Too bad you weren’t perfect.

But dang… isn’t that we expect for God to be?

Like, we stumble or slip or forget and we just are waiting for Him to say,

Well, that’s it January. The final straw. You ate a Hershey Kiss and so now we are done for. I am divorcing you as my daughter. Too bad you weren’t perfect.

And so what do we do whenever we slip up? So, often we RUN from Him.

Remember, just like Jonah.

Just like Adam and Eve.

Just like little kids.

We run.

We hide.

And so often we DIVE right into whatever it was that separated us.

“Oh dang it! I gave in and ate a Hershey Kiss! Well, I guess I should just spend the rest of the day (which often turns into the rest of the WEEK) eating the remainder of the Hershey Kisses… and a whole pizza… and a bag of Doritos…”

It’s like the equivalent of me being like “Oh, gosh, I ruined my mother’s ferns. I’m gonna just go ahead then and go over to her house and spray down all of her herb plants and trees and flowers with water so that they will freeze over and ruin as well.”

RIDICULOUS.

But that is just how we respond when we “mess up”.

And you know what the best part about messing up with God? You don’t HAVE to make things right. Like, I don’t HAVE to go buy my mother new ferns the same size in order to make it up to her. She loves me. The end. Ferns or no ferns.

And I don’t HAVE to do a Daniel Fast for 21 days to “make it up” to Him. He loves me. The end. Hershey Kiss or no Hershey Kiss.

AND THEN what is even MORE AWESOME about God (and my mom) is that He will give me another chance just like in a few years if my mom needs me to babysit her ferns, she would probably ask me again even though I all but vaporized these.

Okay, so blah blah blah… what am I saying?

I guess it’s what I keep on saying to myself and to you guys over and over and over again…

Don’t.

Give.

Up.

Even when you mess up. Even when you “do wrong”. Even when you aren’t perfect.

Don’t.

Give.

Up.

Because…

At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9

So…

Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

Day 693: Leaving Luxury (Celebrating Advent)

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Advent season is here!

{If you aren’t familiar with Advent, the word derives from “Coming” and it starts four Sundays before Christmas… this year it started this past Sunday, December 1st… and it is when Christians anticipate the coming of Christ’s birth!}

I feel like, finally, everyone else has caught up with me and they are ready to celebrate Christmas now that Thanksgiving is over! (We decorated on November 1st so we’ve been in this mode for a while now!)

In the previous years I’ve always gotten a book or an app or a reading plan to celebrate Advent, but this year I decided that I wanted to do my own! It’s mainly happening on my Facebook, twitter, and Google+ pages where I am posting throughout the day on a typical focus.

My personal focus this Advent is giving to Christ. I mean, He has given me SO MUCH and since He is the focus, then I want to give HIM gifts. But of course, unlike my 6 year old, God isn’t really interested in Lego’s Lion Chi Temple… but He is very interested in me. in my actions. in my attempts to honor Him.

So each day has a focus like the past few days have had:

Day 1: Give Him your service.
Day 2: Give Him your praise.
Day 3: Give Him your luxury.

And I’m afraid that already Day 3 is going to be the most sacrificial gift of all.

Because for Advent, I’m going to give God the gift of giving up a luxury.

Diet sodas. Tea. Coffee.

On hold for the remainder of Advent.

Water only here.

Oh. my.

Because not having those things, well, it is going to get my attention… and that is why I am doing it. Like I said on one of my social media posts, giving up a luxury is like making a mental speed bump. It makes you stop and think, “Wait. I’m used to having this… why can’t I have tea? Ohhhhh! Oh yes! Because I can use this moment to direct my mind to Christ!

And really that is exactly what I want to be happening all through Advent… I want to be looking to Christ! Anticipating Him! And getting ready to celebrate Him!

Because when I really think about it, all of this “luxury” is really just stuff.

He is truly what makes my life luxurious!

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