Soul Food For When Loss Threatens to Overwhelm & You Want to Hold onto Summer

I don’t know about you, but it’s been a tough week here. A bunch of loss and a boatload of things coming to an end as the season changes. I keep thinking of that commercial with the fair rides slowly grinding to a halt and the lights going out. I see the leaves starting to turn and I want to say “NOOOOOOOO!! Stop the madness!”

I’ve needed to remind myself this week…

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Anyway, this Friday I thought I’d start by sharing some literal food first, and then we’ll move to the spiritual and emotional.

  1. My friend Heather is a health coach. She brought this delicious appetizer spread to a cookout recently. Because it’s from her, I’m sure it must include magical anti-aging properties and a cure for cancer. I don’t know the name of it, but let’s call it Heather’s Hodgepodge.

All you do is go to Trader Joe’s and buy:

1 container of lentils from the refrigerator section

1 container of bruschetta

1 container of feta cheese

IMG_1413Mix them all together and serve with crackers (Gluten free of whatever!). I don’t even like lentils and I’m not crazy about feta, but I wanted to wrap my arms around this nectar of the gods and eat. the. whole. thing. Amazing!

2. Under the category of Stone Soup type recipes I thought I’d share this salad I created last week out of necessity because I didn’t have all the ingredients for any one recipe and my small group was coming over. It was delicious if I do say so myself 🙂  – fresh and healthy. Never mind that it was kind of an “accident”. I think I’m going to call it Laura’s Salad of Awesomeness 🙂 Because it was an “accident” you can play with amounts.

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (cuz that’s all I had – you could use a cup if you want)
  • about 3 ears fresh corn off the cob
  • 1/2 red onion finely diced
  • about a cup of those sweet cherry tomatoes halved (I had Nature Sweet Cherubs)
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans rinsed
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • frozen cooked jumbo shrimp cut into half inch pieces (I had bags of shrimp I had gotten on sale in the freezer, but you can omit this if you just want to use this as a side dish and not a dinner salad)

Dressing: 1/4 cup olive oil, juice of one lemon (1/4 c.), 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 t. black pepper, 1/2 t. garlic powder, 1/2 t. cumin, 1 t. honey. Again, I give you full permission to play with these amounts. I did. You’re welcome.

I added a little garlic salt to the salad just because who doesn’t love more garlic, right?  Also, I like dressing it early to let it soak up the flavor.

The moral of this story? Lack may lead to innovation may lead to deliciousness!

3. Next… A little spiritual soul food.

So many people around me are in pits of disappointment, despair, or darkness. This message by Max Lucado from last year, guest preaching at NCC, is called You’re Gonna Get Through This (I think it’s hysterical that I can identify my friend, Heather’s laugh throughout this recording 🙂 ). This is so encouraging!  If you really can’t listen the whole thing, watch from 24 minutes on.

One of my favorite lines is “Don’t equate the presence of God with a good mood.”

4. Lastly, a little mojo picker-upper.  A book to make you laugh and say, “Oh, you too?”  I just finished reading For the Love by Jen Hatmaker.  You may remember my small group got started around Jen’s book, 7, so she has a good track record in these parts.

In her new book she is funny, and feisty, sarcastic and self-deprecating as we’ve come to expect. The book isn’t so much overtly about grace as it is a series of essays on all things of interest to Jen in which the aroma of grace permeates like popcorn at the movies. It ranges from the fun and frivolous (like Fashion Concerns) to the pointed and important (Dear Church and Dear Christians). And it has a few recipes I can’t wait to try, so there’s that!

A couple of favorite quotes:

  • “If you can make a pot of chili and use a cell phone, then you can create community.”
  •  “Anytime the rich and poor combine, we should listen to whoever has the least power.”

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What about you? What soul food are you feasting on this week?

3 Comments

  1. I love your blog. The salad sounds fantastic and I have almost all of the ingredients. I can’t wait to try it.

  2. Laura – thanks for posting that TJ’s recipe and linking to my FB page! I’m so glad you loved it! I am also loving your hodge-podge recipe that you wrote – sounds fantastic (and definitely FULL of healthy anti-aging things!). Have a great weekend!

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