Happy Sunday friends! Today I made a sweet potato lentil vegetable shepard’s pie for our church Thanksgiving dinner. I’m going to be honest, this is the first time I’ve tried making a hearty plant-based potluck dish and I was pleasantly surprised at how it turned out (even my meat-lovin’ husband thought so (; )
But first, I wanted to share something that stuck with me from church this morning. Our pastor spoke on healing, and I got a new perspective that I really needed. Usually sermons on this topic leave me a sobby mess because I almost always leave feeling yet another disappointment from unanswered prayer and further feeling like something is wrong with me. Living with chronic migraine is kind of like doing everything you can right and still having a blasting demolition party in your head and nausea the majority of the time and trying to live one day at a time holding onto hope that something is gonna work someday or that God will continue to sustain me through it if nothing does. I’ve had a migraine everyday for the last 8 years with varying intensity, and my best understanding from my doctors is that it’s a neurological disorder that is partially genetic coupled with an abnormality in my central nervous system. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prayed in faith for healing or had others pray over me, only to be gently reminded that it isn’t my time for healing yet. I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me if I’ve tried yoga for stress reduction or taking an exedrine migraine because that helped them that one time they had a really bad splitting headache. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve smiled and said thanks when inside I’m balling up in anger because I feel like someone else is invalidating me. A few years ago I considered the option of ending the pain myself and I’m thankful God has brought me far from those dark days…but if I’m not careful I can easily slip back into a negative bitchy ball of despair, and that’s not my idea of a good time.
Anyways, my pastor spoke today about Paul and Timothy and how they both had a thorn in the flesh that also made things a little difficult for them, but God still used them. He talked about how sometimes we don’t know what God is doing and that’s okay because He’s God and we can trust in Him even if we can’t see the whole picture ourselves. That’s a relief to hear, amen? I was reminded again that our timing and His are usually very different (the bible does give us a pretty fair heads up though) and I was nudged to start praying more for healing because God is actively working and calls me to walk in faith even when I feel like a mustard seed asking to move mountains. It’s so refreshing to have hope that God has a bigger plan for all of this because it’s too easy to be hopeless when I only look at it from my tiny little human perspective. Something I am continually learning is don’t forget to look up (:
Okay, now back to the pie! This meatless, protein-rich plant-powered dish is perfect for anyone with food allergies or anyone and everyone because its full of veggies and just a few other ingredients and can be modified almost any way. I doubled up to have lots of leftovers that I like to freeze for another couple meals, a practice I have found to be a total lifesaver.
I don’t measure much when I cook, but this dish is so easy that you can’t really go wrong with getting creative and making it your own!
Step 1: Soak a bunch of lentils and 15 bean soup mix from bulk overnight in a pot.
Step 2: Wash, stab, and coat sweet potatos in coconut oil and bake on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 1 hour. Bake carrots and celery in another tray along with any other harder vegetables.
Step 3: Put lentil/soup bean mix into slow cooker and add salt, pepper, steak seasoning, garlic, flax seeds, some oats, and vegetable broth. Cook for a few hours until tender.
Step 4: Chop the carrots and celery and add any other vegetables you want. I added onions, mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, squash, cauliflower rice, and parsley.
Step 5: Combine everything but the sweet potatos into a large pot, stirring and adding seasonings to taste. Add liquid aminos sauce and tomato paste.
Step 6: Mash sweet potatos in a bowl with nutritional yeast and a little salt and pepper until creamy.
Step 7: Coat 2 baking dishes with coconut oil and fill 3/4 with filling and top with sweet potato mixture. Bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Enjoy!
Also, my friend shared her delicious pumpkin cream cheese muffins with me that were unbelievably dairy/gluten/refined-sugar-free delicious (I’ll be trying out this recipe soon)! 5 years ago she invited me as a stranger to her family’s home for Thanksgiving, and I’m thankful that we get to bond over good food today. Here’s to swapping recipes and healing. With love, Katie
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” – 2 Cor 4:16