When my faith gets tired
You spin me round and round
And remind me of that song
The one You wrote for me
And we dance
Apparently, Zac Efron is the cutest guy around nowadays. Who knew?!? Lol. Oh, how The Tinies crack me up. Who are The Tinies, you ask? Yes, they deserve their own article, capitalization and title! They are my three little ones – Caetlin, Hannah and Joseph. People have frequently reminded me that they aren’t tiny anymore – stop that! 🙂 So, I was happily driving along this week when, out of the blue, The Tinies started in about Zac Efron. One daughter said and I quote, “Zac Efron is soooooo cute that I can’t stand it. I am jealous of the girl who was in High School Musical with him because she got to kiss him!” My face at that moment was just like that stunned, blank and open eyed emoji. I stammered, “But, you’re 9!” The prompt reply from another daughter, who is the great family informant of all details was, “Actually, she is ten this week.” They continued to coo and fuss over the beloved Zac. At that point my little boy jumped in, “You want to know who really is cute? My lady, ______, from church. She’s the cute one!” For obvious reasons, his “lady” shall remain nameless. Lol. Besides, I am his lady!
Oh. My. Goodness. The Tinies are not short on personality. Last summer, we went to a resort in Arizona for our family vacation. They were holding an Olympics. The Tinies wanted to try everything, with one of them even winning the resort wide, gold medal for Bingo! One morning, I lifted my head for a breather from cooking in the sun, like a trout in a frying pan, and saw a pool packed full of geriatrics and what appeared to be three little kids zealously doing water aerobics with an enthusiast but very slow moving instructor, who looked like an ancient crustacean who recently emerged from the depths of the sea. I rubbed my eyes and looked closer; sure enough, it was The Tinies! I haven’t laughed that hard in awhile. I love how they embrace life! Kids have a way of throwing off inhibition, expressing fears openly, seeing good in people, reading bad in people quickly, trying new things and… believing. I want to remember to be like that, as I go about my day – willing to try new things, whole hearted, fearless and willing to be vulnerable. Do you remember dancing on your Dad’s shoes? I want to live like that always.
As a kid, I grew up in all sorts of foreign countries, from Norway to Taiwan. My father was a lawyer in the Airforce. One childhood memory is of walking through the Turkish markets in the sooty, hazy, early morning air, looking at rows of burlap sacks full of vibrant spices. It was like Whole Foods on steroids; the smell was pungent and delicious and the colors were burnt sienna, brick red, mustard yellow, basil green and creamy, lemony salt crystals, not sold in the United States but a lot like the sharp, sour taste of Vitamin C. We grew up on international foods; it was like a social studies class party in my mouth many nights. I tend to just make stuff up when I cook. So, the following is a healthy Thai styled meal I cooked for my family recently that they loved. I am working on creating a homemade mint sauce that could be another dressing option for these and would be perfect for anyone with a large amount of mint in their summer garden. I will share that down the road.
Thai Lettuce Wraps (enough for 8 people):
- Three 9.7 oz. Annie Chun’s Pad Thai Sauce (My family tore through this sauce, so I would recommend having enough)
- 2 teaspoons + 1 teaspoon of Coconut Oil
- Two 14 oz. cans of Organic Baby Corn
- Two 8 oz. Annie Chun’s Maifun Brown Rice Noodles
- Two 8 oz. cans Sliced Bamboo Shoots
- Two 8 oz. cans sliced water chestnuts
- One 16 oz. bottle Braggs Liquid Aminos (will use only some of this)
- Two heads of bibb or Iceberg lettuce
- One large bag of bean sprouts (My local stores were out of these the day I cooked but these really do add delicious crunch)
- One celery root
- One large, white turnip
- Two bundles of green onions
- One large bag of snap peas, Costco
- One box of fresh basil (King Soopers carries this in a good sized box)
- 8 small/medium chicken breasts (1 for each person)
- Organic No Salt Seasoning (Costco)
- Red pepper flakes
1. Use one teaspoon of coconut oil and grease a glass oven dish; place chicken breasts in it and season with No Salt Seasoning and very sparingly sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Cover with tin foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Then, cube.
2. While chicken is cooking, petite dice green onions, julienne the basil, peel and petite dice celery root and cut the turnip into thin half moons.
3. Gently pull whole leaves of lettuce off, rinse, dry and place in a stack on a plate.
4. Put all petite diced items beautifully on a platter, adding a generous pile of bean sprouts.
5. Open all cans and drain.
6. Begin boiling a large pan full of water for the rice noodles. Once it comes to a boil, cook noodles as per box recommendation, keep warm until the rest of the meal is complete, then drain and serve.
7. When Chicken is done and cubed, place in a pan with 2 teaspoons of coconut oil, baby corn, bamboo sprouts, water chestnuts and snap peas. Cook until veggies are softened and chicken has a little brown color to it, around 10 minutes. Watch this closely because the snap peas can get soggy if cooked too long. When it is close to done, Vibrant Life Diet folks pull out your meat mixture in a separate bowl. Then, to the rest, add Braggs Liquid Aminos to taste. I believe this needs to be done at the moment by sprinkling a little bit in and tasting and then adding a little more until you reach the desired flavor. You don’t need a heavy flavor, as the Pad Thai Sauce is being used. Once you add the Braggs to the main mixture, heat it thoroughly for another minute to allow the flavor to deepen and blend with the meat.
8. Place this meal out self-serve style in this order: lettuce wrap, cooked chicken mixture, platter of diced fresh veggies, brown rice noodles and Pad Thai Sauce.
Vibrant Life followers: limit yourself to 1/2 C of noodles. Also avoid salty sauces like the Pad Thai Sauce but if you have to have some, don’t use more than 1 teaspoon.
“For you were called to freedom.” -Galatians 5