Veggie Edamame Noodle Pad Thai

Last night Bryan and I had planned to have tilapia & broccoli for supper, but when we left our tilapia at his parents’ house, we had to come up with Plan B. I had already planned to make some Asian inspired dishes this week, so I thought I would rearrange our dinner menu for the week.

While we were at Costco on Saturday we found these organic, gluten free edamame spaghetti noodles. Since we don’t eat gluten or grains (minus the occasional quinoa and organic brown rice) I thought this would be a great substitute for pasta.

Organic-Edamame-Spaghetti-Costco-2-640x480

I thought I would try to make some homemade veggie pad thai for the first time. Since we had a TON of fresh vegetables and we had just bought this big box or organic edamame spaghetti…and boy, it did not disappoint.

Several friends have asked for the recipe, so here is how I made homemade veggie pad thai:

  1. I boiled the noodles as directed on the box, but only used about 1/3 of the noodles because there are so many.
  2. In a medium skilled, on medium heat, I sauteed chopped broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onion, and garlic together with coconut oil & coconut aminos

Pad Thai Sauce (combine all ingredients & whisk together in small bowl):

  • 1/2 cup almond butter (we use Costco’s kind)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut aminos or other soy sauce (we don’t eat soy, so we use coconut aminos)
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of ginger
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes (can omit if do not like spicy food)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • i added a few tablespoons of water as needed to thin the mixture

Once the noodles are done and the veggies are thoroughly cooked, strain the noodles, pour back into pan & add a little bit of avocado oil or butter to keep from sticking together, add the veggies, and then pour the sauce over & mix together. Serve immediately.

pad thai

Living on Mission

We have spent the last 10 days in Alabama and Florida for my best friends wedding and a vacation for Bryan and I. Caleb stayed at my parents for what my mom calls “Bama Camp” while Bryan and I were able to get away for a few days and relax. It was so nice to spend some much coveted time with my family, our friends, and alone time with Bryan.

My best friend since 2nd grade, Rachel, married her college sweetheart, Matt on August 8. I was honored to be apart of the wedding. I absolutely love weddings, not only is there usually amazing food and dancing, but it is the perfect picture of Christ and the church. I love being reminded of his love for me and my responsibility to Him. It was so sweet being able to celebrate Rachel & Matt with my family. I was also able to see some old friends that I had seen in years; trying to catch each other up on our lives in line while waiting for food or meeting each other outside the bathroom lobby. I am reminded of Ecclesiastes 3 that says “for everything there is a season” and that weekend was a great season of celebrating & feasting.

FAMILY AUGUST 2015
The whole gang at Rachel & Matt’s Reception
RACHEL AUGUST 2015
Rachel & I at the rehearsal dinner
WEDDING AUG 2015
My sweet family at the reception

Bryan and I left on Monday headed to Panama City. Some dear family friends of ours let us use their beach house for the week. Time away with him was much needed, as we haven’t had a vacation or extended alone time since before Caleb was born. I was a little anxious as to how the week would play out, what we would talk about, and what we would do, since we didn’t have Caleb to tend to at every moment. But the sweet Lord came through, as he always does and filled our time. We threw the frisbee on the beach for hours on end, talked about our dreams, goals, jobs, future children; you name it, we talked about it. We found a local restaurant that we loved and we ate there twice during our stay. We had veggie tacos pretty much every night & we topped of the nights with a glass of red wine and some popcorn (one of our favorite things to do together), we were able to eat at one of my favorite seafood restaurants, Captain Anderson’s and spent our last night at this incredible Frozen Yogurt place called Chill. It was a very sweet time laughing together, praying together, reading together, and just relaxing. We couldn’t have had a better time or asked for better weather.

CAPT ANDERSONS AUGUST 2015
Bryan & I at Captain Anderson’s
beach august 2014
Sunrise at PCB
PCB 2015
Hanging on the Beach

But I would say the biggest blessing of our time away was reading and working through Francis & Lisa Chan’s book “You & Me Forever”. If you are married, dating, or heck, even if you’re single, I highly recommend getting a copy of this book and working through it. It really opened our eyes and help us see that we need to be living on mission. When we are living on mission & focused on the mission, our marriage will succeed. I think Francis said it best when he said “The way to have a great marriage is by not focusing on the marriage.” Rather, focus on the mission, daily die to self & focus on Christ. Then your marriage will be great. So my question for you is What does living on mission look like in your life? Is it moving to Africa and loving on the families there? Is it choosing to be faithful where you are? Is it making a conscience effort to share the gospel more? There are so many options, so many ways to live on mission. We believe right now in this season that God is calling us to be faithful where we are, with the people and boundaries around us. Our prayer is that God would help us live on mission and provide us opportunities to do that here in Dallas through our jobs, church, friends, families and people we meet every day; and the cool thing is, is that we have already seen him beginning to answer that prayer.

As for Caleb, he is almost 10 months now. He has 7, yes 7, teeth! He is full of so much JOY. It radiates off of him. He is one of the most joyful people I know, even if he is only 9 months old. We are savoring this time with him. He loves having us read books to him. His favorite books are The Color Book and Moo, Ba, La La La. He loves listening and dancing to music. His favorite foods are bananas, oatmeal, and applesauce. His favorite thing to do is walk around the coffee table. His favorite time is when Bryan comes home and they spend that last hour together. It is so sweet to watch Caleb’s face always light up when Bryan walks through the door. I dare say, it’s one of my favorite times of the day as well.

caleb august 2015
Caleb eating lunch in his favorite chair
Caleb's favorite toy at Gran Bama's & Gidge's
Caleb’s favorite toy at Gran Bama’s & Gidge’s

The remainder of this month is pretty low-key for us. Bryan is busy getting back into the groove at the bank and I am trying to maximize my time at home with Caleb in the best possible way. Today we started Transform30, which is similar to the Whole30, but less restrictive. I love when we treat our bodies as the temples that they are. My prayer is that through the next 30 days the Lord would be honored by our efforts.

Colorado

Well, July has definitely been a busy month. Bryan was in Colorado for 2 weeks attending banking school at University of Colorado at Boulder. It was really an answer to our prayers that he was able to go, and God provided in crazy ways while he was there. Since he was gone for such a long period of time my momma came to help me with Caleb. We had so much fun! We went to Waco one day to visit the Magnolia Market and eat at Vitek’s BBQ.

magnolia

We went swimming, visiting the farmers market, went to church and cooked lots of yummy food (one of the many benefits of having my momma here). It was such a sweet time having her here. I love watching her love on and play with Caleb. I cherished that time so much because I know that may be the only time it will ever be just the 3 of us. 

momma & caleb 1

Bryan finished school on Friday and I was able to fly up and meet him. My momma graciously stayed here and watched Caleb for us (THANK YOU A MILLION!!)  God answered our prayers and provided us with a sweet camping spot near the Mount Elbert trailhead, right next to a creek.

camp

We had such a fun time setting up the camp in the rain & cold and then freezing our butts off at night because it was in the 30s and neither one of us brought super warm clothing. Saturday morning we woke up and prepared ourselves for the beast that faced us. We started hiking up Mt. Elbert; but I don’t think either one of us were prepared for how difficult it was going to be….5 hours later we reached the top!

elbert 2

It was the hardest thing I have ever done, yet the most rewarding thing! Nothing is more humbling than being on top of a 14,000+ foot mountain to make you realize just how small you are. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

I am so thankful God gave us the strength and endurance to make it to the top, because there were several times we wanted to quit. But, God taught me a lot about perseverance, the importance of community, and encouragement while on the trial. If we would have stopped, we never would have seen just how beautiful all those Rocky Mountains are. Had it not been for the others climbing to the top with us, we wouldn’t have made it. Had it not been for the people coming down the mountain encouraging us, we wouldn’t have made it. All of those aspects I can grow in. I am thankful God used a mountain to teach me about his power, and show me just how small I am and how much I need him.

Then we needed to come back down the mountain; that took another 2 1/2 hours. That night we went to sleep at 7 and slept for 12 hours. It was awesome! Sunday we were able to hang out at the camp before packing up and going to explore the tiny mountain town of Leadville. Fortunately for us, this town has THE BEST pizza place I’ve ever been to, along with the quaintest little coffee shop. We also went rafting that afternoon before heading down to Colorado Springs to stay the night.

It was hard being away from Bryan for 2 weeks, but our weekend together is one I will never forget; fill full of laughter, s’mores, good local beer, great food, adversity, and lots of memories to last a life time. It was a great way to celebrate Bryan’s 31st birthday! I am so thankful we were able to go! Colorado, you treated us right and we can’t wait to visit next summer.

mt elbert 3

For Our Family & Friends

Living in Dallas has been rewarding and also challenging. It has a lot of similarities, but also a lot of differences from my home state, Alabama. I remember the first time I went to the mall here, I called my mom crying because all the women were “done up” like they were going to church. I didn’t realize what I was walking into. But, I’ve slowly adjusted. Even with the differences, and culture shock, a lot of good life changed has happened here too. I found a great church home, I met my husband here, we got married here, had our first child here (during an Ebola break out), and we sold and bought our first homes here. There are so many incredible memories and all within the last 3 years. Yes I said 3 years. We live a fast-past life.

Since our son was born, I have tried to keep our families connected as much as possible since several hundred miles separate us. I decided I would start a monthly email to keep all of our distant friends and family in the loop, along with those we do not see that often. After about 3 months of sending page long emails, Bryan suggested I start a blog. I wasn’t really sure about the idea, even though I love to write. After some thought and discussion with close friends, I decided to give it a whirl. So here we are today, embarking on this new journey of “blogging”. I hope this is a place you can come to and feel welcomed and loved, a place where you can laugh and cry and feel as though you are walking through this life journey with us. I’m not sure what this blog will entail, predominately life updates and what is going on with us, but there may be a few recipe entries (since cooking is my favorite hobby) along with health updates. Whatever ends up on here, my hope is that you would come and stay a while.