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Three Easy Weeknight Meals - Vegetarian Enchiladas, Italian Sausage and Broccoli Rabe White Pizza, Pesto Salmon Zucchini Rice Bowl

These three dinners have one thing in common – they were created at the end of a long day when I had little energy to cook but still wanted a “real” meal. I’ve provided shortcuts which make them essentially one pot meals that can be ready in under 30 minutes.

Vegetarian Black Bean Enchiladas This is a ‘clean out the vegetable drawer’ meal, (which means you can use any variety of vegetables you want…these are the ones I had in my kitchen that needed to get used). It’s also a great way to get reluctant vegetable eaters to eat their veggies. Oh, and it’s incredibly delicious! Ingredients:   1 small head of cauliflower chopped into small pieces  1 red bell pepper diced  1 red onion diced  1 head of kale chopped   1 Anaheim chili diced  1 -14 ounce can of black beans drained 1-2 Tablespoons southwestern spice mix  8 flour or corn tortillas  2 cups of red enchilada sauce store-bought or homemade (I’ve included a recipe for homemade enchilada sauce below, it’s nearly as quick as opening a can) 2 cups o…
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How Do We Know if God is Listening When We Pray?

“O my Lord, make the world a better place. Help the people with stone hearts and make them pure with love. Hear my prayer, O Lord and help us to make sadness, happiness. Come to me, hear my prayer, love us endlessly and make us feel welcome in this big world. Amen.”
As I left Saturday evening Mass at St. Mary’s, Lauren Hammer stopped to say hello and shared the beautiful prayer above, written by her daughter, Veronica. It is a prayer filled with the optimism of youth and deep trust that God loves us and wants the best for us.
Veronica’s words got me thinking about prayer. My prayers range from the repetition of sacred words given to us by Jesus in the Our Father, where we are instructed to reach out to God not as a distant, unapproachable entity, but as Abba, Daddy, who we ask to provide our daily bread.

Or the repetitions of the Hail Mary, as we say the rosary. Not mindless repetition, but a simple salutation that never fails to calm me as I reach out to the Mother of Jesus to share bur…

Collard Greens with White Beans - A Vegetarian Take on a Classic

Could a vegetarian version of collard greens ever compete with the traditional goodness of collard greens cooked with a smoked ham hock?

I was skeptical until I made this recipe. It is every bit as delicious. Taking the place of the ham hock is the rind of parmesan or other hard cheese. I keep a small plastic bag of cheese rinds in the freezer, they are the perfect flavor enhancer of stocks and soups, and now collard greens.

Similar recipes call for dried beans, but sine I live 10,400 feet above sea level, dried beans are always a challenge unless I'm using a pressure cooker. For this recipe, I opted for canned beans and am just as happy as can be.

This recipe is quick, easy, delicious, and so rich and satisfying a bowlful with a slice of garlicky olive oil toasted bread makes the perfect week night dinner. It is also a satisfying side dish.

Let's get cooking!

1 bunch of collard greens, touch center stems removes, leaves torn into large pieces
1 14 oz can of Nort…

Open to the Spirit - Book Review

Open to the Sprit is like reading a letter from a friend. McKnight writes a very accessible introduction to the Holy Spirit and its role in our spiritual life. McKnight uses several stories from his life and others to share how the Holy Spirit consoles and deepens our daily spiritual walk. A terrific book for those seeking an introduction to a relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Dinner with Julia

What do Ina Garten and Martha Stewart have in common? Both women describe cooking through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking when they were young as foundation to learning to cook.
Julia Child is an inspiration to most home cooks of a certain age. I found her so inspiring that at one time, I had all of her cookbooks, including a first edition of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and had read almost every biography written about her, My Life in France, being my favorite. And yet! I confess that until this week, my cooking adventures in Mastering were limited to her omelet recipe, her iconic recipes for onion soup and Beef Bourguignon.
When the Food52 Cookbook Club on Facebook chose Mastering as its cookbook for the month, I jumped at the chance to finally use Julia’s first cookbook for its intended purpose.
I decided to start with something easy, a poached egg. I purchased the best organic eggs I could afford, read the recipe several times, and began. After I’d tur…

When our spirit hungers

The precocious toddler’s interest in talking to her mother grew in insistence as the gathered group settled in for an hour of silent prayer. Shushing didn’t work, so the mother led her child into an adjoining room where she would still be part of the sanctuary, but sound would be dampened. Despite the closed door and heavy glass walls, the child’s fervent desire to speak with her mother was still audible.
I said a prayer for the patient mother determined to stay, and for the child who was either tired or hungry or impatient for Mom’s undivided attention. And then tried to bring my wandering thoughts back to prayer. I had come to Adoration with my own pressing need for answers.
Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed a growing emptiness in my heart. A void, as if something is missing. It’s not psychological. Not physical. After doing an internal check, I determined it’s a spiritual void that I’m experiencing.
No, I’m not doubting God, his existence or goodness. I have full confidence in…