Monday, May 19, 2014

Gouty Vegetarian Spaghetti Sauce

Since becoming a vegetarian, I have been sad that I can't eat my Sausage Spaghetti anymore.  I finally took the time to create a version that I really like that is completely gouty vegetarian!  The cauliflower gives it bulk like hamburger or sausage, it picks up the flavors of the seasonings, and it adds veggies to the dish.  Give it a try.  It's not exactly the same as my other spaghetti sauce, but it's close enough for me!

Kristin's Gouty Vegetarian Spaghetti Sauce

1 head cauliflower
1 medium onion, diced
1 green pepper, deseeded and diced
48 oz tomato sauce (six 8 oz cans)
Garlic salt 
Black pepper

1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 T dry fennel seed
1/2 T italian seasoning
1 to 2 lbs dry or fresh spaghetti
Olive or vegetable oil

In a food processor, grate the cauliflower.  In a large pot, add a little olive oil and begin sauteeing the onion and green pepper along with the crushed red pepper and fennel seed.  Once sauteed, remove from pot temporarily.  Add a little oil again and begin browning the cauliflower as if you were browning hamburger.  Once it has good color and is tender, add the onions and peppers back in.  Add the tomato sauce, stir well.  Add garlic salt and black pepper. I have no idea how much garlic salt and black pepper - enough to where you like the flavor.  Taste and season as needed.  


In another pot, begin cooking enough spaghetti for those eating - 1 to 2 lbs - according to package directions.  I always add a little olive or vegetable oil to keep it from sticking once it's drained.  Once pasta is finished cooking, drain well and return to pot.  At the top of the sauce that is in the other pot, some of the liquid portion of the sauce will have risen to the top of the top.  Carefully ladle that portion (about 3 ladles full) into the drained pasta.  Stir/toss pasta well to coat all sides.  

Serve pasta in a large bowl with sauce separately in another, along with yummy garlic bread and green salad.  Yum!!


P.S.  I like to add a dollop of sour cream to the center of my plate once it's dished up.  I stir it in and it makes my sauce kind of like a bolognese - creamy and all.  Yummy!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

I've Been a Bad Blogger...

I have not blogged in a very, very long time.  I have so many entries that I wish I had done.  But, life lately just has not been conducive to blogging.  I'm trying to get back on the bandwagon...but I'm not sure yet when that will be...

Friday, January 24, 2014

80 Freakin' Pounds Gone!

That is EIGHT of these!  When was the last time you went to the grocery store and picked up eight 10 pound bags of potatoes and carried them around?  Try it.  It's a lot.  So glad I have made it this far!!  Now to just keep going!  I have lost 2 shirt sizes and 6 pants sizes!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Gorgeous Sunset

Tonight as I walked out of work to head home, I got to experience the most gorgeous sunset!  I love it when this happens...it reminds me of the gloriousness of God.  And, somehow, he always does this just when I need it!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I am Thankful for a Great Day!

I had a great day today!

I got to go to the endocrinologist and hear her say "You're perfect!" and "You are just glowing!" and "I noticed your weight loss when I first walked in the room!"

Wow!  I felt SO good!  Probably helped too that I was wearing my newest pair of jeans that I picked up last night - another size down!  That means I am down 4 sizes now!  I wasn't going to put my sizes out there for everyone to see, but you know...that's what keeps me accountable to myself.  I have gone from a 5X shirt to a 3X and from a size 32 pants down to a 26!  I even bought a size 24 pair of pants so I have them when I need them - hopefully soon!  As I was walking out of the store, I thought, oh my gosh...1) I haven't been this size in at least 20 years and 2) it's not all that far to a size 18, which although is still bigger than I eventually want to be, I would be happy as an 18!

So...back to my doctor's visit...

I got my test results and everything was in line...except my weight, of course, but everything else - perfect!  Uric acid - 4.2!  When I had my annual health evaluation done at work in October, it was 4.8, so it's still going down!  Sodium - right at the bottom of the acceptable range!  Glucose and A1C - within normal range.  Bilirubin - one I often worry about because of my mom's history - right at the bottom of the range!  Everything else good too!  What a great visit.  She was so happy with me!  I was happy with me - and it showed on my face!  I was like a giddy school girl!

Unfortunately, Melon Man did not get such good news.  She actually talked with before me and the first thing she said when she walked through the door was "Do you have a will?"  When he said no, she said, "You need to get one."

I'm not sure how he took that.  I think jokingly at first, but she was completely serious.  His diabetes numbers were off the chart.  He has to do a better job at handling his diabetes.  I am committed to helping him as much as I can.  He has to want to do it though too.  We talked a lot about what he eats, when, and when he takes his insulin.  He is going to wear a monitor for 3 days to see what is impacting his levels and we'll go from there.  Enough said on that.

When we got home, I got back to working and had a few conference calls.  Then, the UPS man showed up with this cute package from my sister, Jennifer.  It had 4 types of popcorn including Tigers Blood flavor, pumpkin spice, white chocolate, and sugar cookie! What a thoughtful gift just to say thanks!  I loved it!
I ended up going to bed at 8 pm because I was just so tired.  I'd only had about 2.5 hours of sleep the night before because I was trying to finish up my blog BOOKS for 2012 and get them submitted before their 20% off sale ended.  Made it just in time!  Can't wait to get them!

It's amazing what compliments can do to make a girl's day.  They just made me happy all day long and getting a fun package so unexpectedly made it even better!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I am Not Feeling Very Thankful or Grateful Today

Things have been rough lately.  Taylor has not been feeling very well and his back is in constant pain.  We don't know why...but, the signs are leading that it could possibly be cancer again.  Yeah, this stinks.  The kid is out there on a mission, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, doing good to others, and this happens?  What the heck?  I'm certainly not feeling very grateful or thankful today.  I guess I should be happy that he's actually gotten to serve the time he has, but seriously?  This is one of the best kids out there and now this?  How much more is he going to have to endure?

Monday, November 11, 2013

I am Thankful for Veterans

I am very thankful today for the veterans who have served our country since we became a country in 1776.  It means the world to me that someone else gave their life or time in the service for me so I could be free and have the life I have today.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I am Thankful for a Safe Missionary

Although Taylor is struggling with severe back pain and the unknown (still) as to whether or not his cancer has returned, I am grateful today that he is in a place where he can get treatment and medical assistance and be safe.  Sure, they have earthquakes all the time in California, but typically, they are not of the horrific kind, so I feel relatively good and very grateful about where he is.

However, today, my heart mourns for 3 missionaries.

First, a young man from our ward, Richard, just recently (within the last few weeks) returned home from his mission in the Philippines.  As the last few weeks have passed, he has posted pictures of people he met, taught, and loved while serving in the Philippines.  Then, he began posting news updates about the Typhoon Haiyan which was about to hit it.  I could feel his love, sorrow, and concern.  I can only imagine what he has been feeling having served and lived there for the last two years.

Second, Sister Gacutan, who is a missionary currently serving in our ward here is Arizona, is from the Philippines.  I watched her today in Sacrament meeting giving her talk.  She was all smiles - like normal - but I mourned for her knowing that she is probably very concerned about her family and friends back home.  I do not know if she has been able to hear from any of them yet since the typhoon hit but I can only imagine the grief and concern she may be feeling.

Third, Elder Maybin, from our ward is currently serving in the Philippines.  I cannot imagine the angst his mother must have felt for a couple days as she awaited word from her son's mission president that her missionary son was safe and accounted for.  You could sense the relief in her heart when she posted on Facebook that she'd heard from the mission president finally.  But then, today, she posted that Elder Maybin's companion's mother, father, aunt, and grandfather perished in the typhoon.  How horribly sad.  All evening I have thought about Elder Calda and the torment he may be feeling right now.  It is one thing to lose your parent while you are still young.  It's another to lose both of them in such a devastating manner.  I wonder if he will end his mission and go home.  I wonder if he will continue on.  I feel for him deeply.

Today, I am thankful for a safe missionary - whether it be our Taylor, Richard who is home safely from the Philippines, Sister Gacutan who is safe here in Arizona, or Elders Maybin and Calda who are safe in the Philippines.  I am grateful for all of the missionaries throughout the world who give 18-24 months of their lives so they can share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others, even though sometimes they fall into harm's way.  I am grateful that our Heavenly Father does all He can to protect them while they serve Him.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

I am Thankful for Priority Mail

I have a bad habit of not getting things shipped off to someone in time to meet their birthday or whatever.  Today, I am very thankful for Priority Mail.  I knew I wanted to send Taylor a special package this week to try to cheer him up but my schedule during the week just did not allow it to go out earlier than today.  I ran to the store, picked up a ton of cheery, yellow stuff, and packed it all into a Priority Mail box and ran to the post office.  I made it just in time.  It is Saturday, it will head out tonight and it will arrive in San Diego on Monday - even though it's a postal holiday - and will be delivered on Tuesday.  Tato Bug will hopefully get it that very day and I am really hoping it will bring a smile to his sweet face.  I wrote him a card and put it inside saying "Here's a box of sunshine from Arizona to help cheer you up!"  Simple little things, but fun.  And, Auntie is grateful it can make it there in time!

Friday, November 8, 2013

I am Thankful for Tender Mercies

Today I saw a news story that Angie had shared on Facebook about a woman who donated her daughter's heart to another woman and what happened when they met.  What a tear jerker! Having been in the same type of situation - my mom being the recipient of a teenage girl's liver, this really hit home and I lost it when the two women hugged. I was sobbing. I know that guilt that the recipient feels - my mom had it - but I also know the gratitude too...especially from the recipient's family's perspective. Without Brooke's liver, my mom would not have had an additional 8 or so years with us. We knew that very day who the donor was from things that occurred in the hospital and in the papers, but respected the family's privacy until they were ready to meet. I am so grateful to the Graviat family for sharing their daughter with our family. I personally felt Brooke's spirit around me in those first few days and I consider her my sister. What a special blessing!

Oh...and I lost a few more pounds!  I have now lost 75.6 pounds!