Gluten Free & God Seeking

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cooking Gluten Free Beef Pho For Vietnamese Students

This fall quarter  for the first time in six years I have two Vietnamese students living in my home!  I've just made three dishes so far, the first two were, of course, chicken and beef pho.  I made the beef pho the Saturday that one of the student's aunt and cousin were flying in for a visit from California. 


 I knew she would help me make any  adjustments to the broth when she arrived-- which she happily did!  I got this recipe six years ago from an Internet search--I have tweaked it over the years.  (I didn't jot down where I picked it up.)  When she tasted it, she said it only needed 1 more tablespoon of fish sauce and sugar, and a bit more gluten free tamari to get it  just right.  

She told me later that it was very welcoming to come into our home and smell pho cooking on the stove.  She was surprised that an American would tackle trying to make it.  Ahhh, it was so good!


Gluten Free Beef Pho

1.  Prepare vegetables:
(1)  Slice 1 onion
(2)  Slice 4-5 shallots
(3)  Chop the stems off of1 cup of cilantro
(4)  Chop the stems off of 1 cup of basil  (I mix regular basil with Thai basil if I don't have enough)
(5)  Peel and mince a 5" piece of ginger
For garnishing:
(6)  Chop the cup of  cilantro leaves.
(7)  Chop the  cup of basil leaves. 
(8)  Slice 5-6 green onions (slice the bottoms and then do the stems in 1" pieces)
(9)  Thinly slice 1 onion

2.  Prepare beef bones:  Put about 1 pound of beef bones into a  saucepan with cold water to cover.  Bring to a boil and  let cook for 3 minutes and then pour off all the water.  An Asian mother who stayed with me for three weeks this past summer told me that this helps remove any impurities.

3.  Fill a large stock pot with about 18-20 cups of water or about 3/4ths full.
(1)  Put 2 T of coconut oil into the bottom of a large stock pot.  Sauté the onion and shallot for about 5 minutes.
(2)  Then fill the pot about 3/4th full with filtered water.  Add 2 T of rice mirin and 1 1/2 T of salt to the water.
(3)  Then put in the beef bones you've just prepared.  
(4)  Put in a nylon or mesh bag with the following:  10 star of anise, 8 cinnamon sticks, 8 whole cloves, and 1 cardamon pod.  Add green onions.
(5)  Bring to a boil and then let simmer for 3-4 hours. (Some recipes talk about taking he seasoning bag out after a shorter time, but I like my broth to be very fragrant, so taste it every hour until it's where you like it.) Remove the seasoning bag.
(6)  Add 1/3 cup of gluten free tamari, 3 T fish sauce,  3 T of Better Than Beef Bouillon, 2 t of black pepper, and 2 T of brown sugar.
(7)  Taste and make any personal adjustments.
(8)  About 10 minutes before serving, add 1 pound of sliced beef sirloin and let it cook until you're ready to eat.

4.  During the last 45 minutes of cooking the broth, cook 1 package of pho noodles:  
(1)  In a separate pot bring hot water to a boil and cook the noodles about 11 minutes. 
(2)  Rinse with cold water when done.  
(3)  Divide the noodles into all the soup bowls--we had 10 bowls and there was just enough!

5.  Condiment platter:  Arrange on a platter the sliced onion, chopped cilantro, basil, and lime wedges. Also put Hoisin sauce, fish sauce, and Sriracha (a brand ofhot chili sauce) on the table for people to add to their pho. 



List of My Favorite Soups, Chili & Stew Recipes

Beef 
Grandma's Favorite Beef Stew  (My mother-in-law's delicious recipe!)
Just Like Home Ukrainian Borscht  ( a Polish student  said this tasted like his mom's!)

Poultry
This is the Best Gluten Free Minestrone Soup!   (A recipe my son modified)
Mouth Watering Italian Turkey Sausage Soup   (This is  my friend Debbie's recipe)
Mexican Fiesta Chicken Soup   (A recipe I got years ago from a Mexican cookbook)
My Thanksgiving Turkey Soup  (My very own special concoction!)
Gary's Incredible Gluten Free Arkansas Gumbo  (Given to me by a Bible study friend)
Jeannie's French Market Soup  (A mom friend from when my kids were little)
Southwest Turkey Soup  (From my Syre School cookbook)

Fish
Northwest Salmon Chowder  (From my Heritage School cookbook)

Bean & Legumes
Vi's Best Chili  (A  Bible study friend's great recipe)
Bethany's Crowd Pleasing Tortilla Soup  (One of my daughter's friends special soup)
Country-Style Lentil Soup   (From my Heritage School cookbook)
Kathy's Texas Chili & Chips (From my Come & Dine cookbook)

Vegetable
Creamy Pumpkin Soup  (from Food Network)
My Favorite Gluten Free Pumpkin Curry Soup  (Combo from Food & All Recipes)
Downright Delicious Potato & Kale Soup  (From my daughter-in-law's family cookbook)

Asian
Chinese Chicken Soups  - Bok choy chicken, chicken & spinach, and chicken & cabbage
Make Your Own Gluten Free Chicken Pho!  (From a newspaper article)
Gluten Free Chinese Hot Pot  (Modified by a Chinese student)
Chinese Egg Drop Soup  &  Chinese Egg & Tomato Soup  (Adapted from our students)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

From the Life-Study of Hebrews - What is the Central Concept of the Bible?

    Every book has a theme.  And the Bible is no exception.  As the number 1 best seller of all time, it surely has a theme.  But with 66 books and over 40 authors, that might seem a bit tricky to figure out.  

   That's probably why this sentence  on page 709 in chapter 64 of the Life-Study of Hebrews caught my attention this week:  "The basic and central concept in the Bible is that God intends to work Himself into us in order to make us His living expression" ((Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Hebrews. Anaheim: California. 1975, Print).

And in the past few years I've heard a lot of messages on this subject on Living Stream Ministry's website.  And I thought it was something new, but here it was in a message given in 1975!  If you have time, I would encourage you to click on the link and read the entire Life-Study!  If you can't, here are some of the parts that I enjoyed about this:

For more than forty years,  we have been burdened to minister this basic concept to God's people….This is not simply a matter of redemption. No, it is something deeper and higher than this. God is now working Himself into us that we may have His life, be one with Him, and that He may be one with us….I just open myself and say, 'Lord Jesus, spread yourself into my mind, emotion, and will....I want You to spread in me until You possess every part of my being.'….In this way, we shall be transformed and conformed to the image of the Firstborn Son of God.  This is God's doing, the work which He is performing in us today (Pages 709-710, 717).

 Witness Lee closed this chapter by saying that the Lord is just waiting for us to give Him the opportunity to spread from our spirit  into our mind, emotion, and will.  When we do this, it allows Him to saturate us with His divine element. I love the way he makes high truths so simple to get because he said this process is what transforms us and eventually completely conforms us to Christ's image. 


You can also listen to live excerpts from these messages on Hebrews on The Life-Study of the Bible with Witness Lee.    You will enjoy listening to both the excerpts from the spoken messages and the helpful and enlightening commentary of the radio hosts.  

Other Posts on the Life-Study of Hebrews You Can Check Out:

Why is the Background of the Book of Hebrews Important?
What Does God's Speaking Shows us In Hebrews 1:1-2?
What Does Hebrews 2:10 Say About Christ?
How Does the Lord Sanctify Us In Hebrews 2:11?
The High Priest in Hebrews 2:17 Makes Me Think of the Poem Footprints
Why is the Sabbath Rest Mentioned in Hebrews 4:9?
Why Unbelief in Hebrews 3:12 is the Biggest Offense to God
How Do We Come Forward in Hebrews 4:16?
What Hebrews 6:1 Says About Christian Maturity
What Does Hebrews 8 Tell Us About the Differences Between the Old & New Testaments?
What Does It Mean to Gain our Soul in Hebrews 10:39?
Have You Seen God's Silence in Hebrews 11?
How Do You Run the Christian Race in Hebrews 12?
What is the Birthright About in Hebrews 12:16?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Authentic Thai Chicken & Pepper Stir Fry


A few weeks ago I posted a recipe for a delicious Thai soup called Tom Yum Kung that a student's mom taught me how to make this summer.   To go along with this soup, she showed me how to make a  pork and pepper stir-fry.

She told me this recipe was so easy to make and that I could  easily substitute chicken for the pork.The juices from the chicken, onion and pepper combine with the fish sauce and sugar to make quite a tasty sauce.  I was actually surprised at how good it tasted because of it was so simple! 








Authentic Thai Chicken & Pepper Stir Fry

1.  Prepare chicken:  Cut 2 chicken breasts into bite size pieces.

2.  Prepare vegetables:
(1)  Slice 1 green red bell pepper into thin strips and then cut in half.
(2)  Slice 1 red bell pepper into thin strips and then cut in half.
(3)  Slice 1 large yellow onion into thin strips.

3.  Stir-fry the chicken & peppers:
(1)  Put 2-3 T of coconut oil into a large skillet and then put in the chicken and stir-fry 3-4 minutes or until done.  Put in a covered bowl.
(2)  Put 1 more tablespoon of coconut oil into the skillet and add the onions and peppers and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until crisp-tender.
(3)  Add back the chicken.
(4)  Then add a mixture of  4 T of fish sauce and 1 1/2 T of sugar and stir.

Serve with jasmine rice and Tom Yum Kung.

Check out some of the other curries on this blog!

Tasty Thai Red Curry   (Modified  recipe from back of curry paste & Thai recipe)
Fantastic Thai Green Curry (Modified a recipe from back of curry paste & Thai recipe)
Rose's Authentic Chinese Yellow Curry  (From a Taiwanese friend who brought this to dinner)
Thai Salmon & Vegetables in Green Curry  ( Modified recipe from Internet search)
Massaman Chicken Curry with Yams & Pineapple (Modified  recipe from back of curry paste & Thai recipe)
Spectacular Chicken Panang Curry (Modified  recipe from back of curry paste &  recipe)
Amazing Vegetable Panang Curry (Modified recipe from back of curry paste & Thai recipe)

Other Thai Recipes on This Blog 

Making Gluten Free Pad Thai With a Thai Student (A combination of recipes & a Thai student's know how!)
Gluten Free Thai Basil Beef    (From Internet search)
How to Make Your Own Thai Fresh Rolls   (From my church cookbook, Come & Dine)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

What is the Birthright About in Hebrews 12:16?

The story of Esau selling his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of lentil stew in Genesis 25:22-26, 29-34 may just look like an unusual account of sibling rivalry gone too far.   

Lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one meal gave up his own birthright. Hebrews 12:16
Obviously Esau didn't value the birthright as much as Jacob did, but why?  Take a look at what the birthright included:  This is  on page 584 in chapter 52 of the Life-Studies of Hebrews:  

Esau's birthright as the firstborn  son of Isaac was the double portion of the land,  the priesthood, and the kingship.   Due to his profaneness in giving up his birthright, the double portion of the land went to Joseph (1 Chron. 5:1-2), the priesthood went to Levi (Deut. 33:8-10), and the kingship was assigned to Judah (Gen. 49:10; 1 Chron. 5:2) (Lee. Witness. Life-Study of Hebrews. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1975, Print).

What spoke to me the most as I was reading this chapter was that we each have this birthright, and if we practice using our birthright in this age, it will become a reward to us in the next age!  

You can also listen to live excerpts from these messages on Hebrews on The Life-Study of the Bible with Witness Lee.    You will enjoy listening to both the excerpts from the spoken messages and the helpful and enlightening commentary of the radio hosts.  

Other Posts on the Life-Study of Hebrews You Can Check Out:

Why is the Background of the Book of Hebrews Important?
What Does God's Speaking Shows us In Hebrews 1:1-2?
What Does Hebrews 2:10 Say About Christ?
How Does the Lord Sanctify Us In Hebrews 2:11?
The High Priest in Hebrews 2:17 Makes Me Think of the Poem Footprints
Why is the Sabbath Rest Mentioned in Hebrews 4:9?
Why Unbelief in Hebrews 3:12 is the Biggest Offense to God
How Do We Come Forward in Hebrews 4:16?
What Hebrews 6:1 Says About Christian Maturity
What Does Hebrews 8 Tell Us About the Differences Between the Old & New Testaments?
What Does It Mean to Gain our Soul in Hebrews 10:39?
Have You Seen God's Silence in Hebrews 11?
How Do You Run the Christian Race in Hebrews 12?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Vietnamese Cooking Lesson - Lien's Vietnamese Sweet & Sour Soup (Canh Ngot)

While  one of our student's aunt was  visiting in September, I asked her to teach me how to make something Vietnamese. She bought over a large salmon and some vegetables and showed me how to make sweet and sour soup. As she worked, I asked questions and took notes.  


 This soup was for 10 people and so we used 2 cups of water for the broth and she said she buys 1 tomato for each person. That makes this soup easy to scale down. And of course you buy as much fish as you need.  She commented that besides salmon you can use any firm white fish for this soup.

Next time I will put about half a bunch of celery as one bunch  makes a lot of celery!  

This was my first time having a sweet & sour soup, and it was delicious!  


1.  Prepare vegetables:
(1)  Chop up 1 tomato per person (or a bit less if you want to reduce it!)
(2)  Chop 1 bunch of celery on the diagonal in 1" pieces
(3)  Slice 1 bunch of green onions (Slice the bottoms a little smaller, and the stems 1")
(4)  Chop up 1 package of dill


2.  Prepare the fish:  Have your butcher slice 1 whole salmon or other fish into steaks, she had her salmon cut into 10 pieces)

2.  Prepare soup:
(1)  Put 15 cups of water into a soup pot.  Add 1 T of salt.
(2)  When water boils, add the fish steaks
(3)  Let the water come to a boil again--about 5 minutes.
(4)  Then add 2 T of fish sauce and 1/2 T of brown sugar.
(5)  Add the sliced celery and bring to a boil again.
(6)  Then add the tomato wedges -- do not put the lid on the pot because she said it will change the color of the tomatoes.
(7)  Squeeze the juice of 2 lemons and add that to the pot.
(8)  Then put in the green onions and the dill about 1/2-3/4 cup depending on your taste

.



List of My Favorite Soups, Chili & Stew Recipes

Beef 
Grandma's Favorite Beef Stew  (My mother-in-law's delicious recipe!)
Just Like Home Ukrainian Borscht  ( a Polish student  said this tasted like his mom's!)

Poultry
This is the Best Gluten Free Minestrone Soup!   (A recipe my son modified)
Mouth Watering Italian Turkey Sausage Soup   (This is  my friend Debbie's recipe)
Mexican Fiesta Chicken Soup   (A recipe I got years ago from a Mexican cookbook)
My Thanksgiving Turkey Soup  (My very own special concoction!)
Gary's Incredible Gluten Free Arkansas Gumbo  (Given to me by a Bible study friend)
Jeannie's French Market Soup  (A mom friend from when my kids were little)
Southwest Turkey Soup  (From my Syre School cookbook)

Fish
Northwest Salmon Chowder  (From my Heritage School cookbook)

Bean & Legumes
Vi's Best Chili  (A  Bible study friend's great recipe)
Bethany's Crowd Pleasing Tortilla Soup  (One of my daughter's friends special soup)
Country-Style Lentil Soup   (From my Heritage School cookbook)
Kathy's Texas Chili & Chips (From my Come & Dine cookbook)

Vegetable
Creamy Pumpkin Soup  (from Food Network)
My Favorite Gluten Free Pumpkin Curry Soup  (Combo from Food & All Recipes)
Downright Delicious Potato & Kale Soup  (From my daughter-in-law's family cookbook)

Asian
Chinese Chicken Soups  - Bok choy chicken, chicken & spinach, and chicken & cabbage
Make Your Own Gluten Free Chicken Pho!  (From a newspaper article)
Gluten Free Chinese Hot Pot  (Modified by a Chinese student)
Chinese Egg Drop Soup  &  Chinese Egg & Tomato Soup  (Adapted from our students)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

How Do You Run the Christian Race in Hebrews 12:1?

Throughout his epistles Paul likens the Christian life to a race.  

Galatians 2:2  …lest perhaps I had should be running, or had run, in vain.
1 Corinthians 9:26-27 I therefore run in this way, not as though without a clear aim;…

Philippians 3:12-14  Not that I have already obtained or am already perfected, but I pursue, if even I may lay hold of that for which I also have been laid hold of by Christ Jesus.  
   Brothers, I do not account of myself to have laid hold; but one thing I do: Forgetting the things which are behind and stretching forward to the things which are before.
  I pursue toward the goal for he prize to which God in Christ Jesus has called me upward.

2 Timothy 4:7   I have fought the good fight; I have finished the course; I have kept the faith.

Hebrews 12:1-2A Therefore let us also, having so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, put away every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us and run with endurance the race which is set before us, 
     Looking away unto Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith,….

    As I was reading chapter 50 of the Hebrews Life-Study where these verses are brought out, I thought a lot about racing. Over the years I've learned a few things about running from my younger son who worked for a running shop for about six years and led a Tuesday night run. In college he studied industrial design, and his passion is to one day design running shoes. Currently  he works as a rep for a major shoe company.  A few years ago he was asked to be the runner for a team that was competing in the Open Recreational Division of our annual Ski to Sea Race. This race begins on Mt. Baker and is followed by running, biking, canoeing, and finally kayaking across the bay to the finish line.  For his stint he had to run from where he met the downhill skier eight miles down Mt. Baker Highway to where all the bikers were waiting.  He told me this week he ran it in 56 minutes, and that his team got second place in their division.  


      With all of this in mind I texted him a question about what he had learned about running from all his years of experience. And here is his reply: "A good runner in my opinion is someone who is consistent.  Who gets after it every day and doesn't set too lofty of goals so that they fail.  It is a lifestyle of incorporating it into your routine that makes you good.  Of course, endurance, speed, and pacing don't hurt either." 

     In Hebrews 12:1 Paul brings out that the most important thing in running is building up endurance.  He reminds us that the spiritual race parallels a physical race. He was probably envisioning the Olympic races when he said that. And he brings it home when he talks about running without being weighed down. His attitude is like throw it off because you are in a race, and you need to run with all you've got!!
On page 566  Witness Lee gives a great connection between looking away to Jesus and running this spiritual race:
If we look unto Him.as such a wonderful and all-inclusive One,..He, ministering heaven, life, and strength to us will transfuse us and infuse us with all that He is to enable us to run the heavenly race and to live the heavenly life on earth, carrying us through all the lifelong pathway and leading and bringing us into glory (2:10). The wonderful Jesus who is enthroned in heaven and "crowned with glory and honor" (2:9) is the greatest attraction in the universe, like an immense magnet drawing all His seekers unto Him.  It is by being attracted by His charming beauty that we look away from all things other than Him.  Without such a charming object, how could we look away from so many distracting things on this earth? (Lee, Witness. Life-Study of Hebrews. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1975, Print).
I love that this looking infuses us with the Lord's grace that  keeps us running the race!  You can listen to Program #50  on the Life Study of the Bible link below which give excerpts from his live presentation on this chapter.
You can also listen to live excerpts from these messages on Hebrews on The Life-Study of the Bible with Witness Lee.    You will enjoy listening to both the excerpts from the spoken messages and the helpful and enlightening commentary of the radio hosts.  
Other Posts on the Life-Study of Hebrews You Can Check Out:

Why is the Background of the Book of Hebrews Important?
What Does God's Speaking Shows us In Hebrews 1:1-2?
What Does Hebrews 2:10 Say About Christ?
How Does the Lord Sanctify Us In Hebrews 2:11?
The High Priest in Hebrews 2:17 Makes Me Think of the Poem Footprints
Why is the Sabbath Rest Mentioned in Hebrews 4:9?
Why Unbelief in Hebrews 3:12 is the Biggest Offense to God
How Do We Come Forward in Hebrews 4:16?
What Hebrews 6:1 Says About Christian Maturity
What Does Hebrews 8 Tell Us About the Differences Between the Old & New Testaments?
What Does It Mean to Gain our Soul in Hebrews 10:39?
Have You Seen God's Silence in Hebrews 11?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Thai Mom Teaches Me How to Make Tom Yum Kung

This summer one of the Thai students that used to live with us brought his parents over for dinner.  Last time they visited I told her next time she had to teach me how to make some Thai dishes.  


When they arrived, they walked in with two bags full of groceries.  First off, we all worked together chopping the vegetables for the tom yum kung soup, a very flavorful soup with chicken and shrimp.  So many complex flavors make this soup so good!

Once the soup was simmering on the stove, we helped her cut peppers for a Thai stir-fry.  I'll share that recipe in another post.






How To Make Tom Yum Kung

1.  Prepare vegetables:

(1)  Cut 1 onion in thin slices.
(2)  Seed and chop 3 tomatoes.
(3)  Chop up 1 cup of cilantro (1/2 cup for the soup and the rest for garnishing)
(4)  Slice 4-5 green onions--slice the white bottoms and then slice the stems into 1" pieces.

2.  Prepare shrimp & chicken:  Rinse 2 chicken breasts and slice into thin bite size pieces and rinse 1 pound of shrimp.

3.  Prepare soup:
(1)  Put 10 cups of water into a soup pot.
(2)  Add in 1 1/2 T of salt and 1/2 to 3/4 cup of fresh lime juice.
(3)  Then chicken pieces and shrimp and bring to a boil.
(4)  Then reduce the temperature and add 2-3 T of  brown sugar, 3 T of fish sauce, and 1-2 T of tom yum paste.
(5)  Finally add the onions, green onions, tomatoes and 1/2 cup of cilantro and cook for about 5 minutes.
(6)  Taste and make any adjustments to the flavor.


List of My Favorite Soups, Chili & Stew Recipes

Beef 
Grandma's Favorite Beef Stew  (My mother-in-law's delicious recipe!)
Just Like Home Ukrainian Borscht  ( a Polish student  said this tasted like his mom's!)

Poultry
This is the Best Gluten Free Minestrone Soup!   (A recipe my son modified)
Mouth Watering Italian Turkey Sausage Soup   (This is  my friend Debbie's recipe)
Mexican Fiesta Chicken Soup   (A recipe I got years ago from a Mexican cookbook)
My Thanksgiving Turkey Soup  (My very own special concoction!)
Gary's Incredible Gluten Free Arkansas Gumbo  (Given to me by a Bible study friend)
Jeannie's French Market Soup  (A mom friend from when my kids were little)
Southwest Turkey Soup  (From my Syre School cookbook)

Fish
Northwest Salmon Chowder  (From my Heritage School cookbook)

Bean & Legumes
Vi's Best Chili  (A  Bible study friend's great recipe)
Bethany's Crowd Pleasing Tortilla Soup  (One of my daughter's friends special soup)
Country-Style Lentil Soup   (From my heritage School cookbook)
Kathy's Texas Chili & Chips

Vegetable
Creamy Pumpkin Soup  (from Food Network)
My Favorite Gluten Free Pumpkin Curry Soup  (Combo from Food & All Recipes)
Downright Delicious Potato & Kale Soup  (From my daughter-in-law's family cookbook)

Asian
Chinese Chicken Soups  - Bok choy chicken, chicken & spinach, and chicken & cabbage
Make Your Own Gluten Free Chicken Pho!  (From a newspaper article)
Gluten Free Chinese Hot Pot  (Modified by a Chinese student)
Chinese Egg Drop Soup  &  Chinese Egg & Tomato Soup  (Adapted from our students)