Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Blessing for Nachos

“…and He will bless your bread and your water…” (Exodus 23:25)

Green bell pepper, white onion, mushrooms that somehow grow tan in the dark, and tomatoes bright as the sun itself; aren’t vegetables beautiful? I line them up on the kitchen counter, these four beauties, every Friday night. I’ve done this for the past 25 years.

I dice the vegetables while my husband—the big Bavarian—selects a stack of movies to choose from.

Friday night, our date-on-the couch night, began as quick cure for the likes of me after a week of newborn diapers, a spit-up rag over one shoulder and so much love from a baby that I needed to feel like a wife! I’d nurse our first baby to sleep extra early on Fridays, change out of the spit-up rag, maybe put a little lipstick on and prepare a big plate of veggies for date night!
Uh, no.

I dice ½ a bell pepper, ½ an onion, about 6-7 mushrooms and 1 tomato.

I brown some beef and flavor it with mesquite and chipotle seasoning and pull out the baking sheet.

So, 26 years ago I was a new wife and this Bavarian loved Dorito’s. Really loved them—and still does. What does a new wife do? Well, this one opened the bag of Doritos and spread a layer of the chips on the bottom of the baking sheet.

Then I grated cheese. The Bavarian loved cheese—still does. I’d sprinkle cheese over the cheesy Dorito chips. Yeah, I know. This is supposed to be about food that I can ask God to bless without first asking for a miracle, “Please transform the cheese flavored Doritos with grated cheese on top so that You can bless it to nourish and strengthen us.

There was beef. And there were veggies. And garlic. Just not as much as I put on now.

God didn’t do any food transforming miracles, but has ever so gently weaned my Bavarian from Doritos. And I’ve grown as a cook and have learned to balance his love for the cheese with my desire to raise my family on healthy food; most of the time.

The change was gradual.

I bought plain tortilla chips.

Then, sometime between our third and fourth child, I discovered Costco’s big bag of Organic Tortilla Strips.

I added green bell peppers to the cutting board.

Then, I don’t know when, but somewhere in there the mound of diced veggies increased, and the mound of cheese decreased and now—now I can say the words, nachos and healthy in the same breath. I can!

Do you know how many anti-oxidants are in ½ bell pepper? A lot. And vitamin D, potassium, and selenium in mushrooms? They’re famous for these nutrients. Onions? More potassium, vitamin B6 and B1, copper—famous! Tomatoes? Everyone knows tomatoes are red-carpet walkers in vegetable isles. And, I admit to spreading enough garlic on the Organic Tortilla Strips to strip paint off the walls—but we don’t notice it, my Bavarian and me.

We call our date-on-the couch, “Nacho-Movie Night.”

We’ve come a long way.

It takes time to make adjustments; sometimes one meal at a time, one vegetable at a time. Make adjustments as best suits you and your family—without stress since stress causes things like Dorito bags open.

Make adjustments, too, remembering that you’ll be asking God to bless the food you’re about to eat.

He gives grace to eat healthfully, before we can say “grace.”

Sometimes His grace looks like a cutting board of beautiful veggies.

written by Carolyn-Elizabeth Roehrig

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