Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Veggie Lasagna with Peach Sauce--------The Limits of Spiritual Logic

The Food Stuffs: 


Since all parts of this dish are homemade except for the pasta (and there are a lot components) expect to use a lot of cookware. I made this at my in-laws house and my kind mother-in-law did all the clean up....which was a ton! You'll need at least an hour to put this all together and your oven should be preheated to 350 degrees. 

Veggie Lasagna Ingredients:

-1 Summer Squash (Small)
-1 Zucchini
-1 Chayote Squash
-1 Pckg Lasagna Noodles
-3 Chicken Breasts
-1 Container (15 oz) Ricotta Cheese
-2 Eggs
-1 Block Mozzarella Cheese
-Italian Seasoning
-Basil Leaves
-Butter (unsalted)

Veggie Lasagna Instructions:

1. Clean and then thinly slice the vegetables.
2. Meanwhile, boil trimmed chicken breasts and noodles (separately, of course.) 
3. Melt enough butter in a frying pan to just cover the bottom. 
4. Add the sliced veggies and salt. Keep over low heat until almost completely cooked to your liking.
5. Shred chicken and season well with all of the herbs and spices listed.
6. Using a grater, shred the mozzarella as you like it.
7. Combine two eggs and the ricotta cheese in a bowl, whipping lightly.

Peach Sauce Ingredients:

-6 Tbsp Butter (unsalted)
-2 Tbsp Flour
-4 Juicy peaches, skinned and finely chopped
-1 Tbsp Shredded mozzarella
-1/4 Cup Sugar

Peach Sauce Instructions:

1. Melt butter in a saucepan.
2. Stir in flour over medium-low heat.
3. Add peaches, with as much natural juice as possible.
4. Stir over low heat until peaches are no longer solid.
5. Add shredded cheese and seasonings, stirring all the while. It should taste just a little bit sweet. Keep the sauce over the low heat until it is finished. 
6. Add milk and sugar intermittently. Continue stirring throughout. Only add milk until a consistency you like is achieved.
7. Add seasonings (including sugar) to your taste. 

Putting It All Together:

1. Place a little butter in a lasagna dish. Bake at 350 until the butter is melted.
2. Spread first layer of noodles in the dish. 
3. Add a layer of chicken, then of mozzarella. Next layer ricotta mixture. Cover with a layer of vegetables.
4. Spread the peach sauce over the entirety of the veggie layer.
5. Repeat steps 2 through 4. Top with mozzarella.
6. Bake, uncovered, for about twenty minutes. 
7. Allow the dish to rest before slicing. 


-Add a little olive oil to the water for the pasta. This will prevent the noodles from sticking together.
-Timing all of the components may be tricky. If anything is done early, simply keep it warm until the assembly. 
-In the picture, you can see I have noodle on top. I put a layer of noodles on top and it was just too much for me! If you are big on carbs, feel free to add them back in. 
-If you aren't a fan of extensive dairy, use skim or part-skim products. This includes the milk in the sauce! I don't use heavy cream like many cream-sauces do. Instead I use a "roux" to achieve thickness, which is the butter and flour combo directed in this recipe. 


....And Topping It Off:

Make garlic bread. Add a little basil and choose (or bake) a slightly sweet bread variety. Top with Parmesan. I didn't use a recipe, but, for example, here is what I made to pair with my dish:

Thoughts on the Limits of Spiritual Logic

"Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: 'Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?" -Job 38:1-2

The first time I read Job, I was not a Christian. In that time, the story was bewildering. All of the things that Job's friends said to Him made sense to me, but God seemed to dismiss them. They weren't speaking anything that I knew of as "wrong" and they weren't even claiming to know better than God. Eventually I settled for the explanation that the entire point of the story is that God uses our suffering. 

Now, while I would be far from honest if I said I understood the meaning of the story, I notice something different. It might be minuscule, but oh, does it speak to me.

A recent conversation with a friend set me on this thought-trail. She was talking about her current struggle with understanding what God planned for her life. All of these things she had done -that she believed were in obedience to the Lord- pointed to a particular career path. And yet, she just wasn't at peace with the remaining necessary next steps towards the "goal."

This set me to thinking...about her story, about mine and my husband's ongoing experience trying to understand where the Lord wants us and what we should be doing, and about some wisdom shared with us recently.

The bit of wisdom, given through some friends who have walked in the faith for a long time, was simple. That the Lord has one goal and one purpose for our each of our individual lives is a lie. 
He did not create me to be a writer and only ever a writer my whole life. 
There is nothing to say that my husband has to be a pastor for his entire life in order to meet his "calling." 
God asks us to Him and to love others for His glory. He asks us to do all things to His glory. His call comes more than once, and for more than one thing in many people's lives. 

This is refreshing and sobering! I cannot sit and wait for the Lord to tell me what I am going to do for the rest of my life. The truth frees me from the stress of never having found my one and only true calling. At the same time, that means I have to listen for the Lord to guide me through many plans and circumstances and decisions. Not having one true call requires a lifelong process of listening, growing, and changing. Worst of all....without any clue as to what (even vaguely) my life will be like in fifty years. 

Yet, we (myself included) look for trajectories that the Lord doesn't lay out. 
We look at what God has done and then follow a sort of spiritual logic that is flawed. 
From the Bible and the Lord's work in our life we can learn things about the Lord.
...Things like the character of the Lord. 
But we cannot determine what our future steps will be based off what we have seen so far. 

Walking with the Lord is a daily commitment and experience. There is no instance in our lives in which the Lord reveals to us, even in the vaguest of ways, what we will do until we die. We cannot escape the reality that the Lord will continue to work in us and change us (and the things that are tied to us like our jobs and relationships.)

That someone has primarily studied, for example, Christian Education, and then worked with youth, and then pursued more opportunities in the "field" does not mean that working in youth ministry is what the Lord will require of that person. 

That does not mean that the person was wrong or disobedient in studying and working as they did. Nor does it mean their studies and work were wasted. All things done to the glory of the Lord, all things which the Lord uses to work in our hearts, and all things that the Lord somehow uses to do His work are not wasted. Often, we have no idea what His purposes are. But that does not excuse us from obedience. 

I think, in summary, that what I have been learning from the Lord recently is to not look past his light on the path. When I do that, I peek ahead at shadowy figures and behind at things past. I do this only to attempt to decipher the present. But it is not the future or the past that the Lord is illuminating. 

It is in the present that He reveals His way, continually in the present. Running ahead and staring behind are great ways to get lost, no matter how logical my predictions may be. My words are without knowledge, and my Lord is the only one who can speak the whole truth into my circumstances right now, and in each changing moment to come. 

"There are those who rebel against the light,
    who do not know its ways
    or stay in its paths." -Job 24:13

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