christian. vegan. lover of life.

Mexico Mission Trip: Prayers Please! July 15, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica Dixon @ 1:27 am

Hey everyone,

For the past two school years, I have been enrolled in a leadership class at my church. This year, they have set up a number of mission projects for the students, one being ministry in Reynosa, Mexico from Saturday, July 18th – Saturday, July 25th. We will be partnering with Harvest Evangelism to bring aide to the poorest residents of that community by building sustainable housing, conducting VBS-like evangelism services throughout the community, and distributing supplies to meet basic needs (such as shoes, clothing, food, and Spanish bibles). We will also have an opportunity to spend time at an orphanage, about which I am particularly excited. Our group will be based in McAllen, Texas, at a retreat-like facility. We will take vans across the border daily to the impoverished areas of Reynosa, Mexico and after completing our workday there, we will head back to McAllen for the evening.

God has so generously provided all the funds I have needed for this trip, but I would be so appreciative if you would be praying for me and the team while we are gone. We are reliant on Him to open the hearts of the people we will meet and to empower and equip us to minister to their needs. This is my first international mission trip, and it’s been a long time coming. God has made me very aware of the fact that spiritual warfare will be immense for all of us, but specifically for me because of the call He placed on my life to be a missionary 8 years ago, about which the enemy was quick to make me fear and forget. So, please be praying that God would protect us, give us undivided hearts to listen to His sweet direction, and willing souls to follow Him wherever He leads, both now and in the future.

You can follow our trip through our blog. I will likely be avoiding internet access for the week, but someone will be updating it daily from what I understand. Thanks so much for your support!


My Dad was in the Local Paper! July 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica Dixon @ 3:27 pm

Hey guys! I’m so excited to share that my dad (and his woodworking ability) was showcased on an entire page in yesterday’s Times News! Read the article here. I’m so proud of him!


Recipes of the Week – Gluten-Free Lasagna and Brownies July 3, 2009

Filed under: recipe,vegan — Jessica Dixon @ 7:53 pm

Due to the news in my last post, I decided to try out some gluten-free recipes this week. The first was lasagna, using sliced potatoes in place of the noodles. I also altered a recipe for cheesy quinoa and used that as my filling.

I sliced 3 medium red potatoes into 1/4 sheets and boiled them till almost done (still firm, but can be pierced with a fork) – about 15 minutes – and then let them sit in a strainer till I was ready for them. I cooked regular organic quinoa with vegetable bouillon instead of water and added some salt while the potatoes were cooking. I don’t like this veg bouillon (and I don’t really like quinoa), but it was all I had. It probably would’ve been worth my time to run to the store and get No-chicken veg broth, because it turned out tasting just “ok.” I followed the ricotta cheese recipe almost exactly, but when I tasted it, I remembered how much I don’t like nut butters and so I added a bunch more nutritional yeast and salt. When both the quinoa and nut cheese were ready, I added some vegan cream cheese to the quinoa, probably about half a tub, to make it more creamy and help the flavor a bit. I then added a few tablespoons of the nut cheese, and there was still a bunch left over. That recipe really does make a LOT and I even cut it in half to start. Four or five tablespoons of Traditional Prego sauce and a teaspoon of dry thyme/rosemary completed the quinoa filling.

I coated the bottom of an 8X8 pan with Prego, then constructed it like so:
a layer of potatoes
topped by the quinoa
then sauce
a layer of cooked (and drained) spinach
another layer of potatoes
and finally quinoa for the top

I covered it with aluminum foil and cooked it at 350*F for about 15 minutes, then took the foil off for about another five-ten minutes, until it was golden brown. It smelled very much like traditional lasagna and turned out kind of pretty (though soft and kinda mushy inside):

The end product, in my opinion, tastes fine. Nothing spectacular. The potatoes worked splendidly for me and I would use that technique again, but I would definitely use a different filling and add more vegetables. It makes about 6 really large portions. You fill up fast because of all the fiber and protein.

Today, I officially bought my first gluten-free flour products to make vegan brownies. I was craving some sweets and this definitely hit the spot. Absolutely delicious! My housemate said she would never have known the difference, and she is definitely not vegan or gluten-free. I’ll be making them again and can’t recommend them highly enough. Yield is 2 1/2 dozen mini-brownies.


New gluten-free adventures July 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessica Dixon @ 6:44 pm

My dad informed me over the weekend that his doctor is almost ready to confirm that he has celiac disease – gluten intolerance. He says it’s hereditary, so I could have it. I honestly don’t plan to be tested at this point in my life, but I’m pretty excited that he might have it, simply because it will force him to eat healthier. I also think it’s pretty cool that I’m vegan because a lot of what I eat is already gluten-free, which makes it easier for me to help him change his diet. This also reminded me of my challenge at the beginning of the year to go gluten-free for a month. Because of a mission trip I’ll be taking to Mexico in 2 weeks (more about that soon), I can’t commit to making July my gluten-free month, as much as I’d like to. However, I’m going to start working gluten-free recipes into weekly meal-plans, and will be buying a gf vegan cookbook soon. I want to have a stock pile of recipes ready for when I am able to complete my 30-day challenge.

The other night, I tried gf rice pasta and it wasn’t bad! I couldn’t notice too much of a difference (with sauce) except that the spaghetti noodles I usually buy are much thinner, and the rice pasta was a little sticky, even with olive oil. I definitely think it’s doable though! Tonight I’ll be creating a gf lasagna – a combination of a few different recipes, including cheesy quinoa. It will likely become the Recipe of the Week, so look for that on Saturday.

Do you have any recipe suggestions to help me along?