Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Food & Nutrition’ Category

Portabello Spaghetti with Spaghetti Squash. Make sure you drain the squash; it can water down the sauce! The Black Bean Broth and Kumatos make for a rich, red-brown sauce.

Lately I have posted a lot more faith articles than food, so it is good to get back to sharing some of my culinary exploits!  One of the most important parts of a Daniel Fast is to do meal planning in advance.  Here is our weekly Daniel Fast menu with links to some of the recipes:

PRE-FAST (the week before): Make sprouted black beans, sprouted lentils, sprouted wheat berries, and sprouted rice.  The cooking water from the black beans is “Bean Broth” and can be used in stead of chicken stock.  Store sprouted grains/legumes and cooked beans in 2-cup portions in the freezer.  Make Summer Squash Broth to supplement bean broth (if needed) and Green Soup to eat when you don’t have much time to prepare anything.  Buy lots of fruits and vegetables; to see which produce items should be bought as organic (Dirty Dozen), and which are safe to buy conventionally (Clean Fifteen), check out the Environmental Work Group’s Executive Summary for Produce.

Breakfast: Pineapple Oatmeal.  Since we have to avoid dairy, I use pineapple juice instead of whey to soak the grains overnight.  We have the same breakfast each morning to keep things simple!

AM Snack: Nuts, Organic Raisins & Fresh Fruit.  Nuts help me to avoid headaches from having too little protein, and raisins help curb sugar-cravings (grapes are notorious for having dangerous pesticides on them; only buy organic grapes and raisins).  Apples and Bananas are great options; apples have many healing and detoxing benefits and bananas supply carbs missed from leavened goods (like bread) and potassium lost through loose stools (although sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beet greens, and raisins have more potassium than bananas).  Again, only buy organic apples because they top the list of pesticide-ridden produce.

Lunch: Meal leftovers, Fruit & Veggies.  This is a great time to have a salad, or “finger snacks” like celery, carrots and tomatoes.  If it’s cold outside, Green Soup can help warm you up and relieve stress symptoms.

PM Snack: Salted Popcorn, Nuts & Raisins.  Use an air-popper if you are abstaining from oils; otherwise, to hold to the spirit of the fast, use only as much oil as necessary to pop the corn kernels in a covered pot on the stove; I use Palm Kernel Oil (in non-hydrogenated organic shortening form, Spectrum brand) since it has a high smoke point.

Dinner:

  • Monday: Portabello Spaghetti.
  • Tuesday: Savory Stuffed Peppers.  (Add Bean or Summer Squash Broth to leftover stuffing to make a tasty soup for lunch!)
  • Wednesday: Lion’s Den Stew.
  • Thursday: Greek Summer Squash Stew and Sprouted Wheat Berry Soup Biscuits.
  • Friday: Mushroom Pesto Pizza (Cheese-free; recipe coming soon)
  • Saturday: Bean Curry and Sprouted Rice (recipe coming soon)
  • Sunday: Roasted Root Vegetables and Steamed Broccoli.  (recipe coming soon)  This is a perfect day to take the organic potato peelings and use them to make Potato Peel Broth (recipe coming soon), another great source of potassium.

As far as drinks go, a true Daniel Fast uses only water.  However, what you drink on your fast is between you and God.  Some churches advise that fruit juices and herbal teas are fine; make sure to ask God what is right for you.  I drink water throughout the day, but I have a hot cup of green-tea infused Potato Peel Broth in the morning to help me wake up and replenish lost nutrients.

I hope this resource gives you a hearty helping of hope for your fast (it is achievable!); even if you aren’t fasting (if you’re vegetarian or vegan, for example), these recipes are still pretty tasty and economical.  Bon Appetit!

If you enjoyed this week’s Recipe thuRsday post, please share with a friend by using one of the many options below.  Thanks!

Read Full Post »

Howdy!  I apologize that it has been a long time since I posted anything.  In the middle of my ADVENT series, our family got sick.  We licked it in two days, only to have another sickness come back with a vengeance after our kids returned to school.  We spent the whole Christmas Holiday sick, hence so few posts. I think I will complete the ADVENT posts at a later date, in anticipation of next Christmas and re-post them at that time, with some editing.  (When I’m tired I tend to type too much!  I think I embody the term “ruminative writing”…I can hear my Written and Oral Communications prof shout “Cut the fluff!”  Ah, editing, how I love thee…)

I hope you had a Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.  This is the time of the year when we set goals and resolutions; this is all very well and good.  However, unless we were given superpowers as a gift at Christmas (!) few of us have acquired the necessary character and ability to keep our resolutions!  We know where we’d like to go this year, but we don’t have the steam to get there.  This Word-UP Wednesday is about a little-used practice that helps us not only set our compass in the right direction, but receive the God-power we need to get there: fasting!

Our first outside source is an interesting site called daniel-fast.com (which also has a blog on wordpress)  According to author Susan Gregory, the Daniel Fast is a restricted vegan diet practiced for up to three weeks.  It is based on Daniel chapters 1 and 10 where the prophet-statesman Daniel fasted from meat, bread, and wine and focused on eating vegetables and drinking water to humble himself before God as he prayed (presumably, three times a day as was his custom).  The word vegetables in Hebrew has been expounded to define anything growing from a seed–including seeds themselves–so that fruit, whole grains, legumes, and nuts are included.  Because this is a fast that includes solid foods, it can be maintained for an extended period of time: traditionally, for three weeks, the time it took for Daniel to receive an answer to prayer when he fasted as recorded in the book of Daniel, chapter 10.

Source: Uploaded by user via Amanda on Pinterest

Susan Gregory has developed recipe books on her website so give you ideas how to fast.  Recipes can be made for the whole family, adding meat and dairy for children or making modifications for family members with health concerns.  Here are some free recipes that should be easy to make.  I came up with a few of my own, which I hope will make it into a Recipe thuRsday post this week (like the Salsa-Stuffed Peppers above).

Our second outside source is a local area church (Bethany Assembly) who is doing the 21-day fast as part of its series on gaining Momentum in the New Year.  If you’d like to join in, here are short, daily devotionals–statements of faith and prayers based on Scripture–that accompany each of the 21 days.

Our third outside source (Jentezen Franklin Media Ministries) is a short outline of a Daniel Fast used to ask God for healing.  The website also has fasting contracts that responsible family members can sign and keep each other accountable to.

Explanations of the spiritual benefits and reasons for the fast are given at the above sites.  I hope you will use them to celebrate the New Year in a way that keeps you running strong in Hope until the next year (and beyond).  God really does speak to us when we seek Him with diligence!

Helping of Hope.  Right Choice: Use Daniel-Fasting to ask God FIRST what He may accomplish through you this year; humble yourself (through denying certain foods and acknowledging your dependence on Him) to bring yourself in agreement with His much better plan for you.  Bright Future: a greater power at work in your life to transform you into someone God can use to defeat giants, move mountains, and minister to hurting people!

If you enjoyed this Word-UP Wednesday post, please share with a friend using one of the many options below.  Thanks!

Read Full Post »

image

A healthier alternative to the jar!

I love mince pies at Christmas. It’s
an English tradition and it seems to have caught on in the ‘States too! Until now the only mincemeat I could find was the jarred variety: its main ingredient? Corn Syrup 😦 Today I found this option which has fewer ingredients, all it requires is reconstitution with hot water. It is not a healthy as homemade (it contains brown sugar, dextrose, and cornstarch), but it is a much healthier version than conventional mincemeat products.

For a gluten free crust, consider mixing melted butter with almond meal (you can add a little honey or maple syrup if you wish) for a Graham-cracker crust alternative. Push the warm almond dough into the cups in a greased, mini-cupcake tray and bake for a few minutes until the insides look drier or lightly golden. Scoop reconstituted mincemeat into the shells and bake a few minutes more, until crusts are golden brown. (I’ll have measures and temps in recipe format shortly: if you experiment in the kitchen as I do, this should be enough info to get you started! You can always follow general Graham cracker crust and open mini-pie baking guidelines)

If you enjoyed this post, please share with a friend using one of the many options below. Thanks!

Read Full Post »

Just a quick note to apologize for the lack of posts over the past few days.  We’ve been fighting off sinus infections/colds in our house; we tend to take turns getting sick so it drags out over a few days.  We’ve recovered surprisingly quickly…much faster than we did before switching to whole foods!  Usually my kids would take one to two weeks to get rid of a hacking cough: we did it this time in two days!  Here’s how:

  • Breakfast: Banana (minerals, energy), Homemade Yogurt (probiotics, protein) flavored with Cranberry Jam (anti-infection), Honey-Juice (anti-infection, vitamins, comfort)
  • Morning Snack: Hard-boiled eggs, 2 each for children, 4 each for teens and adults (vitamins), Sliced & Cored Organic Apples (fiber & vitamins), Honey-Juice (anti-infection, vitamins, comfort)
  • Lunch: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup with extra fresh, grated Garlic (minerals, vitamins, gelatin, natural antibiotic), Honey-Juice (anti-infection, vitamins, comfort)
  • Afternoon Snack: Grapes and Chips (Granny came to visit so chips became whole foods temporarily 😉 ) Honey-Juice (anti-infection, vitamins, comfort)
  • Dinner: Whole Grain Rotini Pasta (fiber) in Organic Spaghetti Sauce (vitamins) with Ground Turkey (protein) and Steamed Broccoli (vitamins & minerals), Grapefruit Juice (ran out of Honey-Juice!)

So what is this Honey-Juice, you may ask?

——————————————————–

Honey-Juice | A Helping of Hope

Honey-Juice helps to soothe sore throats and fight off colds!  Give 4 oz. (1/2 cup) to children over one year old every one to two hours.  Grapefruit Juice provides vitamin C and has an amazing ability to strip infection and film off the throat.  Honey soothes sore throats and has natural anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties (it also kills infectious amoebas, viruses, and reduces fever).  The added salt makes the liquid electrolytic, so it is more easily absorbed and better hydrates.

    • 1 cup Grapefruit Juice
    • 1 cup Filtered water
    • 1/4 cup Honey
    • 1/4 tsp Real Salt

Mix ingredients in a small pan (avoid nonstick) on medium heat until warm to the touch (do not over heat or allow to boil: high temperatures will kill off enzymes in the honey).  Sip before giving to children to ensure a safe drinking temperature.

——————————————————–

Did we use OTC drugs? Yes, somewhat.  Since I do not have a stocked apothecary (!) I still use Tylenol and Ibuprofen to help reduce fevers and Children’s Mucinex at night to help suppress the coughing (here is a better, all-natural option I need to try).  As a rule of thumb, I avoid drugs unless the fever approaches 102F and/or at night; a good night’s sleep is essential to getting better.  One day I hope to have natural remedies that are as effective as OTC drugs, yet without the artificial sweeteners and synthetic, side-effect inducing ingredients.  Until then, I use them sparingly and prayerfully, relying as much as possible on nutrition and physical rest.

Helping of Hope.  Right Choice: rely on good nutrition and rest to get well.  Medicines deal with symptoms, they do not typically give your body what it needs to function properly.  Supplements are not as well absorbed as vitamins and minerals in food and can be very expensive.  Antibiotics kill your body’s natural ability to fight infection and shut down your digestive system so you can’t get nutrients from your food.  Do as much as you can (with food and rest) as soon as you can to avoid having to take medicines, supplements, and antibiotics or it may take you several weeks to get back to normal.  Bright future: FASTER recovery time, less money spent on OTC remedies, no antibiotic-resistant illnesses, healthier immune system!

I hope this Christmas finds everyone well and not sick. If you find yourself ill, try the Honey-Juice!  It works wonders…

If you liked this…natural remedy? post (!), please share with a sick friend using one of the many options below.  Thanks!

Read Full Post »

Sweet and savory!  One of the easiest and tastiest jams you could ever make ;-)

Sweet and savory! One of the easiest and tastiest jams you could ever make 😉

This makes for an excellent gift …or something to enjoy for yourself on toast, crepes…even a PB&J!  It only has THREE ingredients and takes about an hour to make in a pan.  If you want to make something at a beginners level that has a large “wow” factor to it, this is the recipe for you!  I hope you enjoy it!

CORRECTION: I forgot last night to add the need to strain out the skins.  I’ve since updated the recipe to include this.  Sorry for any confusion!

If you think a friend would like this week’s Recipe thuRsday post, please share using one of the many features below.  Thanks!

Read Full Post »

This delicious salad is easy to "fix" and even easier on the palette!

This delicious salad is easy to “fix” and even easier on the palette!

It’s Thursday somewhere… 😉 This recipe was a great hit this Thanksgiving; I’m sure it would work well for Christmas too!  It is simple, inexpensive, and DELICIOUS!

If you enjoyed this Recipe thuRsday’s post, please share using one of the many options below.  Thanks!

Read Full Post »

These apples had already turned brown…then pineapple juice removed the oxidization!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  I apologize for the hiatus in posts; I have a bunch of recipes to post this Thursday, research on whole grains for an upcoming Transformation Tuesdays post… and I am getting over a Sinus Migraine thanks to the ever-changing barometric conditions…gotta love Michigan weather…

To break the no-writing streak, I decided to share what would usually be the subject of a Mama-Mondays post.  The subject was an accidental discovery; I hope I’m the first to mention it and receive some major culinary kudos!

In the past I’ve used freshly-squeezed lemon-juice to keep sliced apples from turning brown; they still turn brown albeit much more slowly.  When my kids have snack-duty for school I usually slice organic apples (apples are #1 on the Environmental Work Group’s 2012 Dirty Dozen list) and roll them in diluted lemon juice.  On one such occasion I ran out of lemons and reached in the ‘fridge for what I did have…leftover fresh pineapple juice from my pineapple oatmeal recipe.  The results were amazing!  Leftover apples came back home, after a full day at school, completely white.

This Thanksgiving I forgot to roll the apples for my Apple-Pecan salad in any juice at all.  They turned light brown in thirty minutes.  Not wanting my apples to brown further, I rolled them in pineapple juice and watched in amazement as THE “BROWN” CAME OFF.  The pineapple juice turned a tan color and the apples turned white.  I showed the slices off to my husband (who had sliced them) and stepdaughter!  They were impressed 🙂  I’m guessing the enzymes in the pineapple juice help to break up the oxidized apple enzymes while the pH of the juice denatured the remaining enzymes so they could no longer be oxidized?  (Any chemistry buffs out there?)

To summarize, here are the benefits of using pineapple juice on apple slices:

  • Diluted fresh pineapple juice completely prevents browning.  Completely.
  • Apple slices taste better with a hint of sweet pineapple than with a sour hint of lemon.
  • [DRUMROLL PLEASE] Pineapple juice REMOVES browning AFTER it has occurred.

HOW TO MAKE FRESH PINEAPPLE JUICE:

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut off outer skin of pineapple
  2. Chop pineapple “meat” into small wedges and process in a blender or food processor
  3. Scoop pineapple puree into a glass jar or bowl and allow the pulp to rise to the top (if you don’t have time for this, skip to step 5 by dumping the puree into the coffee filter),
  4. Remove pulp to eat in lieu of apple sauce or to flavor oatmeal; store pulp in a glass salsa/sauce jar.
  5. Filter remaining juice through a coffee filter placed on a sieve or colander into a glass measuring jar or small bowl.
  6. Dilute juice with filtered water 1:1 and store in your ‘fridge to use as needed to keep apples white or soak grains.
  7. Storage option: freeze diluted juice in ice cube trays and empty cubes into a freezer bag or mason jar.  If you don’t use pineapple juice very often, this option means that you don’t have to worry about it spoiling in your ‘fridge and you’ll always have some handy!

Make sure to give fresh pineapple juice a try.  And since you’ll already have pureed pineapple handy, why not skip the cereal box and make some healthy, energy-boosting pineapple oatmeal instead?

If you enjoyed this…um, cooking tip post…please share using one of the many features below.  Thanks!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: