What is it about the human mind that always goes to that negative place, to what we can’t have? Whenever I tell someone about the Daniel Fast, I always lead with the restriction “no meat, no dairy, no sweeteners, no processed foods, no solid fats, no beverages except water”. Sure, I am quick to follow with what foods are included: all fruits and vegetables, all whole grains, all nuts & seeds, all legumes, all quality oils. But the best most can conjure up from merging these two pieces – what’s in, what’s out - is a picture of consuming large quantities of raw vegetables, bananas, apples & the staple of all restrictive eating plans – the salad.
The question I’m asked more than any other is: So what CAN you eat on the fast? Let me give you a few ideas, and share some recipes that go a long way to get you through a fast week.
Staples that I keep in the house: olive oil, vegetable broth, variety of nuts, apples
Favorite snacks: Sage Valley Lite Organic Popcorn, peanuts, almonds, SPIKES Salsa & Scoops, celery with peanut butter or almond butter, peanut butter on warm (microwaved) whole wheat tortilla. REMEMBER TO READ LABELS – you will be amazed that there is sugar in almost everything!
Breakfast – Quaker Oats Old Fashioned Oatmeal made with cinnamon, ground flax, dash of sea salt, & walnuts. Sometimes I add chopped apple to the mix.
Lunch – I take a lunch to work where there is a microwave available, so one of my favs is Black Bean Chili (recipe below) with Scoops. I love to make a pot of the chili over the weekend, so it’s available to pack for lunch or have for a quick dinner throughout the week.
Dinner – any kind of vegetable oven roasted with olive oil & sea salt is probably my #1 choice: eggplant, brussels sprouts, potatoes, asparagus, or a mix of potatoes, yams, mushrooms, carrots.
Other dinner ideas –
- Barley & Mushroom Pilaf – recipe below
- Stir fry of broccoli, cherry tomatoes, garlic & olive oil over whole grain shell pasta
- Baked potato – white or sweet with mix of vegetables oven roasted with vegetable broth added over the top
Favorite Treat – baked apples with cinnamon and chopped pecans
Black Bean Chili Recipe
Using 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet, saute the following ingredients together until softened:
- Red onion, chopped
- Garlic, minced
- Red & green bell pepper
- Whole kernel corn (bag of frozen corn)
- Portabella mushrooms diced
- Can of petite diced tomatoes
- Chili powder
- 1 tsp. chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
After sauteing the vegetables, move them to a large saucepan and add 1 can (150z size) of Goya black beans – blue label.
Add 1 or 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth or water, and salt & pepper to taste. Simmer on low to medium heat for a minimum of 15-20 minutes – the longer you allow the chili to simmer over low heat, the more flavorful it will be.
Serve with tortilla chips, or over brown rice.
Barley & Mushroom Pilaf Recipe
Ingredients: 1/2 cup fresh sliced mushrooms, 2 tsp. olive oil, 1 cup pearl barley, 3 cups vegetable broth, 2 tbsp. chopped green onions (scallions), 1/4 tsp crushed dried rosemary, 1/4 cup pine nuts
Heat olive oil in a saucepan; add mushrooms and saute until limp. Add barley, vegetable broth, green onion, and rosemary. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 45 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed.
Bon appetit! Be blessed in your fast!