Raw Chocolate [Avocado] Pudding

I had a few things in the fridge that needed using up yesterday, and if there's one thing I can't stand it's wasting food. So, what's a person to do with a bunch of waaay overripe avocados and a carton of medjool dates? Make chocolate pudding! It turned out great and just a few spoonfuls was enough to satisfy my sweet tooth. I didn't feel bad about letting Addie girl lick off the spoon, either.

Raw Chocolate [Avocado] Pudding
  • 3 overripe avocados (mine were VERY soft, and getting to the point where I wouldn't even use them for guac.)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 5 or 6 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla
  • 1/3 cup water (you could also use coconut milk or coconut water)
  • pinch of cinnamon, optional
I put everything in my food processor together and blended away. I think a blender may have been a better option here, but my blender jar is broken, so I made it work. Just blend it until it's super smooth. You could add extra water if you like it a little thinner.

Mine came out thick and creamy and very rich and chocolaty. I envision that this would be really great layered with some coconut cream and a handful of chopped pistachios.


The Beauty of Easter

"I do not mind telling you that within me I find the Easter message and the reality of the Resurrection more beautiful and glorious than the Christmas scene. Christmas tells us that Jesus was born; that He was born for the humiliation of suffering and death and atonement. But Easter is the radiant and glory-filled celebration of Christ's mighty triumph over the grave and death and hell! When Easter comes, our voices are raised in the triumphant chorus: The three sad days had quickly sped; He rises glorious from the dead! There is the real beauty! This is more than the beauty of color; more than the beauty of outline or form; more than the beauty of physical proportion. In the living Christ is the perfection of all beauty; and because He lives, we too shall live in the presence of His beauty and the beauties of heaven, forever!" -A.W. Tozer


It's pumpkin day.

Today I woke up feeling like I wanted a real breakfast - something other than a smoothie. So, I dug around in the cupboards and found enough ingredients to make pumpkin waffles. They were delicious! And, since I'm currently fasting and not eating anything refined, or meat, or dairy, I tried to come up with something basically vegan. Here's what I came up with:

1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder (raw cane sugar)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
(I made my own from grinding nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon)
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup applesauce
3/4 cup plain almond milk

Combine the pumpkin with the dry ingredients. Mix water, oil, and milk and add to pumpkin mixture. Beat just until smooth. Heat waffle iron and oil lightly. Use about 1/4-cup of batter for each waffle; cook until steam appears. I served them with just plain applesauce on top. Delicious!

And... to top it off, I STILL had extra pumpkin to use up, so I dug out my mom's recipe for pumpkin bars. I modified it to work for me and I ended up with a house that smelled of pumpkin pie!

Pumpkin Bars

Mix together:
  • 4 eggs (yes, I used the eggs)
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 15 oz. (or so) of pureed pumpkin.

Add to that:
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (I made my own - see above)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground ginger

Mix all ingredients well. Pur into a large bar pan (with sides) and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Frost with cream cheese frosting when cooled.

Roasted Vegetables | Pad Thai | Ginger Noodles

Cous Cous with Garlic Roasted Vegetables
This is the easiest meal ever. No recipe needed. Take whatever vegetables that you have on hand that day, drizzle them with some olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Broil them in the oven for 10 or 15 minutes, or until they are tender and caramelized. In the meantime, cook up some cous cous in some vegetable stock. When veggies are done, serve up a bowl of cous cous and top with a heaping serving of vegetables. We used:
  • mushrooms
  • 6 cloves of garlic (whole)
  • green peppers
  • sweet potatoes
  • zucchini
  • tomatoes are delicious in here, but I left them out for Steve's sake

Vegetarian Pad Thai
(Pad Thai might be my favorite food. I have a recipe that I always use... but this one is modified for the DF.)

1/4 lb. rice noodles
8 oz firm tofu, cubed
4 oz bean sprouts
1 bunch green onions
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter (I make my own PB and then add extra peanuts later)
3 T soy sauce
2 T chili paste
1 1/2 T rice vinegar
1/2 T lime juice
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
drizzle of sesame oil

In medium bowl, mix peanut butter, soy sauce, chili paste, vinegar, lime juice, and garlic. Set aside. Boil rice noodles for about 4 minutes (or as package suggests). In large skillet or wok, saute tofu in small amount of olive oil until golden brown on all sides. Add in washed bean sprouts, chopped green onions, and drizzle with soy sauce. Add noodles and peanut butter sauce. Mix until all is heated and serve!

Ginger Poached Noodles

4 cups vegetable broth
2 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
8 ounces firm tofu, cut into small cubes
1-2 cups (half a bunch) of broccolini, trimmed
4 ounces dried spinach noodles, soba, or noodles of your choice (I used rice noodles)
1 - 2 tablespoons or soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh basil, shredded
scant 1/4 cup fresh mint, shredded
a squeeze of lime juice
crushed red pepper flakes (opt)
toasted sesame oil (opt)

Place the broth, ginger and tofu in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Dial down the heat, and gently simmer for ten minutes or so. Remove (just) the tofu from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside. Now add the broccolini to the simmering broth. Cook for just a minute, until bright, and remove from pan with fork. Add pasta to ginger broth and cook until done, stirring regularly. Remove pasta with fork, set aside, and pour out most of the broth and all of the ginger slices. Return the tofu, broccolini and noodles to the pot. Stir in the soy sauce, basil, mint, and a squeeze of lime juice. Finish with a couple pinches of crushed red pepper flakes. Taste and season to taste with salt, soy sauce, and perhaps a drop or two of toasted sesame oil.

Hummus | Chili | Curry

Peanut Butter Hummus

1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1/3 cup warm water
4 T. peanut butter (I made my own PB first)
2 T. olive oil (+ a few drips of sesame oil)
3 T. lime juice
1 clove garlic
**I also added red pepper flakes and a splash of soy sauce

Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Serve with veggies.

Black Bean Chili
(I made this chili twice. The first time, we just had chili. Then the next day, we topped our baked sweet potatoes with the rest. Later in the week, I made a bigger batch of the chili but I added more spice, more veggies (zucchini, peppers, beans) and tofu.)

1/2 cup onion, diced
1 1/2 t. olive oil
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
1/2 cup Roma tomatoes, diced
2 t. garlic, minced
1/2 t. chili powder
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. sea salt
1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper
15 oz. black beans
1 - 8 oz. can tomato sauce

In a medium saucepan, saute the onion in the olive oil for 3 minutes to soften. Add the green pepper and saute an additional 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the tomatoes, garlic, and seasonings, and saute an additional 2 minutes. Add the black beans, tomato sauce. Stir well to combine, and simmer the chili for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, to taste. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

Cashew Curry with Cauliflower
(This also made dual meals. When I ate this as leftovers, I added some extra cooked winter squash that I had on hand.)

1 cup coconut milk
1 - 2 tablespoons curry powder
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1 medium garlic clove, chopped
1/3 cup water
4 ounces firm tofu, cut into small cubes
1 1/2 cups cauliflower, cut into tiny florets
1/3 cup cashews, toasted
a handful of cilantro, loosely chopped

Bring half of the coconut milk to a simmer in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Whisk in the curry powder and salt, working out any clumps. Now stir in the chopped red onion and garlic and cook for a minute. Stir in the remaining coconut milk and the water, and then the tofu. Cook down the liquid for a couple minutes before adding the cauliflower. Cover and simmer for just about one minute, maybe two - or just until the cauliflower loses it's raw edge and cook through a bit. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the cashews. Taste and adjust the seasoning (salt/curry powder) if needed. Serve with a bit of cilantro topping each bowl.

DF Recipes!

Finally, friends... I'm getting around to actually posting my meals/recipes that we've been eating while on the Daniel Fast. Here are some of the main things:

Each morning we make smoothies for breakfast. This is always some combination of 100% organic natural fruit juice and fresh/frozen fruit. This is what we've had on hand this week and has found it's way into a smoothie in one way or another:
  • grape juice
  • orange juice
  • carrot juice
  • apple juice
  • cranberry juice
  • frozen strawberries
  • frozen peaches
  • bananas
  • oranges
  • fresh pineapple

For snacks, we've had cut up carrots, celery, and peppers with homemade peanut butter hummus. We also always bring fruit and nuts (almonds and peanuts) to work for snacking.

Dinners (and leftovers for lunch) have consisted of the following:

  • Black Bean Chili
  • Baked Sweet Potatoes (topped with leftover chili)
  • Cashew Curry with Cauliflower and Tofu
  • Cous Cous with Garlic Roasted Vegetables
  • Vegetarian Pad Thai
  • Tofu Spicy Chili (the chili was a hit the first time around)
  • Ginger Poached Noodles
  • Smashed Potatoes with Garlic
  • Whole Wheat Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes
  • Pumpkin Waffles
  • Quinoa with Fruit for Breakfast

I don't know the best way to post the recipes, so I'll try to post the recipes on separate posts.



Daniel Fast 2010

Happy New Year! It's already January! 'Tis the season to think about resolutions, goals, dreams, etc. A few of you have asked me what the Daniel Fast business is all about, so I thought I'd quickly give some information on the Daniel Fast that Steve and I do each year.

The "Daniel Fast" is a partial fast, which means eliminating some common things (royal foods) from your daily diet. Daniel Fasting is based on the biblical prophet, Daniel, who made a personal decision not to eat the king’s food as an outward symbol of an inward commitment that he had made to God. (The king’s food was against dietary laws and the king’s food had been offered up to idols/demons.) Here are some verses:

Daniel 1:8-15
But Daniel determined that he would not defile himself by eating the king's food or drinking his wine, so he asked the head of the palace staff to exempt him from the royal diet. The head of the palace staff, by God's grace, liked Daniel, but he warned him, "I'm afraid of what my master the king will do. He is the one who assigned this diet and if he sees that you are not as healthy as the rest, he'll have my head!"

But Daniel appealed to a steward who had been assigned by the head of the palace staff to be in charge: "Try us out for ten days on a simple diet of vegetables and water. Then compare us with the young men who eat from the royal menu. Make your decision on the basis of what you see."

The steward agreed to do it and fed them vegetables and water for ten days. At the end of the ten days they looked better and more robust than all the others who had been eating from the royal menu. So the steward continued to exempt them from the royal menu of food and drink and served them only vegetables.

Daniel 10:3
I ate only plain and simple food, no seasoning or meat or wine…. until the three weeks were up.

The Daniel Fast is something that many churches do in January of each year. Our church invites everyone to participate in the fast for 21 days (January 11-31). The fast is a spiritual discipline designed to better connect us with God. We are fasting in order to deepen our relationship with God and to walk in step with His plan and purpose. The best way to do this is to redirect our food source. This is accomplished through substituting our regular food intake with Bible reading, praying and journaling. The overall goal is to experience a genuine hunger for spending time with God.

As far as what to eat and what not to eat, here are the guidlines that we use. Since there is no definitive list of foods for the Daniel Fast, it is truly the spirit of Daniel’s decision that we are imitating over the next 21 days.

Foods to Avoid:
Meat, Poultry, Eggs, Fish
Dairy (milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, etc)
Caffeine, Coffee, Non-herbal teas
Sugar – any refined sugar, sugar substitutes
All breads – products made with yeast or baking powder
White foods – white rice, potatoes, white flour
Anything containing preservatives or additives
Fried Foods
Chocolate, sweets, desserts, etc.
Margarine, shortening, high fat products

Approved Foods:
Whole Grains: brown rice, oats, barley, quinoa, whole wheat, spelt, millet, etc.
Legumes: beans, peas, lentils, etc.
Seeds, nuts, sprouts
Honey, raw cane sugar
Extra-virgin olive oil
Soy products

Liquids: water, all natural 100% fruit juices, unsweetened soy milk, herbal teas