I don’t know all the particulars of what was going on during the time of the prophet Daniel. Political unrest? Rampant food insecurity? Religious persecution? A pandemic?
What matters is that Daniel was concerned about the future of his people and embarked on a season of fasting to seek God’s guidance.
After a tumultuous year for the sociopolitical landscape, I – along with many others – am following in the prophet’s footsteps by participating in the Daniel Fast. That means eating plant-based meals and avoiding things like meat, added sugars, refined grains and processed foods.
Thankfully, I have the foundations for many plant-based meals growing in my garden – and a few fast-friendly recipes for preparing the things I grow. My hope is that this brief list of garden-inspired dishes will not only help nourish your body through the Daniel Fast, but encourage you to grow more of what you eat year-round. Check out my list below and feel free to add other recipes in the comments!
Collard Green Smoothie
This is one of my morning staples throughout the year. Consuming collards in liquid form is a great way to preserve the nutrients that this leafy green vegetable has to offer. The key to making nutrient-rich smoothies is to keep the ratio at 75% vegetables and 25% fruit. In this one, I used a bunch of collards from the garden, strawberries, bananas and water. For less sugar, use avocado instead of banana. This is definitely one thing you’ll want to incorporate into your routine even beyond the Daniel Fast. You can wash and rinse the garden greens in a capful of vinegar, then bag and freeze them for later use.
Plant-Based Charcuterie Board
This is a snack that my vegan, gluten-free daughter put me on to. It’s easy to make, delicious and surprisingly filling. Slice up some bell pepper, onion and olives (or whatever vegetables you fancy, including broccoli florets, cucumber, cherry tomatoes or carrot) and eat them with a heaping serving of pine nut hummus. For an extra boost of fiber, you can also mix some chia seeds into the hummus.
The City Girl Daughter's Quinoa-Protein Salad
This is another dish inspired by my vegan, gluten-free daughter. This salad is a great way to get protein on a plant-based diet via quinoa and hemp seeds. You can also boost your fiber intake by sprinkling in chia seeds. Ingredients include mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, cooked quinoa, chia seeds, hemp seeds and avocado. Instead of salad dressing I’ll pour some coconut oil over it instead of salad dressing, making this a fully plant-based dish!
Start with boiling a pot of water (or a tea kettle). Cut about a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger and use either a spoon or a peeler to shave off the skin, exposing the white/yellowish insides. Slice into chunks and add to a cup. Pour the boiling water over the chunks and cover for 15 minutes. Uncover and squeeze in the juice of a fresh lime. Not only is this a relaxing tea, it’s a huge immune booster. You can also add echinacea for extra immune support.
Dan's Okra Dish
This one is made up of so many wonderful gifts from the garden. Okra, onion, tomatoes, green beans, bell peppers, yellow corn, mushrooms and garlic. Cabbage is optional. Wash, dry and cut the vegetables into bite pieces. Start with the green beans and put them in a pot separately. Use your favorite seasoning and cook for 10 minutes. Heat a wok on high heat with 5 tablespoon of virgin olive oil before adding onions and garlic. Add okra, green beans and stir. If you decided to add cabbage, add it now. Next, add the bell peppers and mushrooms and stir. Continue to stir for approx. 10 minutes then add the diced tomatoes and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce fire to low and simmer for 5 minutes with the top on the wok. Stir at least once while simmering and your done!