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Vegetable Rice Casserole

4 cups cooked brown rice
1 block of tofu (10 oz)
1 large onion
2 medium carrots
2 stalks celery
1 green pepper
2 medium zucchini
6 ounces mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup mushroom broth, vegetable stock or water
pepper to taste
fresh herbs; parsley or cilantro, thyme for garnish

Begin by making 4 cups of cooked brown rice (usually 1-1/3 cups raw) according to directions on the package.
Rinse tofu and leave in a dish to drain while preparing the vegetables.
Chop the onions, carrots, celery, green pepper and zucchini into pieces that are roughly 1/2 inch square. Quarter the mushrooms if they are small and cut them into sixths or eights if they are large
Saute onions in water over medium heat until they are glassy
Add the garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir until blended and cook for 1 minute, then add the carrots, celery and green pepper.
add 1/2 cup of the liquid, cover the pan and braise the vegetables on medium heat until they have begun to soften, about 5 minutes. then add the zucchini and mushrooms and cook another 7 to 10 minutes. the vegetables should be nearly, but not completely cooked.

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the vegetables with the rice. Season with salt and plenty of cayenne or freshly ground black pepper. gently mix in the tofu and put the entire mixture into a casserole  that has been thinly covered with water instead of oil. Add the remaining liquid to moisten. Cover the casserole with foil and bake for 1/2 hour. 
Remove the foil and bake another 15 minutes
Serve garnished with the fresh herbs 
Serves 8

 Stuffed Bell Peppers

2 cups uncooked Basmati brown rice
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, herbs to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable powder or bouillon
6 medium green peppers
dash of paprika

Wash Basmati brown rice and cook according to directions. Include in the boiling water the vegetable powder and stir in until it’s dissolved.
While cooking add carrots, celery, mushrooms, onion and spices.
When completely cooked add 1/4 cup chopped walnuts and mix in

While rice mixture is cooking, boil water for green peppers.
Wash green peppers. slice the tops off the peppers and remove their inner membranes and seeds.
Place peppers in boiling water for 5-7 minutes. when tender, but not soft, remove

When rice mixture is ready, place the peppers upright in a casserole dish with small amount of water covering the bottom. Stuff rice into the peppers. Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven at 350 for about 45 minutes. Remove cover and bake another 15 minutes or until peppers are soft.

Sprinkle with paprika, garnish and serve.

Serves 6

 Bean and Vegetable Tacos

4 corn or whole wheat tortillas
1 cup re fried black beans, warmed
1 avocado,mashed with minced red onion and lime juice to taste
3/4 cup finely shredded lettuce2 green onions, finely chopped 
1/2 cup Salsa Verde or Salsa Ranchero or to taste

Wrap the 4 tortillas in foil and heat in a moderate oven for about 5 minutes; watch that they don’t overheat and become stiff
While the tortillas are heating; also heat the beans in non-stick pan. When tortillas are ready, fill with beans, avocado, lettuce,onions and salsa. Fold each tortilla in half, garnish and serve

Serves 4

 Humus with Tahini

3 cups well-cooked garbanzo beans
1 cup garbanzo bean cooking liquid or water
6 to 8 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 (large) cloves garlic, pressed
2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 cup tahini or more to taste 
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup chopped parsley

In a food processor (or blender), process the garbanzo beans with 1/2 cup of the bean liquid (keep the other 1/2 in reserve) and the lemon juice. Then add the tahini, garlic and seasonings (except the parsley)
Blend according to your preference
add as much of the reserved cup of liquid as you need to get the consistency you want. Humus needs to be “dippable”
Stir in the chopped parsley
Serve as a dip with raw vegetable sticks or pita bread

 

 Berry Banana Shake

one – 10.5 ounce tofu, drained
1 cup partially thawed frozen strawberries or raspberries, including liquid
1 small ripe banana
1 teaspoon agave

Serves 4

 Hopping John

4 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 cup coarsely chopped onions
1 bay leaf (1 1/2 inches)
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crumbled
1 12 cup uncooked brown rice
1 can (16 ounce) black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained

1. In a large saucepan, bring the water, bouillon, onion, bay leaf and thyme to a boil over high heat
2.Stir in the rice. when the liquid boils again, reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes until the rice is almost tender
3. Stir in the black-eyed peas. Cover and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes or until the rice is tender.

Serves 4

 Meatless Chili

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
2 cans (16 ounces each) pinto or red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) stewed tomatoes, un-drained
tomatoes broken up
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2/3 cup bulgur
1/2 cup water
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes
Toppings: chopped onions, and bell peppers

1. In a 3-quart microwave safe casserole, combine the onion, green pepper, oil and garlic. Stir to mix. Cover with a lid or vented plastic wrap. Microwave on High for 4 to  5 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp tender.
2. Stir in the remaining ingredients, except the toppings. cover and microwave on High for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring once until the bulgur is tender and the chili is bubbly.
3. Remove the casserole from the microwave. Stir again, cover and let stand on a heatproof surface for 10 minues. Serve the toppings alongside.

Serves 6

 Sweet Potato Oven Fries

2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch-thick sticks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Place an oven rack in the top of the oven. heat to 450. coat a large wire cake rack with vegetable oil cooking spray and place on a baking sheet
2. Put the potato sticks in a bowl. Toss and spray with cooking spray until lightly coated. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on the wire rack.
3. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the tops of the potato sticks are golden. Remove from the oven. Turn the potatoes over with a spatula. return to the oven and bake for 5 to 7 minutes more or until golden and crisp. Toss with salt and pepper

Serves 4

 Ratatouille

1/4 cup olive oil
2 large onions, halved and sliced thin
3 large cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 firm eggplant (about 1 pound) cut into 1-inch cubes (about 5 cups)
1 pound small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/2 inch thick pieces (about 3 1/2 cups)
1 each small red, green and yellow bell peppers, halved, seeded and cut into 1 inch strips (3 cups)
1 1/2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise, seeded and cut into 1 inch chunks (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. add the onions and garlic. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring twice until almost tender but not browned
2. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet,heat 2 tablespoons of oil until hot, not smoking. Add the eggplant and cook for 5 minutes, tossing several times until lightly browned. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the zucchini and the peppers and cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
3. Add to the onion mixture. Cook uncovered, over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, stirring gently 2 or 3 times.
4 Add the tomatoes, thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, but still hold their shape.serve hot or at room temperature

Serves 6

Black Bean Soup with Salsa

2 1/2 (1 pound) dried black beans, picked over and soaked
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cups coarsely chopped onions
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water

Lime Pepper Salsa
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 medium-size onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt

1 can (16 ounces) whole tomatoes in juice, undrained
1/2 cup uncooked small pasta
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Rinse and drain the soaked beans
2. In a heavy 5-qt pot,heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often or until softened. Stir in the cumin and ground red pepper and cook, stirring often for 30 seconds to release the flavors.
3. add the beans, broth and water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low. cover and simmer for 70 to  80 minutes or until the beans are tender.
4. Meanwhile make the lime pepper salsa: In a medium size bowl, mix the bell pepper, onion, lime juice and salt. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
5. Drain the juice from the canned tomatoes into the pot. chop the tomatoes and add along with the past and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, or until the pasta is tender.
6. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and garnish with a spoonful of salsa.

Serves 5

 

 

 

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