Well, my 21 day Daniel Fast has come to an end. And even though the last week was a bit more of a challenge than I was expecting, I’m so glad that I decided to participate. For a meat and potatoes girl like myself, it was definitely different to have no meat for 21 days. I’ve been encouraged by my focused prayer time and that is something that is definitely going to stay with me post-Fast. It was so wonderful to share this experience with my church family and with others I’ve found through blogging that were completing the fast as well. I also learned so much about food, about how what we put into our bodies affects us and about creative cooking. I don’t think I’ve used my microwave more than three times in the past three weeks and I also have only eaten out twice (salad and veggies). I also brought my lunch to work, every single day but one.
Everyone already knows this, but planning is such a key element to eating healthfully. I really had to make sure I was careful about doing my grocery shopping, so that I would be stocked and prepared to have food to take for lunch and a snack at the office. That meant keeping fruit on hand and preparing meals in advance. It didn’t take a lot of extra work, but I did have to be conscious of it. When I went out for lunch, it meant looking at menus online and asking my friends to meet at a restaurant that had options I could eat.
I have made so many delicious items during the past three weeks and I’m excited to continue doing so. Some of my favorites have been roasted cabbage and oatmeal in the crock pot. I’m adding a new meal to this list. Over the weekend, I made an amazing lentil, sweet potato and kale soup. This was seriously delicious and props to Kelly at Eat Yourself Skinny for the recipe. I tweaked it a bit … see below the picture for the recipe with my changes. Seriously, you need to eat this. Besides being wonderful and filling, it is also cheap to make. You won’t miss meat, I promise! Enjoy!
What you’ll need:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 small tomatoes, diced (or 1 large tomato)
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt to taste
- 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
- 2-3 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (or butternut squash)
- 7 cups vegetable broth (or water)
- 1 cup brown lentils
- 1 cup baby spinach or kale (I used frozen kale with no problems)
- note: if you want to add meat, add your choice during the last ten minutes of cooking – I use chicken sausage often in this and it’s delicious!
What to do:
- In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat and saute the onion for about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and ginger and cook for 3 additional minutes. Add tumeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and salt and cook for 2 more minutes – tasting to make sure you like the flavor. If not, add more of what you think is missing (I usually end up adding more cinnamon).
- Next add the sweet potatoes, broth and lentils. Bring soup to a boil then reduce heat and cover, allowing to simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Then add spinach (or kale) and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Enjoy!
How do you feel about lentils?