Daniel Fast Day 13- Good News and Bad News

Elijah loves to say "Mommy I have good news and I have bad news…"  I am not sure if he gets the concept but it is really cute.

So I have good news and I have bad news…

The bad news is my Creamy Avocado Salad dressing was terrible.  I soaked my almonds for more than over night.  I used my magic bullet and my food processor.  Unfortunately I spent 30 minutes and made a huge mess over nasty mush.  It was far from creamy.  Nicole tried it but no one else was even brave enough to give it a try.  Thankfully I also made the Herb Vinaigrette and it was good (relatively speaking).

The good news is our "dessert" turned out pretty decent.  Cut up about 5 slices of the cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread, pour unsweetened soy milk over it (until each piece is soaked) and then top with honey and cinnamon.  Then spread some leftover stewed apples (see day 11) on top, and then top that with chopped pecans, more cinnamon and more honey.  Let it sit for about 15 minutes then bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.

Don't get your hopes up.  Its still Ezekiel bread (a bread that I do not believe we will eat in heaven) but it may satisfy your sweet tooth for a night.

Daniel Fast Day 12- Tortilla Soup

Well, we're over the hump.  Less days to go than we have completed so far.  I made a tortilla soup that was delicious!!  The only thing I would do differently if I weren't on the fast is add bits of chicken and flour tortillas instead of corn.  Here's the Daniel version…

1 carrot chopped
1 celery stick chopped
1 medium onion chopped
3 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tbsp olive oil
8 c vegetable broth (the expensive kind has 2x the flavor- I found that out by accident)
4 c water
1 can of black beans (Libby's organic have no added salt, found them at Walmart)
16 oz frozen corn
1 red tomato chopped
1 yellow tomato chopped
1/4 c chopped cilantro
2-3 tsp sea salt
1 lime
6 corn tortillas (found at Trader Joes)

Heat oil in the bottom of the pot and saute the first 4 ingredients until soft.  Add everything else except the tortillas.  Low boil for about 30 minutes.  Add tortillas.  Cook for another 10 minutes.

Serve topped with fresh chopped avocado and green onion.

Last night I made vegetable soup that turned out delicious.  I will share that recipe tomorrow.  Tonight we are going to try the creamy avocado salad dressing so we can  have leftover soup and salad for dinner and for "dessert", Lacy's bread pudding. 

Keep it up.  You are so close!

Daniel Fast Day 11- HALFWAY THERE!!

Well as of 6am this morning, it is all downhill from here.  If you are joining us on the Daniel Fast you have less days to go than you have already completed.

I went to Greenville for the day on Monday.  I stopped by a mountain fruit stand and purchased some apples.  Last night I stewed them they were delicious (relatively speaking you know).

Here's what I did…
Peel, core and slice 6 apples.
Place them in a pot with about 2/3c of unsweetened apple juice (cheapest I have found is the White House Natural for about $2.50) and 1/2c of water.  (This doesn't seem like much water but as the apples breakdown they add more liquid)
Add about 2-3 tbsp of cinnamon
Bring to a broil, reduce heat to medium.
Stew for about 15 minutes, checking and stirring every 5 min.
If you want your apples more firm, do less time. 
Be careful, they can burn fast.


Daniel Fast Day 10- Guest Blogger, Tonia Bendickson

I asked my good friend Tonia Bendickson to guest blog for me today.   Here's what she had to say…

I just polished off a bag of Bear Naked Organic Trail Mix.

“Cashews, raisins, mangos, and more” it says on the package.
It’s delicious.  When I eat it, it doesn’t feel like I’m fasting.
And though that’s not the point, it does help ease the cravings I have for
And coffee.
And sharp cheddar cheese.
And sushi.
But I’m embracing the Daniel Fast.  I’m getting more time with God and my
family because I’m preparing simpler meals.  I’m saving money brown-bagging
“fast-approved” snacks and meals.
I know I’m eating healthier.
And strangely, giving up sugar has made my teeth feel cleaner, all day
This has been the great thing about the Daniel Fast in my family.
All the surprising benefits, and the great foods we DO get to eat, while
Here are some of our favorites:
For breakfast:
Kashi Puffs and unsweetened soy milk, topped with fresh strawberries and
bananas or peaches and blueberries.
Oatmeal cooked with chopped apples and raisins, topped with chopped raw
Warmed leftover brown rice with raisins, cinnamon, unsweetened soy milk and
For snacks:
Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin bread, toasted, smeared with unsweetened applesauce
and sprinkled with cinnamon
Smoothies – banana, blended with frozen berries, unsweetened soy milk, ice,
and unfiltered apple juice.
Apple slices dipped in raw almond butter mixed with a drizzle of
For dinners:
Red beans and rice topped with avocado, sweet corn, tomatoes, and
Vegetarian Chili
Baked sweet potatoes topped with chopped pineapple and nutmeg
Spinach salad with peach or mango chutney
Not-fried brown rice with tofu, snow peas, carrots, sweet corn, onions, and
peppers, seasoned with soy sauce, garlic, ginger and sea salt
Chopped Mexican salad with romaine lettuce, chick peas, peppers, black
beans, tomatoes, jicama, corn, and avocado, topped with fresh cilantro and
honey-lime dressing
Somehow this simpler, healthier fare has made me genuinely more thankful
for every bite I put into my mouth.
Like this past week, as my son Asher tried pineapple for the very first
He declared loudly, like I’d never heard him before… “Mmmm…”
I’ll record it in his baby book as his third word.  A simple, clearly
understood… “Mmmm.”
His pure pleasure in that pineapple tidbit reminded me how much I love
great, simple food

I hate my high chair

When I was pregnant with Elijah, I excitedly registered for all of the baby items I wanted with great care.  During this selection, I chose the most beautiful high chair.  I thought it would look so pretty in my kitchen for years to come.  Well is is a beautiful high chair, but not practical at all.  Whatever person (most likely a man without children) designed this chair did not think to test the seat belt.  Well it sucks.

Since Elijah didn't start crawling until he was almost 10 months old, he didn't start standing in the highchair until around his first birthday.  Well about a 2 months ago Graham started this.  He would even get these big bruises on his thighs from the tray catching him when he tried to stand up.  I had a doctor and a nursery worker comment on them (nice, I know!)

Soon Graham started throwing his leg over the side.  It got to where I couldn't walk back to the kitchen for fear that he would fall out.  So about a month ago we had a graduation…Elijah to a regular chair, Graham to the booster with the decent buckle.  Enjoy the pictures.

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Daniel Fast Day 5- Spaghetti!

I am very excited to tell you about the spaghetti sauce I found at Walmart.  The brand is called Alessi and there are not any ingredients in it that are not on our fast.  The bottle was a little pricey(just under $5 for 24 oz) but I added a can of tomato paste and about 3-4 cups of water and that made it more than enough for our family.  I also added several cloves (maybe 6) of garlic, pressed (garlic cooked down gives a little sweetness so it made up for the lack of sugar in the sauce), a handful of chopped parsley,about a table spoon of olive oil. 

We tried it at first over brown rice noodles.  These were good but still have the brown rice flavor which I am getting tired of.  Tonight we will have it again over whole wheat angel hair.  This is by far the most mentally satisfying meals I have cooked. 

On a funny note, yesterday morning I wanted some "toast" so I wrapped up a piece of cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread in a piece of foil and threw it in the oven for a few minutes.  I thought maybe the bread wouldn't be so dry if I warmed it up.  At first it was good.  Then I gagged on the last bite.  Man that stuff is dry!

You guys are doing great!  If  you are joining us in the fast you are 1/4 of the way there!  I have heard of so many things you are trying.  A friend of mine put a mashed banana and some honey in his oatmeal.  Way to go Eric!  And his wife tried the homemade tortillas, very impressive!

Daniel Fast Day 4- Guest Blogger, Kelly Hubatka

One of the hardest things for me about this fast is not
necessarily the food choices, but all the preparation everything takes. Looking
at ALL the food labels, cutting up several vegetables for each meal, snack,
etc. So as we go through this, I am trying to be smart about stocking  up on certain things I know are natural and
also the recipes I choose. This way I can make enough for dinner, and also have
good lunches and snacks that I can send with Larry to work so that he doesn’t
have to think about his food being fast-friendly or not. I’ve spent a couple of
nights cooking big batches of stuff, and it’s been helpful each day to have
meals that are ready to go.

There are a lot of great recipes in the Daniel Fast Guide
that you can download. Here are some of my favorites I’ve made so far, with my

  • Easy and Fast Black Bean soup: 3 cans organic black beans (I
    bought them at Trader Joe’s), chopped onion, chopped cilantro,  1-2 cans of diced tomatoes, 3 minced garlic
    cloves, small amount of chopped jalapeno, enough vegetable stock to make it the
    consistency you desire.  Heat a small
    amount of olive oil in the pot, cook onion and garlic until tender. Add rest of
    ingredients, heat until warm. This was Larry’s (and some of the Creative Dept)
    favorite-has a little kick and is filling. Would be good over a baked potato
  • The Lentil soup recipe was excellent as well. I didn’t have
    barley, so I added potatoes instead-my kids even enjoyed this one! I won’t post
    the whole recipe, but you can find it in the information pack you can download.
    This recipe made a lot of soup-great for leftovers.
  • Herb Vinaigrette-We eat salad a lot with dinner, so having a
    good dressing is important! My favorite salad to put this on is lettuce with
    sliced avocado, red onion, and green peppers.
    • 1/3 cup lemon juice (I squeezed from lemon), ½ tsp. dried
      basil, 1 tsp. oregano, ¼ tsp sea salt, ¼ cup parsley mixed with some Italian
      seasoning (that has no salt), 1 cup olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves. Mix
      well. This is light and fresh on any veggies.
  • Snack: No Salt Rice Cake, natural peanut butter, topped with
    banana slices. Favorite with my kids! 

Hope this helps. Try taking a night to make a few different
recipes for the week. This will take pressure off of dinner time, and help you
enjoy the food you can eat, soups can go a long way!

Kelly Hubatka- wife of Larry Hubatka, Creative Pastor of Elevation Church

Too Rough

The Furtick home is really suffering from the too rough syndrome.  This has had a ripple effect that makes Graham scream any time Elijah even gets near him.  This makes for a very long day for me.  I try to tell Elijah to leave Graham alone, but many times he means well and truly wants to interact with him.  Still Graham screams (he's scared and rightly so). 

Two Sundays ago I wanted to take pictures of them before we went to church.  Here is what I got…
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Daniel Fast Day 3: What I am buying

Last night we had corn tortillas (heated on the stove in a bit of olive oil) filled with left over beans and rice as well as a little salsa I made that had fresh avocado, corn, tomato, cilantro and lime juice.  We also put a little bit of hummus on the bottom to add more flavor.  This was great.

I have been inside three grocery stores in the last 5 days.  This is a big deal for me because I usually shop for my groceries online.  Since we are not eating things with added salt or sugar, I spend so much time reading labels.

Here are a few things you don't want to see on a label (besides the obvious of preservatives, dyes and corn syrup): Citric acid, absorbic acid, salt, sugar and oil.  Look for things like sea salt and citirc acid that is naturally  derived.

I found a tomato sauce at Lowe's called Muir Glen Organic tomato sauce.  We may have that tonight with some whole wheat pasta.

I also found brown rice pasta at Trader Joe's.  They also sell cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread which is a lot more moist than the regular Ezekiel bread.

At Walmart today I found Libby's organic black beans canned with water only.  This is a great alternative to soaking your beans overnight.  Walmart also makes a fresh pico de gallo that has no additives.  I think I will add that to some black beans for flavor.

Ok, there you have it.  I promise to post some pictures of my boys soon to keep my posts more fun!  And tomorrow, look for a guest blog from Kelly about things they are eating in their house!

Daniel Fast Day 2

Yesterday at Chick-fil-A was rough.  I am not really a salad fan, especially without dressing.  They have a salad with fruit on it, honestly, it was pretty rough.  Especially when I had to take the chicken and the cheese off.

For a snack I had an apple with some natural peanut butter.  Then for dinner we had pinto beans and brown rice.  Pinto beans are an easy dish because they don't require a lot of seasoning.  After soaking the beans in water overnight, I put them in my crock pot with the bottom of five green onions (I didn't have a regular onion)and some sea salt.  At 4:30, my beans weren't even close to ready so I transfered them to my pressure cooker and removed the onions.  Twenty minutes later, the beans were perfect. (I learned the art of using a pressure cooker form my mother and two grandmothers)

We served the beans with brown rice.  I found some short grain brown rice at Lowe's Foods.  Short grain brown rice is a little bit more plump than long grain and I like it a lot better.  I cooked the rice in my rice cooker but added water for 5 scoops of rice when I had only put in four (brown rice takes more water and almost twice the time to cook).

The meal was very filling, something I was really needing at the point.  Tonight I am going to try a soup.  I am not sure which one yet because it depends on what I find at the store (since I did not soak any beans last night).  Today I am going to Trader Joe's to find some more stuff for us to eat.