Bake by Rachel Allen, azw3, 0007259700


  • Full Title : Bake
  • Autor: Rachel Allen
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins UK; 6-Oct-08 edition
  • Publication Date: 
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007259700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007259700
  • Download File Format: azw3

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Your best friend in the kitchen, Rachel Allen, is back with a collection of delicious and easy cakes and bakes, tarts and pies, quiches and casseroles. What could be better than the smell of fresh baked bread or the joy of eating warm cookies straight from the oven? Do you pine for the pleasures of gingerbread houses and holiday delights or the warming goodness of home baked casseroles? Rachel shares ideas from both the sweet and the savory sides of baking, including quick snacks, wholesome breads and pies, exotic cakes and tarts, or easy baked meals for friends and family. This delicious resource is fully illustrated with beautiful food photography including step-by-step instructions to take the mystery out of traditional baking and pastry making. Rachel also offers troubleshooting techniques for common problems and wheat or gluten-free recipes so nobody is left out of the fun! Rachel’s friendly and expert tuition make this easy-to-use book the best friend to every home baker. Recipes include: cardamom bread; crispy bacon and cheddar bread; paper-thin crispbreads, cheese straws, and pretzels; pork, chorizo and spinach pie; beef pasties with mint, ginger, and peas; baked cheese fondue in a pumpkin; smoked salmon and leek gratin; Seville orange meringue pie; Cornish saffron cake; and lime and yogurt cake with rosewater and pistachios.

 

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Keywords

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g vinegar, my love for it has grown greater with each new venture I’ve tackled. My other restaurants, Trentina (a northern Italian–inspired restaurant) and Noodlecat (a ramen joint), embrace the use of vinegar with the same passion and fervor that catapulted the Tavern into a James Beard Award win.

Even though we were doing this bootstrap-style, all of my goals at that point had been accomplished. First, we made great, regionally sourced vinegar for less than twenty dollars per bottle. Second, we made enough of that vinegar to feature it on our menus. Third, we made enough vinegar so that our restaurant wouldn’t have to purchase any outside bottles for any of its recipes. Fourth, we could replace citrus-based ingredients whenever we wanted. (Spoiler: Vinegar is a great substitute for citrus.) And last, we produced enough to sell to the sour-starved public. We were self-sufficient in a way that no restaurant could claim.

That last point is something that farm-to-table restaurants (whatever that term means nowadays) take for granted. Sure, they can get meat cuts or vegetables from the local farm, but think about the little things that bring out your food’s flavor—like vinegar. We truly became a northeastern Ohio restaurant in every way. It was an experiment that was not only profitable and practical but proved that anyone could produce the building blocks of flavor with an old bottle of booze and some pantry space.

Which brings me to this cookbook. Vinegar is so easy to make that it nearly happens without doing any work at all. It’s so easy, in fact, that, for thousands of years, wine-makers have been trying to develop ways to prevent wine from automatically fermenting into vinegar. Don’t think of this text simply as a how-to manual for making top-shelf vinegar or vinegar-based recipes. Consider it your guide to unlocking the potential of every sweet, salty, sour, and savory bit in your food. Believe it or not, acidic and sour foods like vinegar have the ability to open our senses and make our taste buds more sensitive to all the other tastes. At the same time, they also work to bring balance as well as tone down the intensity of overtly bitter and fatty foods.

As a species, we are hardwired to taste sour foods. Some biologists feel that we evolved this ability in order to know if high-energy foods such as fruit were ripe. Unripe fruits don’t have the fully developed sugars we need to consume for instant energy. If we can taste their sourness, then we know to wait a little longer before eating them. On the other hand, there are some biologists who believe we developed this ability to warn us of potentially hazardous foods. Some spoiled foods can accumulate organic acids, and some really acidic foods can actually physically harm us. I’ll leave it to the scientists to figure out the reason for our ability to taste sour foods, but with either of these concepts, sour takes on a “forbidden fruit” quality.

My working understanding of sour taste is from years of eating and cooking. I remember when my kids were little and just starting to eat solid food. Amelia and I would give them slices of lemon to gnaw on. With each bite, they would pull back from the lemon and intensely pucker their faces. What looked like displeasure would instantly fade into a smile followed by another bite. This got me thinking about how we look to sour foods as a source of pleasure and enjoyment while eating. I mean, what kid doesn’t stuff their mouth repeatedly with Sour Patch Kids on a regular basis?

We simply crave sour foods. This is evident in cuisines around the globe. From the Pennsylvania Dutch to the people of Shanxi Province in northern China, sour foods are an instrumental—actually fundamental—part of how we enjoy what we cook and eat. Why else would a fatty grilled sausage virtually beg to be slathered in a boldly tart brown mustard? Sour ingredients just have a natural way of making us happy. As a chef, it’s important to be able to craft and manipulate foods in ways that appease the diner. Vinegar makes this possible to do, to create balance in any dish. It’s so important that it has literally become the cornerstone of all my cooking.

With all of that being said, let’s thank whoever produced that crappy bottle I bought many moons ago. It was the best twenty-nine dollars I ever pissed down the drain.

THE POWER OF SOUR

The use of vinegar can have both subtle and major impacts on our food. Using too much or too little can leave you with unintended consequences, so it’s important to learn where the sour “Goldilocks zone” is. This can be tricky at first because of the various ways that vinegar reacts with different ingredients and tastes. It’s important for you as a chef to understand how all of the tastes work together. For example, if a dish comes off as too sweet, sour and salt will help balance it out. If a dish is too salty or too sour, additional sweet will do the same thing.

This balancing ratio applies to food that is too bitter and needs to be offset by the inclusion of some umami. Vinegar is a great equalizer that’ll even out the bitterness. With this book and enough practice, you’ll be in the zone every time you cook. Take crudo (see this page) as a prime example. When making crudo, you rely on an acid to denature the proteins in the seafood and chemically cook it. The acid rearranges the protein in a way that causes it to lose the water molecules that it’s wrapped around. When this happens, the texture of the seafood changes. If you use too much acid, then the texture can toughen to a dry, rubbery mouthfeel. The opposite can happen if too little acid is used. Not enough proteins will denature, and you’ll be left with a raw, mushy texture. Finding the right balance is key. In the same way, too little or too much acid in the crudo will affect its taste—too little and there won’t be the impact of the pleasant sour flavor that you want; too much and it’ll be so sour that it’s unpalatable. Because of the multifaceted impact that acid has on food, it is a cornerstone of cooking. That makes it extremely powerful and indispensable in the kitchen.

1. THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO MAKE VINEGAR, AND EACH ONE HAS ITS PROS AND CONS.

During my many years of making vinegar, I’ve settled on two styles that I like best and work consistently for me every time. The first is what I refer to as “scrap vinegars.” I chose this name because I first started making these vinegars using the peels, or scraps, from apples. I’ve since broadened this to include any vinegar I make that needs to go through an alcoholic fermentation before it can ferment into vinegar. This means that I classify the Begonia Vinegar on this page to be a scrap vinegar even though I’m not technically using scraps.

The second style of vinegar making that I use are ones that I refer to as “boozy brews.” These are vinegars made from alcohol. My Old-School Red Wine Vinegar (this page) is a prime example. It doesn’t rely on me personally going through the process of fermenting grapes into wine and then fermenting the wine into vinegar. I start with a good drinkable wine that I enjoy and allow a vinegar mother to convert it into a great vinegar.

As you’ll see, these two methods will allow you to make any vinegar that you could possibly dream up.

2. YOU CAN HAVE TOO HIGH OR TOO LOW OF AN ABV (ALCOHOL BY VOLUME) IN THE BEVERAGE YOU WANT TO TURN INTO VINEGAR.

If the ABV is more than 15 percent, then even the alcohol-loving Acetobacter will die off. If the ABV is less than 3 percent, then various types of wild yeasts can start to grow on the surface of the alcohol before the Acetobacter establishes itself. This isn’t necessarily a safety issue but rather one related to quality. These wild yeasts can create stale, dank, and musty flavors that are unbecoming. On top of that, these yeasts can be attacked and contaminated with molds that may eventually spoil a base liquid. Because of this, I recommend starting a vinegar with alcohol in the 6 to 12 percent ABV range. This covers most beer and wine that you’ll want to use to make vinegar. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to ferment a high-ABV wine or spirit, such as a quart of 40 percent tequila or spiced rum, into vinegar, you’ll need to dilute it with water. Use this equation to dilute it to 10 percent ABV: V × ((S / F)-1) = D, where V is for volume, S is for your starting ABV, F is for final ABV, and D is for how much water you need to dilute S with. For example, based on a 40 percent tequila that you’re trying to reduce to 10 percent ABV, 1 × ((40⁄10)-1) = 3. The 1 in this equation represents the 1 quart of tequila. The 40 represents the starting ABV, and the 10 represents the target ABV. The 3 is the amount of water in quarts that has to be added to the 1 quart of 40 percent ABV tequila to dilute it to 10 percent ABV.

Math isn’t my strong suit, but I find this equation ridiculously helpful when I want to ferment a high-alcohol spirit that otherwise is too alcoholic to convert. If you’re going to start a vinegar from scratch, then you’ll need to ferment the base liquid to the optimal range. You can easily and cheaply purchase, from a home-brew supply store, an instrument called a hydrometer that will measure the level of sugars in a fermenting alcohol. By taking such readings, you can precisely measure the ABV. This works only if you’re starting from scratch and if no alcohol is present, like in the Strawberry Wine Vinegar on this page. You can also take a much simpler approach and just use your taste buds. To do this, you’ll need two alcoholic beverages, one of which is at 6 percent ABV and the other at 12 percent ABV; these will be the controls that you taste test your home brew against. If starting from a sugary base liquid that you’re first fermenting into alcohol and want to know what the approximate ABV is, taste it, then swish it around your mouth to let the alcohol settle on your palate. Next, do the same thing wi
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. Instead of worrying about how it’s all going to get done in time, all I do is glance at my game plan and realize I have nothing to do until, say, five P.M., and dinner will be ready promptly at eight o’clock. Nothing reduces stress for me more than a good game plan!

My wonderful assistant Barbara’s son Jason got married this year and Barbara offered to host the rehearsal dinner. As the date got closer, she admitted to me that she was in a full-blown panic. We all know that feeling! I said, let’s sit down and figure out how to do this in a way that won’t either break the bank or send you into a tailspin.

First, we talked about the menu. Instead of having the party catered, which would have been expensive, Barbara and I made a list of all the delicious prepared foods she could buy locally that she could serve buffet-style. She ordered spicy brisket sandwiches and smoky baked beans from Townline BBQ in Sagaponack, New York, plus huge pots of New England clam chowder and lobster rolls from the Seafood Shop in Wainscott. Barbara and I then supplemented the list with easy things we could make like guacamole, vegetable coleslaw, and tarragon potato salad. Finally, Barbara’s daughter Rebecca offered to make a huge sheet cake for the prewedding dinner. Barbara admitted that once we broke the menu into small bites, the party didn’t seem nearly so overwhelming.

At the end of the day, foolproof is really about cooking with confidence. I hope that as you cook your way through this book you’ll feel as though we’re taking a little journey together. You’re cooking and I’m standing quietly next to you ready to answer any question that you might have along the way. As I said, it’s a little like driving a car. Everyone can do it, and as with driving, the more experience you have, the more easily you’ll make the small adjustments along the way that ensure success. I hope in this book you’ll find lots of foolproof recipes and easy ideas that help you cook with more confidence than you’ve ever felt in the kitchen.

10 foolproof tips for cooking

1. Read the entire recipe before you start cooking. You don’t want to discover the beans need to soak overnight when guests are due to arrive in an hour.

2. Follow the recipe precisely when you make it the first time. After that, you can always modify it to your personal taste.

3. Buy the right ingredients. Using table salt instead of kosher salt or crushed tomatoes instead of whole tomatoes can really change a recipe.

4. Set most of the ingredients out on the counter before you start cooking so you don’t run around like a crazy person or forget to add something to the recipe.

5. Unless you’re Julia Child or an Iron Chef, measure all your ingredients. Use wet measures (glass measuring cups) for wet ingredients and dry measures (cups and teaspoons) for dry ingredients. I also use a small kitchen scale, which is a great tool for measuring.

6. Smell or taste ingredients for freshness before adding them to a recipe. Using fish, eggs, milk, or olive oil that are even slightly off can wreck even the most carefully made dish.

7. Taste for seasonings while you’re cooking to see how the dish is progressing—except, obviously, things like raw chicken and hot caramel!

8. Grind your own black peppercorns and Parmesan cheese. It’s amazing what a difference it makes.

9. Don’t walk away from something simmering on the stove. While you’re not looking, liquids can boil over or evaporate and ruin a perfectly good dish. Check them every 5 minutes or so to be sure the heat’s right.

10. Store all food well, both raw ingredients and cooked dishes. Keep fresh meats and fish very cold and keep vegetables wrapped or in the crisper in your fridge. Allow cooked dishes to cool to room temperature and then wrap them tightly—and label them!—before storing in the refrigerator or freezer.

Perfect Pound Cake

dukes cosmopolitan

mustard & gruyère batons

caramelized bacon

sidecars with dried cherries

crab strudels

jalapeño cheddar crackers

rossinis

parmesan crisps

tuscan mashed chickpeas

chili tortilla chips

thyme-roasted marcona almonds

foolproof game plans

When friends come to my house for dinner, they’re always surprised to find that I’ve written out a very specific game plan for preparing the meal. Someone recently said, “I always keep that in my head and it’s so hard to remember. It never occurred to me to write it down!” My game plan is excruciatingly detailed; it literally starts with “5:30 P.M.—turn the oven to 350 degrees” and goes through all the steps, including “7:30 P.M. serve cocktails,” and “8:15 P.M. serve dinner.” A game plan is the answer for anyone like me who can’t figure out how to get three hot things to the table all at the same time.

This is what I do: I study each recipe carefully and break it into small steps: prep time, cook time, and resting time. Say I’m serving Mustard-Marinated Flank Steak, Couscous with Peas & Mint, and Orange-Braised Carrots & Parsnips. The steak needs to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, then it comes to room temperature for 30 minutes, goes onto the grill for 10 minutes, it rests under foil for 10 minutes. If I’m serving dinner at 8:15 P.M., that means I’ll need to start the steak about 3 hours earlier, so I’ll write, “5:00 P.M. prep flank steak” and “5:15 P.M. steak into fridge to marinate, 7:15 P.M. steak out of fridge and light grill, 7:45 P.M. grill steak, and 7:55 P.M. rest steak under foil.” This chart actually does two things for me: first, I’m confident that I’ll get the steak done at the right time for us to sit down for dinner at 8:15 P.M., but even more importantly, at 1 P.M., when I’m panicked that I should start cooking, I look at my game plan and realize there’s nothing to do until 5:00 P.M.

Next, I’ll put the vegetables into the game plan. Orange-Braised Carrots & Parsnips cook for an hour and a half, so I’ll add those details to the schedule: “turn oven to 275 degrees,” “prep carrots and parsnips,” “put vegetables in oven,” and “take vegetables out of oven.” Couscous with Peas & Mint is prepped in advance and then needs to steam for 10 minutes before dinner, so that goes into the plan, too.

This is what this game plan looks like on paper:

5:00 Prep steak marinade

5:15 Marinate steak and refrigerate

6:30 Prep carrots and parsnips

Prep couscous ingredients

Turn oven to 275 degrees

6:45 Put carrots and parsnips in oven

7:15 Take steak out of fridge

Light charcoal grill

7:30 Guests arrive; serve wine and Marcona almonds

7:45 Grill steak

Heat couscous stock

7:55 Rest steak under foil

Steam couscous

8:15 Take vegetables out of oven

Serve dinner

There’s another really important detail to this game plan. If I want to be sure I can actually execute a menu, not only will I choose dishes that can be prepared almost entirely before guests arrive, but I’ll also be sure I haven’t chosen three dishes that all go into the oven at the same time—and at three different temperatures! This menu has one thing prepared in the oven, one thing on top of the stove, and one on the grill. No problem! There’s nothing on this chart that I don’t feel totally comfortable doing in the time allotted. They’re recipes I feel confident cooking because I’ve done them before, and with this game plan I know that dinner will be served—with everything hot—at 8:15 P.M., exactly as planned. How great is that?

Dukes Cosmopolitan

dukes cosmopolitan

MAKES 4 DRINKS

Friends of mine introduced me to this delicious variation of the classic Cosmopolitan, which is from Dukes, the elegant London hotel and bar. The two things that make it special are freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a dash of egg white to make the drink frothy when you shake it.

4 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

4 ounces Cointreau liqueur

7 ounces cranberry juice cocktail, such as Ocean Spray

7 ounces good vodka, such as Grey Goose

Dash of raw egg white (optional)

Ice

In a pitcher, stir together the lemon juice, Cointreau, cranberry juice cocktail, vodka, and egg white (if using). Fill a cocktail shaker half full with ice and pour enough of the drink mixture into the shaker to almost fill it. Shake the cocktail for a full 30 seconds (it’s longer than you think!) and strain into martini glasses. Serve ice cold.

If you want frosty glasses, put the glasses in the freezer 30 minutes before serving.

You can prepare the mixture early in the day and refrigerate. Shake with ice and serve.

Mustard & Gruyère Batons

mustard & gruyère batons

MAKES 10 TO 12 BATONS

This was inspired by a recipe in my friend Dorie Greenspan’s wonderful cookbook Around My French Table. Frozen puff pastry is what makes these so easy—you can prepare the batons a day ahead, keep them in the fridge, and bake them before serving. The batons are filled with spicy mustard and sharp Gruyère.

Flour for dusting the board

1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed and very cold (see note)

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for egg wash

3 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Flaked sea salt, such as Maldon, for sprinkling

Unfold the sheet of puff pastry on a well-floured board, and roll it to an 11 × 13-inch rectangle with a floured rolling pin. (Diagonal strokes keep the pastry rectangular.) With a shorter end closest to you, brush the lower half of the pastry evenly with the mustard, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges. Brush the border of the pastry with the egg wash and fold the top half over the bottom half, lining up the edges. Place the pastry on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and chill for 15 minutes.

Place the pastry on a board and trim the three irregular edges with a sharp knife. With the folded edge away from you, cut the pastry in 1 × 6-inch strips. You will have 10 to 12 batons. Spread the batons out on the sheet pan so they’re not touching. Brush the tops lightly with the egg wash (don’t allow the egg wash to drip down the sides) and sprinkle evenly with the Gruyère, Parmesan, and 1½ teaspoons sea
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ptations and distractions come, give us strength to turn to you. Teach us. Give me ears and eyes to hear your voice. Open our heart to Your Word. As we are challenged in the days ahead, please give us what we need to humble ourselves and honour you. Help us to spend some time with you, to take time to be holy, to trust in your words. You are potter. We are clay. Mold us and make us according to your will. Thank You for being the Lord who we can trust. You are very faithful to us. We are yours.

Day 2. Unwavering In Faith

James 1:2-7: Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. However, when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

What do we expect when we pray? When we are praying with earnest expectation, we are exercising our faith. The earnest prayer of people who are walking in accordance with God will produce great results, and most earnest prayers will come from us recognizing our requirement for God. There may be natural tendency of shrinking back when praying for seemingly impossible, but we should remember nothing is impossible for the Lord. If we know the promises given by the God, and understand His character and the principles by which He works, we can pray with confidence and we trust him for answer. It is referred to as being “unwavering in your faith” by the Kings James Version of the Bible. What has caused us to waver in our expectation with the Lord? James reminds us that wavering and faith are contradictory. We should know that the lord never wavers in his love for us. We can trust him completely.

Prayer: Oh Lord, please help us to stand firm in our faith as we walk with you. You are our strong tower. We know we can trust in you. Guard and renew our minds, bodies, souls and spirits in Jesus Christ according to your will. May each one of us line up with God’s word; May our lives be filled with trust and expectation that you work all the things for good; Give us faith to move the mountains, knowing that you promised to do impossible so that you may be glorified. May our lives, expectations and thoughts reflect yours, and my God?

Chapter 3: Foods to eat and foods to avoid for Daniel Fast

Daniel Fast is based on fasting experiences of Prophet Daniel as recorded in the Bible. Scriptures give us some insight into what he ate and what he did not eat; however, we do not know his complete menu. What we know is: In Daniel 1, Daniel had chosen not to eat royal food, which was being served to him and he ate only fruits and vegetables and drank water. Another time he deprived choice food, meat, and wine because he sought Lord in the prayer. Most commentaries believe “choice food” would have been sweets and bread.

This is why, I believe, we will find some variation in specific guidelines for the current Daniel Fast, so far as what foods will be included and which ones will be restricted. The food guidelines are the ones that are most commonly described in the Daniel Fast. The intention of today’s Daniel Fast is not to duplicate exactly what Daniel did but the spirit in which he did it. Daniel’s passion for the Lord caused him to hunger and thirst more for spiritual food than for physical food, which should be the desire of anyone choosing to participate in this type of fast.

The Daniel Fast Guidelines

The most important idea behind this fast is to imitate Daniel’s spiritual hunger and grow closer to the Lord instead of duplicating his menu. So we should try not to be excessively hung up on what we should eat and what shouldn’t. These guidelines are meant to be just used as a guide. They are given to help us create boundaries for our fast.

Foods to eat on The Daniel Fast:

 All fruits – fresh, frozen, juiced, dried, or canned.

 All vegetables – fresh, frozen, juiced, dried, or canned.

 All whole grains – amaranth, brown rice, barley, quinoa, millet, oats, and whole wheat.

 All nuts and seeds – cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, peanuts, walnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds; unsweetened almond milk and Nut butters are included as well.

 All legumes – dried or canned; black beans, cannellini beans, great northern beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), kidney beans, pinto beans, black-eyed peas, split peas, and lentils.

 All quality oils – avocado, grapeseed, coconut, olive, sesame, peanut, and walnut.

 Beverages – distilled water, spring water, and filtered water.

 Others – unsweetened almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk, or soymilk; spices, herbs, salt, pepper, seasonings, unsweetened coconut flakes, soy products, tofu and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos.

Foods to Avoid on the Daniel Fast:

 All meats and animal products –beef, buffalo, bacon, eggs, fish, poultry, lamb, and pork.

 All dairy products – butter, cream, cheese, yogurt, and milk.

 All sweeteners – agave nectar, brown rice syrup, artificial sweeteners, cane juice, molasses, honey, syrups, stevia, raw sugar and sugar.

 All leavened breads& yeast – Ezekiel bread and baked goods (containing honey and yeast).

 All refined foods & processed foods – artificial flavourings, food additives, preservatives, chemicals, white rice, and white flour.

 All deep-fried foods –French fries, corn chips, and potato chips.

 All solid fats – lard, shortening, and margarine.

 Beverages – alcohol, energy drinks, carbonated drinks, coffee, herbal tea, and tea.

How to plan a meal on Daniel Fast

Daniel Fast calls for some exclusive balancing moves. It is not like a “normal fast” where we drink only water and nothing else. In addition, it is not like a “juice fast” where our choices are defined clearly.

Daniel Fast is a “partial fast”, so on this diet some foods are eaten and other foods are allowed. In addition, choices are many. Therefore, we will need to spend a little time in thinking about foods and food choices for meals. However, we do not want food to become our focus and we don’t want Daniel Fast to become another way for satisfying our taste desires by preparing yummy and delicious meals.

That does not mean our meals should not taste good. It does mean we want to give preference to Jesus and our growing relationship with Him on this fast and not to the food!

So how can we still eat according to the guidelines of Daniel Fast and not lose our self-control? Here are a few simple steps we can take to achieve that.

We should decide to eat simpler for this period of fasting and prayer. We should consider the purpose of the fasting and how this can be a powerful period for putting our flesh under the authority of Spirit. We should not make Daniel Fast more complicated than it requires being and should be! Humble meals, Simple dishes, Pleasing and Flavourful meals are fine, but they should be in balance for the real purpose of this fasting- to restrict the food for spiritual purpose.

We should plan a small number of simple meals, i.e., we should plan just 3 breakfast menus, 3 snacks, 4-5 lunch menus (using leftovers from the previous dinner is great), and then 5-6 dinner menus. Then we can rotate these menus. We should make sure we have the Ingredients on hand and get good at preparing these menus. We should keep our meals undemanding and uncomplicated. Then we will not have to be so obsessive about meals preparation, instead we can focus on the God, prayer and study.

We should plan and prepare a number of meals (five to six)at a time and use the leftover time for praying, listening to devotional music, memorizing scripture or listening to spiritual teachings.

Using the simple approaches mentioned above will do 2 things. First, when we plan and prepare various meals ahead we will be ready and have primary parts of our meals on hand! We will not need to worry about what to eat for dinner. We will know and it will be easy and simple for us to finish up meal and stay on fast.

Second, we will not be anxious! Many people end up quitting this fast as a result of one of the two reasons: 1) they felt making all meals every day took so much energy and time; 2) these meals were so complicated and so expensive. We can avoid these issues by keeping our meals simple and making them ahead.

The important benefit about this is that we will not be centred on food. To make sure we do not miss out the blessing of the fast, we should keep our meals simple. We should plan only a small number of menus that we like and can rotate them repeatedly.

Sample Menu Plan

Breakfast:

 Fruit Smoothie

 Fresh Fruit Salad

 Steel-cut oats

Lunch:

 Raw vegetable salad flavoured with Vinegar/Oil Dressing

 Bowl of Legume soup

 Sliced Fruit

 Selection of nuts

Dinner:

 Vegetable stews and soups

 Brown rice

 Selection of cooked vegetables or stir-fry

 Veggie burger (Optional)

Quick Snacks:

 Popcorn

 A piece of fruit

 Dried fruits

 Rice cakes with nut butters

This sample meal plan holds a number of options for variety! We can change the fruits used in smoothies, vary the legumes used for making soup, and combine different vegetables in the soups and stir-fry.

Breakfast Recipes

1) Asian Style Breakfast Tofu Scramble

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:-

 1 box of firm tofu

 1 zucchini, diced tiny

 ½ onion, diced

 1 red bell pepper, diced

 1 tomato, diced

 2 green onions, sliced finely

 1 clove of garli

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