Archive for January 12th, 2011

Simple Snack Food

Herbed White Bean Dip


1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped

1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 small shallot, chopped

19 oz. can white beans, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions: In food processor, combine all ingredients except salt and
pepper until smooth. Transfer to serving bowl, season with
salt and pepper and garnish with basil leaves.

Basic Hummus


1 can chick peas, drained (save the liquid)

2 medium cloves minced garlic

lemon juice

olive oil

roasted red pepper (optional)
Directions: If you don’t have 2 tablespoons of tahini available, olive
oil is a good substitute.
In a blender or food processor combine the drained can of
chick peas, 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 3 tablespoons or
1/4 cup olive oil (depends on how rich you’d like the dip)
and the minced garlic. Add the liquid from the chick pea
can as needed to make a smooth dip. You can add red pepper
as desired to make a spicier dip. Cover and refrigerate or
serve immediately. It will thicken if refrigerated.
This is very much a dip that can be doctored according to
your personal taste, but garlic lovers go easy because the
garlic flavor will blossom.


Strawberry Smoothie

2 cups soy milk

14 frozen, strawberries, partially thawed

1 medium banana, cut into chunks

1/3 cup apple juice

Vanilla, if desired

Soy Protein powder, if desired

In blender, blend all for about 1 minute.

Experiment with different fruit.

Makes 2 Smoothies

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The Vinaigrette Formula

The Vinaigrette Formula

If you remember nothing else about vinaigrettes, remember this: the magic ratio of oil to vinegar is 3 to 1. Some vinegar have different strengths, so the ratio might need to be adjusted somewhat. You also might want a more tart dressing sometimes, and other times something a little milder. For the most part, though, the 3:1 ratio represents the vinaigrette sweet spot. Everybody’s taste is different. Try different ingredients and have fun with it.

I use extra virgin olive oil for most vinaigrette but if you want tasteless oil you can use canola. You may want to mix it up a little and try nut oil as in walnut or hazelnut oil.

When you consider the wide range of flavored oils that are available today, including such distinctive oils as walnut or avocado, the possible variations on the basic vinaigrette formula are literally endless.

There are many flavors and types of vinegar available. Try using  a specialty vinegar like balsamic, sherry, tarragon or raspberry. Cider vinegar is made from apples and is a good choice for fruity vinaigrettes.

Lemon juice is a nice component to add to vinaigrettes. You may also want to try lime, grapefruit and/or orange juice.

A simple vinaigrette doesn’t need more seasoning than a bit of Kosher Salt and ground white pepper. But minced garlic, onion, and herbs (fresh and dried) add a nice touch. You can try different mustards like Dijon too. 

The most effective way of combining the oil and the vinegar is in a blender. You can also combine everything in a glass or stainless steel bowl and just whisk them together thoroughly. You could even seal the ingredients in a clean glass jar or bottle and shake to combine. Refrigerate after use.

Here is a basic Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

This classic balsamic vinaigrette is perfect for even the most basic green salad.


  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp minced fresh basil
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste


  1. Combine the mustard, vinegar and fresh herbs in a glass bowl and whisk them together briefly.
  2. Slowly whisk in the oil until fully combined.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld. Give the dressing a good whisk immediately before serving.

Makes 1 cup of balsamic vinaigrette.

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The Devil is in the Details. Fasting requires Preparation (Part 3)

Part Three: Be Organized

The third part of the game plan is to be organized. I understand that prayer is not a program; it’s a movement beginning in the heart of God. Still, your prayer time will benefit from structure because “God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” (I Cor.14:33)

1) Put yourself on a schedule. The more time you spend with Him in prayer, the more meaningful your fast will be.

2) Have your prayer focuses written down, a prayer journal to be very helpful.

3) Join us for daily devotions during your fast.

Part Four: Have an Expected Heart.

Forth part of the game plan is to have an expected heart.  For God to answer our prayers, we must have a believing heart and ask according to His will. If we humble ourselves before the Lord, repent, pray, and seek God; if we consistently meditate on His Word, we will experience His Presence. This is what Jesus says in Mark 11:24; “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” (NASB95)

Matthew 21:22; “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

1 John 5:14-15 says; This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.” (NASB95)

Prayer and fasting can be beneficial both spiritually and physically. But we must be diligent in our preparation. I urge you to develop a game plan for yourself. Pray for the Lord to show His will for you. Pray to the Lord to give you a game plan.

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