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Month: April 2018

Daniel Fast Menu Week 3

In my Monday Morning Coffee and Chat a few weeks ago, I talked about doing the Daniel Fast for the month of April. A friend asked if I’d post my menu while we did it, because if you’re not used to a vegan diet with no processed soy, leavening, or sugars, you’re facing a daunting challenge of meal planning.

A Daniel Fast is a vegan fast. That means, no animal proteins at all, including dairy and eggs, and only water to drink. It also has “no pleasant food”, which to me means processed sugars and baked goods. We also do whole grains (no white rice, etc.). Passover ended, so we can now eat leavened bread. Most bread I make has some form of sugar (or honey) and dairy (milk or eggs); however, I have a pita bread I make and a French bread I make that do not contain any sweeteners or dairy. I will keep those on hand during the fast.

Here is my menu for the week 3:

Sunday:

Breakfast: oatmeal with fresh apple and sliced almonds

Lunch: hodge podge of leftovers from the week before

Dinner: Baked potatoes topped with vegetarian chili, salad

MONDAY:

Breakfast: oatmeal, almonds, dried fruit

Lunch: whole grain pasta tossed with kale, fresh vegetables, olive oil, garlic

Dinner: pink beans, turnip greens with turnips, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, fried cabbage, French bread.

TUESDAY:

Breakfast: fresh melon, walnuts

Lunch: vegetable soup

Dinner: taco dinner: black beans, fresh guacamole, brown rice, homemade fresh salsa on homemade whole wheat tortillas

WEDNESDAY:

Breakfast: oatmeal, almonds, dried fruit

Lunch: Leftover black beans and guacamole added to lettuce and fresh vegetables for a taco salad

Dinner: vegetarian stir fry, brown rice

THURSDAY:

Breakfast: fresh fruit salad, pecans/walnuts/raisins trail mix

Lunch: leftover vegetable soup

Dinner: grilled vegetables (portobello mushrooms, eggplant, red onion, squash) served over brown rice, salad, whole wheat French bread

FRIDAY:

Breakfast: oatmeal, almonds, dried fruit

Lunch: leftover chili

Dinner: sweet potato, black bean, and corn hash; salad; whole wheat French bread

SATURDAY:

Breakfast: fresh melons, raw almonds

Lunch:  fried rice with vegetables

Dinner: pasta tossed with homemade pesto (fresh parsley, fresh garlic, pine nuts, walnuts, extra virgin olive oil), mushrooms, and roasted red peppers; salad; garlic bread made from whole wheat French bread brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with garlic.

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Slow Cooker Recipe: Artichoke, Kale & Lentil Stew

ARTICHOKE, KALE, AND LENTIL STEW

This is such a rich, flavorful stew. It’s completely vegetarian, so you can eat it if you’re fasting from meat. It can also be cooked on the stove-top within an hour, or tossed into a slow cooker and set to simmer all day long.

INGREDIENTS:

3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 TBS dried oregano
1 TBS dried basil
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cans 14.5 ounce canned tomatoes
1 cup dried lentils (I use green)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt (Kosher or sea salt is best)
1/4  tsp crushed red pepper
1 15-ounce jar artichoke hearts (see notes)
about 4 cups fresh baby kale or fresh spinach (see notes)

SUPPLIES:

sharp knife and cutting board

measuring cups/spoons

EITHER: small skillet and slow cooker   –OR– large stock pot

wooden spoon

PREPARATION:

chop the garlic

dice the onion

chop the artichoke hearts

DIRECTIONS:

IF YOU ARE USING A SLOW COOKER:

In your skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion. Saute for about 3 minutes. Add the basil and oregano. Cook for about another minute.

Put in slow cooker. Add the other ingredients. Cook on high for about 4 hours or low for about 7-8 hours.

IF YOU ARE USING A STOCK POT:

In the pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion. Saute for about 3 minutes. Add the basil and oregano. Cook for about another minute.

Add all of the other ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about an hour.

This is wonderful and rich all by itself, but if you shave Parmesan cheese on top, you’ll discover an entirely new and wonderful flavor profile.

YIELD:

8 servings

NUTRITION: ~*~
~*~
NOTES:

For the artichoke hearts, jarred hearts in brine are better than canned, because canned hearts have a “tinny” taste to them.

If you are using frozen spinach or frozen kale, you only need about 5 ounces frozen.

I would love to hear any feedback about this recipe. Did you make it? Did you enjoy it? Did you make any adjustments to it?

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Interview with Author Dan Walsh and a FREE Book!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I’m pleased to introduce you to my friend and very successful Christian author, Dan Walsh. Dan has a book that’s free today, so make sure you check out the end of the interview for the link so that all of my readers can get their copy!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Let’s see…I’m almost 61 (in May). I’ve been married for 42 years to the only woman I’ve ever loved. She remains the best friend I’ve ever had. We have 2 grown children, both married. We’re all very close and get along well. I have 3 grandkids, a 4th due in May. We’ve lived in the same house for almost 33 years (so, it’s paid off…yay!). We both moved to the Daytona Beach area in 1965 as kids. Both our dads were hired to work on the Apollo moonshot program. In 2010 after my 3rd novel came ou t(The Deepest Waters), I left pastoring full-time (after 25 years) to writing full-time. Working on my 20th novel now.

Tell us about your current release: My most recent release was Saving Parker (in November). It’s Book 3 in my Forever Home series. For folks familiar with my books, this series is similar to the Nicholas-Sparks type novels I’m known for. The first novel in the series, Rescuing Finley, has over 1,000 5-Star reviews.

I don’t have a title picked out yet for the book I’m working on now, but it’s the 4th book in my Jack Turner Suspense series. This series is doing very well in sales and getting great reviews. Each of the suspense novels features the same main characters and main location, a strong romantic theme, and a mystery that involves WW2 somehow.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? No, if I’m being honest. I’m always encouraged when I get feedback that one of my novels touched helped/blessed someone in their walk with God. Just read a beautiful email like that this morning. But, for me to be able to write these books and keep writing, I need to have a fairly large number of sales.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? Not at all. I’ve enjoyed a fairly good measure of success with my first 12 novels, published by a mainstream Christian Fiction house (Revell). They required the books to be written from a clear Christian worldview (even if they didn’t have an explicit Christian message) and contain no profanity or sex scenes. Although challenging sometimes to write a novel that includes read bad guys doing and saying real bad-guy-things, it wasn’t hard for me to write with these standards in place. I’ve still followed them with the 6 indie novels I’ve written since leaving Revell.

What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I never wrote a thing (as I recall) until I took an 11th grade elective class on Creative Writing. To my surprise, I loved it and got straight A’s on everything I turned in. When it was over, my teacher pulled me aside and said, “You might be one of the most naturally gifted writers I’ve ever had in my class. You really should consider writing for a career.” That had a profound impact on me, and I thought that’s what I’d be doing for the rest of my life.

Real life intervened, and I had to lay that dream aside. But I never lost my love of writing and felt sure God would open a door for me to do it someday. Maybe when I retired. Real life intervened again when, after pastoring for 22 years, I began to experience burnout. It was suggested I needed a hobby that helped me relax. My wife reminded me how much I used to love to write back in high school. That year I wrote The Unfinished Gift in my spare time. An A-list literary agent read it, loved it and had a deal with a major publisher in 2 months. It went on to become a bestseller and win 2 Carol Awards. That led to writing more books and, after my 3rd, my publisher made me a deal I couldn’t refuse to write novels fulltime.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? As I said, I had some good success with a traditional publisher. My 12 novels with them averaged about 20-25,000 copies sold (some over 50,000). But in 2012, I started to notice a massive shift in how readers were buying books. More and more were being sold as ebooks and more and more in online stores like Amazon. Since I was only making about $1 per print book and 75 cents per ebook (my publisher and retail stores getting all the rest), I decided by 2014 I really didn’t need a publisher any longer to get my books in readers’ hands. Since Amazon was willing to pay me 70% of the sale price per book (about 40% for print books), we made the leap to indie (self) publishing then. Six books later, it’s turned out to be a great decision and, really, made the difference in me being able to keep writing full-time. Not only am I getting paid a much fairer share of the total sales, I get to write the kinds of books I want, choose the titles and covers I want and market them in a number of ways my publisher would never consider.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Writing with a view to getting a novel published is not for the faint of heart. If you don’t have a deep desire to excel at the craft of writing (not just love to tell stories), if you become easily hurt or discouraged when you receive input or criticism, if you don’t enjoy long hours of solitude, if you don’t love to read great books, if you are known for starting many things but finishing few, if you don’t have a tenacious zeal to keep doing something until you succeed…you might want to consider doing something else. And here’s a quick writing tip taken from my favorite writing quote by the late NY Times bestselling author, Elmore Leonard: “In your writing, try to leave out the part readers skip.”

Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of 19 novels including The Unfinished Gift, The Reunion and When Night Comes. He has won 3 Carol Awards (finalist 6 times), 3 Selah Awards and 4 of his books have been finalists for RT Review’s Inspirational Book of the Year. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Word Weavers International, Dan writes fulltime in the Daytona Beach area. He and his wife Cindi have been married 42 years, have 2 children, both married, and 3 grandchildren (more coming). You can find out more about his books or follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads or Pinterest from his website at http://www.danwalshbooks.com.

Find Dan’s book Unintended Consequences – FREE online:

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Monday Morning Chat 4/9 – Where Do I Get My Story Ideas?

Hello! Welcome to Monday morning coffee and chat!

I really appreciate all of the questions that I get from my readers. Today I’m answering the question:

Where do you get your story ideas?

I hope you learn more about me through my response:

 

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I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


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Daniel Fast Menu Week 2

In my Monday Morning Coffee and Chat, I talked about doing the Daniel Fast for the month of April. A friend asked if I’d post my menu while we did it, because if you’re not used to a vegan diet with no processed soy, leavening, or sugars, you’re facing a daunting challenge of meal planning.

A Daniel Fast is a vegan fast. That means, no animal proteins at all, including dairy and eggs, and only water to drink. It also has “no pleasant food”, which to me means processed sugars and baked goods. We also do whole grains (no white rice, etc.). Passover ended, so we can now eat leavened bread. Most bread I make has some form of sugar (or honey) and dairy (milk or eggs); however, I have a pita bread I make and a French bread I make that do not contain any sweeteners or dairy. I will keep those on hand during the fast.

Here is my menu for the week 2:

Sunday:

Breakfast: fresh fruit and dried nuts

Lunch: baked sweet potato, fried cabbage with onion, pita bread

Dinner: Vegetarian chili, brown rice, pita bread

MONDAY:

Breakfast: oatmeal, almonds, dried fruit

Lunch: whole grain pasta tossed with kale, fresh vegetables, olive oil, garlic

Dinner: pink beans, turnip greens with turnips, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, fried cabbage (leftovers), French bread.

TUESDAY:

Breakfast: fresh melon, walnuts

Lunch: leftover beans and greens.

Dinner: falafel (a fried fritter made from chick peas and Mediterranean spices), hummus, pita bread, salad, olives and pickled vegetables

WEDNESDAY:

Breakfast: oatmeal, almonds, dried fruit

Lunch: taco salad made from black beans, guacamole, whole grain tortilla chips, salsa

Dinner: Dinner out at a work celebration. We’ll be in a pizza parlor, so we’ll get salads

THURSDAY:

Breakfast: fresh fruit salad, pecans/walnuts/raisins trail mix

Lunch: baked sweet potato, steamed broccoli, salad.

Dinner: Pasta with sauce made from eggplant and portobello mushrooms, salad

FRIDAY:

Breakfast: oatmeal, almonds, dried fruit

Lunch: leftover stir fry or pasta

Dinner: Spinach, lintel, and artichoke soup, French bread

SATURDAY:

Breakfast: fresh melons, raw almonds

Lunch: leftover soup

Dinner: vegetarian stir-fry with edamame (soy beans) over brown rice

halleeLOGOspinefinal


I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


 

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Interview with Author Cyn Taylor and a Giveaway!

Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I’m pleased to introduce you to former photojournalist turned Christian author, Cyn Taylot! Cyn is giving away an ebook of winner’s choice of one of the two books in her current series, so read on to see how you can enter to win!

Tell us a little bit about yourself: I retired from my job as a freelance photojournalist to become a full-time writer. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 46 years, am a mother of two adult children and grandmother of seven.

Tell us about your current release: My latest release  is Red Morning Glory.

Glory Donaghan has a wonderful church, a devoted family, and a flourishing career. She feels God’s hand on every aspect of her life. That life flips when Glory awakens in a hospital bed accused of drug abuse by Tanner Slade, a man she’d just met. Her problems compound when the infuriating angler continues to involve himself in her life. When Glory tries to help an abused teen, more complications arise, and her own life is threatened. Her perfect world disintegrates, along with her faith.

Tanner Slade knows drug users are deceptive and fights his growing attachment to Glory. He refuses to allow his heart to rule his head a second time.

Presented with an opportunity to leave Tennessee and the turmoil behind, Glory battles her conscience while Tanner Slade engages in a war with her heart.

The romantic setting of the Great Smoky Mountains and the sport of fly-fishing bring Tanner and Glory together. Their conflicted hearts need a lesson in trust, if life will allow them time to discover their true path.

My husband fly-fished so writing a book with details of the sport was so easy. he coached me through a lot of it.

If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Would I still have written Blue Mountain Sky if I’d known beforehand it would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey? Absolutely. Every soul is precious to the Lord. One of my hopes in writing faith-based romantic suspense is that someone who reads it might be drawn to Christ.

Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? I have never felt pressured to compromise my standards to reach a larger audience. If I relied on income from book sales I would be in a heap of trouble. I love to write and consider starting a new book fun from beginning to end. I have often said in interviews that when writing ceases to be fun, I’ll stop.

What is lacking in Christian fiction? What I once thought is not so true as when I started writing my first published book. I tried to read CF many years ago and found that I was BORED!!!! The stories were slow and uneventful. No antagonist and little action. So I stopped reading them and decided I would try to write CF instead. Since then, the genre has added many new authors and the books are better written and most can hold my interest.

How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? I actually Indie published my first book on Amazon under another title. Funny thing is I received an offer from my current publisher within a week of that, with the stipulation that I remove it from Amazon and change the title. I was happy to do that to get to sign a contract with a traditional publisher. Amazon makes it so easy to publish with them you are competing against thousands, if not millions, of other Indie authors. But that is also true with traditional publishing. Regardless of the route you take for publishing, promotion is the author’s job unless you have signed with a major company. I have been published for less than two years at this point, so I am not an expert on which route works best. I think that should be determined by the author to see what best suits their needs.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers? This is also my standard answer in interviews. Stephen King says you aren’t a writer unless you spend at least two hours a day writing. Don’t tell my publisher, but I rarely get to spend that much time writing every day.  I think all aspiring authors should read Stephen King’s book On Writing. It doesn’t matter if you like his genre (I don’t usually. Not a fan of horror.) He is an amazing writer who can turn a phrase on a dime. When I was working as a reporter I always kept my digital tape recorder in my hand. I find this works well for writing too. No matter where I am, driving, reading, watching TV, I can grab it and record my thoughts. I have gotten some strange looks in public though. Doesn’t bother me. I try to attend at least one writers conference every year. Some you learn a great deal at and some seem like almost a waster of time. Usually you can learn at least one thing that benefits your writing at any conference.

What is your inspiration for writing? I write for my own pleasure but with the hope that my stories will be entertaining and original for my readers. I work on multiple books at the same time. Right now I am working on finishing book three in the SMM series, a YA fantasy, a suspense/thriller and a comedy co-written with my daughter who is also a published author.

Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever had a great writing idea? When the idea for Blue Mountain Sky popped into my head I was doing an EEG (electroencephalogram) on a patient in a neurologists office. I worked in the medical field for twenty-five years. Book two and three came as I was working on book one in the series. Many times my books come from titles that just pop into my head. I am a strange writer and a pantser!

Find Cyn online at her blog or on Facebook.

Find Cyn’s latest release:

Cyn is giving away reader’s choice of an ebook of either Blue Mountain Sky or Red Morning Glory!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
You would bless me if you added me to your Subscribe via any Reader feed reader or subscribed Subscribe via Email via email.
You can also become a fan on Become a Facebook Fan Facebook or follow me on Follow me on Twitter Twitter. I would love to see more of you!


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