Yes, that’s pizza…without cheese, and it is delicious. Gasp!!
So, my husband and I had been in a bit of a funk lately. We were getting so lazy that we’d eat out at restaurants, or fast food places 2-4 times per week. We were both gaining weight, feeling sluggish, brain fogged and just plain fatigued almost all the time. We knew we had to do something about it.
We are both Christians, and were feeling God laying on our hearts that we needed to learn the discipline of self-control – something we both never really had much of! When you allow the Lord to give you strength in one area of indulgence, it is easier to exercise self-control in other areas! Self-control was never something I cared to practice when it came to food. I love food!!! Food is great when eaten in moderation, but it can become a vice and detrimental to your health if you eat the way I have for most of my life.
Due to events over the past year where a lack of self-control caused mine and my husband’s lives to spiral out of control, we finally admitted that it was time for us to learn self-control in all areas of life.
A friend of mine told me about The Daniel Fast that she was doing. Here is a link to the official website: The Daniel Fast Website
If you’ve never heard of The Daniel Fast, it’s a 21-day fast where you only eat veggies, fruits, legumes, beans, whole grains, olive oil, etc. Basically no meats, alcohol, sugar, dairy, processed foods. Some people say you can eat unleavened bread (with whole wheat flour), but others claim you should not.
The fast is based off of the book of Daniel in the Bible, where Daniel refused to eat the King’s food because it usually contained meat sacrificed to false gods. He told the King’s men that if they would only give him and his friends vegetables to eat and water to drink, for 21 days, they would find that he and his friends were much healthier, leaner, etc. Here’s a link to the story: Daniel’s Story
So, since I already drink only water, and have been drinking fruit smoothies every morning for about 2 years, I figured this wouldn’t be so hard. I’d buy a ton of produce, nuts, rice and beans each week and I’d be all set. Little did I know that you should really have some recipes planned out for The Daniel Fast if you are going to stick to it and not become malnourished. After some Googling (by the way, I heard Webster’s just added “Googling” as a verb in the dictionary….seriously), I found some great recipes! But the Daniel Fast shouldn’t be done as a diet. Fasts are about growing closer to the Lord, not weight loss, but it just happens to be a great byproduct of a fast like this!
If you are considering the Daniel Fast, I’d recommend doing it with someone else. It really helps to have someone who can encourage and support you so that you don’t give up. My husband and I are loving how it is growing us closer together in our marriage, as we cheer each other on in this fast. We are enjoying cooking dinner together every evening, versus driving to a fast food place. It’s like a date night – every night!
So, at the beginning of this fast, I’d have a smoothie for breakfast (loaded with goodies), a fruit and a sweet potato for lunch, and sometimes potatoes and leeks for dinner, or beans and rice. We were pretty fatigued, and needed a little more substance. I found a bunch of great tofu recipes (try to eat only organic tofu – the non-organic has been linked to breast cancer – or so I’ve heard).
I also found a good recipe for an unleavened bread (more like a thick cracker) that contains 100% whole wheat flour, olive oil, honey and water – that’s it! We’ve used it as a garlic bread with our potato leek soup, as garlic bread with our pasta and now as a pizza crust. Who would have thought only 4 ingredients would make such a great crust!
This pizza turned out delicious, even without cheese, and I know we will be making it again – even when the fast is over. You can sub some of the herbs with essential oils in the pizza sauce! Basil essential oil gives the sauce a punch!
So far I’m on Day 18 of The Daniel Fast, and loving it!! My quiet time/Bible reading in the morning has become more fulfilling, my faith in God stronger, my body healthier, my brain un-fogged, and my *ahem* colon *ahem* cleansed. Sorry if TMI. I hate to brag – but I now poop like a champ. 😉
If you aren’t used to eating fresh produce, then you might want to pass on this fast. But if you’re used to cooking fresh, not frozen, this should be easy for you! Also if you’re a coffee and/or soda drinker, this will not be easy!!
The pizza recipe I will post below is sort of mix of a few different recipes I have found, but tweaked to my liking. If you make the pizza and love it, let me know in a comment below. Or if you used different ingredients and loved it, please let me know so that I can try it too!
PIZZA – THE DANIEL FAST WAY
For the dough:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup & 1 Tbs quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, separated
1 Tablespoon “date paste” (a lower glycemic food than honey) (recipe below)
Preheat oven to 500 F. Mix all ingredients, except the garlic salt, in a bowl until combined. Use a rolling pin on a flour-dusted surface or a pastry mat. Transfer to a lightly oiled baking sheet, preferably a metal pizza sheet with holes, or a good baking stone, but a cookie sheet will work. Bake for 6-7 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven and set aside. Leave the oven at 500 F so you can bake it again with the pizza ingredients this time.
For the Sauce:
1 can of tomato sauce
1 can of tomato paste
1 tsp Italian seasoning (I used Wildtree’s Hearty Spaghetti blend)
2-4 pressed garlic cloves, or more to taste
3-4 drops of Basil essential oil (ONLY use therapeutic grade oil that has “Supplement Facts” on the bottle – ask me for what oils I use and I’ll forward you a link)
1/2 tsp Pink Himalayan salt
2 drops of Black Pepper Essential Oil (or 1/4 dried black pepper)
1 Tbs of Date Paste (see recipe below – prepare ahead) or sub with honey
Put all ingredients in a small pot and heat on low until all ingredients are combined. Approx. 20 minutes. You may need a lid so tomato sauce doesn’t bubble and spray everywhere.
1 cup pitted medjool dates
1 cup of very hot water
Put the dates in the hot water in a bowl and let sit overnight, or even an hour. You can massage them a little to soften them. Then dump the water and the dates into a food processor and blend until it becomes a creamy paste. This is the basic date paste to use in recipes in lieu of honey or sugar. Satisfies the sweet tooth!! (If you are going to use it as a topping for a dessert or sweet potato (tastes just like brown sugar on a sweet potato! YUM!), you may want to add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to the paste). It keeps well in the fridge in a tight container for about a week.
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, washed & shredded
1 red onion, sliced very thin
1 small zucchini, sliced very thin
1 tomato, sliced very thin
1 Tbs Nutritional Yeast (Optional) (give a cheesy flavor to the pizza)
Assembling and Baking the Pizza:
Now that your crust is baked, and cooled a bit, rub 1 Tbs of olive oil all over the crust and generously sprinkle garlic salt all over it. (FYI – We bake the crust first without any ingredients on top, because if you try to put sauce on a wet slab of dough, it won’t cook through and you’ll have doughy pizza.)
Spread all of the pizza sauce over the baked crust. Sprinkle the fresh basil on top of the sauce. Then put all of your veggies on top. And last, sprinkle the nutritional yeast over the top of everything. Bake for approx. 12-14 minutes or until veggies look cooked.
Remove, cut into squares and enjoy!