When the Lord imparted on my heart to begin my first recipe book in 2019, I was terrified. For six long months I wrestled with Him.
During this consternation, while attending a mission conference in South Africa, the Lord put a wise woman in my path. Over a cup of tea, I shared with this new friend my deep fears about writing this book. I confessed I had no experience; yet, she reminded me that God doesn’t care about my qualifications. He cares about my faithfulness and obedience. She likened it to clay on a potter’s table. It’s just clay until the potter embraces it, rolls it in his hands, and transforms it.
In other words, the potter must feel his work. The same rang true for me. I had to start writing to feel this project. As I leaned into the Lord and trusted Him to do the work through me, the book began to take shape.
It was not easy. I’ve learned that anytime you ask God to use you, it is never easy. Throughout this season of crushing difficulties, personally and professionally, the enemy relentlessly whispered in my ear, “You’re a pretender. Your book will never sell.” His words often left me feeling paralyzed.
Some years later, my dear friend, Melanie Shull, advised me that if I failed to make my book a priority, it would never become a reality. Her words struck a deep chord inside me; so I got to work. One day, finally, I held my complete book in my hands. My heart overflowed with gratitude. I knew the Lord wanted this project to be more than just a cookbook so I included stories of God’s goodness in my life.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
God intentionally created our awesome and complex bodies. The food from His pantry is filled with His goodness. He designed us to eat what He naturally created – not man-made, food-like substances crammed with empty calories and little nutrition. Food which comes from the hand of the Master Gardener needs no nutritional labels.
Part of my life’s work is to help others prepare delicious, wholesome recipes using ingredients from nature’s pantry. Through the 26 years I’ve been in this industry, I’ve noticed that most home cooks know how to cook and prepare meat, but less know how to turn humble fruits and vegetables into the star of the meal.
I love showing people how to make fruits and vegetables the star attraction, so that is the focus of my cookbook. I thank God for allowing me to write it and for using it to teach me that making Him top priority is my purpose.
Raw Apple "Donuts"
- yellow, red and/or green apples
- nut butters of choice (almond butter, peanut butter, etc.)
- almonds, or any other nuts
- raw sunflower or sesame seeds
- unsweetened coconut chips
- Lily’s mini dark chocolate chips
- Core the apples - cut into ½in slices.
- Spread with nut butter.
- Sprinkle with a variety of finely chopped cranberries, almonds, nuts, sunflower or sesame seeds, raisins, dates, mini dark chocolate chips, and unsweetened coconut flakes.
Papaya Salad with a Twist
- 1 medium papaya, peeled, sliced or diced (about 4 cups)
- 2 large carrots, peeled and grated
- 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed, finely diced
- ¼ cup of roasted, unsalted almonds or walnuts, chopped
- 1 red onion, peeled and sliced thin
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 3 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon coconut aminos
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- the juice of ½ lime
- a pinch of red pepper flakes
- herbal salt and a few cracks of freshly ground black pepper
- Mix all the dressing ingredients together and let the onion marinate for at least 30 minutes
- For the salad, layer the ingredients starting with the carrots, then the papaya, then the marinated red onion
- Sprinkle with nuts and drizzle with the dressing just before serving. Garnish with a large handful of fresh arugula or watercress.
*Recipe adapted from The Vietnamese Papaya Salad in Bookdale’s Heavenly and Healthy Flavors