Grace Church fasting guide



Homemade Vegetarian Chili

  • Prep Time: 20 mins

  • Cook Time: 40 mins

The smoky, complex flavor of this simple vegetarian chili comes from basic pantry ingredients, vegetables and spices! It makes great leftovers, too. This chili recipe is gluten free as written (just be sure your garnishes are also gluten free), and vegan (unless you top it with dairy products like sour cream or cheese). Recipe yields 4 large or 6 moderate servings of chili.



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium red onion, chopped

  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped

  • 2 medium carrots, chopped

  • 2 ribs celery, chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder*

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika*

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 large can (28 ounces) or 2 small cans (15 ounces each) diced tomatoes**, with their juices

  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained

  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnishing

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar or lime juice, to taste

  • Garnishes: chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, tortilla chips, sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, etc.


  1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, carrot, celery and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine and then cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the onion is translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes.

  2. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and oregano. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 1 minute.

  3. Add the diced tomatoes and their juices, the drained black beans and pinto beans, vegetable broth and bay leaf. Stir to combine and let the mixture come to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, for 30 minutes. Remove the chili from heat.

  4. For the best texture and flavor, transfer 1 1/2 cups of the chili to a blender and blend until smooth, then pour the blended mixture back into the pot. (Or, you can blend the chili briefly with an immersion blender, or mash the chili with a potato masher until it reaches a thicker, more chili-like consistency.)

  5. Add the chopped cilantro, stir to blend, and then mix in the vinegar, to taste. Add salt to taste, too—I added 1/4 teaspoon more at this point. Divide the mixture into individual bowls and serve with garnishes of your choice. This chili will keep well in the refrigerator for about 4 days (I haven’t tried, but I bet it would freeze well, too).


Stuffed Shells


  • 16 jumbo pasta shells (Cook a couple of extra shells to allow for a few breaking while the pasta cooks.)

  • 1-1/2 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 tsp fresh garlic, minced

  • 4 cups (packed) fresh spinach leaves, roughly-chopped

  • 12 oz skim-milk ricotta cheese

  • 1 cup shredded skim-milk mozzarella cheese

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper

  • 1-1/4 cups marinara sauce

I tend to add one small diced zucchini and a handful worth of diced mushrooms. I would cook the zucchini and mushrooms for 5 minutes, and then add the spinach.


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cook the pasta, according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the garlic and cook until it begins to brown, about a minute or two.  Add the spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leaves begin to wilt but are still bright green, about 3 to 4 minutes. The spinach should be reduced by half. Remove from the heat and let cool.

  3. In a mixing bowl, stir together the spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, basil and salt and pepper until thoroughly combined. Pour 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce into the bottom of a shallow 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish. Stuff each pasta shell with a generous amount of the spinach and ricotta mixture, and place in the baking dish.

  4. Cover with the remaining sauce and bake covered with aluminum foil for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the top begins to brown and the sauce begins the bubble, another 10-15 minutes. Serve warm with a dusting of Parmesan.



A super fun, delicious and healthy meal that takes just 30 minutes, start to finish. 


  • 8 corn or flour tortillas

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 4 bell peppers (red, yellow, orange, or green. Your choice!), sliced

  • 1 red or yellow onion, thickly sliced

  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 3/4 teaspoons cumin

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons chili powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup of corn if you like, but you do not have to

  • ½ can of black beans, but you do not have to

Optional toppings:

  • Lime wedges

  • Cheese

  • Sour cream

  • Lettuce

  • Cilantro, roughly chopped

  • Avocado, sliced

  • Refried Beans

  • Salsa

  • Hot sauce


  1. Heat your oven to 350F (180C).

  2. Wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil, and pop them in the oven for 15-20 minutes until heated through.

  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Toss in the peppers, onions, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and salt. Stir to keep anything from burning. Cook for about 5 minutes until the veggies just being to soften.

  4. Add in the mushrooms and garlic and continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes until everything is just cooked. Crank the heat for the last minute if you want to get a real sizzle going on. Bring the skillet directly to the table for added fun, and rest on something so it doesn't burn your table. Dig in!


Philly Cheese steak




    • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

    • 1 medium onion, sliced

    • 4 large portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed (see Tip), sliced

    • 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced

    • 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano, or 2 teaspoons dried

    • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper


    • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

    • ¼ cup vegetable broth, or reduced-sodium chicken broth

    • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

    • 3 ounces thinly sliced reduced-fat provolone cheese

    • 4 whole-wheat buns, split and toasted


  • 1 Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until soft and beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, bell pepper, oregano and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are wilted and soft, about 7 minutes.

  • 2 Reduce heat to low; sprinkle the vegetables with flour and stir to coat. Stir in broth and soy sauce; bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat, lay cheese slices on top of the vegetables, cover and let stand until melted, 1 to 2 minutes.

  • 3 Divide the mixture into 4 portions with a spatula, leaving the melted cheese layer on top. Scoop a portion onto each toasted bun and serve immediately.


Mediterranean Baked Sweet Potatoes



Prep time

5 mins

Cook time

25 mins

Total time

30 mins


Simple, 30-minute baked sweet potatoes topped with roasted chickpeas, a simple garlic-herb sauce and a parsley-tomato salad. Delicious, fresh, healthy, and naturally vegan and gluten free.

Author: Minimalist Baker

Recipe type: Entrée, Side

Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Mediterranean

Serves: 4


  • 4 medium sweet potatoes* (~140 g each)

  • 1 15-ounce (425 g) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp each cumin, coriander, cinnamon, smoked (or regular) paprika

  • optional: Pinch of sea salt or lemon juice


  • 1/4 cup (60 g) hummus (or tahini)

  • juice of 1/2 lemon (~1 Tbsp)

  • 3/4 - 1 tsp dried dill (or sub 2-3 tsp fresh)

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 Tbsp or 9 g)

  • Water or unsweetened almond milk to thin

  • optional: Sea salt to taste (I didn’t need any)

TOPPINGS optional

  • 1/4 cup (45 g) cherry tomatoes, diced

  • 1/4 cup (15 g) chopped parsley, minced

  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice

  • Chili garlic sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and line a large baking sheet with foil.

  2. Rinse and scrub potatoes and cut in half length wise. This will speed cooking time. Otherwise leave whole and bake longer (approximately double the time (45 min - 1 hour).

  3. Toss rinsed and drained chickpeas with olive oil and spices and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.

  4. Rub the sweet potatoes with a bit of olive oil and place face down on the same baking sheet (or another baking sheet depending on size).

  5. While the sweet potatoes and chickpeas are roasting, prepare your sauce by adding all ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisking to combine, only adding enough water to almond milk to thin so it’s pourable. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add more garlic for more zing, salt for savoriness, lemon juice for freshness, and dill for a more intense herb flavor. I found mine didn’t need anything else.

  6. NOTE: If you don’t have hummus, tahini (which you can DIY!) will make a great base substitution for the sauce - just adjust the seasonings to accommodate the lack of flavor tahini provides.

  7. Also prepare the parsley-tomato topping by tossing tomato and parsley with lemon juice and setting aside to marinate.

  8. Once sweet potatoes are fork tender and the chickpeas are golden brown - roughly 25 minutes - remove from oven.

  9. For serving, flip potatoes flesh-side up and smash down the insides a little bit. Then top with chickpeas, sauce and parsley-tomato garnish. Serve immediately.


Cranberry, Feta, Walnut salad




  1. Toss greens, cranberries, cheese and walnuts in large bowl.

  2. Mix vinegar, honey, mustard and pepper with wire whisk until well blended.

  3. Gradually add oil, whisking constantly until well blended.

  4. Pour over salad; toss to coat.

  5. Serve immediately.


Vegetable Stir Fry










  1. Combine the cornstarch, water and garlic powder. Add the mixed veggies and onion and toss to coat.

  2. Heat the oil over medium heat and stir-fry the vegetables until tender. Add the broccoli and stir-fry 3-5 minutes, until tender.

  3. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl and add to the pan. Cook, stirring, another two minutes before serving.

  4. Serve on a bed of rice.



Restaurants with vegan/vegetarian options:

TRU BBQ in Munster

Whole Foods Hot Food Bar (they also serve vegan pizza)

Your favorite Chinese, Italian, and Mexican restaurant(s) should offer vegan/vegetarian options

MOD Pizza offers a pretty good vegan pizza



Yogurt, mixed nuts, fruit, toasted bread topped with peanut butter and bananas, dates, homemade popcorn