Dining Biblically

diningToday's article is from the heart of my daughter-in-law, Rachael Lee Clarkson. ___________________________________________________

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world." -J.R.R. Tolkien

There has always been something so beautiful about preparing delicious food and opening up my home to others, no matter how tiny my Hollywood apartments have been. The reason I love cooking, preparing fun meals, and having people in my home, is not out of necessity. Isn't it amazing that while we need food to live, God made it so much more than filling up and sustaining our bodies?

God made food creative, beautiful, unique, versatile, exciting, and has a way of bringing people together.

As a creative spirit, I enjoy nothing more than preparing something new. This past weekend, my husband, Nathan, and I had friends over to our home who are vegan. While some may have seen this as an obstacle, I saw it as a wonderful opportunity to try something different. Challenge accepted.

While we decided to prepare a vegan tapas meal, the more we started putting things together, the more it became clear to us: this seems like a meal that Jesus would have eaten! Now, before I share our meal with you, just know that this was an accidental-biblical meal, meaning that it probably isn't 100% like what would have been eaten in those times. However, many elements of our meal allowed God to shine through, and allowed us to remember Jesus as Easter is so close.

There are many reasons why trying this meal in your home will be a hit: 1- Encourage your children to try something new. Perhaps your children have never tried a vegan, Mediterranean, or tapas style meal. This will expand their palates and introduce them to brand new flavors. 2- Get comfortable and change things up! Grab your coziest pillows and place them around a small table (it can be a coffee table). We find that sometimes our guests feel immediately more welcome in our home when we make them feel at home by everyone taking off their shoes and sitting on the floor together! 3- Talk about biblical dining. This is an amazing opportunity for you to discuss with your children about breaking bread, pondering what Jesus would have eaten, why God created beautiful, colorful food, and more! Endless wonderful discussions are available simply through what is on the table for dinner.

Our vegan tapas meal included: -Pita bread -Hummus -Avocado salsa -Green olives -Roasted almonds with tamari -Dried mango and figs -Marinated peppers -Kale chips -Grape juice


God is so creative. Just look at the color, vibrant beauty, and life in this meal! And the best part is, it's so easy!

In scripture, Jesus attempted to eat figs from a fruitless fig tree on the road to Jerusalem, which leads me to believe that he probably liked them! Figs and dried mango add that pop of sweet flavor to this delicious meal.

A great child-friendly idea for biblical dining would be to serve grapes to munch on. You can even share with your family about how many vineyards are still in Jerusalem! What a fun and beautiful thing to imagine. "I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken. “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me. “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant." -John 15:1-6

With your grape juice and pita bread, your family can have an intimate communion time. "And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood." -Luke 22:19-20

Another wonderful thing about this meal is that it is an opportunity for your children to eat healthy, fresh foods! Not everyone is fond of kale, just yet. I used to be a nanny, and I am convinced that I can help anyone fall in love with kale. I made homemade kale chips for our guests the other night, which is so simple. Just grab a bunch of kale {I go for the thicker, larger leaves}, wash them, and place them in a bowl. Toss with some sea salt to taste, and two tablespoons of olive oil.

Allow older children to assist you in the kale-chip-making process, and talk about how it is believed that the “sop” used to dip bread in during the Last Supper may have been olive oil.

Spread your kale out evenly on a baking sheet, or two depending on how many chips you're making, and bake in a preheated oven at 300 degrees for about 15 minutes.


There is great value in meeting in homes, breaking bread, sharing meals, and living in community with one another. Spring, and Easter, is the perfect time for a light, vegan, biblical, tapas meal. Try something new, be vegan for a day, explore the culture and color of biblical food, sit on the floor, and enjoy the flavors that God puts on your plate!


For more on Rachael Lee Clarkson, you can view her blog for young women by clicking this link.