Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Today’s recipe comes from a very lovely friend. She has years of experience in vegan cooking and baking, so you can trust this recipe works.

According to J:

This next one is based on a banana bread recipe I changed to suit my pumpkin loving ways.

1 mashed ripe banana
2/3-1 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup oil (I used grapeseed oil)
2 cups flour (white whole wheat and spelt flours both work lovely if you are into that sort of thing)
3/4 tsp each baking soda and baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or its equivalent in separate spices)
Splash each vanilla extract and your favorite non dairy milk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1.  Lord, Bless my work.

2.Preheat oven to 350.

3.  Mix wet ingredients.

4.  Mix in the rest of the ingredients(except splashes of vanilla and milk) until well incorporated…. it will be a bit thick.

5.  Add splashes of non dairy milk and vanilla and mix well. Spread in a 9 x 5 in loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.

6.  Let cool for at least 30 mins. before enjoying.

Thumbs up to adding walnuts for protein and grapeseed oil for healthy fat!


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Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

This year we were home and just stayed with the fast.  Not because we’re pious.  No way, Jose.  I just can’t stare at leftover turkey for another month.

A big pile of meat in the fridge or freezer would be too tempting. And, I’m not the only one with that concern.

WordPress tells me what searches lead people to my page.  Today’s top searches:

  • koliva
  • koliva sintagi
  • cakes for fasting
  • eating leftover meat fast day orthodox
  • grinding wild sumac

That gave me a real chuckle.

So, here are the recipes I used.

Wall Street Journal had a great article on native foods including a recipe for chestnut soup.You will find the link to that article at the end of this post. I changed the recipe to make it fast friendly.

This was my first time working with chestnuts.  It wasn’t bad.  I used raw chestnuts and roasted them for about 20 minutes at 325.  According to the WSJ article you should be able to find chestnuts cooked, peeled, and packaged.  If you’re super lucky you might be able to harvest chestnuts locally.

Chestnuts are more carbohydrate than protein.  According to the USDA Nutrient Database, chestnuts have .9 grams of protein per ounce.  The wild rice has about 6 grams protein per cup.  This isn’t a protein rich soup, but it is immensely satisfying.

Chestnut and Mushroom Bisque With Wild Rice

1 cup wild rice

1 Tablespoon oil

1 large diced shallot (or half a white onion)

1 1/2 Cups sliced mushrooms (button, portobello, shiitake, or a mix)

12 ounces roasted and peeled chestnuts, chopped

4 cups vegetable broth + 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast (for flavor and nutrients)

2 Tablespoons apple cider (I used apple wine)


1.  Lord, bless my work.

2.  In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup wild rice and 2 1/2 cups water.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer until rice is chewy but tender and some kernels have begun to split and show their white pith, about 30 minutes.  Drain off remaining water and set rice aside.

3.  In a medium/large pot heat oil and add diced shallot.  Saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes.  Add 1½ cups sliced mushrooms (button mushrooms, baby portobellos, shiitake—or a mix) and stir to coat. If pot becomes dry, add another tablespoon oil. Sauté mushrooms until they begin to soften and brown, about 2 minutes.

4.   Add 12 ounces roasted and peeled chestnuts, chopped. Sauté shallots, mushrooms and chestnuts 5 minutes more, stirring frequently, until a thin brown crust forms in pot, mushrooms are soft and mixture is fragrant.

5.  Add 4 cups vegetable broth, stirring to loosen brown bits from pot. Simmer 15 minutes. // Remove pot from heat. Cool 10 minutes.

6.  Pour solids, along with enough soup broth to cover, into a blender. Reserve remaining broth. Cover blender and purée mixture until smooth. Return purée to pot along with remaining broth. Stir in 2 tablespoons apple cider. Salt to taste.

To serve, spoon ¼ cup wild rice into bowls and top each with 1 cup soup. Garnish with chopped chestnuts and a thin apple slice.


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Greetings All.  I hope that you’re enjoying a fruitful fast.  This fast marks my first strict fast since Nativity 08.  I’m done “eating for two”, for now.  This fasting stuff is really hard.  Hang in there!

Today’s recipe comes from Martha Stewart.  A couple of quick changes to the recipe make it fast friendly and (forgive me, Martha) better.  Below is my version, but you will find a link to Ms. Stewart’s at the end of this post.

In the beginning I promised to provide recipes with ingredients that are easy to find.  It seems like quinoa is gaining popularity and I hope that it is at your local mega-mart or health food store. 

Remember to rinse quinoa several times BEFORE COOKING, otherwise it is bitter.  You can make quinoa in a rice cooker, if that suits you.

Quinoa is considered a “complete protein” so eat it up. 

This might seem like a really light recipe, but I found it very rich.  I think it stands on its own.  Let me know in the comments if you agree.  If you disagree let me know by comment and recommend a side dish, please.

Don’t skimp on mushrooms, and they need to be fresh.  Be sure to use red wine vinegar.

***WARNING***  This recipe calls for broiling oily mushrooms.  Watch them carefully and DO NOT walk away.  THEY WILL CATCH ON FIRE! 

(If you’d rather just roast them that might work.  Let me know)

Warm Quinoa shiitake Spinach Salad (Adapted from Martha Stewart Living)


  • 1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 pounds fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps halved, wiped clean
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa
  • 10 ounces baby spinach


1.  Lord, bless my work.

2.  Heat broiler; set rack 4 inches from heat.  In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, 1 tsp salt and 1/4tsp black pepper.

3.  On a large rimmed broiler-proof baking sheet, toss mushrooms with half the dressing (reserve the rest); broil, tossing occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.  TIME VARIES WIDELY AND WILDLY Don’t walk away, keep an eye on the mushrooms.  You want them cooked, but not dry.  You may need to test a few.  You’re trying to get them chewy, not crunchy.

4.  Meanwhile, in a small saucepan (or rice cooker), combine quinoa, 3 cups water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Cover, and simmer until liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

5.  Place spinach in a large bowl; add hot mushrooms, quinoa, and reserved dressing. Toss to combine (spinach will wilt slightly). Serve immediately.

Or, if you’d rather try Martha’s



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Beans Bourguignonne (via Just Bean Recipes.com)

Hey All- I’ve really got to streamline these posts if I hope to keep this thing alive.

No pictures this time and I haven’t taken time to figure out protein grams on this one. However, the oil (use more if 2 isn’t enough, I did) provides fat, the beans protein, and serve it with your choice of grain for the most benefit.

You will LOVE this recipe. It is flavorful and savory. Husband couldn’t believe that it did not have meat. Great for wine days during the fast and very good for company. Sadly, it isn’t as good leftover. Still edible, no doubt, but not incredible.

1 lg Onion, chopped
2 tb oil
1 lg Carrot, sliced in 1/2 rounds
1 lg Potato, cubed
1 c Water
3 tb Tomato paste
1 ts Thyme, dry
2 Bay leaves
1 1/2 c Dry red wine
4 c Cooked pinto beans (I have not tried canned) ***
2 cl Garlic, pressed
1 ts Salt
1/2 lb Mushrooms, sliced

In a 3 quart soup pot, saute onion in 1 tbs of butter. Add carrot and potato; stir in water, tomato paste, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potato and carrot are cooked, about 20 minutes. Add more water if necessary to keep vegetables covered.

Toward the end of the cooking time, add wine, beans, garlic and salt. Return to the boil; lower heat and simmer uncovered, 10 minutes more. Remove bay leaves and discard.

Meanwhile, saute mushrooms over low heat in the remaining oil. Combine with the beans mixture and serve.
*** Remember, because I did not, that 2 cups dry beans is 4 cups cooked. Otherwise, you’ll have yourself a double batch.

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Enchiladas w/ cheese sauce (on the right hand side)

These enchiladas are very satisfying and they stick to your ribs.  They’re best hot of out of the oven.

I recommend corn tortillas for this recipe in order to complement the bean protein.  The “cheese” sauce adds protein from the nutritional yeast.  Corn tortillas are a bit ornery.  It helps if they are warm or at least room temperature before you try to roll them.  You can also pour some enchilada sauce on a plate and coat both sides of the tortilla before filling and rolling.

You may use canned enchilada sauce to save time.


Bean Enchiladas with “Cheese” Sauce

1 pkg (8) corn tortillas

1 can of refried pinto beans or black beans

1 small can green chiles (optional)

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

Enchilada sauce

1 small green bell pepper, chopped

2/3 cup water

1 Tbsp chili powder

½ tsp dried oregano

½ tsp ground cumin

1 clove garlic, minced

1 15 ounce can tomato sauce

Cheese sauce recipe

Step 1. Lord, bless my work.

Step 2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix beans, chiles, onions in a bowl, set aside.

Step 3. Heat enchilada sauce ingredients to boiling in a 2 quart sauce pan, stirring occasionally.  Simmer uncovered 5 minutes.  Pour some on a plate to dip tortillas in.

Step 4. Dip each tortilla into sauce to coat both sides.  Scoop ¼ cup of bean mix onto each tortilla, drizzle with “cheese” sauce; roll closed.

Step 5. Place rolled tortilla seam side down in an ungreased baking dish.

Step 6. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas.

Step 7. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until bubbly.  Pour “cheese” sauce over enchiladas and bake another 5 minutes.

Step 8. Serve as is or top with lettuce, tomato, and chopped onion.

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colorful and steamy

After my daughter’s birth a very thoughtful Preoteasa J brought us this wonderful soup.  The beans are packed with protein, the spinach is very nutritious, and the sun dried tomatoes taste great.  Spinach contains huge amounts of vitamin K.  Vitamin K is necessary for proper blood clotting.  Vitamin K is also synthesized in the guts.  That means babies cannot process this vitamin until a few days following birth.  Consequently, hospitals usually administer a vitamin K shot to babies.  Since we had a home birth, and thus no vitamin K shot,I was especially glad to get a big bowl of spinach soup afterward.  It was great for recovery for me, and a good beginning for S.

With this soup you may wish to add a complementary grain to make the most of the protein in the beans.  I recommend brown rice as a side dish, or you may add it to the soup.  Wheat crackers will also complement the beans.  Adding a complement increases the available protein by 43%.  (According to the Lappe).  In a non fast period you could add Parmesan cheese for the same effect.

Also, this is a great chance to try browning onions without oil.  According to D.J. Mesfin, author of Exotic Ethiopian Cooking, Ethiopian cooks almost never use oil for cooking onions.  “In all your cooking, except when you cook mild dishes, make sure that you brown your onions without adding oil or butter.  This needs your undivided attention to avoid scorching…”  The key here is to keep stirring and add a tablespoon of water if things get ugly.  No need to worry if things do get ugly because everything happens in one pot!  Any stuck onions will come off during the gentle simmer.

I have adapted this recipe from the Bush’s Bean website to improve its nutritional value and to make it fast friendly.

Florentine Cannellini One Pot Soup

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium onion, chopped

Indispensable in an Orthodox pantry

1 bag of fresh spinach (10 or 16 oz)

1 15.5 oz can of dark red kidney beans

1 15.5 oz can of light red kidney beans

1 15.5 oz can of cannellini beans *

Homemade sun dried tomatoes.

5 1/2 cups of water or vegetable broth

3 tsp better than bouillon vegetable base (omit if using vegetable broth)

1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, cut into strips

1 tsp dried basil

salt to taste

Step 1. Lord, bless my work.

Step 2. Cook onion and garlic in a large stock pot or dutch oven.  You may use oil or water to saute.

Step 3. Add spinach and 1 tablespoon of water.  Cover.  Cook 1-2 minutes until spinach is wilted.

Step 4. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 10 minutes.

*  If you can not find Canellini beans, Great Northern beans work just as well.  In fact, feel free to use all red kidney beans in this recipe as the different colors are simply for looks.

I like to make this soup in double batches.  There is very little preparation so a double batch doesn’t take much longer.  Then I put the soup in pint jars (leaving one inch head space) and freeze.  A pint is a good single serving.  Pre-made meals are really good in Lent when we should think about food as little as possible.

Five pints of soup for later

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Hi there.  Okay, today’s recipe is a favorite around my house.  Beans and rice form a complete protein (meaning they are complementary and easy for the body to use) and oh so good for you.  I will post three versions of my personal recipe, fast, medium and slow.

The slow recipe takes about 1 hour to complete because it uses dried beans.  The first benefit of using dried beans is that they are inexpensive, about $1.25/pound.  Secondly, if you first boil dried beans with 1 tsp of baking soda it will cut down on the gas in the beans.  After the first boil, pour off the water and add new water.

The medium length recipe takes about 30 minutes because it uses brown rice.  I recommend brown rice universally because it is not processed therefore preserving the B vitamins, fiber, and protein. 1/4 cup (dry) of natural brown rice has 3 grams of protein while 1/2 cup (dry) of white rice has 3 grams of protein.  You would need to eat twice as much quick rice to get the protein you would get from a serving of brown rice.  However, that is not to say you should never eat white rice.  If that’s what you like, eat it, but eat it with beans. White rice also has B vitamins because the government requires processors  to enrich white products.

A one cup serving of beans and rice will have about 10 grams of protein, 7 from the beans 3 from the rice.

You can garnish this with chopped green onions.  On how to keep green onions all fast long, look to the next post.

Now, on to the recipes.

Slow Red Beans and Rice (Serves a hungry wife and husband) Approx. 1 hour

1 cup dry kidney beans

1 cup brown long grain rice

1 onion (appx. 1 cup), chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 tsp salt

4 Tablespoons oil

dash black pepper


1.  “Lord, bless my work.”

2.  In a 2 quart sauce pan simmer onions in oil until they begin to turn transparent.

3.  While the onions are cooking, in a separate pan, bring two cups of water to a boil and add kidney beans.   Gently boil for one minute (or according to package directions) and pour off water.

4.  Add 4 cups of  water to onions, add beans, cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.

5.  Add brown rice and salt, simmer for 10 minutes.

6.  Add green pepper.

7.  Cook until all water is absorbed.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Medium Length Red Beans and Rice (Serves hungry wife and husband)  Apprx. 30 minutes

1 can kidney beans

1 cup brown long grain rice

1 onion (appx. 1 cup), chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 tsp salt

4 Tablespoons oil

dash black pepper


1.  “Lord, bless my work.”

2.  In 2 quart sauce pan saute onion in oil until fragrant.

3.  Add 2 cups of water, rice, and salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.

4.  Gently stir in green pepper; simmer, 8 minutes; add beans.

5.  Cook until all water is absorbed, salt and pepper to taste.

Fast Red Beans and Rice

1 can kidney beans

1 cup brown/white minute rice

2 tsp onion salt

1 green pepper, finely chopped or 1 cup frozen bell pepper

1/2 tsp salt

4 Tablespoons oil

dash black pepper


1.  “Lord, bless my work”.

2. Add rice and water according to package directions.

3.  Add green pepper, salt, and beans.

4.  Cook until all water is absorbed, salt and pepper to taste.

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