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Below is a recipe modified from one of my favorite deal blogs, hip2save.com.  The original wasn’t totally fasting.  This one is Baba approved.

A word of caution on rice.  I usually recommend brown rice.  But, it might not be the best choice for your family  If you haven’t read this release from the FDA regarding arsenic in US grown rice, please do.  Initially, when the report was released, (a couple of years ago) the USDA recommended cooking rice in 5-6 times the amount of water and draining it.  Since then, the FDA does not necessarily recommend it.  I know it is really  hard to cook rice well.  So, if you still need a rice cooker to get it right, consider basmati as, according to the FDA q&a, itcontains the least amount of arsenic.

Black beans are a good source of iron and protein.  Combined with rice they present a more complete amino acid combination.  Avocados are fatty and filling.  I recommend them.  I also recommend serving this with salsa.  Otherwise, it’ll be kind of bland.  But, maybe bland is part of your discipline.

Cilantro Lime Rice Salad

Rice

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons fresh cilantro, minced
2/3 cup rice
1 cup water
juice from 1 lime, or 3 teaspoons bottled lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

1.  Lord, bless my work.

2.  In a 2-quart heavy saucepan, heat oil. Add rice and lime juice, stir for 1 minute. Add water and salt and bring to a full rolling boil.

3.  At boiling, cover and turn down to simmer over low heat until rice is tender and the water is absorbed – about 25 minutes. Add in the cilantro and fluff rice with a fork.

The Rest:

1 cup black beans (canned or previously cooked)
1/2 onion, sliced

2 bell peppers, sliced

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp cumin

dash of garlic powder

1 cup corn, frozen thawed

1/2 head of lettuce, chopped (mild lettuce like butter or romaine)

optional toppings:
avocado or guacamole
salsa

Directions:

1.  Sauté onion and bell peppers with a small amount of oil.  Add spices and stir, 1 minute.  Remove from heat.

2.  Layer lettuce, rice, beans, peppers, onions, and corn. Add any additional toppings desired.

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Hi Friends,

You will find some lovely, delicious, filling, recipes at this address:

Oxen and Elephants

They are appropriate for fasting and feasting.  My favorite part of these recipes is that the foods are always comforting and hearty.  I’ve had the pleasure of sampling many of them.  Enjoy!

 

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Delicious.  Easy.   Fast.  Inexpensive.  Free of common allergens.  Doubles easily.  Freezes well. 

This soup is everything you want.

Notes on preparation:

You may use up 6 cloves of garlic or as few as 2.

Salt to taste.  Start with a tablespoon of salt AFTER the lentils are cooked.  It takes a lot longer to cook lentils if you salt first.

Nutrition:  Lots of protein from the lentils.  Bonus- Calcium from lentils Magnesium from spinach

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrots

6 cloves of garlic, mashed

1 Tablespoon curry

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh ginger

1 teaspoon cumin

1 bay leaf

16 ounces of lentils (about 2 1/2 cups)

1 9 ounce bag of fresh spinach

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

 

1.  Lord, bless my work.

2.  Heat oil in a large pot.

3.  Saute onion, celery, carrot, and garlic for 10 minutes.

4. Stir in spices (this really opens them up) and cook for 1-2 minutes.

5.  Add lentils and water, bring to a boil.

6.  Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender.  (Add more water if needed)  SALT to taste

7.  Add spinach and cilantro, cook 5 minutes longer.

 

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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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Image

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)

Directions:

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.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204190504577038073107802232.html

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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)

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

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

http://www.marthastewart.com/281858/warm-quinoa-spinach-and-shiitake-salad

 

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Dear Readers,

Christ is Risen, has Ascended, and now the Comforter is here!

Since Pascha our diocese has been fast free. Has yours?  If you haven’t turned your calendar to June- consider this your warning.  HOLY PINK DAYS BATMAN! That’s right, all of June is a fast.  I could be wrong, but, I think this is the longest the fast can be on the new calendar.  Yikes.

Don’t worry.  Stick with me kid,  you’ll be alright.  I’m already preparing for the fast.  Last week I bought 200 pounds of dried beans.  Today, I began soaking 4 pounds of them to boil and put in the freezer.   Friday, I will place an order with Country Life Natural foods for several essential fasting items including coconut milk, tahini, natural peanut butter, and bulk spices.  Country Life provides free shipping on orders over $500, and their prices are half of my local health food store prices.  Normally, I  support local business, but, in this case the prices at the local store are double the prices at Country Life, and therefore far outside my budget.   Country Life may be an option for those  in very rural areas.  Check out their catalogue and delivery schedule here.

I encourage you to think about the fast in advance.  Ask yourself:

What would you like to cook?

What would you like to eat?

Will you be travelling?

Are there baseball games, etc. that will take up a lot of your time?

How will your menu work around those events?

This month many recipes will be my own as I am incorporating produce from the garden.  We’re in zone 7b, so gardens up north may be a bit behind (keep these recipes for the Dormition fast).  Are you part of a CSA?  Great!  Hopefully, you’ll be able to use your produce where appropriate. For those who don’t know, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  Essentially, interested parties buy a “share” in a farm, your share is a prepayment to the farmer for a season’s produce.  Usually, you pick up your share of vegetables and fruits weekly.  For more information on CSA’s  click here. Local Harvest.org provides a list for CSA’s in your area.

I know of two CSA farms run by Orthodox families (dear friends of ours)

Round Rock Farm in Ohio

Philaret Farm in Indiana near LaFayette

If you know of others please leave a comment and I will be happy to add a link to their sites.

See you next week!

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