Feast and Fast

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lent seems to have snuck up on us this year, don't you think? I am always prepared, or at least expecting, Great Lent in the spring, but the forty day fast before Christ's birth seems to come out of nowhere! I think the American Holiday season kind of distracts you from it...everyone else is preparing for Thanksgiving with turkey, stuffing and the like. Personally, I love cooking without meat or dairy- it's cheaper, simpler (in my mind, anyways) and tends to be healthier (I'm an everything in moderation kind of gal.)

If you're like me, a little guidance in your cooking goes a loonngggg way. Throwing things in a pot and magically creating an amazing dish is NOT my thing. I need very clear instructions to work from, at least the first few times, before I go rogue (i.e. switch out the rosemary for dill, ha!) So the following websites are a few of my go-tos when it comes to cooking during fasting periods. I thought I'd share them, in case anyone else is in the same or a similar boat!

1. Naturally Ella

I've been making the above paella for a few years now, and only recently realized what a great selection of vegetarian recipes this site has. There's a few new ones I'm excited to try out- this African curry, for example. Plus, the website is SUPER easy to navigate, with recipes grouped by meal, season, and even dietary needs.

2. Authentic Greek Recipes

I love this recipe index. When I moved back over to the U.S. from Crete I went through serious food withdrawals. Sure, you can get an ok gyro or maybe some awesome calamari if you're lucky, but slightly more odd or obscure dishes (often the lenten ones) are MUCH harder to come by unless you make them yourself. So this site was a bit of a Godsend when I found myself craving Greece's amazing lemony chickpea soup back in Florida.

3. Oh Dear Drea

Confession time: I've never actually used this site for food! It's a lifestyle blog, and while I don't personally subscribe to veganism, I love that Drea feeds her kiddo so many different types of cuisine(and so many fruits and veggies! you go girl!) Pictured above is a vegan Thanksgiving feast of 8 recipes (I might try that stuffing next week!) and her instructions on how to prepare basics such as tofu can open a whole new world in your cooking. And I am all about trying new things!

4. Real Simple Recipes

Ah, Real Simple. SO many recipes. Such straightforward cooking. And, with the risk of being redundant, SO SO SIMPLE. The meal pictured above, for example, requires only four fresh ingredients, a single pan, and 20 minutes. This is probably the site I go to the most, just because the recipes are all really easy, and in this particular epoch of my life, I am a BIG TIME fan of easy!

So there you have it, folks. Are there any other recipe sites worth looking into? What's your go-to quicky, easy meal for the lenten season?

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