Welcome to the 6th week of Lent! What does that mean? Only five more days of Great Lent and then the glory of Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday leading into the Holiest of all weeks, at the end of which is Christ’s glorious PASCHA!
This week I’m sharing a very simple, but very tasty meal. I like to make it on a wine and oil day because it is best when you can use olive oil and drink a Guinness with it (or your beer of preference). But it is very good even without these. Outside of fasting times, we make this dish but use kielbasa!
Red Beans and Rice with “Sausage”
2 cups of brown or wild rice
2 Tbsp of oil
1 small onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cans kidney beans (or a mixture of different beans)
1 tsp Cajun or Creole seasoning (you can always add more of this or some extra
cayenne pepper to taste)
5-8 breakfast “sausage” patties, defrosted and diced (we use the Morning Star
Cook 2 cups of brown or wild rice according to the directions. While the rice is cooking, sauté the onion and garlic in the oil until soft. (If using real sausage, add it at this point and brown, but do not let the garlic burn). Add the beans and their juices, the sausage patties, and the seasoning. Bring to a slight boil, reduce temperature, and simmer for 30-40 until the flavors are well blended and the mixture is quite thick. Serve over brown rice.
This super simple meal is great to make at the end of a long day or to have waiting for you to reheat when you get home from a service. Thank you for visiting. If you have a recipe, link to your blog using Mister Linky below or leave the recipe in the comments.
Monday, March 15th 2010
I am sorry to whomever actually reads these posts that I missed last Monday’s On My Lenten Table post. My parents were in town and I had very little time to spend at the computer (see From this day … 3.12.10 for why). For dinner the night they arrived I had hoped to make the Madras Coconut Curry I’d been fortunate enough to taste at the meal after Presanctified the previous week. However, I couldn’t find the bottle of “Masala Maza Madras Coconut Curry” mix that is its base. Instead, I grabbed a couple cans of coconut milk, a jar of red curry paste, a bag of green lentils, and a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies in order to make my own version. It turned out to be a wonderful curry dish in itself – was even given the stamp of approval by my parents. I was planning to make my version again this week, but the person at church who made the original and who sent me the recipe for our parish’s newsletter, The Arena, generously brought me a jar of the Masala Maza to last night’s Vespers service. So this week I will try the mix. However, since you may not have this particular product in your neck of the woods, this week’s recipe will be my version.
Coconut Curry with Shrimp
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed or finely minced
1 tsp of fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
1 Tbsp of sesame, peanut, or vegetable oil
2 cans of coconut milk (I used one light and one regular)
2-3 Tbsp of red curry paste (the more the spicier)
2-4 Tbsp of fish sauce — optional
2-4 Tbsp of brown sugar
1 bag of frozen stir-fry veggies (you can of course do fresh here, but the frozen are
just so much easier)
1 cup of frozen green peas
1 lb. of shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup of cooked lentils
2-3 cups of brown rice, for serving
Sauté the garlic and ginger in the oil just until fragrant (do not brown or burn). Add the two cans of coconut milk; stir to incorporate since the contents often separate in the can. Add the desired amount of curry paste and whisk to incorporate. Simmer gently for five minutes. Add fish sauce, if using, and brown sugar and simmer gently for another few minutes. This is the basic sauce and can be prepared ahead and used in many recipes. When the lentils are cooked and the rice is close to done, bring the curry sauce to temperature, add frozen vegetables and allow sauce to come back to a simmer before adding the shrimp. Lastly stir in the cooked lentils and taste to adjust seasonings (you shouldn’t need much, if any salt, if you use the fish sauce as it is quite salty). Serve over rice.
Tonight I am trying another recipe submitted to The Arena’s “Best of the Mission’s Kitchens” section – the Rockin’ Moroccan Stew! If it’s as good as it is reported to be, it may be next week’s recipe.
If you would like to add a recipe to this week’s post, link to your blog using Mister Linky below or include the recipe in the comments section. Thank you.
It is getting late and so I can’t give this recipe the preface it deserves. Since my good friend Ruth gave it to me last year, we’ve made it almost every week during fast periods. It is incredibly versatile: I mix it with tofu and veggies and serve it atop rice or coat spaghetti with it and mix in shrimp and snap peas. I’ve tried several other peanut sauce recipes and none of them have the depth and richness of flavor of this. It is relatively easy to prepare and I often make a double batch since it keeps relatively well and can top many a tasty Lenten meal. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Ruth’s Peanut Sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
3 Tbsp minced onion
1 Tbsp minced or grated ginger
1 Tbsp yellow curry powder
1 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
6 Tbsp soy sauce
5 Tbsp brown sugar
cayenne to taste
3/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup water
Sauté the first three ingredients in a little vegetable or peanut oil in a small to medium saucepan. When fragrant, add the curry, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, and cayenne. Simmer 5 minutes, and then add peanut butter. Mix thoroughly, and when it starts to thicken, carefully stir in the water until sauce becomes uniform. You can simmer it a little longer to thicken it back up, or let it sit.
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I hope you all had a lovely first week of Great Lent and that your legs are recovering from all those prostrations. I thought things were going pretty well for me until I got to Friday evening’s Presanctified Liturgy, for which I directed the choir; though I’ve been to over a hundred Presanctified Liturgies in my life, by the end I was having to ask members of my choir what came next and even missed the initial petition of a litany and had to be cued from the altar. Nothing like trying to direct the choir with low blood sugar to teach one humility!
Thank you to everyone who posted a recipe last week. I am looking forward to trying them all. There were a couple posted late in the week HERE; if you haven’t seen them yet, be sure to check them out.
Several years ago we were introduced to a tasty, creamy salad dressing that also happened vegan! – Annie’s Goddess Dressing. It is lovely, but we only purchase it if it’s on sale because as good as it is, it is also quite pricey and comes in such a small bottle that our family can finish it in two or three salads. So last weekend, pretty sure that despite the “goddess” moniker the dressing wasn’t heretical, Anthony took to the web to find a suitable substitute. We discovered that there are A LOT of “green goddess” dressings out there – very few of which are alike. However, he did manage to find several recipes that claimed to be like Annie’s Goddess dressing. The following was found at the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. We were not particularly concerned about the amount of fat in the dressing (as you will see by our modifications), but the comments on the recipe implied that those who had tried it agreed that it was a good imitation of the original. Here is the original recipe; my comments are in bold italics.
Susan’s Lite Goddess Dressing
Make this dressing more like the original by increasing the tahini a tablespoon at a time, until it tastes the way you like. Remember that the fat and calories go up as the tahini increases!
6 oz. lite firm silken tofu (I used a whole package – 16oz. and doubled the other ingredients, except for the sesame oil and the tahini)
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sesame oil (I used 1 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp tahini (I used at least 4 Tbsp of tahini)
2 green onions, white parts removed, chopped
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, packed
1 large clove garlic
Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth.
The dressing as I made it was very tasty but also very thin. I am making it again this week and will probably leave out the water. With the vinegar, lemon juice, soy sauce, and sesame oil there is plenty of liquid. I’ll let you know how it turns out. If anyone else tries it and has success, please be sure to leave a comment with your suggested preparation. Enjoy and thank you for linking to your recipe using Mister Linky below or by posting your recipe in the comments.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, forgive me for all my trespasses against you. May God forgive us all.
Let us begin the fast with joy!
Let us prepare ourselves for spiritual efforts!
Let us cleanse our soul and cleanse our flesh!
Let us abstain from every passion as we abstain from food!
Let us rejoice in virtues of the Spirit and fulfill them in love,
that we all may see the Passion of Christ our God,//
and rejoice in spirit at the holy Pascha!
(Lord I Call stichera from Vespers of Forgiveness Sunday)
Blessed Lent to you all and welcome to the first week of “On My Lenten Table.” I’m delighted and honored to share with you the recipe for my Grandma Kay’s famous Lentil Soup. Growing up, it was a Lenten stable in our home; and when she would make it for the potluck meal after Presanctified Liturgy, people were always sure to get a bowl before it disappeared – and it always did. Grandma Kay passed away last January; however, whenever I make this soup, I think of her and feel that she is with us at our table. I cannot make it exactly as she did, probably because I don’t cut all the vegetables the exact same size. Most likely, what made her soup wonderful was the care and love she put into every batch. I hope you love this soup as much as we do and God bless Kathryn – may her memory be eternal!
GG Kay’s Lentil Soup
1 lb. lentils, rinsed
1 cup barley
2 large carrots, diced
2 large potatoes, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
*Put diced veggies in a bowl with water just to cover.
1 large onion, diced
1/2 cup vegetable or olive oil
1 28oz. can of crushed tomatoes
3 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
3 Tbsp. fresh parsley
2 quarts vegetable stock or water
1 packet onion soup mix
Sauté onion in oil. Add veggies with their water, barley, tomatoes, and lentils. Season with salt and pepper. Add stock or water and onion soup mix. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer until veggies, lentils, and barley are tender. (This can be made without oil by adding the onions with the other veggies.)
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One of the greatest struggles for me each fasting season is planning meals to prepare for my family that conform to the fasting guidelines as much as possible and are varied enough to carry us through the season without grumbling when I serve shrimp tacos or spaghetti marinara or lentil soup for the tenth time. The Great Fast is uniquely difficult; whereas the Apostles Fast, the Dormition Fast, and Advent Fast are either relatively short or (as is the case with the latter) have so many fish days that planning a “fast-friendly” and varied menu is not as difficult, Great Lent and Holy Week are much more challenging in their length and rigor. I have had only a few Lenten seasons in the last eight years during which I was not pregnant or nursing so I also have not had much practice in planning and preparing a full schedule of Lenten meals. And though I know I shouldn’t be spending too much time thinking about what to prepare or spending too much money in the attempt to make as full a fasting menu as modern food technology allows, I am mindful that it is still my job to feed my family food that is both bodily and spiritually beneficial.
So here’s my idea. I would like to start a weekly Lenten Recipe Swap called “On My Lenten Table,” where once a week mothers or fathers (the family chefs) can post tasty Lenten recipes and gather new recipes from others. In this way we can add variation to our Lenten menus while resting assured that the recipe is “fast-friendly” and has passed inspection in at least one other household – i.e. no more blind hunting for vegan recipes in random cookbooks or websites hoping they’re good.
So here are some very simple guidelines:
- The recipe should be able to be made in full adherence with Orthodox fasting rules – i.e. vegan and able to be prepared without olive oil – even if you don’t prepare it as such, or noted for its use of wine or oil for use on weekends.
- It would be nice if it has been made at least once before being posted so that preparation tips and commentary can be provided. However, this is not strictly necessary.
- Since we all probably plan our menu and shop at different times throughout the week, let’s set MONDAY as our swap day. It’s the beginning of the week and it’s not Wednesday or Friday when we have Lenten services and less time to be on the computer. I just need to get Mister Linky set up (Hey, Anthony!) so that everyone can post on the page. You can always post on another day if Monday doesn’t work for you; we’ll all see it.
- You can but don’t have to post a picture of the finished product or the process of making it. It would be nice to see some of the dishes. I always like when my cookbooks, for example, have pictures accompanying the recipes; they make me feel better when my dish looks at least sort of like it – i.e. not blue when it should be white.
- Lastly, if you are copying the recipe directly out of cookbook (i.e. something copyrighted) please give credit by providing the title and the author – mostly because it would be great as a secondary outcome to this plan to generate a list of cookbook resources, plus it’s just nice to give people credit for their work.
So I’ll see you all here on Monday for our first swap. Pass the word along to your other Orthodox or fasting friends; the more people we have the better this will be for everyone. Have a great weekend!