Today was the day the Christian Orthodox community begins Lent. For many of you, your Lenten season is about to end with Easter being less than two weeks away. The Greeks refer to this first day of our holy period, Kathara Deftera – Clean Monday.
During this forty-day period, many of us are searching for new meals to cook, which don’t include meat or dairy.
Whether you’re fasting for religious reasons or adhere to a vegan diet, many of the recipes I will be sharing in the weeks to come will hopefully spark some new ideas for menu options.
For me, fasting for long periods is very difficult because my protein options are limited. During this time meat and fish are not permitted, but seafood such as crab, lobster and clams are fine. Those of you, who are acquainted with me, know I do not eat fish or seafood of any kind. I don’t like the taste at all and I believe I am allergic to some seafood.
Finding protein in other sources has become easier over the years, though. Non-dairy milks such as soy or almond milk has given me options that I didn’t have years ago. Quinoa has proven to be a super food, containing five grams of protein in a single serving, as well as other important vitamins and minerals.
For a simple breakfast, quinoa is more filling and satisfying than most cereals. I cook a batch of quinoa according to the directions on the package and store it in the refrigerator. Here’s a simple recipe:
1 cup cooked quinoa
¼ cup chopped walnuts
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar or brown sugar
Mix all the ingredients together. Heat in the microwave for thirty seconds. That’s it! It couldn’t be faster or easier.
*I reserve a little of the mixture I use to make baklava filling, and keep it on hand to mix into the quinoa.