Welcome to Lamb Cottage. It's a real place, and this is where I live with my dear husband. We even have lambs. This is a personal blog, especially concerning life as an American expat in Scotland, life as an over-50, life with lambs, and life as an Orthodox Christian. You're most welcome to come and visit awhile. I hope we can be friends!

Fasting Recipes

We are on the journey to becoming Orthodox.  Anyone who has already walked this journey, and has "become" Orthodox, knows, of course, that the journey continues, even "from glory to glory".  I plan to use this page to write a bit about my views and experiences on trying to keep the fast(s), and also, recipes that we've found work for us and are not too horrible (let's face it, some fasting recipes are awful!).  Our fasting goals include:

  • Keeping to the fast rules, as much as possible
  • Always keeping our fasting linked to our alms-giving
  • Finding and cooking nutritious, simple meals
  • Keeping frugal (what's the point of fasting if you're just going to go to the upmarket organic store and buy all kinds of substitutes and expensive things?)
I should also say, any recipes I post are very loosely developed and if you choose to try one, feel free to change quantities, etc., to suit your own needs.  Also, feel free to contact me or leave a comment if you have any questions.  Thanks!

My first recipe:  

Chickpea Chili

1 can chickpeas
1 can haricot beans
1 can corn
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, or garlic powder
chili powder
ground cumin powder
hefty dash of Old Bay
big handful of split red lentils
small handful of brown lentils
4 - 6 cups vegetable stock

Basically, all you have to do is saute the onions (either a little water or vegetable oil, depending on your rules) and garlic.  Then, add the vegetable stock.  Dump in all the canned ingredients (chickpeas, beans, corn, tomatoes).  Add the herbs and spices (I like a lot of these, but at least a good teaspoon of each).  Add the two kinds of dried lentils.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer.  Let sit on the stove, simmering, for a couple of hours.  It's best if this is made the night before, then put in the fridge, then brought back to the heat when you wish to eat it.  We like to have ours over rice or macaroni, to round out the meal.  

The lentils will thicken the chili and make the consistency more like the real thing, so be sure not to skip them!  One pot like this will do a Wednesday & Friday, or two days in a row, for two people.  Or one day for more than two people.  I hope you enjoy!

Quinoa Salad Recipe #99
(I know there are lots of quinoa salad recipes out there; this is mine.)

Quinoa (it cooks like rice ~ that is, one cup of quinoa takes two cups, or double the amount, of water)
Cucumber, peeled and sliced, then quartered
2 tomatoes, diced
Red onion, chopped
1 can of chickpeas or black beans, rinsed and drained
Vinaigrette dressing of your choice (I like a dressing made with cider vinegar, a dash of worcestershire sauce, lots of garlic--powdered or minced--basil, oregano, salt, lemon juice, paprika, pepper, and a bit of sunflower oil)

Place the quinoa in a pot of water; bring to the boil; simmer for 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.  Chill.  Then add your chopped vegetables and legumes (sometimes I add cauliflower, carrot, broccoli...whatever's available).  Toss everything with the vinaigrette, et voila, you have a nice, refreshing salad that is nutritious, filling, and fast-friendly.  If it is not a strict fasting period and we can have dairy, I would put crumbled feta cheese in, as well.  Yum!

This is a set of three recipes.  The first two combine to make the third.  You get three days of yummy, easy, fast-friendly, budget-friendly, simple meals by making the following, in order:

(1)  Yellow Rice & Black Beans

Use EITHER one package of yellow rice mix (I used to use these all the time back home, but we don't have stuff like that here, so) OR 1 1/2 cups basmati rice + 3 cups water mixed with 3 teaspoons of vegetable stock powder and a packet of saffron seasoning

While rice is cooking, saute the following ingredients in a dribble of sunflower oil in a big stock pot:
Onion, chopped
Red onion, chopped
Garlic (EITHER a couple of cloves, minced, OR a couple of teaspoons of Lazy Garlic [or any garlic in a jar], OR a hefty shake of garlic powder)
1 can of chopped tomatoes (about 13-15 oz -- just a regular sized can)
1 can of whole kernel sweet corn
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
About a cup of frozen petite peas
PLUS, add
A hefty shake of cumin (powdered)
A hefty shake of dried cilantro (coriander)
Salt & pepper to taste

You may wish to add a little water to the pot to get a nice stew-like texture.  Once the rice is done, and all the vegetables are cooked to your liking, add the rice to the big pot and mix all together.  Serve with a little Tabasco and enjoy!

You should have some leftovers.  This amount was enough to serve two people for dinner, plus supper for two, plus another portion and a half (I'm guessing here) leftover.  Keep the leftovers in the fridge in a covered bowl.

(2)  Sweet Potato Corn Tortillas

Have this recipe the day after the previous one.

8 corn tortillas
1 sweet potato, peeled, boiled, and mashed
1 small jar of salsa (mild, medium, or hot)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium onions, chopped
1/2 packet of taco seasoning mix
About 1/3 cup water
Garlic (EITHER a couple of cloves, minced, OR a couple of teaspoons of Lazy Garlic, OR a hefty shake of garlic powder)

In a skillet or large pot (I use my big 2-handled pot for just about everything), saute the onions and garlic.  Add the black beans, salsa, taco seasoning, and water (add enough water to get a smooth, pasty consistency).

Place 4 corn tortillas on baking sheets.  First, spread the mashed sweet potato on each tortilla; then, spread the black bean mixture on top of that.  Cover each with another tortilla.  You end up with a sorta-kinda quesadilla-type thing.  Place in a hot oven for 10 minutes or so till heated all through.  You may wish to spray a tiny bit of cooking spray on the top, just to help it get crispy.  Serve with a side salad, and enjoy!  (These are quite filling, too, so one tortilla "sandwich" will easily serve one person.)

Be sure to make enough for leftovers!  We used 8 tortillas and made 4 "sandwiches".  We each ate one, and had two left over.

(3)  Day Three Pie

Have this recipe on the third day.  Super easy!  You can make this dish after you've eaten the day before (when you had the tortillas).

Using a deep pie dish or round casserole, spray the bottom lightly with cooking spray.  Place one of the tortilla "sandwiches" you had leftover on the bottom.  Layer that with the leftover Yellow Rice & Black Beans.  Place the other tortilla "sandwich" on top of that.  Spritz with cooking spray.  Cover with foil, and you're done!  If you made this the day before, just keep in the fridge till you're ready to reheat it. Otherwise, pop it in the oven for about 40 minutes on medium heat, and there's your simple dinner. Serve with a side salad or fruit.

And you've got three easy meals, just like that!

Lentil Spaghetti Sauce

1 can chopped tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste (puree)
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 cups vegetable stock
1 - 1 1/2 cups dry red lentils (the orangey ones that don't need to be soaked)
Pinches of herbs (basil, oregano, celery salt)
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar

Saute the onion and garlic in sunflower oil or steam in a bit of water till limp.  Add the vegetable stock and lentils, bring to a boil, and simmer till lentils are mushy (no more than 1/2 hour).  Add the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, herbs, salt and sugar.  Simmer till the flavors have blended.  I like to make mine the night before.  You get a nice, thick sauce for the pasta of your choice.  If you like it thicker, just add more lentils!

Prawn (Shrimp) Stir-Fry

250g of frozen, peeled, cooked prawns (king size), thawed
1 fresh broccoli head, cut into florets
1 onion, chopped
garlic (a clove or two, minced, or powder)
pepper flakes (a sprinkle)
1 cup basmati rice, uncooked
vegetable stock
soy sauce
juice of one lemon
sesame seeds
olive oil

You will need two pots ~ one for cooking the rice, and one for cooking the stir-fry (I like to cook EVERYTHING in my big stock pot, so I just do stir-frys in there, too).  It is up to you about the oil part.  This recipe can easily be done without.

Put a dash of oil in the bottom of the rice pot, turn on to HIGH. In a minute or two, when oil is hot, throw the rice in.  Let the grains become opaque white (this take very little time), then add 2 1/4 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat slightly, and cook till rice boils down (water is all absorbed).  Cover and set aside.

While rice is cooking, chop onion and saute in the big pot in some oil (alternatively, steam in a bit of water).  Add broccoli.  Saute for a couple of minutes, then add about 2 cups of vegetable stock.  Into this add garlic powder (if fresh, saute with the onions), pepper flakes (however much you like), and a little soy sauce.  Cover and cook till broccoli is slightly cooked soft.  Add 2 - 3 tablespoons of cornstarch to a little cold water in a cup, stir till dissolved, then pour into big pot.  You will quickly have a nice, instant Asian sauce.  Squeeze the juice of a whole lemon into the pot.  Add some sesame seeds.  Now, toss in your prawns and cook just long enough for them to heat through.  Don't overcook!

Serve over rice, and enjoy!

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