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Tag Archives | Orthodox Greek Lenten Meals

Meals for Greek Orthodox Christians during lenten or fasting periods.

Bulgur Salad / Pligourisalata

bulgur salad

bulgur salad

So incredibly simple to prepare, you’ll be floored by how amazing this traditional Greek bulgur salad tastes!  Similar to the Middle Eastern dish tabouli, and in Cyprus actually called tambouli, – this dish is a flavor packed, nutritional powerhouse. Light, fresh herbs and crunchy vegetables, a simple dressing of just lemon juice and olive oil all mixed with hearty bulgur (pligouri/πλιγούρι in Greek or cracked wheat), bulgur salad is another fantastic example of traditional Greek salads that make an amazing meal!

Some packages of bulgur will recommend that you boil your wheat but there’s really no need.  The traditional prep of bulgur is to soak and not boil the grains for about an hour.  Once soaked, you can leave the bulgur aside for 24-48 hours until your ready to use it – a nice window Continue Reading →

Revithia sto Fourno / Baked Chickpeas

revithia sto fourno / baked chickpeas

revithia sto fourno / baked chickpeas

Revithia sto fourno, baked chickpeas, is something everyone MUST make at least once – it’s just that good. Using only five of the most ordinary of ingredients, this positively perfect authentic, rustic peasant dish is a cinch to make for the modern home cook.

Two big time-savers include subbing in canned chickpeas (good quality, of course) for dried and making your caramelized onions up to 4 days ahead. Fresh chopped rosemary, olive oil and salt/pepper round out your shopping list for this one so seriously, give it a try – YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED. i promise! Continue Reading →

Lefki Fasolada (White Bean Soup)

a beautiful bowl of traditional Greek bean soup - lefki fusillade

a beautiful bowl of traditional Greek bean soup – lefki fasolada

Fasolada, or white bean soup, is a HUGELY popular – and authentically vegan – dish in Greece and throughout the Greek diaspora. Creamy white beans, sweet carrots, delicate celery and bright parsley in a light, delicious broth – it’s just the perfect comfort food and there’s never a single bean left behind!

Lefki fasolada (λευκή φασολάδα) is the variation featured here, traditionally made without tomato. For me, the soup tastes sweeter and really, more flavorful when the tomato is absent. The veggies and herbs are really allowed to shine and shine they do. The prep for lefki fasolada couldn’t be simpler and with just a handful of ingredients probably in your fridge right now, this rustic, peasant dish will show you exactly how simply perfect a simple soup can be. Continue Reading →

Stuffed Tomatoes

traditional Greek stuffed tomatoes

traditional Greek stuffed tomatoes

Stuffed tomatoes are another in the delicious line of traditional Greek stuffed vegetables, or gemistes. This recipe also features the very Greek use of sweet, dried fruits in savory dishes.

Currants, toasted pine nuts, fresh herbs and fluffy rice fill these tomatoes to the brim with so many wonderful flavors – they’re the most perfect meal imaginable! And once you see how simple stuffed tomatoes are to make, they’ll be

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Skordalia

traditional skordalia with beautiful beet salad

traditional skordalia with beautiful beet salad

Skordalia is one of the most traditional dishes in all of Greece. It’s so so simple to make with a just few everyday ingredients and remarkably delicious – if you haven’t already, this one is a must-try!

Often described as Greek garlic mashed potatoes, traditional skordalia is much more than that. Creamy, ‘buttery’ potato goodness with the pop of mashed raw garlic folded in – it’s indescribable really. And skordalia is in no way overwhelmingly garlicky, just almost peppery with that bite of raw garlic coming through the velvety potato.

Have only 1 russet potato and a few cloves of garlic in the house? Then you’re about 15 minutes away from crazy amazing skordalia! Spread it on EVERYTHING or pair it with it’s bestie, a simple beet salad / pantzaria salata. However you choose to enjoy it, you’ll love every Continue Reading →

Kolokithokeftedes / Squash Fritters

traditional Greek squash fritters / kolokithokeftedes

traditional Greek squash fritters / kolokithokeftedes

Kolokithokeftedes are light and crispy and so jam packed with flavor, these traditional fried squash patties that will have your tastebuds singing happy happy songs!

Zucchini squash, onions, potatoes, carrots, lemon zest and a sprinkle of nutmeg come together in the most delightful combination. The whole lovely veggie mix is bound together with a go-to ingredient Greek cooks have been using for hundreds of years and that is just now catching on in the US, can you guess what it is??   Continue Reading →

Bulgur Pilaf / Πλιγούρι πιλάφι

traditional Greek toasted bulgur pilaf

Bulgur has recently become the new ‘it’ whole grain here in the US and it’s about time too. In Greece, people have been enjoying it for eons – well, at least millennia!  A nutritional powerhouse, bulgur is very tasty and boils up quickly with a unique cracked wheat texture; perfect for a light pilaf. This recipe for bulgur pilaf includes the traditional (and delicious!) standard vegetable mix-ins but the possibilities are endless and you’ll find info below to help you create variations of your own too!

So simple to cook up with very easy prep; you can have this nutty, bright, one-pot-wonder on your table in a little over half an hour. Try the recipe exactly as it is here with carrots, green peas, coriander, fennel seeds, fresh thyme and a pinch of cloves or go ahead and let your tastebuds  Continue Reading →

Greek Potato Stew / Patates Yahni

Greek Potato Stew / Patates Yahni

Made with just 5 ingredients with one pot in just under an hour, this traditional Greek potato stew (πατάτες γιαχνί) is rustic potato perfection. Red ripe tomatoes, fresh parsley, sweet red onions, minced garlic and yellow potatoes simmered in olive oil combine to create one of the simplest, most authentic and amazingly delicious Greek dishes you will ever enjoy! Continue Reading →

Greek Beet Salad / Pantzaria Salata

traditional Greek beet salad

traditional Greek beet salad

This beeeutiful traditional beet salad will have you fighting for seconds it’s so good! Gorgeous earthy boiled red beets, tiny tiny minced garlic pieces, flecks of fresh mint and parsley, Greek olive oil, red wine vinegar, ground coriander, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper combine to make a mouthwatering main course and the perfect side dish to just about anything – as delicious as it is lovely and incredibly easy to prepare.

Pantzaria salata is served all over Greece and is most often paired with a plate of skordalia (Greek garlic smashed potatoes). Truthfully they are amazing together but I also love beet salad all on it’s own with a big piece of crusty bread. So flavorful and satisfying, the authentic Continue Reading →

Stuffed Peppers / Yεμιστές πιπεριές

oven charred stuffed peppers

oven charred stuffed peppers

Stuffed peppers are such a classic Greek dish and traditionally vegan!  Meat was only added to the rice mixture on special occasions and feast days.  Every day stuffed peppers were meatless and, as you’ll see with this recipe, absolutely magnificent!

One of my all time favorite meals, stuffed peppers are a simple, easy to make ahead, healthy, so yummy dish. Green bell peppers are used most often but feel free to shake things up with yellow, orange or red bell peppers for

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Marathopites / Fennel Pies

marathopites / fennel frond pies

marathopites / fennel frond pies

Fresh wild greens, aromatic fresh herbs and olive oil all wrapped in a simple dough = handheld heaven! Pites (or singular, pita) are a general word to describe hand held pies of all sorts. The variety of fillings is endless, many many of which are traditionally meat/dairy free. This particular pita, marathopita, comes from the island of Crete where wild fennel runs, well, wild!

The perfect lunch, snack or even breakfast and very child friendly – marathopites (μαραθόπιτες) use only the leaves or frilly fronds that grow on thin stalks above the fennel bulb. Here in the Northeast US its often difficult to find fennel bulbs with a beautiful bushy bunch of fronds attached as they’re usually trimmed for supermarket shelves.  They can, truth be told, get a bit unruly. Then comes July at the farmers market and fennel is at every stall, displayed in all her leafy glory. This is the time to make, eat and freeze for non-fennel seasons, marathopites! Continue Reading →

Grilled Corn Salad

grilled corn salad with bell peppers, red onion and fresh dill

grilled corn salad with bell peppers, red onion and fresh dill

Street vendors sell grilled corn everywhere in Greece during the summer. Crazy salty and steamed inside their husks, you wouldn’t believe how good they taste. This recipe uses grilled corn in a quick, easy, amazing summer salad – just over half an hour and you can be tucking into a bowl!

So good for lunch or dinner, this simple, delicious recipe uses oven-grilled corn cooks up perfectly every time and cooking corn this way also makes Continue Reading →

Spanakopita

traditional, authentically vegan Greek spanakopita

Spanakopita or spinach pie is probably one of the best-known of all traditional Greek dishes and hands down one of the most delicious. Its traditionally made without cheese so, bonus, authentically vegan too!

A handful of simple ingredients – fresh dill, mint, peppery chopped scallions, gorgeous green leafy spinach and you’re good to go. Wrap it all up in flaky fillo dough and you’ve got one of the easiest and most delightful foods in all of Greek cooking. This recipe will have spanakopita on your table in under an hour. Give it a try, you’ll Continue Reading →

Fried Squash

golden fried squash

golden fried squash

Crispy, golden outside – tender, meaty inside, fried squash is so simple and so delicious you’ll never look at zucchini without drooling again! These make an amazing meal all on their own or pop them into a piece of pita bread with a little tahini lemon sauce and you have the perfect sandwich. You’ll find so many Continue Reading →

Black Eyed Beans / Μαυρομάτικα

black eyed beans with celery and thyme

black eyed beans with celery and thyme

This classic Greek dish is a lovely, light soup with the perfect bean flavor-pairing of celery and fresh thyme. Also known as ‘louvi xero’, black eyed beans (μαυρομάτικα) swimming in bowl of delicate tomato broth is one of the most delicious bean soups you will ever enjoy.

A few simple ingredients with  quick prep and you have this one-pot-wonder on the table in 30 minutes. Just cover your dried beans with water to soak in the morning and they’ll be ready to pop into your recipe in the evening.  Fast, easy, amazing is this authentic and so very tasty Continue Reading →

Chickpeas and Rice / Pεβίθια και Pύζι

traditional Greek chickpeas and rice

Creamy chickpeas, garlicky light tomato sauce and a pinch of smoky sweet cinnamon make this simple, traditional dish divine. A handful of ingredients, 35 min to prep/cook and you have a hearty, healthy, incredibly flavorful meal on the table. This dish is also perfect to take for lunch as its just as yummy at room temperature. A true one-pot-wonder, chickpeas and rice will become Continue Reading →

Carrot Keftedes

carrot keftedes with lahanosalata/cabbage salad

carrot keftedes with lahanosalata/cabbage salad

Keftedes are probably one of my favorite kinds of food – crispy outside, light oh-so-flavorful inside small fried (or baked) fritters of yumminess.  You can make them with all sorts of ingredients from meat to just about any vegetable.  I happen to love carrot keftedes best!

Roasting the carrots in this recipe really intensifies their flavor and sweetness and though many vegetable keftedes are made with eggs or cheese, they’re not missed in this traditional vegan (or Lenten) version. And carrot keftedes are a great way to use up stored winter carrots as well as older, less pretty carrots too. Continue Reading →

Ladopsomo / Fried Bread

ladopsomo / fried bread

ladopsomo / fried bread

A seamstress who worked for my father many years ago would bring me ladopsomo when she knew I was coming in to the store. Wrapped in aluminum foil and sprinkled with white sugar, I would be licking my lips the minute I spied that small silver packet next to her sewing machine!

Ladopsomo is simply fried bread and a more delicious result of a handful of plain ingredients there never will be.  Most countries have a version of fried bread or fried dough.  In Greece, it can be served as a side to savory or sweet dishes or stand on its own as the perfect snack. Ladopsomo is light, fluffy Continue Reading →

Lagana Bread (λαγάνα)

lagana with rosemary olive oil

lagana with rosemary olive oil

There’s nothing like the aroma of fresh baking bread as it fills the house.  My great uncle would always tell us that during times of famine you could fill half of your hunger with the smell of baking bread even before eating it.

Lagana is a traditional flatbread usually baked for Clean Monday (Καθαρά Δευτέρα) or Kathara Defthera, the first day of Great Lent before Easter. For those fasting most strictly, lagana is made without oil.  For those less strict, olive oil is used and never any dairy products.  Sesame seeds are the most common topping and often fresh or dried herbs are added for Continue Reading →

Greek Green Beans / Fasolakia

Greek green beans

Greek green beans / fasolakia

I visited a friends house after school once and her mom asked if I liked green beans, she was serving them with dinner. I said, yes I loved them! Well, that was before I sat down to eat a side of soggy, grey-green canned beans. Yuk! Green beans to me were soft and tender and swimming in tomato, garlic and olive oil.

You’ll be surprised how simple these are to prepare and how melt in your mouth delicious they are. This recipe is based on 2 lbs of green beans and can easily be doubled or tripled with perfect results. Make sure to have Continue Reading →

Spanakorizo (Spinach and Rice)

spanakorizo / spinach and rice

Such a healthy, hearty, tasty dish – this meal can be on your table in less than 40 minutes. Spanakorizo (Σπανακόριζο) is traditionally served as both a main and side dish. Pair it with a wedge of lemon and a piece of bread, this dish is delicious right off the stove or served at room temperature.

Guaranteed to become one of your go-to Greek vegan and Meatless Monday recipes, spanakorizo is another great option for take-to-work/school lunch.  I use fresh spinach probably 90% of the time but in a pinch, Continue Reading →

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