great fast meals
Since May 2017 a medical condition has forced me and my family
to begin what many call a whole foods, plant based, oil free diet.
Because of our Byzantine heritage and tradition,
and because we do it for love of each other,
we call it perpetual fasting and its not as difficult as you might think.
Let me show you!
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The Great Fast
February 20 - April 9
February 27 - April 16
What is True Fasting?
We begin our preparation for Pascha by enduring Holy Week.
We begin our preparation for Holy Week by striving the 40-day Great Fast
We begin our preparation for the Fast by enduring the pre-Lenten Sundays!
SO MUCH PREPARATION! Well, the Resurrection is that important!
When we fast, it is NOT to make us suffer needlessly or to give up food meant to nourish us and give us what our body truly needs. It IS to free us from the slavery we have to food so that our souls can be free from distraction and we can focus on God better AFTER the fast is over. It helps us become just and merciful, like our God.
Think: if we can barely keep ourselves from minor distractions like the hamburger or the chocolate bar after dinner, how can we judge our brother who can't keep from major addictions like alcohol, drug abuse, habitual lying, etc. We become more compassionate AFTER we fail. When we give up things for Lent, yes, there are rubrics that should be followed, but these are guidelines only. The individual needs to focus on what keeps him bound to the material and fast from it, no matter how trivial or permitted it may seem to someone else. The merit lies in the journey and in taking each step toward perfection fast by fast, year by year.
That said, we strive to refrain from eating any animal products: no meat, fowl, fish, eggs, or dairy. On weekdays we also fast from wine and oil. This is the goal. Let us strive to take one step further this season and remember to increase prayer and almsgiving.
Check out our Facebook group for added support, inspiration, ...and RECIPES! God bless your fast!
Ask me about my
way of life!
Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate, Completed October 2020, from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and eCornell!
My new book is out!...
As you may already know, my family has been advised by our cardiologist to adopt a perpetual fast in order to combat a family health crisis. We've adopted a whole-foods, plant-based, no oil diet...just like our Eastern Christian fast!...full time, and now that we've done it, I can help you get through 40 days of fasting too.
Here are a few of ByziMom's Great Fast Recipes:
Fajita Night: sweet potato tortillas, unfried beans, oil-free vegetable stir fry, cashew nacho sauce, Mexican quinoa, etc.
Listen in as I chat with Cynthia Damaskos from The Holistic Christian LIfe
about my new book,
The ByziMom's Guide to Great Fast Meals!
What's for dinner tonight?
St. Nicholas is known for tossing bags of gold down the chimney and for calming the storms for fishermen.
Serve these little bags of gold coins along with some baked fish and start a conversation with your family about the great deeds of St. Nicholas on his special day!
Zest and juice of one orange (or lemon)
1 tsp grated, fresh ginger
4 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
3 cups baby carrots, cut into coins
½ cup water
Dash salt & black pepper to taste
½ pound of prepared phyllo dough
Optional: 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Zest and juice one orange and combine both with 2 Tbsp of the honey and ginger in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
Place diced carrots and 10 long scallions into a saucepan with ½ cup of water and dash of salt and cook until the carrots are just tender and the water has evaporated. Remove the scallions and set them in cold water to use as ties later on.
Add the juice mixture to the carrots in the saucepan and stir to coat. Continue to cook for a minute to form a glaze on the carrot coins, and remove from heat and season with salt & pepper.
Thin the remaining 2 Tbsp of honey with 2 Tbsp of water and set aside.
Open the package of phyllo and, working quickly, cut the stack of dough in half, width-wise. Stack six halves for each purse, place a large spoonful of carrot coins in the center, then gather the edge of the dough at the top and twist to form a little purse.
Place each purse onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush with the remaining honey mixture. Bake for 15 minutes until browned. Remove from the oven and place each purse onto a serving platter, then tie each one around the top with a blanched slice of leek or scallion .
For More commemorative recipes, check out the Cooking Connections Ebook on the gift shop page!