Updated: Jul 26
In just a short while we will begin to prepare for the Falling Asleep and the bodily ascension into Heaven of the Theotokos, Our Most Holy Mother, by participating in a two week fast. This smaller fast is patterned after the longer Great Fast that precedes the death and Resurrection of her Son, Our Lord Jesus. Shorter, yes. Less strict, hmmm..not really. Doable, absolutely.
From August 1st, which is the feast of the Procession of the Venerable Cross (more about that later...do I have ByziKid activities for you!!), until the Dormition on August 15th, we abstain from meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, wine and oil....as usual during fasting periods. There are some other little traditions to keep in mind as well such as not eating apples, grapes, or some say fruit in general, until these things are blessed on the feast of the Transfiguration, on August 6th. Weekends are relaxed with the use of wine and oil...(yay!) and fish is allowed on the feast of the Transfiguration.
That said, fasting in the hot summer season is quite different than in winter or early spring. There are more salads and sandwiches than soups and stews, and then there's outdoor grilling...I'll have more on that later.
The question I get from most people, who know that my family fasts perpetually, is "what do you eat then, salad?" Yes. Yes, we eat salad...a different salads every night with flavors and textures and freshness that makes me wonder why we didn't eat these things so much before! The key to a really good salad is in the dressing, and during the fasting periods when oil isn't allowed, this can be a problem. How do you enjoy salad without oil? I have the answer and I'll share it with you...
I have the absolute best Oil Free Salad Dressing Recipes! And they're homemade, and they're easy to make!
If you have a blender, mini processor, or even a stick blender, you can effortlessly make the most delicious dressings without any oil at all, and your family will love them. It's as easy as dumping the ingredients in and blending them up! They all begin basically the same way: some vinegar, some water, some sweetener, some additions for bulk, and some seasonings. Just dump everything into the blender and go! Here's a chart I made up to help you.
Now that you have the list of dressings, how do you use them? Like this:
Check out my 31 Summer Salad combinations that pair with the dressings from my Salad Dressing Chart! There's no excuse to eat a healthy, Fast -friendly salad! So just print them up, and eat your veggies!
Next topic: Don't put that grill away for the summer fasts, just because you're putting the meat in the back of the freezer for a while...let's talk veggie burgers! Check back soon!