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Almost-Primal Orthodox Christian Lenten Eating and Cooking

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  • #16
    Mark has a lot of great recipes on the website that happen to be Fast-Appropriate. I will be linking to them from time to time. How about making your own nut butter (I gotta try this with almonds -- almond butter is so expensive around here!), or spicy nut mix, or almond pie crust, or Pesto (Substitute cold-pressed sunflower oil for the olive oil), or milk substitute: Creative Nut Recipes | Mark's Daily Apple

    Or make your own protein bars for a quick breakfast:Make Energy Bars - Low-Carb DIY Recipes | Mark's Daily Apple

    See my journal, The Balancing Act: Integrating Primal into My Life, for menu plans, musings, and more.


    • #17
      Here's an easy side dish suggestion that we like -- how about SAUTEED APPLES instead of potatoes or hash browns. Pomme instead of pomme de terre!

      All you do is saute apple slices in coconut oil until they are soft and browned (or caramelized). You can sprinkle with cinnamon as you saute, if the cinnamon flavor goes with the rest of your meal. My son likes to caramelize sliced apples and onions together for a side dish. I generally peel the apples first, but you wouldn't have to.

      Sauteed apples are also good as a dessert, or a breakfast food, or on top of Lenten pancakes or waffles.

      (Note: See post #3 in this thread for my buckwheat pancake recipe.)
      Last edited by Antiochia; 07-11-2013, 08:05 AM.

      See my journal, The Balancing Act: Integrating Primal into My Life, for menu plans, musings, and more.


      • #18
        Hey there, I think it's very cool how you are adapting a Primal diet to suit your Lenten restrictions. I grew up in an Orthodox Christian family (parish was Antiochian, I think), and though I no longer follow the faith myself, Pascha is still a very important holiday to me . My parents have been following the Lenten diet pretty strictly for the past few years, but are not gluten/grain-free (and fear saturated fats). My dad had a heart attack on Thanksgiving of 2011 and has been following a vegetarian diet since then, at the recommendation of his doctors. I will be sure to keep your suggestions in mind should I ever convince him to eat saturated fat & try dropping wheat!
        Depression Lies


        • #19
          Hey! I left my childhood faith too I grew up Protestant! And yes, I'm Antiochian -- that's why I chose the username that I did.

          I can't quite go totally without wheat, but I try to only eat wheat at church. Of course the communion bread is wheat, and then there is the antidoran or prosfora -- the bread after communion, and sometimes Litya bread (the 5 loaves that are sprinkled with sweet wine and shared after a feast day service), and Koliva -- the boiled sweetened wheat shared at a memorial service. I figure these are all blessed, so I partake, but I go without wheat at home.

          We have a lot of people in our parish with wheat sensitivities. Several are celiac, others may be undiagnosed celiac with intestinal problems, others (like me) have found that eliminating grains and sugar helps with weight loss. Those with severe problems let our priest know, and he gives them the smallest possible portion of communion. He says since communion is the body and blood of Christ it won't hurt them, and it doesn't seem to. Those with severe wheat problems avoid everything except the communion. As a parish, we are including more and more gluten-free offerings in our potlucks. The folks who need gluten-free food go first in line before cross contamination from the other foods has a chance to set in.

          Here is an interesting article on wheat which you may want to share with your folks. The author isn't Orthodox, but she is Christian: Does the Bible Say We Should Eat Grains? - Wellness Mama I found it very thought-provoking.

          The only grain I'm eating now is oatmeal, and that only if it has been soaked with a little raw vinegar, or lemon juice, or other acid or fermenting agent for 8 hours or overnight, which is supposed to help get rid of the anti-nutrients. I only eat oatmeal when I'm fasting. As I continue this thread, I hope to share how I do that and include some recipes using soaked oatmeal. I know that may amount to Primal heresy, but I figure that's the closest I can come to Primal under the circumstances.

          Thanks for reading this thread and commenting! I hope to hear from you again!
          Last edited by Antiochia; 03-21-2013, 05:58 PM.

          See my journal, The Balancing Act: Integrating Primal into My Life, for menu plans, musings, and more.


          • #20
            Tonight for supper we had The Easiest Thai Shrimp Curry Ever

            First prepare your shrimp and veggies:
            I use 3 - 4 oz. raw shrimp per person. Thaw (you can thaw shrimp in hot water if you are going to cook it right away), and slice in half the long way so you make 2 long thin pieces of shrimp from each shrimp.
            Slice green and red bell peppers and onions into strips. I use about one to two cups cut up veggies per person.

            Then start your sauce. In a saucepan put:
            1/2 cup whole coconut milk (not Lite) per person (if you are making this for a lot of people, you may want to use less per person)
            Stir in 1/8 teaspoon sea salt per 1/2 cup of coconut milk, and then add Thai Green Curry paste to taste (I like Thai Kitchen Green Curry Paste, 4-Ounce (Pack of 6): Grocery & Gourmet Food Start with about a teaspoon per serving, taste, and add more if you like. Put the sauce pan over low heat.

            In a small bowl (like a custard cup) mix some arrowroot powder and water (I start with 1 tablespoon arrowroot to 2 tablespoons water), and set aside.

            Now, using a little coconut oil, start stir-frying the veggies. I like to start with the onions for a couple minutes and then add the peppers. When they are just about done, throw in the shrimp and continue to stir-fry until the shrimp have turned opaque and have curled up. Put the shrimp and veggies in a serving bowl and cover to stay warm.

            Now attend to your saucepan that is on low, and turn up the heat, stirring constantly. (Also stir the arrowroot and water so it is ready to use.) Bring the sauce just to a boil. Now, little by little, stir the arrowroot solution into the simmering sauce until the sauce is as thick as you like -- you may not need to use all of the solution. Then pour the sauce into the cooked veggies and shrimp; stir to combine. That's it!

            Serve the shrimp curry over cauliflower rice (see post #13). People may want to add some crushed red chilies if they like their curry spicier.

            We had this with an avocado half sprinkled with lemon juice as a side, and sliced strawberries for dessert.
            Last edited by Antiochia; 03-22-2013, 05:52 AM.

            See my journal, The Balancing Act: Integrating Primal into My Life, for menu plans, musings, and more.


            • #21
              This recipe looks wonderful! Too bad DH doesn't like mussels

              Coconut Lime Mussels | Mark's Daily Apple

              See my journal, The Balancing Act: Integrating Primal into My Life, for menu plans, musings, and more.


              • #22
                I have read that some folks use quinoa as a substitute for oatmeal. The texture is not the same, but it can be cooked in much the same way (or kind of like rice). It makes a reasonable oatmeal substitute when sweetened for breakfast, and some use it in meatballs (or as a meat substitute). It's technically a seed, kind of iffy on the primal spectrum. I've never tried soaking oatmeal, but it gives me heartburn in its normal form. The only time I tried quinoa was in a pre-mixed package of a kind of porridge with maple syrup and cinnamon. The texture was weird to me, but it tasted pretty good.
                Depression Lies


                • #23
                  I know a lot of people eat quinoa -- I tried it once but it was kind of bitter. Maybe I didn't prepare it right. DH thought it looked too much like couscous, and he had a bad experience with couscous once and never wants to eat anything that even looks like it!

                  I hear, though, that quinoa is an excellent source of protein. I would welcome any quinoa recipes on this thread that anyone would be willing to share -- providing they don't include meat, eggs, or dairy (fish and seafood would be okay) since I'm trying to find information for Lenten meals and encouragement for those of us dealing with Lenten food restrictions at this time.

                  See my journal, The Balancing Act: Integrating Primal into My Life, for menu plans, musings, and more.


                  • #24
                    We've still got snow here in Wisconsin! Here's a good drink for after a walk with the dog on a cold morning or afternoon:
                    Creamy Turmeric Tea | Mark's Daily Apple

                    See my journal, The Balancing Act: Integrating Primal into My Life, for menu plans, musings, and more.


                    • #25
                      Good Morning! We're finishing up the first week of Orthodox Great Lent. Five more weeks to go, plus Holy Week. Then we'll celebrate Pascha (Easter) with a great feast -we'll grill lamb on a spit over an open fire in back of the church to have at our Pascha celebration after Agape Vespers.

                      Well, yesterday my lunch salad consisted of:
                      Cooked shrimp, avocado, strawberries, a dash of lemon juice, sliced red onion, sliced carrots, some sliced red bell pepper, fresh spinach, and pecans. I dressed it with Honey Vinaigrette (Post #6) It was quite good!

                      For supper before going to the Akathist for the Theotokos (church service) we had:
                      "Cream" of Mushroom soup -- I'm still working on the recipe, so I won't share the amounts yet -- but if anyone wants to experiment I sauteed some onion, celery, and garlic in coconut oil and put it all in my blender container. Then I sauteed some mushrooms and put them in the blender container too. (DH can't digest mushroom pieces so I have to blend them - otherwise I would have saved out a few to garnish the soup.) I added some raw cashews (for creaminess), water, veggie broth flavoring powder, arrowroot flour, salt & pepper and blended it all up until it was nice and smooth. Then I poured it into a soup pan, added a pinch of dried thyme and heated it just to boiling and let the arrowroot thicken the soup, but I think I put in too much arrowroot. It tasted good though.

                      We had this with a green salad (with a few chickpeas marinated in Italian dressing), and pieces of green pepper and nut butter (I had almond butter -- DH likes his with peanut butter). I find that pieces of green pepper make a great cracker substitute when you are looking for something to spread something on -- like nut butter or hummus. During feasting times green pepper is good spread with cream cheese, but that will have to wait until after Pascha.

                      Well, I gotta go -- I have a church school lesson to prepare. I teach the preschoolers and at our parish we have our "Sunday School" on Saturdays before our Saturday evening Vespers.

                      Tonight after Vespers I think we'll go out for Fried Scallops. There is a restaurant down the block from where we live that makes the best fried scallops ever!

                      I'm looking forward to Monday - March 25th - which is 9 months before Christmas so it is Annunciation. The day the angel Gabriel came to the Virgin Mary to ask her permission for her to give birth to Jesus, the Son of God. It is a very celebratory day! We'll have a special church service in the morning and then we can celebrate, and our meals may include fish, wine, and olive oil.

                      I don't know when I'll get to post next -- I'll be pretty busy today and tomorrow for sure.

                      Blessed Lent!
                      Last edited by Antiochia; 03-25-2013, 05:29 PM.

                      See my journal, The Balancing Act: Integrating Primal into My Life, for menu plans, musings, and more.


                      • #26
                        Blessed Feast of Annunciation! March 25

                        Well, to continue my report on my Lenten Journey, Saturday morning we had Oat-Nut waffles. This is one of my "almost-Primal" recipes:

                        LENTEN OAT-NUT WAFFLES

                        2-2/3 cup oatmeal (may use 3 tablespoons of rolled rye flakes as part of the 2-2/3 cup oatmeal)*
                        2/3 cup nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, cashews, or combination)
                        3 cups water
                        1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
                        2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
                        3 tablespoons coconut sugar, palm sugar or brown sugar
                        1 teaspoon salt

                        Start the night before. Put all ingredients into blender and blend well. Pour into a bowl, cover and let the batter stand overnight at room temperature so the oats and nuts can soak (this helps get rid of anti-nutrients). In the morning, turn on the waffle iron and let heat. If necessary grease waffle iron. Bake the batter on the iron until the light turns off, at least 5 minutes, or until done.

                        Makes about 4 or 5 waffles depending on the size of your waffle iron (mine is 7" X 7") and serves 4 people. This recipe is easily cut in half to serve 2.

                        *Note: I just read that including rolled rye flakes with the oats helps to decrease the phytic acid in the oats during the overnight soaking.

                        I serve these with fruit and/or coconut oil (instead of butter) and maple syrup.

                        Then for lunch I drained canned shrimp, mashed them with a fork and added vegan mayonnaise, dijon mustard, and pickle relish and mixed it all up. I need to find a good homemade recipe for vegan mayo. Here is an idea for one but it uses Macadamia nuts. I know how healthy Macadamia nuts are for humans, but I don't keep them in my house -- they are very toxic for dogs, and I don't want to take a chance with our Black Lab. But if anyone else wants to try it, here is the recipe:

                        MACADAMIA NUT MAYONNAISE
                        3/4 cups water (or less)
                        1 1/2 cups of macadamia nuts
                        3 tablespoons olive oil (or other oil)
                        2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
                        1 teaspoon Italian spices
                        1/2 teaspoon sea salt
                        dash of cayenne
                        (Recipe inspired from "Uncooking with Raw Rose")

                        1. Throw everything in the blender and just BLEND until smooth!

                        From:Raw mayonnaise recipe | The Rawtarian

                        Anyway, I served the shrimp/mayo salad on top of a green salad & tomatoes with lemon wedges on the side.

                        For Dinner after Vespers we went to the restaurant down the street and had their fried scallops. They have a nice salad bar that's included and we had vegetables instead of potatoes (DH had broccoli, I had their fresh steamed green beans).

                        Then we came home and had a piece of very dark vegan chocolate for dessert.

                        And that brings you up to Sunday.
                        Last edited by Antiochia; 04-05-2014, 08:36 AM.

                        See my journal, The Balancing Act: Integrating Primal into My Life, for menu plans, musings, and more.


                        • #27
                          Yesterday, Sunday, we fasted before the morning service, since we always fast for about 6 hours or so before Eucharist. Then on Sundays after the service we have "Coffee Hour" which is really a potluck lunch. I always bring salads to our potlucks. Most people bring either main dishes or desserts -- there are never enough salads. Here is my standard potluck salad:


                          First I slice red onion thinly with a mandoline (if you peel the onion and cut off the ends and put it in the fridge overnight, it gets rid of the onion "bite" and seems to get sweeter). Then I slice some cucumbers. I have some grape tomatoes rinsed and ready. And I usually chop up some celery leaves. These along with the greens make up my basic salad. I may add other veggies that I happen to have on hand such as sliced carrots, radishes, green pepper...

                          Then I get out my punch bowl. I put greens (either mixed packaged salad greens; or romaine or spinach torn in pieces, washed and dried in my salad spinner) in the bottom of the bowl. Then I add a layer of sliced veggies, grape tomatoes, and chopped celery leaves, then another layer of greens, then another layer of sliced veggies, grape tomatoes, and chopped celery leaves, and so on, layering until the bowl is full, ending with a layer of sliced veggies, grape tomatoes, and chopped celery leaves. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO TOSS THIS SALAD! All the good stuff is distributed evenly throughout the greens. Just put some salad tongs in it and serve dressing on the side. I bring a couple bottles of store bought dressing and a bottle of my homemade Dijon Vinaigrette - see post #6. (I put it in a bottle with a shaker cap that people can close up the bottle and shake it easily when the dressing separates, and then open the flip top and put some dressing on their salad.)

                          So at coffee hour I had coffee of course, and some vegetable soup someone brought, and my salad, (and I cheated on Primal with some taco chips and spelt bread) and some fruit off the dessert table. I was able to avoid the rest of the desserts!
                          Last edited by Antiochia; 07-12-2013, 07:37 AM.

                          See my journal, The Balancing Act: Integrating Primal into My Life, for menu plans, musings, and more.


                          • #28
                            Then yesterday, after Coffee Hour, around 1:30 pm we had a Vespers Service for Annunciation, which is today's feast. Liturgical time runs differently than regular time -- Vespers is the beginning of the next day since the day begins at evening (the same as in Jewish tradition), so at the beginning of Vespers, liturgically it was March 25 which meant we could celebrate the feast last night with fish!

                            I made broiled salmon for dinner:

                            BROILED SALMON
                            Grease your broiling pan (or use a sheet of aluminum foil) and place the salmon fillet on it skin side down. Then pour Dijon Vinaigrette (see post #6) all over the fillet. Then sprinkle the fillet with Old Bay Seasoning, Dill, and freshly ground pepper. Broil for 10 - 20 minutes until done to your liking. The thicker the fillet, the longer it will take to cook.

                            I served this with sliced carrots and sliced onions that I simmered in a couple tablespoons of coconut oil until tender. Then I added a handful of frozen peas (I know -- not primal -- but they are pretty with the carrots!), let cook until the peas thawed, and then added a drizzle of honey and some salt & pepper.

                            Also I made "Rice a Phony" (See post #14)

                            We had half avocados and lime wedges on the side.

                            Dessert was sliced banana and strawberries with "Cashew Cream:"

                            CASHEW CREAM
                            1/2 cup raw cashews
                            1/3 cup water
                            1/2 cup mild flavored oil (like cold pressed grapeseed oil)
                            1 tablespoon maple syrup
                            1/4 teaspoon vanilla
                            1 teaspoon lemon juice or rice vinegar

                            In a blender, blend the cashews and water until thick and creamy. Slowly add oil while blending. Then blend in syrup, vanilla, salt, and lemon juice or vinegar. Chill before serving.

                            It was a nice feast day meal!
                            Last edited by Antiochia; 07-31-2013, 08:50 AM. Reason: changed proportions on the Cashew Cream

                            See my journal, The Balancing Act: Integrating Primal into My Life, for menu plans, musings, and more.


                            • #29
                              Okay -- I'm finally up to today! We didn't have breakfast because we were fasting for the Annunciation Feast Day Liturgy (church service) with Eucharist. After the service this morning a bunch of us went to Perkins (a restaurant) for lunch. We wanted fish, but they didn't have many fish choices, so I ended up with a shrimp and veggie stir-fry. It was served on a bed of rice, but I didn't eat the rice -- only what happened to cling to the shrimp and veggies. I also didn't eat the roll that came with the meal.

                              Then for supper DH and I split a baked potato (he had his with margarine, salt & pepper, I put olive oil, salt and pepper on mine) and the leftover salmon from last night. I made a Pineapple Teriyaki sauce and stir-fried onions, peppers, and cabbage to go with it:

                              PINEAPPLE TERIYAKI SAUCE
                              adapted from Paleo Teriyaki Sauce, For Teppanyaki or Hibachi Meats & Vegetables
                              1 cup pineapple tidbits (canned in pineapple juice, drained - save the juice)
                              1 tablespoon toasted Sesame oil
                              cup Coconut Aminos (or wheat free Tamari, if you do soy)
                              tsp Ground Ginger
                              tsp Garlic Powder
                              2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
                              1 Tbsp Arrowroot Powder
                              cup pineapple juice from the canned pineapple
                              cup Water

                              Saute the pineapple in the sesame oil until browned, pour into a bowl off the heat and set aside. Also remove pan from heat.

                              In a glass measuring cup or a bowl, combine the coconut aminos, ginger, garlic, maple syrup, pineapple juice, water, arrowroot powder, and mix well (I use a fork to mix). Set aside.

                              Prepare the rest of your meal. (I baked a sweet potato, and about 20 minutes before the sweet potato was done, I wrapped the leftover salmon in foil and warmed it up in the oven while the sweet potato was baking. I also stir fried strips of onion, cabbage, red pepper, and green pepper in toasted sesame oil and sprinkled it with salt and pepper. When it was done, I removed it from heat and covered it up.)

                              To finish the sauce, I stirred up the sauce ingredients in the measuring cup, then poured it into the pan I had browned the pineapple in. I stirred until the sauce was bubbly and thick. I removed it from the heat and added the browned pineapple.

                              Then, to serve I cut the sweet potato in half and put half on each plate. I put half of the veggie mixture on each plate and then I put half of the salmon on top of the stir-fried veggies. I spooned some of the pineapple Terriyaki sauce over the salmon and veggies.

                              I have some Pineapple Terriyaki Sauce left over -- I think I may use it over shrimp in the next day or two.

                              Blessed Feast!
                              Last edited by Antiochia; 07-12-2013, 07:43 AM. Reason: Lessened the amount of Maple Syrup

                              See my journal, The Balancing Act: Integrating Primal into My Life, for menu plans, musings, and more.


                              • #30
                                If you eat Macadamia nuts, here's a recipe that looks good -- to be Fast-appropriate, a person would need to substitute coconut oil or other allowed fat for the butter, but I think it still would be good:
                                Creamy Macadamia Shrimp | Mark's Daily Apple

                                See my journal, The Balancing Act: Integrating Primal into My Life, for menu plans, musings, and more.