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Almost-Primal Orthodox Christian Lenten Eating and Cooking

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  • #31
    WARM LEMON WATER
    On mornings when I'm not fasting for Eucharist, I usually start my day with a cup of warm (not hot) water with the juice of half a lemon. It is supposed to help prepare your digestive system for the day, cleanse your liver, and give you a healthy dose of vitamin C. If the water is too hot or it will kill the vitamin C.

    STORING COCONUT MILK

    Then after about 15 - 30 minutes I usually have a cup of coffee with coconut milk (full-fat - not "lite"). When I open a can of coconut milk I empty it into a bowl and stir it with a whisk. When it is thoroughly combined I put it into a wide mouth pint size jar and keep it in the fridge. It will stay mixed, and I spoon it out as needed. It keeps at least a week or more in the fridge, despite the fact that the can says it will only keep for 2 days.

    After that I take my supplements. I may or may not eat breakfast.
    Last edited by Antiochia; 07-12-2013, 07:49 AM.
    Ruth

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

    Comment


    • #32
      Today for lunch I had a Green Smoothie (See Post #2) while I worked on our Income Tax information for the accountant.

      For supper we each had a grapefruit half to start, then we had Almond Green Curry Soup (recipe follows), and a tossed salad with marinated garbanzos, green olives, red onion, green pepper, grape tomatoes, cucumber, and romaine lettuce & Dijon vinaigrette (Post #6). For dessert we each had half of a Cereal Bowl Coffee Cake (post #4) with coffee & tea (DH wanted Cool Whip, but we don't have any. He's not too excited about all this natural stuff -- but I'M the cook!)

      Here's the soup recipe:

      ALMOND GREEN CURRY SOUP


      Soak 1-1/2 cups raw almonds 8 hours in water to cover, with 1/2 teaspoon salt. When almonds have finished soaking take off skins (they slip off easily). Rinse the almonds under running water. Set aside.

      Then chop 1 large celery stick including leaves and 1/2 medium onion. Saute until soft in 1 tablespoon coconut oil

      Add 3 cups water, the skinned soaked almonds, and 1 tablespoon Vegetable broth flavoring

      Simmer for a half hour.

      Put in blender with 1/2 cup coconut milk (not “lite”) and 1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste. Blend very well – for several minutes. (It will have the consistency of Pea Soup). Taste and adjust seasoning.

      Pour back in soup pot and keep warm over very low heat.

      Makes enough for 2 or 3 servings.
      Last edited by Antiochia; 07-12-2013, 08:08 AM.
      Ruth

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

      Comment


      • #33
        DH was hungry this morning -- so for breakfast, I made Buckwheat pancakes (see post #3) & maple syrup which we had with coffee and grapefruit. Lunch is Oyster Stew (recipe follows), and we will have a Lenten Potluck supper tonight after the Pre-sanctified Liturgy (I will bring a salad with dressings on the side).

        OYSTER STEW (for 1 or 2 people)

        1 8-oz. can of oysters
        1 small red potato, unpeeled, diced
        1 stalk celery, diced
        2 slices onion, diced
        1 garlic clove, minced
        1 cup of coconut milk OR unsweetened almond milk OR mixture of both
        small amount of minced fresh parsley (optional)
        1 teaspoon vegetable broth flavoring
        freshly ground pepper

        Drain the oyster can into a saucepan (keep oysters in the can for now) and add the diced veggies and minced garlic to the oyster broth. Let simmer until veggies are done to your liking. Then dump in the oysters. Fill the oyster can with either almond milk, coconut milk, or a mixture, and add to the saucepan. Also add the parsley (if using), vegetable broth flavoring and a good grinding of pepper. Heat to simmering and serve.

        Edit 11/14/13 - I just tried using cauliflower pieces instead of the potato. It turned out quite good!
        Last edited by Antiochia; 11-14-2013, 07:42 PM.
        Ruth

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

        Comment


        • #34
          Well, as it turned out I changed my mind on the salad I made for the potluck last night, so here is the one I actually made:

          SPINACH STRAWBERRY POTLUCK SALAD

          Enough spinach to fill your punch bowl (remove stems, tear into bite-size pieces)
          1 yellow bell pepper. cut into small strips
          About a quarter of a large red onion, thinly sliced and cut into small strips
          About a half cucumber, sliced, and the slices cut in half
          1 pound strawberries, sliced
          Roasted, salted sunflower seeds (maybe a half cup - however many you want)

          For dressing make:

          HONEY VINAIGRETTE

          In a jar with a screw top lid mix together the following ingredients:
          2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar (Bragg)
          1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime or lemon juice
          1 tablespoon honey (dip tablespoon in oil first and then measure the honey - the honey will slip right out)
          1/4 teaspoon salt
          1/4 teaspoon black pepper
          1/3 cup cold pressed sunflower oil

          Put cap on the jar and shake well!

          Now, layer in the punch bowl: some spinach, some yellow pepper strips, some red onion, and some cucumber. Continue layering until the bowl is full. Slice your strawberries and put in a plastic container. Make your dressing. Bring the sunflower seeds. At the potluck, toss your salad with some of the dressing (you may not need all of it), then mix in the strawberries and sunflower seeds. If you have the presence of mind to do so, save some strawberries and sunflower seeds to sprinkle on top. (I forgot!)
          Last edited by Antiochia; 07-12-2013, 11:08 AM.
          Ruth

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

          Comment


          • #35
            Okay -- this post is a confession. I cook legumes during Lent. I know, I know -- not primal. Sigh! But I prepare them to eliminate anti-nutrients as much as possible. And I don't eat them every day -- maybe 2 or 3 times a week -- maybe not even that often. I buy dried beans, not canned.

            TO PREPARE DRIED LEGUMES
            For all dried beans EXCEPT black beans and garbanzos (chick peas), cover with warm filtered water and let soak at room temperature for at least 12 hours - anywhere from 12 to 18 hours or so. Then drain and rinse. Put them in a slow cooker (I do 2 lbs of dried beans at a time). Then I cook on low for 12 hours -- So you can start soaking in the afternoon or evening, the next morning you can drain, rinse, and start cooking in the slow cooker. By evening they will be done. Then, drain and rinse in cool water, and package them in plastic freezer bags in 1-1/2 cup portions (1-1/2 cups is how many drained beans you get from a standard can of beans). Freeze. From 2 lbs of dried beans you get from 7 to 8 bags of beans -- which is like having 7 to 8 cans of beans in your pantry.

            To use, just add frozen to your soup recipe, or thaw under running water in a strainer.

            For black beans, soak in warm filtered water, and add 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice per cup of dried beans. Soak at room temperature for 24 hours. And for garbanzos (chick peas) add 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice per cup of dried beans and soak 24 hours. (I think you could also use raw vinegar instead of lemon juice.) Slow cook for 12 to 24 hours. Package and freeze as for the other beans. When you thaw out black beans and garbanzos, you may need to boil them on the stove for a little bit to fully soften them.

            When using lentils or split peas, just try to soak them for 8 hours or so before cooking. Drain and rinse. You may need less liquid in the soup because the lentils and/or split peas have already absorbed liquid.

            I consider legumes a necessary "evil" during lent, and try to prepare them to render them as harmless as possible. I don't eat them during non-Lenten days -- well, maybe once in a while in chili, but that is a rare exception.

            These soaking suggestions are based on Sally Fallon's advice in her book Nourishing Traditions.
            Last edited by Antiochia; 03-28-2013, 09:13 AM.
            Ruth

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

            Comment


            • #36
              This looks like a good Lenten soup recipe -- just substitute coconut oil or other allowed fat for the butter, and use coconut milk, not cream:

              Silky Celery Root Soup | Mark's Daily Apple
              Ruth

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

              Comment


              • #37
                Here's what we are having for lunch today:

                COCONUT CRAB BISQUE

                1 tablespoon coconut oil
                1/2 cup diced celery
                1/4 cup diced onion
                1/4 cup diced bell pepper (red or green)
                1 14-oz. can tomatoes
                2 cups water
                2 teaspoons vegetable broth seasoning
                1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
                2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
                2 bay leaves
                1/2 teaspoon dried basil
                1 8-oz. container of crab
                1 cup coconut milk
                1 teaspoon or more Worcestershire Sauce (optional)
                Freshly ground pepper (optional)

                In a soup pot, sauté the celery, onion, and bell pepper in the coconut oil until soft. Meanwhile blend the can of tomatoes (or use 1-3/4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, and liquefy in blender). Add to the sauted veggies. Then add the water, vegetable broth seasoning, Old Bay seasoning, apple cider vinegar, bay leaves, and basil. Simmer for 10 to 20 minutes to blend flavors. Remove the bay leaves and add the crab and coconut milk. Heat just to a simmer or not quite. Stir in some Worcestershire sauce and freshly ground pepper if desired. Serve hot. Makes about 6 cups or 3 to 4 servings.
                Last edited by Antiochia; 07-12-2013, 11:12 AM.
                Ruth

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

                Comment


                • #38
                  For supper tonight I started roasting parsnips. Roasted Parsnips - Recipe for Roasted Parsnips

                  Then I sauteed cabbage strips, red and green bell pepper strips in sesame oil. In another pan I sauteed shrimp in sesame oil and when they were cooked I added left-over Pineapple Teriyaki Sauce (See post #29), stirred it until it was warmed up and then turned off the heat -- since the sauce is made with arrowroot, I didn't want to cook it too long.

                  Then I divided up my sauteed cabbage and bell pepper onto our plates and topped it with the Teriyaki Shrimp. I served it with the roasted parsnips.

                  Dessert was sliced strawberries with cashew cream (see post #28)
                  Ruth

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

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Here's our meals for today. This morning after my cup of warm water & lemon (see post #31) and my coffee with coconut milk, I only had time to grab an apple and a handful of nuts for breakfast before heading off to our appointment with the accountant who is doing our income taxes. Then it was off on more errands and home for lunch, which was leftover Coconut Crab Bisque (see post #37) and pieces of green pepper and nut butter. I also had an orange. When I am really feeling empty, an orange fills me up and makes me feel better, even if I don't think I want to eat an orange. I'm always glad when I do, though. Then for supper before going to tonight's Akathist at church I made DH and me a Double Mango Shrimp Salad (see post #7).

                    Blessed Lent! And a blessed Good Friday to all of you celebrating Western Holy Week and Easter. We Eastern Orthodox are only in our second week of Lent -- this year our Easter is really late. We will celebrate Pascha (Easter) on May 5.
                    Ruth

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

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      very interesting thread! (didn't realize there was a "fish without backbones" rule... fascinating!)

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Yes -- I didn't know it either before DH and I became Orthodox. Here is more information on Orthodox Fasting if you are interested:
                        The Fasting Rule of the Orthodox Church

                        And they are actually "guidelines" rather than rules -- goals to aim for. Some of us need the additional protein of fish with backbones, and that is allowed in consultation with your spiritual father. My priest told me about what one of our older Greek members said to him years ago. Her mother in Greece had told her "Fast well while you are young. When you get old you will be unable to keep the fast." Also, there are quite a few churches where the priest just says to go ahead and eat fish with backbones, but everyone knows this is a suggestion and not according to the original guidelines.

                        We get pretty tired of shrimp by the end of Lent. Shrimp is no longer a delicacy for us -- it is just fasting protein.
                        Ruth

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

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Okay -- another confession -- this morning I had oatmeal. I know, I know. My other "not-Primal" digression. Oats are the only grain I eat now (except for a little rice at a Lenten Potluck). I figure once in a while oatmeal won't hurt, and I only eat it soaked. Here is how:

                          SOAKED OATMEAL
                          I got this idea from Sally Fallon's book Nourishing Traditions. You start this the night before. Put your oatmeal into a saucepan (or the top of a double boiler). Also, I just read that if possible, add a tablespoon or two of rolled rye flakes per cup as part of your measurement of oatmeal. It will help with the production of phytase to eliminate phytic acid. (See How to Soak Grains for Optimal Nutrition - The Nourishing Home. For each cup of oats add 1 cup of water and according to Sally Fallon add EITHER 2 tablespoons buttermilk, OR whey, OR yogurt, OR kefir, OR vinegar (I use raw vinegar), OR fresh lemon juice.

                          I use the vinegar option, but I think 2 tablespoons per cup of oats is way too much, and too sour. When you think of it, to create a sour milk that is equivalent to buttermilk, you add 1 tablespoon vinegar to a cup of milk. So, if you can use 2 tablespoons buttermilk for soaking your oatmeal, I think 1 TEASPOON of vinegar to use in soaking the oats is quite enough for 1 cup of oats -- if you follow my logic.

                          So -- to recap here is my oatmeal recipe for 2 servings:
                          In the evening put 2 tablespoons rolled rye in a 1 cup measure and fill the cup with oatmeal
                          Dump the oatmeal into a saucepan or double boiler.
                          Add 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon raw vinegar.
                          Let stand at room temperature over night.

                          Next morning add:
                          1 cup water
                          1/2 teaspoon salt

                          Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Then EITHER turn down to a simmer, stirring occasionally until done, about 5 minutes or so, OR using a double boiler, put the oatmeal pot over the simmering-water pot. It will be ready shortly and stay ready for a while.

                          I add cinnamon, walnuts, and raisins to my serving (DH prefers plain oatmeal). And I serve it with my cereal milk combination because I think coconut milk is too thick.

                          CEREAL MILK
                          Mix approximately half coconut milk and half unsweetened, unflavored almond milk. Add a small amount of maple syrup to taste and a few drops of vanilla.

                          Another recipe using soaked oatmeal is my Lenten Oat-Nut waffles (see post # 26).
                          Last edited by Antiochia; 03-30-2013, 08:44 AM.
                          Ruth

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

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            hey, if you can tolerate and you need the extra variety during fasting time, definitely understandable. This sounds like a great way to increase one's awareness of food!

                            My grandmother fasts every Friday (pre-Vatican II Catholic style, more or less I guess) and she relies one grains a lot I think, but is very discerning at least (steel-cut oats, etc.).

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Antiochia View Post
                              Yes -- I didn't know it either before DH and I became Orthodox. Here is more information on Orthodox Fasting if you are interested:
                              The Fasting Rule of the Orthodox Church

                              And they are actually "guidelines" rather than rules -- goals to aim for. Some of us need the additional protein of fish with backbones, and that is allowed in consultation with your spiritual father. My priest told me about what one of our older Greek members said to him years ago. Her mother in Greece had told her "Fast well while you are young. When you get old you will be unable to keep the fast." Also, there are quite a few churches where the priest just says to go ahead and eat fish with backbones, but everyone knows this is a suggestion and not according to the original guidelines.

                              We get pretty tired of shrimp by the end of Lent. Shrimp is no longer a delicacy for us -- it is just fasting protein.
                              Thank you for the link, Ruth, it's been a really interesting reading. I was nosing around this board and wondering which where the rules of Orthodox fasting, so my curiosity got satiated ^^ Really interesting recipes and, what Khainag said, a bit of oatmeal to get you through your fasting is not a bad thing.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Thank you for reading my little thread and commenting! I've seen a couple other threads with questions from Orthodox Christians about what to do during Lent, and I just decided to be as Primal as possible while following the Lenten practices and write about it. Obviously we can't eat totally Primal, but neither can we eat all of the normal Lenten foods, so it has become quite a balance.

                                In some ways it is nice to have the restriction on fish with backbones, because then fish can be a feasting food during the Fast for special days. It you decide to include fish in your fasting menu, then your feasting meal isn't any different from your regular food. (We eat fish on Annunciation, Palm Sunday, or for a celebration like a birthday, patronal saint day, or if the bishop comes to town.)

                                Which also brings up another good thing about our Lenten menu -- when the great feast (Pascha, aka Easter) arrives, you don't have to knock yourself out to make a celebration meal. Just the inclusion of meat, eggs, and dairy makes it special. Before I became Orthodox, I always cooked great meals -- although they were CW, at least they were mostly homemade, not processed, but when a special day came around I really had to work to make things extra fancy for the celebration. Now I don't have to go to that much work any more, and it is actually quite a relief!

                                I know the fasting rules seem quite strict, but it isn't a sin not to fast -- it's just not fasting, so you don't get the benefit of the fasting. Lenten Fasting is an exercise for your will. You strengthen your will by saying no to things you want. If you can learn to say no to your stomach, it will help you say no to other temptations. Just as it isn't morally wrong to refuse to physically exercise, but if you don't exercise, you don't get the benefits of exercising. Anyway, that's a little of the thinking behind the Lenten Fast -- there is obviously more to it than that, and there are spiritual benefits as well. Also, if you have your church community, you are all doing this together and it is very much a bonding experience.
                                Last edited by Antiochia; 03-31-2013, 08:46 PM.
                                Ruth

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

                                Comment

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