All posts filed under: Lenten friendly

Imam Bayildi (Eggplants Stuffed with Tomatoes and Onions)

As the story goes, Imam Bayildi got its name from when an imam (a Muslim priest) fainted immediately upon eating this dish because it was so tasty. Wherever the name came from, it’s rich and impressive in taste. Imam Bayildi originates in Asia Minor and makes for a beautiful presentation and meal with eggplants stuffed with a fantastic onion and tomato mixture. Falling into the ladera (olive oil based) category, Imam Bayildi is cooked with lots of olive oil, and drizzled in more before serving. Get your favorite bread ready for dipping and enjoy. Save Print Imam Bayildi (Eggplants Stuffed with Tomatoes and Onions) Author: Eleni Saltas   Ingredients 2 eggplants 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced 5 cloves of garlic, 1 (15-ounce) can of diced tomatoes ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling Salt and pepper, to taste 1 teaspoon chili flakes (optional) 1 bunch of Italian parsley, chopped 8 ounces feta cheese (optional) Instructions Preheat the oven to 350F. Wash and dry the eggplants. Slice them in half lengthwise, keeping the stems intact. Place …

Kritharaki (Orzo in Tomato Sauce)

I love a good one pot meal—these types of meals require little clean up. Enter Kritharaki, often referred to as manestra or orzo. Kritharaki has the aromatic smell of sautéed onions and garlic, a decadent tomato sauce spiced with oregano and cinnamon, and finishes with the addition of stirred in orzo that is cooked low and slow in the sauce. Though it requires minimal effort, I advise you to watch over the pot here and there, as the orzo can quickly thicken and stick to the bottom of the pot. This recipe will feed four to six people—I also would advise you to make a double or even a triple batch, because trust me, you will want more! Save Print Kritharaki (Orzo in Tomato Sauce) Author: Eleni Saltas Serves: 4-6   Ingredients 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, diced 4 cloves garlic, chopped 1 (28-ounce) cans tomato sauce 1⁄4 cup ketchup (optional)* Salt and pepper, to taste 3 tablespoons dried oregano 1 teaspoon cinnamon 3 to 4 cups of water 1 cup vegetable …

Meatless “Meat” Sauce

To make a vegetarian version of the beloved kima (Greek meat sauce), simply swap ground meat for mushrooms and chickpeas. The vegetables make a hearty texture, creating a meatless “meat” sauce. My brother, who thinks literally, argues this dish’s name doesn’t make sense. However, it does sound better than “mushroom sauce”. Regardless, the sauce works well for vegans, vegetarians, and has even won the hearts of meat eaters as well. Save Print Meatless “Meat” Sauce Author: Eleni Saltas Recipe type: Lenten/Main Dish   Ingredients 16 ounces mushrooms (cremini or white button) 12 ounces preferred pasta 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 yellow onion, diced 4 cloves garlic, minced ¼ cup red wine 1 (32-ounce) can tomato sauce 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes 1 teaspoon cinnamon 3 tablespoons dry oregano, Salt and pepper, to taste Instructions In a food processor, pulse the mushrooms into fine uniform pieces. You may have to pulse in batches. In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add the mushrooms. Season well with salt, pepper, cinnamon …

Lahanorizo (Cabbage and Rice)

Get a large amount of vegetables in just one dish with Lahanorizo (la-ha-NOH-ree-zoh), a healthy meal made in just one pot.  Lahanorizo, meaning cabbage and rice, perfectly melds together with leeks, garlics, and spices. A drizzle of lemon juice at the end of the cooking process finishes Lahanorizo with a nice pop. Fill up on one of the healthiest dishes in Greek cuisine. This recipe will make about 6-8 bowls worth, so you can either half the recipe or keep for leftovers. One of my favorite ways to repurpose this dish after a day or two is to rewarm on a skillet, crack a couple eggs and make cabbage fried rice. Save Print Lahanorizo Author: Eleni Saltas Recipe type: Vegan/Lenten/Main Meal Serves: 6-8 bowls   Ingredients ½ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 small yellow onion, diced 3 leeks 3 cloves of garlic, chopped 1 small head of white cabbage, finely shredded 1 cup long grain rice (uncooked) Salt and pepper, to taste ½ teaspoon chili flakes 4 cups vegetable broth 2 cups water, or more if needed …

Arakas Latheros (Pea and Potato Stew)

Think you need to cut carbs to lead a sound diet? Think again. Vegetables are a great source of healthy carbs, and the combinations are endless. Arakas latheros (pea stew) is a Mediterranean staple with peas prepared in rich tomato sauce, herbs, carrots and potatoes. Arakas latheros is healthy, flavorful and simple as it is delicious. Save Print Pea and Potato Stew Author: Eleni Saltas Recipe type: Lenten/Vegetarian Serves: 4-6   Ingredients 16 ounces peas (frozen or fresh)* 1⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced 6 cloves garlic, chopped 1 large carrot, sliced (about 1 cup) 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes 1⁄4 cup white wine (optional) ¾ cup vegetable broth ½ cup fresh dill, chopped 2 teaspoons oregano Salt and pepper, to taste Instructions In a large pot, heat olive oil over low heat and add onions and carrots. Sauté until onions are translucent. Add in the garlic and continue to sauté for 5 more minutes. Add potatoes …

Greek Olive Tapenade

Chunky texture with robust flavor, mixed Greek olive spread is the perfect dip to keep on hand. The only con about this dish is that I never make enough of it. Spread on sandwiches or serve with your favorite cracker type, vegetable, or bread. Save Print Greek Olive Tapenade Author: Eleni Saltas Recipe type: Dip Prep time:  5 mins Cook time:  5 mins Total time:  10 mins   Ingredients 2 cups (16 ounces) pitted Kalamata olives ¼ cup (2 ounces) pitted green olives* 2 cloves garlic, minced 6 basil leaves, lightly chopped 1 teaspoon dried oregano 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar Instructions Drain the olives and finely chop into consistent small pieces. In a medium bowl, combine the olives, garlics, basil, and oregano. Mix well.** Stir in olive oil and red wine vinegar and serve. Notes **For an extra bite and color, use pimento stuffed olives.**You can also pulse all your ingredients in a food processor, but I have found chopping by hand works best and creates a better texture. 3.5.3229 …

Vegan Paximadia

Nistisima Paximadia (Vegan Biscotti) is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth during Orthodox Lent. Made by substituting bananas in lieu of dairy products, this treat is arguably better than the real thing. Save Print Vegan Paximadia Author: Eleni Saltas Recipe type: Vegan/Dessert Prep time:  10 mins Cook time:  40 mins Total time:  50 mins Serves: 4 loaves   Ingredients 1 cup vegetable oil ¾ cup orange juice* 1 cup sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 small overripe banana 1 teaspoon baking soda 3 teaspoons baking powder 5-5 ½ cups sifted flour 1 cup dark chocolate chips or almonds, or a combo of the two (if preferred) Instructions Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease two baking sheets and set aside. Peel the banana and mash well into a large mixing bowl. Add vegetable oil, orange juice, sugar, and vanilla to the bowl and beat well with a whisk or an electric hand mixer. Beat well until smooth. Sift dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder) and add slowly fold into mixing bowl with a rubber spatula. Make sure …

Vegetable Soup

This vegetable soup uses a little this and a little of that. My papou (grandfather) Pete Saltas would make it using whatever vegetables he found in the kitchen. Some call this the “kitchen-sink soup” because everything and anything goes in (except the kitchen sink). To make this soup, start by giving the base vegetables a quick sauté, then just keep adding veggies to create layers of flavors. Don’t put everything in the pot at once and try to let each vegetable or vegetable combos cook alone for awhile before adding the next one. And as you should always do with soups or stews, the trick is to simmer your meal low and slow so flavors blend together. A Greek cook might call this process pantremeni, which means “to be married.” Start with tougher vegetables such as carrots, peppers, and cabbage, and then add those that take less time to cook such as mushrooms, tomatoes, and zucchini. For the broth, use a combination of vegetable stock, tomato sauce, olive oil and water. Depending on your own tastes, you …

Sautéed Mushrooms and Onions

When you’re short on time and don’t want to sacrifice flavor or nutrition, quickly whip up sautéed mushrooms and onions. With the versatility of mushrooms, you can serve this dish in almost any way you can imagine–eaten plain, on toast, atop steaks, in pasta–sautéed mushrooms and onions is a winner every time. Ingredients: 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 pound mushrooms ½ yellow onion, thinly sliced 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon Oregano 1 sprig fresh thyme ½ cup vegetable oil or white wine Salt and pepper, to taste 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped Directions: 1. Thoroughly wash and drain the mushrooms. 2. Heat a skillet to medium high heat and add the olive oil. Once warm, add mushrooms and thyme. Season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook in pan for 3-5 minutes. 3. Add onions and garlic and allow to cook together for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 4. Add the vegetable oil, give the pan a stir, and cover the pan with a lid. Allow to cook on low to medium heat for 8-10 …