During Lent, observers of the Greek Orthodox religion abstain from meat, including beef, poultry, and many types of fish. This practice is observed in Roman Catholicism and some Protestant denominations of Christianity, too. Restricted foods can also include eggs and dairy products and stricter adherence can also limit the consumption of olive oil and wine. While it can be daunting to plan meals that exclude these ingredients, it does not mean that you cannot enjoy a wide variety of tasty and delicious dishes.
From warm and delicious white bean soup to traditionally stuffed grape leaves, there are plenty of Lent-friendly Greek recipes to make during this holiday season. Don't forget about dessert—there are plenty of Lenten sweets and desserts that you might want to try.
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Classic stuffed grape leaves are filled with rice, pine nuts, and fresh herbs. Dolmathakia (dol-mah-THAH-kya) may take a little bit of time to prepare, but they are worth the effort. It may seem daunting, but don't be intimidated by the process of making grape leaves. After a little practice, you will be rolling and stuffing grape leaves like a pro.
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Many vegetable dishes like this green bean and tomato casserole are cooked with olive oil and tomatoes. They are referred to as lathera (lah-the-RAH) in Greek because the key ingredient is flavorful olive oil, or lathi. Skip the sprinkling of crumbled feta cheese if you want to strictly adhere to fasting guidelines.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
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The Greek word orphana means "orphaned," and when used in Greek cooking, it usually means a dish can be made without meat. These meatless stuffed cabbage rolls can be delicious as a main dish, but if made with smaller cabbage leaves they can also be a great side dish or appetizer. Cabbage is a favorite winter food, and this meatless recipe is a delightful Lenten favorite.
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Spanakopita, classic spinach and herb pie is always popular. Although the name for this dish is often used for the spinach pie with cheese, traditional spanakopita does not include cheese, so leave off the cheese if you're observing. Made with other greens, this pie is called hortopita.
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These classic bell peppers are stuffed with bulgur, tomatoes, and basil. Bulgur (also spelled "bulghur") is partially hulled wheat that has been soaked, steamed, dried, and then crushed. A popular replacement for rice, bulgur cooks quickly and has a wonderful nutty flavor. Serve this delicious filling stuffed in your favorite colored pepper for an even more festive treat.