I've got lots of good fasting recipes. In fact, many friends say they've gotten most of their fasting recipes from me!
Middle Eastern, hands down is my fave food, fasting or not!
There's a local Antiochian parish with lots of folks from the Middle East. I loved the food at events so much that I learned to cook it myself. Some of the following recipes are ME and others aren't.
Lentils are cheap & easy. You can even make tacos, by cooking lentils in taco seasoning and then filling taco shells or flour tortillas with them, and adding whatever toppings.
These first three I came up with myself.Pasta & frozen veggies
Cook as much pasta as you need for a main course for your family. You can use spaghetti noodles, but I like spirals or bow ties. Halfway through pasta cooking time add a bag or two of frozen veggies, depending on size of bag and how many you're feeding. I like this with green peas and pearl onions, but you could use frozen broccoli, mixed veggies, etc. Veggies will be done cooking when pasta is done. Drain together in a colander, add margarine, salt & pepper, voila!Pantry pasta salad
This is good when you're low on fresh stuff. Cheap and quick.
Cook up a lot of pasta. Add frozen peas and frozen corn halfway through cooking time. Maybe small pieces of broccoli, too. Eyeball amounts. While pasta and veggies are cooking, open a large (28 oz) can of petite diced tomatoes (maybe two if you're cooking for a huge crowd), rinse & drain in colander. Set tomatoes aside in a bowl. When done cooking, drain pasta & veggies in colander, run cold water over until fairly cool. Drain. In a BIG bowl, mix pasta & veggies, tomatoes, maybe cheapo canned olives, and Italian salad dressing or your own homemade vinaigrette. Chill. Very tasty! Big hit at church coffee hour! No chopping!Tradd's Quick Black Bean Soup
Increase as needed, but the base is: one can each of black beans, cream-style corn (the "cream" is cornstarch!), and diced tomatoes (I prefer petite diced, as they are nicer to eat). Empty all cans into a saucepan, heat, and eat! You can add Mexican spices (cumin, cayenne, red pepper) or canned jalepenos or mild green chilies, depending on your preference for spice. You can put broken corn or tortilla chips in the bottom of the bowl before adding soup. Makes a lot and is even better the next day. Very good to take to church on a fasting day for a meal (especially after Presanctified in Great Lent).
Middle Eastern recipes:Mujadra
Brown lentils and rice with carmelized onions
3 large onions, weighing about 1-1/2 pounds total, cut in half and sliced
½-cup extra virgin olive oil
1-1/4 cup large brown or green lentils (the regular lentils in the supermarket are fine)
1-1/4 cups long-grain rice
Salt and pepper
Fry the onions slowly in a large pan over very low heat in 3-4 tablespoons of the oil – covered to begin with, until they soften, stirring often, and then uncovered – until they turn a rich golden brown.
Rinse the lentils in cold water and drain. Cook in 4-1/2 cups water for 20 minutes. Add half of the fried onions and the rice to the lentils. Season with salt and papper and stir well. Put the lid on and cook over very low hear for about 20 minutes, or until the rice and lentils are tender, watching and adding more water if it becomes too dry.
At the same time, put the remaining onions in the pan back on the fire, and continue to fry them, stirring often, over medium to high heat, until they are a dark brown – almost carmelized.
Serve the lentils or rice cold or warm in a wide shallow dish with the onions sprinked on top and the remaining raw oil poured all over.
Note: I've tried the recipe as written, and it was a little bland for me, so I added cumin, which made a huge difference.
Also, this is to be made with WHITE rice, not brown!
LENTIL AND TOMATO SOUP - SHAWRBAT `ADAS MAA BANADOURA
(Serves from 8 to 10)
1 cup lentils, rinsed
7 cups water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 medium size onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups stewed tomatoes
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup white rice, uncooked
1/4 cup lemon juice
Place lentils and water in a saucepan and bring to boil. Cover and cook over medium heat for 25 minutes.
In the meantime, in a frying pan, heat oil and sauté onions and garlic until they turn golden brown. Stir in remaining ingredients, except lemon juice, and sauté for another 5 minutes.
Stir the frying pan contents into the lentils and bring to boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes or until rice and lentils are well-cooked. Stir in lemon juice and serve hot.Bulgar Pilaf with Chickpeas
Serves 8, I cut in half and have nice leftovers.
4-1/2 cups water or veggie stock (can use buillon cubes)
3 cups coarse ground bulgur (aka #3 bulgur), washed in cold water and drained - but I can't tell any difference when I omit this step
4 tablespoons butter or sunflower oil
A 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained
Salt and pepper
Bring the stock to a boil. Pour in the bulgur and cook, covered, on low heat for about 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the grain is tender. Stir in the oil or butter, the chickpeas, and salt and pepper, and heat through.
Variation: Garnish with 1 large sliced onion fried in oil till carmelized and brown.
I add lots of cumin to this (without onions) and it's VERY tasty. Mind you, the number served is for a SIDE DISH.. I'm use this as a MAIN dish. A nice bowl of it, microwaved, makes a great work lunch, with fruit for dessert.
And <drum roll>
my FAVE fasting dish that EVERYONE loves, even eggplant haters (as I used to be!)Imam Bayaldi
(literally “the imam fainted” dead away the end of a fast day as this smelled so good!). For olive oil-allowed days only. The olive oil gives it its flavor. Note: the traditional dish is a stuffed eggplant. This is an easier variation.
Take an eggplant. Peel it and cut it lengthwise into slices. Lay those slices on paper towels, and cover with another paper towel to get some of the liquid out of them. Salting them helps, but if you have a few hours, don’t worry about salting them.
Cut up one onion and a clove or two of garlic into tiny pieces. Saute in a few tablespoons of olive oil until it’s soft. Add a can of tomatoes (preferably chopped to make your life easier). Let it simmer. You may need to add a little water periodically to compensate for evaporation.
Take those slices of eggplant and fry them in a little olive oil. Eggplants will suck up oil like a sponge, so don’t worry when it all seems to disappear and you don’t have any in the pan. If you’re using a nonstick pan, and you want to make this dish more low fat, then don’t add more unless you really think you need it. Otherwise, add as desired.
After you fry each piece of eggplant, drop it in your onion/tomato mixture that is simmering on the stove. After you do all of the eggplant, let it simmer for a while (maybe 30 minutes) until the eggplant falls apart.
You can serve this hot or cold according to preference. It’s very tasty served hot with lemon squeezed on it. I serve it with plain couscous on the side, but it would also be good with rice. The above quantity will serve about two adults. For three, use two onions and two cans of diced tomatoes, and one large eggplant. Otherwise, increase as needed.
Note: the success of this recipe is dependent on the use of a TON of olive oil! Extra virgin only, and buy the best you can afford. Fry the eggplant in lots but pour MORE on top of the eggplant slices while frying. Yum!