It seems that you can’t go anywhere now without seeing Christmas decorations and hearing Christmas music. While the rest of the world is hurrying to get to Christmas, in the Orthodox Church we slow down. We enter into a time of preparation so we can fully appreciate the miracle of the Incarnation–God becoming man.
We do this by fasting: fasting from sin, from excess, from indulgence, and from selfish desires. This is pretty counter-cultural–especially before Christmas. One practical way that the Church helps us do this, and has for over one thousand years, is by establishing a fast from certain foods. Orthodox Christians abstain from meat, dairy, wine, and oil from November 15 until Nativity.
We are basically vegan for a spiritual purpose.
I will be sharing more about the Orthodox reasons for fasting, as well as giving practical tips for fasting with small children, over the next few weeks of the Nativity Fast. I will also be sharing several vegan recipes for those of you who will be fasting, for our vegan friends, or for families who like to have the occasional meatless meal.
Cilantro Black Bean Quinoa Salad
3 cups cooked quinoa 3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 can black beans, drained salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ cups cilantro, finely chopped Lime Dressing (see below)
3 small carrots, julienned avocado for serving (optional)
Juice of one lime 1 tsp cumin
2 Tbsp olive oil 1 tsp pure maple syrup (or other sweetener)
1 large clove garlic, minced ½ tsp salt
- Cook quinoa according to package directions
- Toss ingredients together
- Make dressing and add to salad
- Serve with avocados and tortilla chips
This recipe is fairly flexible. You can substitute almost any vegetable that you have on hand (corn, peppers, cucumbers) and it will still be very tasty!
What fasting (or vegan) recipes does your family love? I’d love some ideas!