Happy Lent, everyone.
(*Yes, I know Lent started a week ago, I just hadn’t gotten around to writing about it until now!)
For those of you who know me (or those who were reading my blog during this time last year), you may remember that Nich and I participated in the Orthodox tradition of Great Lent.
Meaning: for Lent last year, we gave up meat, dairy and alcohol. At first, I was apprehensive. Really, I was terrified. I vowed to give up the things that I loved for a tradition that was not my own. I just wasn’t sure I could do it.
And yet, here I am, a year later…and I’m jumping headfirst into Great Lent.
I can’t really explain it. But I loved it. Mostly, I loved that Nich and I went on a journey together. It wasn’t necessarily an easy journey, but it was good one. We learned, we grew, and we did it together. It was a really fantastic experience. So much so, that I’ve been looking forward to Lent ever since.
I will say, I know that Lent isn’t for everyone. This is simply a choice my husband and I have made for ourselves. I’m not asking you to join us on this journey, but I am hoping that you can support us in ours.
Because, let’s be honest….we could all do with a little less meat and dairy in our lives. So, even if you’re not into the religious component of Lent, I think we can all agree that a little abstaining could do us some good. (On this same note, there’s a great Huffington Post article called “Ash Wednesday is For Everyone.” Very interesting read.)
So, I hope that you can bear with me for the next six weeks while I adhere to my Lenten fast. Don’t you worry, the blog isn’t going anywhere. Of course, I’ll still post new and exciting recipes, they just won’t incorporate meat or dairy! If I can get by without eating these things, you can get by without reading about them. I think that’s only fair. ;)
So, here’s to Lent and the wonderful journey that it is. I’m excited for the challenge! And, I hope that you are, too.
(And in case you’re wondering: I miss cheese the most!)
p.s. The following is a recipe I made up last week, using various ingredients I had around the house. This ‘salad ‘was a wonderful way to transition into my new diet – its bright, flavorful, and filling.
Curried Quinoa and Apple salad
1 Granny smith (or other tart apple), cored & diced
1 cup dry quinoa
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries (raisins would also work well)
4-5 green onions, diced
For the dressing:
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
The juice of 1 lime
1.5 tsps curry powder
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 garlic clove, smashed
Cook quinoa according to package instructions (1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water). Once quinoa is fully cooked, set aside to cool.
Toast slivered almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden brown. Be careful not to burn. Set almonds aside.
Once the quinoa is cooled, toss with dried cranberries, diced apple, green onions, and toasted almonds.
Whisk all dressing ingredients together (or shake in an airtight container); taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Pour over cooled quinoa mixture. Stir, and add an extra squeeze of lime juice over the top of the salad. Chill before serving (the longer the salad rests, the more the flavors meld together).