Vegan Diet, Lent and Fasting

Many people follow a Vegan diet now, and groceries and markets have a lot of Vegan products to offer these days. Vegans are vegetarian, but they also do not eat eggs, dairy products and honey.  A Vegan diet is similar to the diet many Greek Orthodox follow during the Lenten season.

Greek Orthodox Lent began on Monday, March 2nd this year. That is 5 weeks before Holy Week, the week before Orthodox Easter on April 12th. Many Greek Orthodox who follow a strict fast during Lent abstain from meat, fish and dairy products. On some certain days of Lent, fish, shellfish, wine, and olive oil may be eaten.

I have decided to give up red meat, sweets, and sugar for Lent. The most difficult part has been avoiding sweets and sugar.  Sugar is hidden in almost all ready-to-eat prepared foods. So the best way to abstain from sugar is to make all your meals homemade.

My recipe for Lentil Soup can be adapted for strict fasting (don’t use olive oil) and Vegan diets. I also found this Greek Rice Pilaf with Leeks and Saffron recipe from Chef Diane Kochilas’ site. I am definitely going to try it.

Vegan Diet Lent Fasting banner 2015


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Very Berry Ice Cream

On Valentine’s Day I made berry ice cream. It’s a simple homemade ice cream recipe with mixed frozen berries. My ice cream maker is a Cuisinart, so to start, I looked up a few recipes on their website. Then I chose the ingredients I liked and combined the recipes into the one that I am sharing in this post.Ice cream recipesThe recipe for ice cream is so easy if you have an ice cream maker. Just mix the ingredients, add them to the machine, step back and watch the magic happen. It’s that cream ingredients

As for the ingredients, heavy cream, milk, vanilla, a pinch of salt and frozen berries is all you need. I prefer to use vanilla bean paste.

mix liquidsUsing a hand mixer helps, but it’s not really necessary.

frozen berries crushedI pulse the frozen berries in my blender  before I add them to the mixture.

berries in liquidYou don’t need to mix for very long if you use agave nectar, but granulated sugar takes longer to dissolve.

chill mixtureJust cover and refrigerate the mixture for at least an hour, or you can even leave it over night.

ice cream maker

I have a quick video on my Instagram profile of the ice cream maker at work. It’s noisy, but worth the “sound pollution” and the wait.

very berry ice cream frozenHere’s the very berry ice cream after a few hours in the freezer. You should remove it from the freezer at least 10 minutes prior to serving. One quick caveat: you will love this so much you may not want to buy ice cream from the grocery store again.

Very Berry Ice Cream
Recipe type: Easy
Cuisine: Dessert!
Prep time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 6

This is a simple recipe for mixed berry ice cream sweetened with agave.
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • ½ raw agave nectar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 10 oz frozen mix berries

  1. Pulse frozen berries in blender.
  2. Using a hand mixer on low, combine milk, agave, and salt.
  3. Stir in heavy cream, vanilla and berries.
  4. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  5. Turn on ice cream maker.
  6. Pour mixture into the frozen freezer bowl.
  7. Mix until thickened approximately 20 – 30 minutes.
  8. If served at this point, ice cream will have a soft texture.
  9. For firmer texture, put ice cream in an air tight container and freeze.
  10. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving.

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Spicy-Orange Glazed Pork Tenderloin

This spicy-orange, glazed, pork tenderloin recipe is so easy and quick it will become one of your favorites.
Porkloin plateI served it with roasted carrots. Here’s a suggestion: make enough glaze to use on the carrots too.Porkloin glazeTo make the glaze you mix together the marmalade, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and cumin in a small saucepan. Melt the ingredients together, but don’t over heat or boil.

Porkloin tempRoast the pork tenderloin until the internal temperature reaches 150°F.Porkloin restAs with all meat, it’s important to let the tenderloin rest before you carve it.Porkloin foilCover it with foil and let it rest for at least 5 minutes.Porkloin slicedAt the internal temperature of 150° it should be slightly pink, and medium-rare. Also, feel free to substitute any jam or jelly. Raspberry jam or even red pepper jelly would be delicious.

Spicy-Orange Glazed Pork Tenderloin
Recipe type: Easy dinner
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4

This is an easy recipe for a pork tenderloin with a spicy orange glaze made with marmalade and lemon juice.
  • Pork:
  • 1 (1 lb) pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ⅛ tsp garlic powder
  • salt and black pepper
  • Glaze:
  • ½ cup orange marmalade
  • Juice of ½ medium lemon
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ⅛ teaspoon cumin
  • salt and black pepper

  1. Pork: Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Place the pork in a shallow baking dish.
  3. Season with garlic powder, salt and black pepper.
  4. Let pork sit at room temperature for 20 minutes while the oven is pre-heating.
  5. Glaze: In a small saucepan, mix together the marmalade, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and cumin.
  6. Season with salt and black pepper.
  7. Warm the glaze ingredients, stirring constantly, until all ingredients are melted together.
  8. Do not over-heat or boil.
  9. Pork: Coat the tenderloin with olive oil
  10. Place in pre-heated oven and roast for 20 minutes.
  11. Remove the pork from the oven and spread evenly with the glaze mixture.
  12. Return the pork to the oven and roast for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 150°F.
  13. Rest, covered with foil for 5 minutes


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