Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple

Entry of the Theotokos icon
On the 21st of November in the Holy Orthodox Church, we commemorate the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple.

Kontakion of the Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple,
Fourth Mode

“Thou Who wast raised up”
The sacred treasury of God’s holy glory
The greatly precious bridal chamber and virgin
The Savior’s most pure temple, free of stain and undefiled
Into the House of the Lord, on this day is brought forward
And bringeth with herself the grace
Of the most Divine Spirit
Her do God’s angels hymn with songs of praise
For she is truly the heavenly tabernacle

St. Dionysios the Areopagite

St. Dionysios the Areopagite | Orthodox and Vegan
On the 3rd of October in the Holy Orthodox Church, we commemorate St. Dionysios the Areopagite. He is mentioned in Acts 17:19-34. He was a learned Athenian, a member of the Athenian court on Mars Hill (Areos Pagos in Greek, from which the title ‘Areopagite’ comes). At the time of Christ’s crucifixion, he was studying in Egypt and saw the sky darkened there for three hours when Christ breathed His last. He later married and had several children. When St Paul preached in Athens, Dionysius was among the first to believe, and became either the first (according to some)Bishop of Athens, or the second, succeeding St Hierotheos (commemorated tomorrow, October 4). With St Hierotheos he was present at the Dormition of the Mother of God. He received a martyr’s end in his old age, possibly in Athens. He is the author of several famous works of mystical theology, including On the Divine Names.

Apolytikion of St. Dionysios in the Fourth Mode
Since thou hadst been instructed in uprightness thoroughly
and was vigilant in all things
thou wast clothed with a conscience as befiteth one holy
Thou didst draw from the Chosen Vessel ineffable mysteries;
And having kept the Faith,
thou didst finish a like course, O Hieromartyr Dionysios.
Intercede with Christ our God that our souls be saved.

Vegan in NOLA: Seed Restaurant

So, Friday being a fasting day, I managed to get one non-vegan friend, Angela, to join me at Seed, an adorable little vegan restaurant near New Orleans’ Lower Garden District. Since Green Goddess was closed until August 31, I was super excited to be able to try at least one vegan restaurant in NOLA! And we were not disappointed.

Vegan in NOLA: Seed Restaurant
We started with the Breads + Spreads, although I switched out cucumber and celery for the bread. There are several choices for spreads/dips, and we chose puttanesca, creole cashew cheese, and chickpea salad. All three were good, but Angela favored the spicy creole cashew cheese while I preferred the chickpea salad, which was reminiscent of egg salad with mayo and relish.

Vegan in NOLA: Seed Restaurant
Hope you enjoy this extremely blurry picture of Angela’s BBQ Sandwich, “house-made seitan, bbq sauce, slaw”, on a whole wheat bun. She gave it a thumbs-up.

Vegan in NOLA: Seed Restaurant
I wanted to try a New Orleans classic, so I went with the Southern Fried Poboy made with “fried tofu, light chickpea flour breading, lettuce, tomato, vegan mayo, poboy bread”. As far as I could tell, the tofu was extra firm and had been frozen in water and then thawed, creating a nice meaty texture. I thought it tasted like chicken.
I added avocado because who doesn’t love extra fat? Little did I know the sandwich would be bigger than my head. I ate a few pieces of the tofu and then squished the bun together until I could get my mouth around it without looking like a complete pig. It was wonderful; however, I would ask for extra mayo next time.

Vegan in NOLA: Seed Restaurant
Of course no trip to New Orleans is complete without beignets! As far as I know, Seed is the only place to get traditional beignets that are also vegan (although I did find a hookah lounge that does pita beignets – fried pita triangles covered in powdered sugar – and those are vegan!!). I was expecting fat, fluffy rectangles of fried dough, but these were a bit dense. They also weren’t greasy at all, which makes me wonder if they were baked instead of fried. But who would do such a thing? Nevertheless, they were very tasty and addicting.

Vegan in NOLA: Seed Restaurant
Our waiter told us they also had a couple special items that weren’t on the menu, including Samoa Cheesecake.
Me: “YOU MEAN SAMOA AS IN THE GIRL SCOUT COOKIES??!??!!?” Most exciting news I’ve heard in a while. I’m pretty sure the velvety-smooth cream cheese base was made with cashews, and the caramel layer with dates (yes, you really can make nuts and dates taste like cheese and caramel! It’s miraculous but true and I’m thinking a knock-off recipe is on the way to prove it). There was a layer of chocolate chunks over the caramel, and the whole thing was topped with toasted coconut. It was just dreamy.

I wish I could’ve eaten at Seed every day until I tasted everything on the menu, but, alas, there were too many other places to try! But I’ll definitely be a return customer if I make it to NOLA again. Besides the great food, the waitstaff were very friendly and our waiter was happy to help us make the most of our meal.

If you’ve been to Seed, comment below and let us know your favorite item on the menu! If you haven’t been to Seed yet, I highly recommend adding it to your list of places you must visit while in New Orleans.

New Orleans Fattoush

Hey guys! I’m on my way back from a trip to New Orleans for the 2016 Orthodox Young Professionals Conference, and I have a lot to share with you. I’m putting together a Vegan in NOLA guide 😀 It’s coming soon and I definitely have restaurant recommendations, but depending on where you stay you might want to cook for yourself once in a while, and then you’ll need to know the best places to shop. I went to a local chain called Rouses, and the pickled okra in the olive bar inspired this New Orleans Fattoush recipe.

In my family, we use the thick, round Syrian bread loaves for fattoush instead of toasted pita bread. The other ingredients are simply lettuce, cucumber, green onions, and kalamata or alfonso olives dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.

New Orleans Fattoush Salad Recipe | Orthodox and Vegan
In this recipe, the whole olives are replaced with muffaletta olive salad and pickled okra, and the green onions are replaced with the garlic from the muffaletta.

New Orleans Fattoush
4 C torn lettuce
1 large cucumber, quartered and sliced
3 C torn day-old French bread
1/2 C muffaletta olive salad
1/2 C pickled okra, sliced
juice of one lemon
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt, to taste

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. I like to let the salad chill for 15-20 minutes so the bread soaks up all the flavors, and the lettuce starts to wilt a little. If you prefer crisp lettuce, serve immediately.

I almost never eat okra, but this was the second dish I made on the trip using it. What’s your favorite way to prepare okra? Comment below and share your favorite recipe!

Pumpkin Chia Pudding Pie Breakfast Bowl

Lately the majority of my breakfasts and lunches have been whatever I can fit in a mason jar of reasonable size. It’s so convenient, plus…I think it looks pretty 🙂 The 8oz jars are perfect for breakfast. Most days I have overnight oatmeal, but this week I grabbed a couple big containers of SO Delicious coconut milk yogurt. And yesterday something awesome happened.
Pumpkin Chia Pudding Pie Vegan Breakfast Bowl
Last November, some friends from church made a huge batch of pumpkin butter and brought me a jar. I was saving it for something special, I had no idea what. Then when I was putting my breakfast together I had a wonderful idea. I could use the magic pumpkin pie-flavored spread to sweeten my plain, unsweetened yogurt! And sprinkle crushed cereal on top to simulate pie crust. YES!

Pumpkin Chia Pudding Pie Breakfast Bowl
1/2 C plain (or vanilla) unsweetened vegan yogurt
2 Tbsp pumpkin butter*
2 tsp chia seeds
1/2 C bran flakes, crushed

In a small bowl – or in an 8oz mason jar if you’re making it to go – combine yogurt, chia seeds, and pumpkin butter. You may choose to thoroughly mix in the pumpkin butter, or give a couple quick stirs to make swirls. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour so chia seeds have time to gel. I leave mine overnight.
When you’re ready to eat, sprinkle crushed bran flakes over the pudding, then commence consumption.

*If the extra sugar doesn’t bother you, you may increase the amount of pumpkin butter to make your pudding taste more like pie. You may also want to increase the chia seeds to make sure it still thickens properly.
If you prefer less sugar, you could use plain canned pumpkin. But that might make it taste more like baby food.

Do you do meals in a jar? What’s your favorite?

Oh, She Cooks on Instagram!

timetovegan is Oh She Cooks on Instagram!

MOAR vegan food. MOAR behind-the-scenes. timetovegan is Oh She Cooks on Instagram!

Dear friends,

Just wanted to let you know you can now find me on Instagram! Follow me at timetovegan for some extras you won’t see here (and some stuff you will, but won’t you love seeing it twice?!). I’m looking forward to seeing your pictures, too! If you’re on Instagram, comment below and let me know how to find you.

My Yoyo Diet :D

Sorry I’ve been MIA, the charger for my laptop died just as Greek Week ended. I have a bunch of stuff saved up, but for now this is what I can do from my phone!

I started using MyFitnessPal.com earlier this week…

You keep track of everything you eat and drink,

and it counts calories and shows all the nutrients for the day (more than this! You can track vitamins and minerals).

You also track how much you exercise, and you can earn extra calories! Woohoo!!!!

This is what you see at the end if the day, it’s good motivation! I had a much better day than this on Wednesday, but…then I went on vacation. I’ll have to start fresh Monday.

Except I just went to Whole Foods and loaded up on vegan junk food, but I will try really hard to eat it in moderation. We’ll see how that goes.

Anyone else use MyFitnessPal?

Week of Greek: Shopping

201367 boat ride5
Now that we’ve had fun cooking together all week, maybe you’d like to know where you can purchase some of the ingredients used in the recipes. Pretty much every ingredient can easily be found in grocery stores in most parts of the US (and of course Greece!). Not sure about other countries, but the ingredients are very basic. That said, it sure would be nice for Greece if we bought Greek imports when available. Now some regular grocery stores, like Meijer and H-E-B, will carry at least a few imports. But in some areas, you may need to seek out a Mediterranean or European market.

Krinos and Optima Foods are two of the biggest importers in the US.
Another brand that comes to mind is Arosis, I bought some of their dried gigantes in Greece and now see they’re available in the US. You can even find them on Amazon.
And of course you can always look for products with Greek writing on them 🙂 When you see a product labeled, “Greek xyz,” check to see if it’s made in Greece.
I’ve never seen a Mountain Tea (sometimes called Mountain Herb or Wild Tea) that isn’t imported from Greece. It’s actually a very beautiful herb, usually sold still on the stem and with little blossoms, although in Greece I found it in tea bags.

Here you will find A List of the 25 Best Greek Olive Oils of 2015, as awarded by the New York International Olive Oil Competition (yes, that’s a real thing!). There’s even a key that shows if the oil won a gold or silver medal. Click on the picture of any oil you’re interested in to read a more detailed description and find out where it can be purchased.

Here is A List of Some Vegan-Friendly Greek Wines from Barnivore.com

I also found a wonderful list of brick and mortar Greek markets in the US and Canada over at The Greek Vegan, many of them also have websites, some that you can order products from.

Keep watching Oh She Cooks on facebook because I’ll be sharing the last Week of Greek recipe from 2 Broke Vegans sometime today! And tomorrow I’ll post the whole lineup of recipes in case you want to cook up a Greek feast for family and friends!


We have a winner! This morning at 9am EST, Tete randomly selected a name from all the wonderful contest entries. Congratulations to yoursister who will be receiving:

Two coupons each good for one free box of Qrunch Foods products
Two coupons each good for up to $5.99 off Daiya Cheese products
Two coupons each good for $1 off Qrunch Foods products

All thanks to her winning theme which read, “My plans for summer include eating a protein packed Qrunch burger before giving birth.”

Best wishes to you for an easy birth-giving! And thank you to everyone that entered, you’ll have another chance to win in August.

Giveaway: FREE FOOD!!!!!!! Coupons for Qrunch Foods & Daiya Cheese

Well aren’t you lucky, it’s that time again – time for another coupon giveaway! The winner of this giveaway will receive:

2 coupons for FREE Qrunch Foods products
2 coupons for FREE Daiya Cheese products (up to $5.99 off)
2 coupons for $1 off Qrunch Foods Products

Keep in mind this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to buy Qrunch Burgers and Daiya Cheese shreds. Qrunch Foods also makes Toastables, similar to the burgers but they are bars that come in breakfast flavors. Daiya now makes pizza, cheesecake, cheese blocks, cheese slices, cream cheese, and I hear…mac n cheese!

How it Works
Now boys and girls, I’m going to give you an assignment. I want you to write…a theme (A Christmas Story, remember?). You may enter this contest once a day every day from now until the contest closes at Midnight on Sunday, June 14. To enter, write your theme, “My Plans for the Summer,” below in the comments. Bonus entry if your theme somehow includes Qrunch Foods or Daiya Cheese 🙂

Again, the contest closes at midnight on Sunday, June 14. On Monday, a winner will be randomly selected to receive the coupons. The winner will be contacted by Tuesday, June 16.

Good luck!