Vegan Pea Protein Porridge

Is there anything more Lenten than porridge? I can’t think of anything. I’ve been working on ways to incorporate pea protein into my diet other than just sticking it in a smoothie (pea protein has a mild flavor that is easy to mask, but when unmasked…it’s rather unpleasant) and this is my first of many recipes for Lent. In this pea porridge, we have plenty of spice and one surprise ingredient.

Okay, it’s a pickle. And there’s peanut butter. It’s like a peanut butter and pickle sandwich, but less weird to eat in front of other people ’cause they won’t know what’s in it.

Lenten Pea Protein Porridge | Orthodox and Vegan
The recipe can also be modified to make a soup for two by adding an extra cup of liquid and adjusting the seasonings, however I made it a single-serving porridge so it would be easy to get a ton of protein all in one meal. Using a fortified almond milk instead of water is another great way to add nutrients.

This is meant to be a main meal on fasting days when we are eating less. So, while it packs 44 grams of protein in one single serving, it also has about half a day’s worth of sodium – just something to keep in mind if you’re watching that.

Single-Serve Pea Protein Porridge
1 scoop pea protein
3 Tbsp green pea flour
2 tsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried dill
1/8 tsp celery seed

1 1/4 C plain unsweetened almond milk, or water
1 tsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1/2 – 1 kosher dill pickle, finely chopped

In a small saucepan, add dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Whisk together almond milk (or water), soy sauce, and peanut butter, then slowly pour into dry ingredients while whisking to prevent lumps. Over medium heat, bring to a low boil and then immediately lower to a simmer. Continue whisking as porridge thickens, 3 to 5 minutes.
Stir in chopped pickle and remove from heat. Let sit for one minute before serving.*

*If the pickle cooks in the porridge for more than a minute or two, it will become flavorless.

This recipe is oil free and perfect for a strict fasting day.

Have you ever tried the PB&Pickle sandwich combo?

What I Ate Wednesday: Fast Days and Feast Days

We made it halfway through the week, and it’s time for another What I Ate Wednesday! Sometimes when I look over the pictures from the past week, I can really tell when I was in a hurry to throw something together. The past few days I ate a lot of things that it didn’t even seem worthwhile to take a picture of. I also ate something so weird, I had to take a picture πŸ™‚ And then there was my special meal for a Feast Day celebration.

What I Ate Wednesday: ALT (Avocado Lettuce Tomato) Sandwich | Orthodox and Vegan
I did get off to a good start with pea soup and an ALT (Avocado, Lettuce and Tomato) Sandwich – if you’re eating oil, you could also add your favorite vegan mayo. I made the pea soup using Bob’s Red Mill green pea flour, and added tahini to make it creamy.

What I Ate Wednesday: Double Qrunch Burger Sandwich | Orthodox and Vegan
Another sandwich, but this time I simply prepared two Qrunch Burgers (you cook them in the toaster). They are covered in ketchup, with a little squirt of Just Mayo.

What I Ate Wednesday: Pickle Wrap | Orthodox and Vegan
And this is where I got desperate. I was in a rush to eat something Saturday afternoon, and didn’t have time to slice veggies. Instead I wrapped a pickle in a tortilla! To the left of the pickle is a big squirt of Just Mayo covered in hulled hemp hearts, topped with ketchup and crushed up tortilla chips. It was actually pretty good!

What I Ate Wednesday: Stella's Lounge in Grand Rapids | Orthodox and Vegan
But do you know what’s even better than a pickle in a tortilla? Brunch at Stella’s Lounge! Our parish transferred the feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos to Sunday, so after Liturgy my friend and I headed to Stella’s for a special meal. What you see here is Ride the Lightning Salad, Chronic Fries, Onion Rings, French Toast Sandwich filled with Tofu Veggie Scramble with Old Grand Dad Maple Syrup, and a side of Poor Man’s Potato Wing Hash. Oh, and a celebratory Espresso Old Fashioned πŸ™‚

What I Ate Wednesday: Curry Leaf Indian Cuisine | Orthodox and Vegan
Today I finally tried the Indian restaurant that opened near my house quite a few months ago, Curry Leaf. A lot of Indian food contains cream or ghee, but not all of it. I went for the lunch buffet, and the host showed us which items were vegan. Indian food is great because:
A. It tastes good
B. Lots of legumes = protein and
C. It tastes really, really wonderful.
And nearly everything shown here is gluten free, except probably the pancake thing.

What I Ate Wednesday: Coco Jazz Thai Coconut Snack | Orthodox and Vegan
Lastly, I stopped at my favorite Asian market to pickup some jackfruit and decided to take a look at the clearance racks – I love getting a good deal! I found this chili flavored toasted coconut snack from Thailand, Coco Jazz, for only 50 cents. These little bags (one to two servings each) would be great to keep around the house or office for when you need a little extra something.

What’s the weirdest thing you ever ate in a pinch? Let us know in the comments!

Nativity Fast 2016 Begins Tuesday, November 15 (Tomorrow!)

Orthodox Icon of the Nativity of Christ | Orthodox and Vegan
Hey guys! In case you missed it earlier, my Nativity Fast page is active again with fasting guidelines and meal ideas. I’ll have it up all throughout the fast in case you need to reference it. I also wanted to share a few links for Lenten staples, some are my own recipes and others I found for you on other vegan websites. Check these out:

Oat Milk Use on cold cereals for breakfast
Coconut Milk Cheese Use for sandwiches, quesadillas, or melt it down for a cheesy sauce (I’ve found great prices on coconut milk and agar powder at Asian markets)
Veggie Lunch Meat For school lunches, or a great addition to hummus wraps
Crusty Bread Great with soup – or for a special treat, spread with peanut butter when the bread is fresh from the oven
Banana Chocolate Ice Cream

There’s always my guide to Ordering Vegan at Taco Bell if you’re in a pinch πŸ™‚

I also recommend buying a giant bag of potatoes and baking a dozen or so at a time. Keep the potatoes in the fridge so they’re ready when you need something quick. You can nuke them in the microwave, and they’ll be great topped with a tahini sauce (or margarine/olive oil on an oil day).

Chia Pudding!
You can also make an interesting treat with chia seeds. If you make the sweetened version of the oat milk with vanilla, combine 1 1/4 C oat milk with 1/4 chia seeds and let it set in the fridge for 30 minutes. Stir again and let sit another 1 1/2 hours and you will have a delicious pudding. Make it banana flavored simply by adding some mashed banana.

Of course I’ll be sharing recipes with you during the next few weeks, and doing my regular What I Ate Wednesday posts. If you want to take a look at past WIAW posts, be sure to check out What Vegans Eat.

And as always, post any comments or questions and I’ll do my best to help!

Happy Fasting!!!!

Tropical Watermelon Smoothie

For some reason I just don’t like eating fruit. I’ll have it once in a while if someone has already prepared it, maybe after a meal or something when it’s hot out. Otherwise I just really have a hard time getting myself to eat fruit…except, apparently, when it’s in a smoothie!

This summer I’ve been going through bananas like crazy, I eat about 8 a week. I peel and chop them and store them in a freezer bag in the freezer to use as a smoothie base (they’re nice and creamy when blended), and I’ve been drinking about 5 smoothies a week. Sometimes I freeze other fruit, too. I bought fresh pineapple rings from Meijer in a little plastic container and just chucked the whole thing in the freezer without even cutting the rings into smaller pieces first. I was kind of mad at myself for that when I went to use them yesterday, but was surprised to find they were still easy to cut through when frozen. My dad also bought a giant watermelon and asked me to chop it for him (one of my least favorite jobs). There was so much, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to throw some of it in the freezer, too. And so the Tropical Watermelon Smoothie was born.

Tropical Watermelon Smoothie | Orthodox and Vegan
Tropical Watermelon Smoothie
1/4 C frozen chopped banana
1/3 C frozen chopped pineapple
1 C frozen chopped watermelon
1 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)

Blend all ingredients. Drink. Enjoy! As with pretty much all my smoothie recipes, this is made to fit perfectly in the single serve cup of my Ninja blender.

I could use a few more ideas for adding fruit to my diet. What is your favorite fruit during the summer months, and how do you prepare it? Please let me know by commenting below!

What Vegans Eat: Tea Party Picnic

Because people sometimes get the idea it’s hard to be vegan and still have a fun social life, I’d like to occasionally share with you What Vegans Eat at various social events.

My mom got us tickets to the Picnic Pops Music of David Bowie concert for my birthday. The Picnic Pops are held at a ski area during the summer months. You can get general admission tickets and sit out on the hill, or pay extra to get reserved seats at the picnic tables in front of the stage. We got the reserved seats and I LOVE picnics, but then I realized…the concert was August 2. During the Dormition Fast. I’m vegan all year anyway, but strict fasting days for me also means eliminating oil. Could we pull off a vegan & oil free picnic spread?

What Vegans Eat: Tea Party Picnic | Orthodox and Vegan
Yup. Here’s what vegans eat at a tea-less tea party inspired picnic (full disclosure: my mom grabbed the vegan cupcakes from her freezer, they were made for another occasion and probably contained oil. I decided to accept the hospitality, but I do have an awesome oil free cake recipe I’ll share soon!)

What Vegans Eat: Picnic Pops Tea Party | Orthodox and Vegan
I made little tea sandwiches with Italian bread I found at Dollar Tree (yes!! – take & bake bread for $1!) and homemade Cashew Basil Pesto topped with fresh spearmint and cucumber – I’ll post the pesto recipe tomorrow. Mom made raw seed crackers, and we topped half with my Coconut Milk Cheese and half with an experimental lentil spread I’m perfecting. And did you know Rose of Sharon is edible? We didn’t eat those flowers, but we could have. (Orange Trumpet Flowers not edible)

What Vegans Eat: Tea Party Picnic | Orthodox and Vegan
Mom also made this Spinach & Sun Dried Tomato Vegan Quiche, and bruschetta. In the top picture you can see a champagne glass filled with chickpea salad – also made by mom. I cannot give you a recipe but she basically threw in all the wild greens from her garden along with homemade fermented veggies, and mixed it all with a tahini sauce.

Multiple people commented on the beauty and splendor of our picnic spread, and in the end we actually enjoyed it more than the concert. So you see, it is possible to live a normal, happy life, eat good food, have fun, and Be Vegan.

Have an event coming up and unsure what to bring? Comment below!

Vegan Q&A, Part 2: Why Don’t Vegans Eat Eggs?

Why Don't Vegans Eat Eggs? | Orthodox and Vegan
“But why don’t vegans eat eggs? You don’t have to hurt the animals to get those.”
I’ve heard this about both milk and eggs several times a year for the past 18 years. Today I’ll just focus on the eggs.

Why Don't Vegans Eat Eggs? | Orthodox and Vegan

Debeaking a Chick

I’m not sure what most people imagine when they think of chickens being raised to lay eggs. Maybe, like me a long time ago, they don’t really think about it at all. The unfortunate truth is that most eggs come from factory farmed chickens, and factory farming involves a lot of suffering.

Did You Know

Newly-hatched chicks are sent down a conveyor belt to be manually inspected by chicken sexers – great job title, huh? The job of the chicken sexer is to determine the sex of the chicks within a fraction of a second. The chicks are then sorted. Obviously female chicks are needed to one day produce eggs. On the other hand since these chickens are bred for egg laying, male chicks are useless and are disposed of. Within moments of being hatched, the male chicks may be thrown into a macerated to be ground up alive. In some facilities they gather the chicks and gas them, while others may shock them, break their necks, or suffocate them using foam or plastic bags.

This sleek video shows how processing chicks can be neatly streamlined. The brown sludge you see shooting out of the machine around the 1 minute mark is the shredded bodies of unwanted male chicks which are culled (in this case macerated) moments after being hatched.

Why Don't Vegans Eat Eggs? | Orthodox and Vegan
If the chick is lucky enough to be a female she will be debeaked (seen above), loaded with antibiotics, and crammed into a battery cage. The chickens must be debeaked because living in an overcrowded, confined space makes them anxious and prone to pecking each other (and cannibalism!). The cages are often stacked high, with feces from the chickens above falling onto the chickens below.

A hen’s egg production will usually slow after about 2 years. When egg production stops, or becomes so slow that it is no longer economical to keep the hen, she will be slaughtered. This, and chick culling, are not only issues on factory farms. Small farms – even backyard farms – are not likely to keep hens that don’t produce.

But Don’t We Need Eggs?

Nope. Did you know in baked goods you can replace eggs with mashed bananas, ground flax, chia seeds, or baking soda and vinegar? You can also make vegan omelettes with chickpea flour, or the very popular VeganEgg from Follow Your Heart (the Amazon price flucuates. If it’s about $7, try to find it locally). Tofu scramble is a breakfast classic.

What are your favorite egg substitutes? If you have a question about substituting eggs in a certain recipe, post in the comments below!

Dormition Fast 101

The Dormition of the Holy Mother of God

Christ holding the soul of the Theotokos

Hello, Friends!

The Dormition Fast is almost here (August 1-15 New Calendar, August 14-28 Old Calendar) and I’ve noticed a few people have found my blog by searching for Dormition Fast menu planning. Unfortunately I am terrible at planning and didn’t even realize it’s nearly the end of July! So. While it’s a little late to lay out a menu for you, I will give you some ideas. I’ve also posted my official Dormition Fast page in the top menu of the blog which contains a bunch more ideas…not sure why I just spent so much time on this when that page exists :p

Breakfast Cereal for Kids
-Fruity Pebbles
-Cap’n Crunch
-Reese’s Puffs
-Rice Krispies
-Corn Flakes

Serve with your fav non-dairy milk (almond milk, cashew milk, flax milk, oat milk, soy milk, hemp milk, rice milk, coconut milk. I’d pair sweet cereals with an unsweetened milk)

In a Pinch
How to Order Vegan at Taco Bell

-Ezekiel sprouted grains (oil free)
-Brownberry Italian
-Arnold – according to, “Arnold’s Carb-counting multi-grain, Jewish rye, and stone ground whole wheat breads; and potato, wheat or sesame sandwich rolls.”
-Thomas bagels – plain, blueberry, cinnamon swirl, everything, and cinnamon raisin flavors are vegan, and at least a couple flavors are oil free.

Serve nut butter toast with breakfast, veggie sandwiches for lunch, with soup for dinner. A plain toasted bagel makes a great hot pretzel substitute – dip it in mustard! (Although SuperPretzels are also Lenten, and oil free)

This is so easy! Buy a 5 pound bag of potatoes (I prefer red, they tend to be more moist and have a somewhat buttery flavor). Bake a bunch of them at once, they’ll keep for several days in the fridge so do enough for the week.
Besides eating them like a standard baked potato, you can mash them, chop them up for a breakfast hash, or simply slice them up, season with salt, and eat them covered with ketchup.

On oil free days I do baked potatoes with a side of steamed veggies, and cover everything in tahini sauce. This Nacho Cheez tahini sauce is great, or you can customize it to your taste. On weekends I prefer straight up olive oil to margarine.

I love angel hair pasta because it cooks so quickly. And speaking of that tahini sauce, it’s great on pasta! You could also do an herb pesto and use avocado for the fat instead of oil.

On weekends, drizzle the pasta with olive oil, and season to taste with salt, pepper, garlic, basil, oregano, and parsley. Top with sauteed broccoli and onions.
(Of course you can also just dump canned marinara on pasta if you don’t want to cook much!)

Buy one pound bags of lentils, chickpeas, and/or black beans, cook them all and pop them them in the fridge or freezer. With a few cans of refried beans, too, you can make all kinds of wonderful things. Such as…

-BBQ Lentils – Like Sloppy Joes. Simmer the cooked lentils in BBQ sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray’s and often find it on sale for $1) with minced onion. Eat it on a bun with pickles and mustard, or however you’d top your Sloppy Joe. If you’re gluten free, do a lettuce wrap.
-Lentil Tacos – season the cooked lentils like you would taco meat. Fill corn* tortillas with the seasoned lentils, guacamole, lettuce, tomatoes & onions. And you can put that Nacho Cheez sauce to use again.
*I use corn tortillas because they’re oil free. If you’re only abstaining from olive oil, or if it’s the weekend, flour tortillas should be fine (at least here in Michigan I haven’t seen any that contain lard).

-Hummus – A huge bowl of hummus, and you can eat it with pita and olives and veggies.
-Curry – simmer the cooked chickpeas in canned coconut milk (I prefer full fat) seasoned to taste with curry powder and whatever else you like. Add cauliflower and onions and cook until tender. Serve over rice to bulk it up.
-Add chickpeas to salads for extra protein

Black Beans & Refried Beans:
-Tacos, Burritos, Tostadas, Nachos, Taco Salad, CRUNCHWRAPS
The black beans act as a meat replacement (be sure to season them), and refried beans hold things together and are great for bulking up tacos and burritos. Add your favorite veggies and, if you like, salsa and guac.

I put the tahini sauce on everything, but you can mix things up by making Coconut Milk Cheese and adding that instead. You can also use it to make quesadillas πŸ˜€

-Black beans & rice – top with a tomato sauce or your favorite hot sauce

Buy a few bananas for each person in your home. Peel, chop, freeze in a bag. Frozen bananas make a great creamy base for smoothies! Try this one:

1/2 C frozen banana
2 Tbsp natural peanut butter or PB2
1 C ice
1 C vanilla almond milk
(makes one serving)

If you wanna really bulk it up, blend 3 Tbsp hemp seeds and 1/4 C quick cooking oats with the almond milk before adding the other ingredients. It’ll add 12g protein and a decent amount of iron – but if you’re using unsweetened almond milk, you may want to add a tiny bit of maple syrup to mask the oatmeal taste.
This is also great with a couple teaspoons of cocoa powder. Or omit the peanut butter and half the ice, and replace with pineapple and frozen mango.

I hope between this and the Dormition Fast page you’ll have enough ideas to get you through this little two week fast. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch! If you have a go-to meal for fasting days, tell us about it in the comments below.

Dormition Fast Begins Tomorrow

The Dormition of the Holy Mother of God

Christ holding the soul of the Theotokos

The Dormition Fast begins August 1, and ends on the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos on August 15. I have added the Dormition Fast page back to the menu, with fasting guidelines and very simple Lenten meal ideas.

Blessed fast to you all!

2013 Lenten Potluck #4: Oil Free Roasted Vegetables

2013412 veggie roast10

Well, one of my goals was to try to average two posts a day during Lent, and I have just made a lot of work for myself by missing four posts in a row! This is from the Wednesday night potluck, I decided to do Oil Free Roasted Vegetables. I tried to get a nice variety of colors, you can use pretty much whatever you want.

Oil Free Roasted Vegetables for a Lenten Potluck | Orthodox and Vegan
I usually bake a bunch of potatoes to have one hand during the week, the skins peels right off just by rubbing them once they’ve cooled. I only needed one very large sweet potato for this.

Oil Free Roasted Vegetables for a Lenten Potluck | Orthodox and Vegan
Along with the sweet potato I had purple carrots, onion, yellow bell pepper and red cabbage, I threw in about half a dozen cloves of garlic. I lined the pan with parchment paper, it seems like something that might stick.

Without oil I was afraid the roasted vegetables would dry out, so I used a marinade – Kikkoman Teriyaki. I added agave necar (could also use maple syrup), garlic powder, pepper and orange juice. I just added everything to taste, using enough to get the veggies nice and juicy.

I covered the baking dish and baked the vegetables at 425 until tender, about one hour (but check after 45 minutes, ovens may vary). You may want to uncover the veggies at some point and stick them under the broiler if you’d like them to brown.

Oil Free Roasted Vegetables for a Lenten Potluck | Orthodox and Vegan
The marinade worked perfectly to keep the vegetables moist, and it tasted great!

Here’s the rest of the potluck spread:

2013412 veggie roast7
The dessert on the right had blueberry pie filling. I didn’t get to try the others.

2013412 veggie roast8
Veggie burritos!

2013412 veggie roast9
With creamy risotto, delicious Brussels sprouts, fresh fruit, and vegetarian chili with a big chunk of bread. An excellent dinner.

What did you have at your potluck this week?