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!

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
-Pops

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

Bread
-Ezekiel sprouted grains (oil free)
-Brownberry Italian
-Arnold – according to LiveStrong.com, “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)

Potatoes
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.

Pasta
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!)

Legumes/Pulses
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…

Lentils:
-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).

Chickpeas:
-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 😀

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

Bananas
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.

Do Not Be Sullen While You Are Being Healed

St. Basil the Great““Sound the trumpet at the new moon,” says the Psalmist, “in the notable day of your feast.” This injunction is prophetic. The Scripture readings indicate to us more loudly than any trumpet and more distinctly than any musical instrument the Feast that precedes these days. For we have learned from Isaiah the Grace to be gained from the fasts. Isaiah rejected the Jewish way of fasting and showed us what true fasting means. “Fast not for quarrels and strifes, but loose every bond of iniquity.” And the Lord says: “Be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance, but anoint thine head, and wash thy face.” Let us, therefore, exhibit the demeanor that we have been taught, not being doleful about the coming days, but maintaining a joyful attitude, as befits holy people. No one who desponds is crowned; no one who sulks sets up a trophy of victory. Do not be sullen while you are being healed. It would be absurd not to rejoice over the health of your soul, but rather to be distressed over a change of diet and to give the impression of setting more store by the pleasure of your stomach than by the care of your soul. For satiety brings delight to the stomach, whereas fasting brings profit to the soul. Be of good cheer, for the physician has given you a medicine that destroys sin. For, just as the tapeworms that breed in the intestines of children are obliterated by certain very pungent drugs, so also fasting — a remedy truly worthy of its appellation — when introduced into the soul, kills off the sin that lurks deep within it.”

-From St. Basil the Great’s Homily on Fasting