Our new Great Lent Meal Plan, FREE to download for 2023!
We are so excited to be able to offer you our FREE downloadable meal plan for Great Lent 2023. Offering these meal plans is one of our favourite things! We think that you will really enjoy our 2023 Great Lent Meal Plan. Included are new recipes and the large format (each week of lent gets its own page) makes the daily recipe ideas easier to follow. You will also find links to some of the major holidays during this Lenten period.
Download our FREE 2023 Great Lent Meal Plan, and more!
We’ve got 3 FREE downloads for you! The first is our meal plan that will take you all the way from Clean Monday or Kathara Deftera (which this year is on February 27), to Orthodox Pascha (Easter Sunday this year is on April 16th).
Next, we have a FREE download of Additional Recipes you won’t yet find on our website. Some of these are included in the meal plan (you’ll know which ones they are because they have an asterix (*) next to them.
Finally, our third FREE download is a simple document which helps with basic substitutions. Use this information to convert some of your favourite recipes into versions which are perfect for lent.
Why do we fast during Great Lent?
Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly (Mathew 6.16–18).
How one experiences Great Lent is a personal choice. There are certainly “rules” which are dictated by our faith, but situations, contexts, beliefs and capabilities vary. Anyone who is interested in discussing their own personal reality is encouraged to speak to their parish priest or spiritual father.
There are three main ways to connect to our faith during Great Lent. Fasting is one way. Prayer and almsgiving are the other two. To help with fasting we have once again provided you with a FREE, downloadable 2023 Great Lent meal plan to take you all the way from Kathara Deftera (Clean Monday) to Pascha (Orthodox Easter). We hope that you find it helpful.
How to use the 2023 Great Lent Meal Plan
We offer our 2023 Great Lent Meal Plan as a guide, and perhaps a source of inspiration. Use it as a loose reference, or follow it religiously (sorry, we couldn’t resist 🙂 ) We have tried to make it sensible in that we reserve more complex meals for the weekends and rely on leftovers a bit (especially when in comes to snacks and desserts).
The Helpful Hints page of our 2023 Great Lent Meal Plan contains many recipes that do use olive oil, and they are included even on Strict Fast days. If you are consuming oil, but not olive oil, you can easily substitute the olive oil for another type. If you are avoiding oil on strict fast days altogether, you can make modifications to some of the recipes. For example, you can use water instead when sautéing vegetables for a soup. In some cases, you need some sort of oil and you may find that you need
Get the most out of our 2023 Great Lent Meal Plan by following these tips:
- Before anything, we recommend that you read the first page of the 2023 Great Lent Meal Plan for additional information and tips.
- This meal plan works best when consulted on the computer, on your phone or tablet. You will be taken directly to the recipe post by clicking on a recipe. However, it is also a great idea to print out the meal plan to have it as an easy reference and to take it with you when grocery shopping.
- Any recipe in the calendar which is underlined and in blue font can be clicked, and then the recipe will open in a new tab on your computer.
- Any recipe which has an asterix (*) next to it is included in the additional downloadable document called 2023 Great Lent Additional Recipes.
- Any holiday which is noted, and which is underlined in blue font, can be clicked. You will be taken to the relevant post on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website, which will explain the significance of that particular day.
- In the 2023 Great Lent Additional Recipes document you will find recipes not yet published on our website. Many, but not all of them, are included in the meal plan calendar. Others are presented as additional options for you to use as you like. This year we have focused on some lenten breakfast ideas, to help you start the day on the right foot!
- We recommend you look through the entire week when planning your menus. That way you can shop accordingly, and make any switches you would like to make. Also, some recipes you will likely prefer to make on the weekend to be used during the week (for example, baking chocolate and orange cake)
If you are curious about substitutions you can make to non-lenten recipes, to make them appropriate for the fast, we have created a simple document with lenten-friendly substitutions. We’ve also included some basic pantry essentials to get you through the next several weeks!
A few final thoughts:
Regardless of how you choose to use the 2023 Great Lent Meal Plan, and no matter how (or if) you choose to fast, there are a few words of wisdom that our mother used to remind us of. We feel it is important to share these with you as well:
- When you are fasting, you should not look at anyone’s plate but your own. What this means is that we should not judge what others do in regards to fasting. Also, we should not compare ourselves to others. Fasting is personal, and between you and God.
- What comes out of your mouth is more important than what goes into it. So, fasting is only meaningful if you use it as a way to remember that coming closer to God also means treating others with kindness, respect, compassion and love, always.