Mia Kouppa Lenten Meal Plan 2020

Mia Kouppa Great Lent meal plan

A meal plan to take you from Kathara Deftera all the way to Pascha!

We are so excited to be able to share with you our Lenten Meal plan! We’ve worked hard to offer you ideas for daily breakfasts, lunches and suppers as well as desserts and snacks. We know that the period of Sarakosti can be busy, sometimes stressful and occasionally overwhelming, and so we hope that our Mia Kouppa Lenten Meal Plan will help lighten the load.

Planning ahead is key to ensuring that you can keep your fast, however you decide to do so. We are not preaching that you fast in any particular way, but are simply offering you a reference tool should you need a bit of inspiration and help.

We’ve tried to make our Lenten Meal Plan as user friendly as possible. Here are a few ways we’ve tried to do so:

  1. Most recipes have a link which will take you directly to the recipe post. Hover over the name of the menu items which are written in blue and are underlined, and double click to get to the recipe.
  2. We have taken into account leftovers. So, for example, you may have Yemista one day for supper, and you’ll see that we suggest you have Yemista the next day for lunch.
  3. We realize that many of you (like us) work during the day, so suggested lunches are items which can be reheated or enjoyed cold or at room temperature.
  4. Most of our recipes do contain olive oil; this can easily be substituted with another type of oil. If you are abstaining from oil altogether on most days, then it may be a little challenging to use these recipes.
Mia Kouppa Great Lent meal plan

Red lentil and bulgur wraps with a tahini slaw

Red lentil and bulgur wraps with a tahini slaw

Vegan wraps filled with spicy red lentil and bulgur mix topped with a tangy vegetable slaw

There is so much going on here! These spicy wraps are exploding with flavour, nutritious ingredients and pretty colours. Inspired by a recipe we found on The Kitchn website, which credited Trader Joe’s as their inspiration, this is our version of a vegan wrap that we believe is going to become a favourite of yours.

We came up with this recipe last spring when one of us catered a lenten brunch for our church youth group. By making the wrap filling and the slaw the day before, the morning of the event, all that was left to do was assemble them. Delicious, and convenient!

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Dates stuffed with almond butter and coconut

Dates stuffed with almond butter and coconut

A healthy, quick snack to satisfy any sweet craving

Dates stuffed with almond butter and coconut

 

Sometimes the craving for something sweet hits so quickly, and so aggressively that you find yourself scrambling in the kitchen, looking for something that was already baked, or a candy bar, or a bag of chocolate chips that you spontaneously decide are not necessary for the chocolate chip cookies you were planning to make.  If you don’t have access to these options, you dip into the sugary cereal you know you shouldn’t be feeding your kids, or you make some cinnamon toast, with more brown sugar than cinnamon, or toast.  Or, you pause, remember your health and waistline and choose a piece of nature’s candy instead.   You know, a bowl of grapes or a ripe peach.  Bah! Who are we kidding?? When that urge for sweetness hits, fruit just isn’t going to cut it unless its been morphed into a pie, or unless that fruit is a date.

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Herbed orzo with chickpeas (Κριθαράκι με βότανα και ρεβίθια)

Herbed orzo with chickpeas

A delicious meal of fresh herbs, orzo and chickpeas

If you’re looking for a dish to remind you that spring is here, and that the cold winter months are behind you, then this is it.  A simple recipe using orzo and loads of fresh herbs, the colour,  smell and the flavour of this herbed orzo make it clear that sunny days are here…or at least, coming soon.

The fresh taste of this herbed orzo dish is enough to entice you to make it over and over again.  But, an added bonus is that it is quick, easy, economical (super economical if you happen to have your own herb garden) and vegan, making it perfect for meatless Mondays, period of Orthodox lent, and any other time you want a plant-based meal.  The addition of chickpeas ensures that the dish is full of protein and that it is satisfying.

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Vegan spanakopita (Νηστίσιμη σπανακόπιτα)

Vegan spanakopita

Homemade phyllo and spinach filling, perfect for Lent, and anytime

Vegan spanakopita

 

Growing up we lived close to our grade school, and so lunches were eaten at home after a short walk down one street and one lane.  Our mother, who worked at different periods either at home, or in the evenings, was available to meet us at the school and walk the short distance home with us. Once there we would very occasionally be treated to our parents’ newly discovered convenience food; the TV dinner.  We loved those surprise lunches, from the compartmentalized courses to the odd looking sauces and vegetables which were less than vibrant.  We especially loved returning to school and, on those days only, asking our friends “what did you have for lunch?”, knowing that they would probably ask us the same.  Then, we could nonchalantly, but with a quiet glee, say, “Oh, you know, a TV dinner”.  Our non-Greek friends would nod their heads with approval and understanding. Our Greek friends would look bewildered.

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Vegan chocolate and strawberry cookies

Vegan chocolate and strawberry cookies

Chocolate and strawberry bites, which could easily be called brownies

Vegan chocolate and strawberry cookies

 

Don’t you just love it when you can convince yourself that dessert is healthy…or at least, not horribly bad for you?!  We do! and that is exactly what we do with these chocolate and strawberry cookies.  Not only are these two-bite cookies, which could just as easily be called brownies, vegan (automatically healthy right??!!) but they are also incredibly easy to whip together and contain a secret ingredient which makes them that much more lovely.  Who doesn’t love a recipe with a secret ingredient?

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Potatoes yahni (Πατάτες γιαχνί )

Potatoes yahni

A traditional Greek potato stew

Potatoes yahni

 

Raise your hand if you love pototoes! You there, in the back, holding a fist-full of french fries, we see you!  And we love you!  And, we too love potatoes.  Whether they are roasted in the oven, bathed in all sorts of beautiful Greek flavours, or boiled and mashed and then transformed into the very distinctive Greek garlic spread called skordalia, we adore them.  Potatoes are so versatile, so available, so economical, that it’s no wonder that the rustic cuisine of Greece has taken this commonplace vegetable and made it the star of a stew which we know will find a happy place in your hearts and stomachs.

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Calamari and rice (Καλαμάρι με ρύζι)

Calamari with rice

A one skillet meal which is so easy and flavourful that you’ll find yourself making it over and over again.

Calamari and rice

Any meal that can come together in one pot, one pan or one baking tray is a winner in our books.  When that meal happens to be delicious, and also requires little to no culinary skill, you know it’s going to be on the menu pretty often.  This one skillet meal of calamari and rice also happens to be perfect for periods of Orthodox fasting, when dairy, eggs and meat are usually avoided, but seafood like calamari is perfectly appropriate.

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