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Food

Three Recipes Featuring Vegetables to Enjoy

March 14, 2021

Fasting during Great Lent offers a wonderful opportunity to try some delicious vegetable recipes featuring Greek flavors. It can sometimes seem easier to fall back on eating pasta dishes and peanut butter sandwiches, but relying heavily on carbohydrates can wreak havoc on the metabolism and the waistline this time of year. Try to include plant-based protein like legumes to help boost nutrition, and nuts and seeds, sparingly, for the good fats that offer a variety of health benefits. For those fasting strictly, leaving out dairy can sometimes be tough, but there are many options available these days to help with healthy eating throughout the fasting period. 

Veggie Bowl with Tahini Dressing

1 cup green beans

1 small bunch broccoli

1 small-medium zucchini

2 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil

1 small-medium red onion, sliced

2 garlic cloves, sliced

4 cups thinly sliced kale

2 cups cooked brown rice

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

For the dressing:

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup cold water

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon Greek sea salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Trim the green beans and cut in half. Break the broccoli into florets. Chop the zucchini into bite-sized pieces. Heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the sliced garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the broccoli, green beans, and chopped zucchini. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Stir in kale. Cover and steam until the vegetables are tender-crisp, 1 to 2 minutes.

To make the dressing, whisk the tahini and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl until smooth. Add the lemon juice, minced garlic, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and whisk to combine.

To serve, divide the cooked rice and the vegetables among four bowls, drizzle with the tahini dressing, and top with chopped parsley.

Chickpea and Artichoke Salad

2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained

1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/2 lemon, juiced, or more to taste

2 tablespoons Greek extra-virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint, or to taste

1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano, or to taste

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, or to taste

Combine chickpeas, artichokes, celery, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, mint, oregano, and thyme together in a salad bowl. Toss to coat completely. Serve immediately with fresh bread.

Roasted Asparagus and Mushrooms

2 bunches asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cups sliced fresh cremini mushrooms

2 cups halved grape tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, sliced

2 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil

1 fresh lemon, zest and juice

Greek sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons snipped fresh dill

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the asparagus, mushrooms, tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, the lemon zest and juice in a large mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine thoroughly. Transfer to a large roasting pan and roast in a preheated 425 degree F oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Top with fresh dill and serve.

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