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Traditional Greek Recipes: Five dishes for Lent (Sarakosti)

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Sarakosti (or “The Great Lent”) is a tradition for Greeks. It’s a period of fasting, in which people abstain from all meat & animal products (eggs, dairy) except seafood (however fish isn’t allowed).

This is a traditional Greek version of a vegan or vegetarian diet, also followed before Christmas, before the Dormition of the Mother of God in August and for some, every Wednesday & Friday.

Here are some of our favorite recipes for Sarakosti:

  1. Greek Stewed Octopus in Tomato Sauce and Pasta

This is a traditional dish that is served during Greek lent and often consumed on the first day of lent known as Kathara Deftera (Clean Monday). This meal though is great even if you are not fasting or not Greek, it combines lean protein with starch along with the tomato resulting in a complete and nutritious meal.

Find a recipe for Greek Stewed Octopus in Tomato Sauce and Pasta here

2. Dolmadakia Gialantzi

Dolmadakia – stuffed grape leaves are one of the most iconic Greek foods. With lots of dill, mint, scallions, and tender rice, they are a delicacy not to be missed. Find a recipe here.

3. Gemista (Tomatoes and Peppers stuffed with rice)

Juicy, healthy and bursting with fresh and vibrant colors and flavours! Gemista or yemista (which in Greek means ‘filled with’) is a traditional recipe for Greek stuffed tomatoes and/or other vegetables that are baked, until soft and nicely browned. Find a recipe here.

4. Spanakopita (Spinach Pie) Without Cheese

Spanakopita, or spinach pie, is a Greek classic: sweet, earthy leaves and salty cheese encased in layer of shatteringly crisp pastry, it’s as good for breakfast as it is for lunch or dinner. Being delicious hot or cold, vegetarian-friendly and fairly cheap to put together, it’s our top tip for a picnic, lunch or dinner! Find a vegan Spanakopita recipe here

5. Fasolakia Lathera (Green Bean Tomato Casserole)

Greek Green Beans (Fasolakia)! Velvety, tender green beans and potatoes, braised in a tomato and extra virgin olive oil sauce. A simple, flavor-packed, and satisfying entree or side dish. Vegan. Gluten Free. Find a recipe here.

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