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The period of the Great Lent started yesterday with Kathara Deftera (Clean Monday) and this is called Saracosti.u00c2u00a0u00c2u00a0 During the period of Saracostiu00c2u00a0 the faithful fast for a period of 48 days and not 40, as it is usually said: the six weeks of Lent and Holy Week.u00c2u00a0 This year the Orthodox Easter is on the 19th April and fasting is from the 3rd March to the 18th April.u00c2u00a0 Of course this is not obligatory and most people fast for a couple of weeks.

Meat and animal prod­ucts (cheese, milk, butter, eggs, lard), fish (meaning fish with backbones), olive oil and wine (all alcoholic drinks) are not consumed during the weekdays of Great Lent.u00c2u00a0u00c2u00a0u00c2u00a0 Octopus and shell-fish are allowed, as is vegetable margarine, shortening, and vegetable oils, gelatin, olives, as well as honey are allowed.

On weekends, ol­ive oil and wine are permitted. Fish is permitted only on two Sundays during the Lenten period: on the Feast of the An­nunciation (March 25) and on Palm Sunday (one week before Easter).

The purpose of fasting is to cleanse the body as well as the spirit in preparation for accepting the Resurrection at Easter, which is the most sacred of all observances in the Greek Orthodox faith.

Through fasting, we also learn to feel compassion for the poor and hungry and to save our own resources so that we can help those in need.

During this period I shall try and post mainly Lenten recipes. u00c2u00a0 However,u00c2u00a0 I do have lots of recipes I have prepared before Lent, which I shall also post.

If you exclude the recipes with seafood and honey all other recipes here are vegan:






Ktapodi me makaronaki Kofto (Octopus with pasta)

Octopus Salad

Kalamaria Gemista (Stuffed Squid)

Shrimp Risotto

Shrimp Risotto (2)

Main Dishes:

Aromatic Blackeyed Peas with Wild Greens and Quinoa

Gemista (stuffed tomatoes and peppers)

Dolmadakia Gialantzi (stuffed vine leaves with rice and herbs)

Fasolada (White beans in tomato sauce)

Fakes Moutzentra (Cypriot lentils with rice)

Arakas Laderos (Peas with carrots in tomato sauce)

Spanakoryzo (Spinach with rice)

Fakesu00c2u00a0 (Lentil Soup)

Fasolia Mavrommatika (Black-eyed peas)

Greekwhite beans salad

Black-eyed peas with spinach and Swiss chard in tomato sauce

Fasolakia Giahniu00c2u00a0 (Braised Green beans in tomato sauce)

Hoummous Soup (chickpeas soup)

Vegetable puree soup with pasta


Patates lemonates (oven baked lemon potatoes)

Patates Antinahtes (whole potatoes with red wine)

Pommes Lyonnaises

Rice pilaf with vegetables and vermicelli

Pilafi pourgouri- without the meat (Bulgur wheat pilaf)

Revithokeftedes me Garides (Shrimp – chickpea patties)

Revithokeftedes (chickpea patties)

Coconut Red Lentil Soup


Bourekia with mushrooms

Whole Wheat Focaccia with Kalamata Olives

Elioti (Olives Roulade)

Eliopsomo (Olive Bread)


Olives and Carrot Bread Sticks and rolls

Eliopitakia (olive pies)

Kolokotes (Cypriot pumpkin pies)

Tahninopita (Tahini filled pastry)

Dips / appetizers:

Taramosalata (Roe dip)

Melitzanosalata (Eggplant dip)

Houmous (chickpeas dip)

Elies tsakistes (green crushed olives)

Elies Kalamon (kalamata olives)

Pantzaria Xydata (Beets preserved in vinegar)

Spanakopita nistisimi

Black-eyed pea patties

Revithokeftedes (Chickpea Patties)

Koupes me manitaria (kibbeh stuffed with mushrooms)


Halvas with Chocolate, Nuts & Dried Fruit

Mini Apple Turnovers with Homemade Apple Sauce

Pot Halvas with fruit and almonds

Pischies (Pastry bathed in syrup)


Eggless and Dairy Free Chocolate cake

Loukoumades (Cypriot Doughnuts)

Akoumia (Symian Doughnuts)


Carrot cake with chocolate

Ladlokouloura (Olive oil biscotti)

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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22 u00cfu0083u00cfu0087u00cfu008cu00ceu00bbu00ceu00b9u00ceu00b1 on Nistisimes Syntages – Food for the Soul (Lenten Recipes)

  1. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Peter u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    Ivy, that’s quite an array of Lenten dishes and food for thought for those looking to add a new dish to the Sarakosti trapezi.

    Kali Anastasi.

  2. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Sam Sotiropoulos u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    Bravo Ivy! A nice introduction to the Lenten period AND a very wide assortment of nistisima foods. One could craft their entire Lenten menu from this collection alone! Impressive.

  3. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 maria u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    Wow, what a great round up of Lenten dishes Ivy! So many great things to choose from here, you don’t feel like you are giving much up! Kali Sarakosti kai xronia polla!

  4. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Scrumptious u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    What a wonderful collection of recipes! Everything looks so unbelievably delicious – no deprivation here!

    I wanted to let you know the announcement for the March theme for Sugar High Fridays has been posted:

    The theme is Desserts over a century old, and I know a lot of the recipes you cook and post about here are traditional dishes. I would be so delighted to learn a 100+ year-old Greek dessert recipe, or anything else you feel like cooking up.

    Hope to see you there this month!

  5. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Bellini Valli u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    That is an amazing array of dishes Sis. There is not a single thing that I would not love to enjoy any day of the week:D

  6. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Niki u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    B/w you and the other couple of lenten blogs, I have my entire menu for all of Lent planned out!!!
    I can’t wait to try some of these Ivy!!!

  7. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Lubna Karim u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    Wow so many yummy, scrummy, new, tempting and alluring recipes……Feast to the pallette and eyes….Ummmmm

  8. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Happy Cook u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    Wow this is what i call a feast, wow wow wow.
    A wonderful delicious post.
    Oops…forgot to say great post! Looking forward to your next one.

  9. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Joan Nova u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    I was very interested to read the origins and reasons behind Lent in Greek history. However, this looks more like feasting than fasting! :)

  10. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Rosie u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    Kudos to you Ivy this is such an awesome Lenten array of dishes!! So much variety to choose from and which one to start with – a feast to my eyes!

    Please pass by my blog and collect some awards ;o)

    Rosie x

  11. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Simona u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    I read with interest your description of the Lent traditions. The array of dishes is amazing. Looking forward to exploring some of them.

  12. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 bobby u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    Nice collection of recipes. The shrimp risotto looks really good. I will be preparing some meals for lent as well.

  13. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Recipe Hit List: Meat Free Recipes For Lent : u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    [...] Nistisima – Food for the Soul: A motherload of recipes here, you’ll find seafood, main dishes, bean dishes, soups, snacks and lots more. Found at Kopiaste. [...]

  14. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 giz u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    Wow Ivy – and what will you cook for tomorrow (hahahaha). I love these customs and how people can change and do things they don’t normally do when they feel purpose. Beautiful array of yummies.

  15. u00ceu009f/u00ceu0097 Mercina u00ceu00bbu00ceu00adu00ceu00b5u00ceu00b9:

    This is absolutely wonderful, Ivy. Thank you posting these lenten dishes. I’m going to make fakes soupa tomorrow. Take care!


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