***Greek Vegan recipes:
1/ One good point :For a little less than half the year (48 days before Easter, 40 days before Christmas, and various lesser fasting periods), observant Greeks abstain from all animal products except certain shellfish and mollusks.
***This means no meat, cheese, butter, yogurt or eggs, all foods the Greeks love but can ...do without, thanks to the delicious dishes that replace them.
*In Greece, Clean Monday is a public holiday that marks the first day of Lent on the Greek Orthodox calendar.
The range of bean and vegetable main dishes in the Greek repertory is striking; every region has its specialties. Extremely healthy, these dishes contain no saturated fat whatsoever and lots of fiber. Many of the traditional dishes are called “olive oil dishes” (or ladera), because they are cooked with copious amounts of extra virgin olive oil. I tone down the amounts in my kitchen. But I still use enough to ensure that the broth accompanying vegetables or beans is alchemized to a velvety sauce, often enhanced with a splash of fresh lemon juice or vinegar just before serving. Black-Eyed Peas With Vegetables and Small Pasta Since black-eyed peas require no soaking, you can cook this after work so long as you have some vegetables around the house. It is an utterly simple dish that I’ve adapted from a recipe in Ms. Kochilas’s cookbook. 1/2 pound dried black-eyed peas, picked over and rinsed 1 large onion, finely chopped 2 large carrots, finely chopped 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped 1/4 cup tomato paste dissolved in 1/2 cup water 2 to 4 garlic cloves (to taste), minced 1 bay leaf 1 dried hot pepper, or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes 1/4 to 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/2 cup small pasta, such as elbow macaroni or tubettini, or small square Greek egg noodles 1/2 to 1 cup chopped cooked spinach or greens (optional) 1 to 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, to taste 1. Cover the black-eyed peas with water, bring to a boil and then drain. 2. Combine the drained black-eyed peas, onion, carrots, red bell pepper, dissolved tomato paste, garlic, bay leaf, hot pepper and 1/4 cup olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Cover with water by 2 inches, and bring to a gentle boil. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low and simmer 20 minutes. Add salt to taste, and continue to simmer until the beans and vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes more. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add the pasta, increase the heat to medium-high, and simmer five to 10 minutes, until the pasta is cooked and much of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the greens, another 2 tablespoons olive oil if desired and the vinegar. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Yield: Serves four. Advance preparation: This tastes even better the day after it’s made (though you may want to wait to add the pasta until you reheat). It will keep in the refrigerator for three or four days.
VEGAN Greek Zucchini Fritters
A classic mezze they’re like a VEGAN Greek version of latkes. Ingredients: 2 pounds large zucchini, trimmed and grated on the wide holes of a grater or food processor Salt Egg 'replacers : for 2 eggs ( pls, see the other note :"baking without egg "for egg repacers list/TY ) 1/2 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as fennel, dill, mint, parsley 1 tablespoon ground cumin 1 cup fresh or dry breadcrumbs, more as necessary Freshly ground pepper 1 cup crumbled tofu All-purpose flour as needed and for dredging Olive oil for frying 1. Salt the zucchini generously and leave to drain in a colander for one hour, tossing and squeezing the zucchini from time to time. Take up handfuls of zucchini, and squeeze out all of the moisture. Alternately, wrap in a clean dish towel, and squeeze out the water by twisting at both ends. 2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs replacers and add the shredded zucchini, herbs, cumin, bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste and tofu. Mix tog ether well. Take up a small handful of the mixture; if it presses neatly into a patty, it is the right consistency. ***If it seems wet, add more breadcrumbs or a few tablespoons of all-purpose flour. When the mixture has the right consistency, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour or longer. 3. Heat 1 inch of olive oil in a large frying pan until rippling, or at about 275 degrees. Meanwhile, take up heaped tablespoons of the zucchini mixture, and form balls or patties. Lightly dredge in flour. 4. When the oil is very hot, add the patties in batches to the pan. Fry until golden brown, turning once with a spider or slotted spoon. Remove from the oil, and drain briefly on a rack. Serve with a salad if desired. Yield: Serves six to eight. Advance preparation: The mixture can be assembled up to a day before you make and fry the fritters. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3/ My VEGAN BREAD version of a GREEK Bread
In Mediterranean societies, a meal without bread is nearly inconceivable. we often don’t finish a loaf before it becomes hard and stale. That presents an opportunity, not a problem: Mediterranean cooks long ago figured out just how much you can do with stale bread. * People who have survived on little never throw out food that can be eaten.AND WE HAVE TO DO IT THE SAME. :) As long as it’s not moldy, bread that has dried out can be reconstituted in thick vegetable soups, pungent salads and comforting, savory bread puddings. I’m particularly fond of stale bread used with tomatoes . ***Choose breads that are made at least partially with whole wheat flour or other whole grains. They’ll be higher in fiber and such nutrients as selenium, potassium and magnesium. Be aware that cutting hard bread is a bit dangerous; the knife can slip off the hard surface, and a serrated bread knife makes a nasty cut. If your stale bread is too hard to cut easily, douse it with water first. You can even plunge it into a bowl of water for about 20 to 30 seconds, then lift it out and squeeze This recipe is based on a number of Greek dishes made with barley rusks — rock-hard, twice-baked barley bread slices that are sold in bakeries and reconstituted for salads and soups. You can make the rusks with any hearty country bread by drying out thick slices in a low oven. ***The authentic Greek version of this recipe employs much more olive oil and garlic. 4 thick slices stale country bread 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion 1 pound firm, ripe tomatoes, grated (see below) or peeled, seeded and finely chopped 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed 1 garlic clove, cut in half, green shoot removed, minced or pureed in a mortar and pestle 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives 1 tablespoon chopped dill Salt TOFU, crumbled 2 teaspoons dried oregano Note: In Greece, cooks often grate tomatoes rather than peeling them. It’s a handy technique: Cut tomatoes in half, squeeze out the seeds, and rub the cut side against the large holes of a grater until you reach the skin. Discard the skin. 1. Do this step the night before if your bread isn’t hard all the way through. Preheat the oven to its lowest setting. If your oven has a pilot light, you needn’t turn it on. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and place in the oven for eight to 10 hours, until the bread is hard all the way through. Allow to cool. 2. Sprinkle the rusks with cold water until softened but not soggy. Tap off the water and set on a platter. 3. Place the chopped onions in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for a few minutes, then drain and rinse. Drain on paper towels. Toss with the tomatoes, vinegar, two tablespoons of the olive oil, capers, garlic, onion, chopped olives and dill. Salt to taste. Spoon onto the rusks. Sprinkle on the TOFU and oregano, and drizzle on the remaining olive oil. Arrange on a platter or plates and serve. Yield: Serves four Advance preparation: The tomato topping can be made several hours before topping the rusks. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4/ Marinated Giant White Beans and Beets http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/24/health/nutrition/24recipehealth.html?ref=health
Many Greeks love giant white lima beans. This recipe is an adaptation of a dish prepared by the Greek chef Jim Botsacos for a Clean Monday celebration to benefit the Gennadius Library in Athens. Don’t soak the beans or they’ll fall while they cook. Mr. Botsacos serves this with --skordalia.-- For the beans: 1 pound dried large lima beans 1 large white onion, cut in half 4 garlic cloves, crushed 1 bay leaf Salt to taste 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/2 cup finely chopped celery 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow or red bell pepper 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion, soaked for five minutes in cold water, drained and rinsed (optional) 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill For the beets: 8 small beets, greens cut away, scrubbed 1/3 cup red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar Salt to taste 2 garlic cloves, cut in half 1/2 teaspoon sugar 1. Place the beans in a large pot. Cover by 2 inches with water, and bring to a gentle boil. Skim off any foam, and add the onion, garlic and bay leaf. Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Add salt to taste, and simmer an additional 20 minutes until just tender. Remove from the heat. Remove and discard the onion, garlic cloves and the bay leaf. Allow the beans to cool in the liquid, then drain through a strainer set over a bowl. Gently toss the beans in a bowl with the lemon juice, olive oil, celery, peppers, onion and herbs. If desired, add 2 to 4 tablespoons of the bean broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside. 2. Cook the beets while the beans are cooking. Place in a saucepan, cover with water, add 1/4 cup of the vinegar and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until tender, 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the beets. Remove from the heat, add the garlic to the pot and set aside to cool. Remove the beets from the pot (do not drain), slip off the skins and cut in wedges. 3. Combine the remaining vinegar, the sugar and 1/4 cup of the beet broth (discard the garlic). Toss with the beets. Arrange the beans on a plate or in a bowl and surround with the beets. If you wish, serve this dish with skordalia. Yield: Serves six to eight. Advance preparation: The beans and the beets can both be prepared up to three days before serving.