Every once in a while someone will ask me about Orthodox fasting practices. And so I will answer on this blog, so that perhaps others who might be curious can learn about it, too.
Specifically in this post I will write about some tips to make fasting easier, perhaps for someone who is new to fasting.
For starters, it helps to have some fasting friendly foods in your cupboard. If you are aleady a "health nut" then you probably have loads of options.
Things that end up in my grocery cart include:
Firm Tofu (goes well in a stir fry)
TVP (textured vegetable protein...great as a meat substitute in pasta sauce or chilli)
fat free refried beans
pasta sauce that doesn't contain cheese (I like light Ragu)
canned beans: black, garbanzo, etc.
flax seed meal (very important item, as I use 1 heaping T. plus some hot water for an egg substitute in baking)
applesauce (if I want to avoid oil in baking)
lipton onion soup mix (does not contain beef!)
almond milk...whichever kind of non-dairy milk you like
smart balance light margarine (no trans fats!)
flour and other normal baking stuff
high fiber burger buns
boca patties: fake chicken and fake beef.
This is just a start and I did not even bother to list the fruits and vegetables that exist.
With all this, one can make black bean chuckwagon and cornbread (or chili) , pasta with sauce, vegan smoothies, any type of baked bready thing or cake, potatoes with broccoli and baco's, stir fry with either shrimp or tofu, bean "quesedillas" with salsa, soups, salads, etc. etc. etc.
the key is knowing what sorts of things to substitute in baking: 1 heaping T. of flax seed meal plus enough hot water to make it slimy = one egg. Soy or rice milk can be used instead of milk. Or water can be used.
For a cheaper baking-only rice milk, make some brown rice and just double the water. When the rice is tender, strain off the water into a bowl and that is your rice milk good for baking as a milk substitute. Potato water after boiling potatoes can be used similarly.
Tonight my family had curry stir fry with firm tofu cubes, rice and canned no sugar added fruit cocktail. It was yummy. Although surprisingly mild. I wonder, now, if I grabbed the tumeric instead of the curry powder, by mistake.