Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Vegetarian Pozole

Sorry I didnt see your post earlier about St. Nicholas day Jessica. Though even if I did I dont know of any fast friendly traditional St. Nicholas deserts that the kids would enjoy. I'll see what I can come up with for next year.

Everyone loved this Vegetarian version of Pozole at potluck this last Sunday. I was even told that I'm an honorary Mexican.

Pozole is a rich soup traditionally made with chunks of pork simmered in a red chili broth with hominy. I substituted beans for the pork and made it in a slowcooker. The long slow cooking made for a very rich flavor. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Vegetarian Pozole

1 lb. pink beans
20 oz. vegetable broth
18 dried New Mexico red chilies
10 cloves garlic 5 minced fine and 5 left whole
2 tbs whole cumin seed
1 large onion cut in quarter
3 29 oz. cans Mexican style hominy
2 tbs dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Put the beans and vege broth in a slowcooker set to High.
Remove the stems and most of the seeds from the chilies (the more seeds the hotter). Break the chilies in 3 to 4 pieces and put in a saucepan with the onion, whole garlic cloves and cumin seed. Cover with water, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the chili from the heat and blend smooth in a blender. Add this to the slowcooker along with the hominy and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cook about 12 to 14 hours, until the beans are tender.

Serve with shredded cabbage, finely diced onion, chopped cilantro and lemon wedges to be add individually by the diners. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Making Fasting Easier

Most of us who were raised in the average American home have no idea how to fast. It really does require us to rethink how we eat. When we have restrictions on what we can eat its much more difficult to prepare a meal, you cant just pick up "fast" food (most "fast" food is not fast friendly) you actualy have to think about (at least I do) whats on the menu. People often comment that keeping the fast is so hard. So what to do about it? Be prepared, plan ahead and keep it simple.

  1. Be prepared! A week or so before the fast starts stock up on foods that will make your life easier. Some foods I like to keep on hand for last minute fasting meals; dried beans, especially lentils (they cook up in just 30 min), canned beans, pasta, tofu, lots of fresh veges and salad stuff, frozen or canned fish and shellfish are also great to have around.
  2. Plan your meals ahead. This will help with shopping as well as helping to utilize leftovers saving $$.
  3. Keep it simple. One of the reasons we fast is to allow ourselves more time to pray. Its kind of pointless to spend hours in the kitchen preparing lenten meals and not to spend enough time in prayer. There is nothing wrong with a bit of monotony at the table. Try cooking a larger batch of something then you usually would and serving it again later in the week.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Nativity fast

Having started the Nativity fast, I've had a number of calls for recipes for fasting dishes that I have served here in the monastery. I thought I would post some of them.

Pasta with Lentils

1 lg onion diced
4 ribs celery diced
4 cloves garlic minced
3 Tbs oil
1/2 lb lentils
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 bay leaves
crushed red pepper flakes to taste OR 2 tbs whole black peppercorns
salt to taste
1 lb. Spaghetti cooked

Heat oil in large saucepan. add veges and garlic and saute til they start to soften. Add lentils and just barley cover with water. Bring to a boil then allow to simmer for about 5 min. Add tomatoes and seasonings. Simmer for another 30 min. or until the lentils are tender. Toss with the hot cooked spaghetti.
(On days when olive oil is permitted I will add about 1 cup or so when I mix the sauce with the spaghetti).
(If you use the whole peppercorns they will soften up when they cook in the sauce, they add a nice bite and an interesting taste sensation)

I made the next dish for our Sunday Potluck lunch last week, it was a big hit.

White beans with Pumpkin

1 lb small white beans
3 carrots pealed and diced
6 ribs celery diced
1 lg onion diced
1 whole jalapeno stem removed sliced in rings leave the seed in
1 1/2 lbs uncooked pumpkin cut up in 1 in cubes (I used buternut squash)
1 1/2 tsp whole dried thyme
1 tsp celery seed
2 vegetarian bullion cubes
salt & pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to a large crock pot. Fill pot with water to cover. Set to low setting and cook for about 12 hours until the beans are tender.

I served this over rice.


Hi! I'm Fr. Moses, an Eastern Catholic monk of Holy Resurrection Monastery in Newberry Springs CA. Welcome to this Blog. As the monastery cook I am often questioned about food related issues, especialy when it comes to fasting. I thought this would be a good place to discuss these issues, share recipes and just encourge each other in the day to day living out of our Christian faith.

Please feel free to add recipes, questions or thoughts!