Many of you are giving something up for Lent – some of you for the first time. If you're looking for some guidance or inspiration, Greece might be a good place to start.
The Greek Orthodox calendar includes fasting periods that total nearly half the year where observers refrain from eating almost all animal products. But that doesn't mean they're not eating. In fact, they can eat quite well with plenty of delicious vegetarian (and mostly vegan) dishes. Whether you're observing Lent or not, you can enjoy these bright, seasonal recipes.
The New York Times continues its Recipes for Health series this week with several mouthwatering Greek vegetarian recipes. There are lots of protein-rich beans and lentils, wintery root vegetables and citrus, and pantry staples like canned tomatoes. In other words, they're perfect dishes for right now.
The Greek Baked Beans With Honey and Dill is going right on our must-try list. You can use large lima beans or regular white beans, depending on what you have on hand and whether or not you have time to soak them. Either way, the beans will "become creamy as they bake slowly in a sweet and sour broth flavored with honey and vinegar." Sounds amazing!
There are also recipes for Stewed Cauliflower With Red Onions and Tomatoes, Marinated Giant White Beans and Beets, Greek Yellow Split Pea Purée and Black-Eyed Peas With Vegetables and Small Pasta.
Also check out our take on Greek-Style Braised Green Beans and elements of a meze from Greece and Cyprus.
And if you're not giving up alcohol, check out our archives on Greek wines:
Escape to Greece: Great Wines from The Peloponnese
Great Escapes: Enjoy Great Greek Wine and Food
Wine: A Postcard From Greece
(Images: Flickr user UnaiGuerra, licensed under Creative Commons, Faith Durand)