The Christmas Fast has just started!

I don’t fast during the whole fast period. I promised myself, however, to fast every Wednesday and Friday and I also stopped eating food that I really like – going to put a ban on it for this period.

For me the period of the Fast is not a dieting of some sort or some limitation. It should be a desire coming from within.

For a long time I’ve stopped any dieting. Dieting has not taught me anything good. But fasting is something really special for me. I fast on Fridays ever since my school years..which was, well, a long time ago..

But I do fast – this is not dieting, trying to be vegan for a day or just another refraining from a specific product. I fast, because I want to, because I am thankful – for being healthy, for having a wonderful family, for the fact that my good moments are more than my bad ones.

When you are fasting it’s good to be calm, not noisy, not nervous. These are far more difficult to achieve than not eating meat or animal products.

From the start to the end of the Christmas Fast I am going to share in the blog only recipes that don’t include animal-based ingredients.

I am looking forward to the approaching Christmas Eve and Christmas so I may share with you the menu list awaiting the guests of Petreliiski hotel. Everything in it will be prepared by me and my assistants in the kitchen.

And here is my recipe for banichki with spinach, tofu and vegetables.

Banichki with spinach, tofu and vegetables

Ingredients for 12 banichki:

  • 9 packs of fine dough sheets
  • olive oil
  • 3 big handfuls of spinach
  • 4 grilled red peppers, sliced in thin pieces
  • 2 gloves of garlic
  • 1/2 glove of onions
  • 2 grated carrots
  • 100 grams of Tofu cheese
  • 2 table spoons of sesame
  • 2 table spoons of chopped nuts
  • 1/2 tea spoon of cumin
  • 1/2 tea spoon curry
  • а bit of turmeric
  • salt, black pepper

Preparation:

First prepare the inside filling for the banichki. Let the chopped onions stew for a little. Then add the chopped garlic, the carrots, the peppers and at the end – the spinach. Spice this up with some cumin, curry and turmeric. Add salt and pepper to your liking. Add the tofu, chopped in small pieces.

2

Take the pan off from the stove and let it cool off a bit.

3

Take the dough sheets and put them one above the other. Cut them into 4 equal squares (one cut in the middle vertically and one horizontally).

Take one square and put just a bit of olive oil on top. Put another square above this one, but rotate it slightly, put some olive oil on top again, spice it up on top and put a third square.

4

Move the 3 squares into a muffin shape. Put into this pocket-like shape one table spoon from the vegetable mixture and squeeze, so that it looks like a bundle.

5

6

In a similar way make 12 bundles, or as many as you want.

When ready, put the bundles into the oven, heated to 180 degrees. Bake for about 10 minutes or until ready (check now and then).

Meanwhile, put the sesame and nut into a dry pan and let them bake for a little.

7

Take the banichki out, let them cool off and take them out of the shape. Before serving, sprinkle them with the sesame and nuts.

8

9

They are so crunchy and delicious – yummy!

Have in mind that this is just one possible filling. You may improvise and use whatever you want – boiled grated potatoes with olives and rosemary, red lentils with ginger and dried tomatoes. You can even make a sweet version of these – with pumpkin, cinnamon and dried fruit, for example.

Experiment!