While people observe Orthodox fasts, they should not eat much. Such food is called fast-food and for the time being it is completely excluded from the fasting diet. Not many foods are allowed to eat. During the pre-Easter fasting, the list of allowed dishes is reduced even more, compared to the menu of other posts during the year.
To at least somehow diversify your diet, you can cook various sauces and gravy for various dishes from vegetables, pasta, fish dishes (when you can eat them). But do not forget that they can not add everything that the soul desires, the ingredients must meet the requirements of fasting.
Lenten sauce for fish dishes can be prepared from almost everything. If you can fish in fasting, try to cook it for yourself every time in a new way, then the menu will not pressure you mentally and the body will receive all the necessary vitamins and minerals, which are so lacking in the fasting menu. It is worth trying to prepare a lean sauce for fish based on horseradish - a natural antiseptic. Gravy with this ingredient will perfectly complement not only fish dishes, but also salads and even soups. In addition, horseradish can calm a headache, and although the lean diet does not say anything about the prohibition of drugs, it’s better to try to take natural painkillers.
Lean sauce recipes are very diverse, from almost everything you can cook gravy, spicy pasta or a spicy liquid mixture. Attention should be paid to fried sauces, since often they have a creamy base, which is prohibited in fasting. Widely used in cooking lean tomato sauce, and even when you do not need to fast. The thing is that tomatoes for its base are fried in vegetable oil, they are perfectly "friends" with all herbs and spices, without exception, so there is always a chance to make an original sauce to your taste. At the heart of tomato sauce there are always tomatoes, onions, vegetable fat, spices, herbs, often broths or decoctions are added. In all recipes, you must first fry the onions and tomatoes in oil, and then add spices, herbs, and other vegetables to the finished base. Bell peppers, beans, champignons, eggplant are perfectly combined with tomatoes. To give oriental notes to tomato gravy, they add rosemary, cilantro, basil. Even simple pasta or buckwheat in such a union will not leave anyone indifferent.
By the way, lean pasta sauce can be prepared not only from tomatoes. For example, sweet and sour dressings are much tastier with pasta, if there is a dish with sea fish. In the recipe for such a sauce, a mandatory ingredient is an exotic product for our kitchen - pineapple. It is pineapple sweetness that most subtly emphasizes the taste of fresh products. It is great if fresh fruit is added to the dish, but it is also possible to use the usual store-bought pineapple juice - the taste will not change.
It turns out very tasty and lean sauce for vegetable climbing. Instead of milk, they add a decoction of vegetables, onion frying and some spices. It turns out a kind of bechamel, acceptable for use on fasting days. You can even make gravy for lasagna or pasta in advance. Unlike the classic bechamel, it does not lose taste at all.
Another favorite of Slavic cuisine are mushrooms. Lean mushroom sauce is a classic dish that replaces meat with many. Mushrooms have proven themselves both in fresh and dried form. Pickled mushrooms can spice up an already prepared dish with any neutral sauce. If you prepare a sauce with dried mushrooms, then they will need to be boiled, if with fresh, then fry. Well, pickled mushrooms need to be added at the very end to give the taste of the dish freshness and pungency. Greens and onions are essential companions of mushrooms. As a rule, if you fry mushrooms, then only with these ingredients. So the dish will be more aromatic and tastier. For a more viscous and thicker texture, flour can be added to lean mushroom sauce. The consistency of the gravy will turn out to be very appetizing. In those periods when the rules of fasting allowed the use of wine, it is better to darken the dish on a small amount of white dry Chardonnay. The taste will gain brightness and festivity.
Potato lovers know firsthand that even in fasting you can eat varied and delicious every day. Garlic sauce is a favorite among those who like fried or baked potatoes. It is prepared as simple as possible - oil, salt and water are added to the garlic pulp in such proportions as to obtain a consistency of thick sour cream. This is a Moldovan recipe called "husbands" in the homeland. For mashed potatoes, lean sauce is best done in the form of gravy. This is a more liquid form of sauce, based on the liquid in which the main course was previously boiled. For example, for mashed potatoes, flour, tomatoes, bell peppers are added to the liquid where the potatoes were cooked, and they all simmer it a little over low heat.
By the way, you can also make an excellent substitute for mayonnaise from potatoes themselves. Lean mayonnaise sauce is needed for dressing salads. The recipe for this mayonnaise is very simple:
- small chopped potatoes with chopped onions and carrots are poured with any boiling vegetable broth and boiled for about 10 minutes;
- using hot blender, turn hot ingredients into mashed potatoes, add a decoction and a glass of vegetable oil to it;
- the resulting liquid puree should be boiled, cooled and seasoned to taste with spices, salt and lemon juice.
Features of flour sauces
Lean sauces and dressings are tastier if flour is added to the base when they are cooked. Flour dressings are rather viscous, they are nutritious and nourishing, moreover, they easily replace oil in dry and unleavened cereals. On the basis of flour, you can cook both red and white sauces. Here are some tips on how to cook them ideally:
- strong fire is the enemy of flour sauces, flour begins to burn and take on lumps, so always use the smallest fire;
- if the prescription does not need to fry the flour in a dish, then it should be diluted a little with water or vegetable broth and boil along with the base of the dish;
- sifted flour will give a silky texture, so it is always better to sift the flour before adding to the dish;
- when frying flour for a white sauce recipe, it must not be allowed to darken, but for dark gravy it should acquire a brownish-golden hue;
- flour sauces become tastier from prolonged boiling, but they should not be languished on fire for longer than 25 minutes;
- slices of vegetables, fruits and herbs make the dishes more refined.
Flour-based gravy and dressings are very diverse. There are classic or basic recipes for such dishes. The recipe for flour red sauce is very simple:
- heat a spoonful of vegetable oil in a pan, pour a spoonful of flour into it, constantly stir and bring the flour to the desired color;
- boil a few glasses of mushroom or any other lean broth and pour into a pan with golden flour;
- everything is boiled together, boils, and then - filtered;
- at the end, you need to salt the sauce, add fried onions and herbs, lemon juice and, if you want, white wine.
White sauce is prepared in the same way, only the degree of roasting flour is different. These are the basics of flour sauces, and if you need to cook something special, then other ingredients are added to them.
Bread and nutty sauces for fasting
It turns out that even on the basis of bread and crackers, you can cook great sauces. On fasting days, such dishes help not to feel hunger and give a monotonous food a twist. Sometimes, to prepare a lean sauce from crackers, just them and vegetable oil are enough - just brown the crackers in a pan and add spices. Such an addition will perfectly emphasize the taste of traditional vegetables - cabbage, potatoes, asparagus. Moreover, it can be cooked and eaten even on the strict days of fasting, and this is very rare.
You can also make good gravy out of the crumb of bread. If in the post you can fish dishes, such a sauce would be very handy. It is very simple to cook, it is enough to boil bread without a crust and lemon zest in a fish broth. The dish turns out delicious and very fragrant.
On fish days, the variety of gravy and dressings that can be prepared is quite large. To give calories to dishes, you need to cook nut sauces. There are a lot of recipes, it is better to use those nuts that are most appealing to your taste, and supplement them with products that have a pronounced aroma. For example, in nut-and-bread sauces, mustard, vinegar, garlic, onion, and herbs are often used in recipes. Sometimes nut sauce is also prepared on the basis of tomatoes, it turns out very tasty and unusual. Many fasting, knowing gravy recipes for all occasions, even after the end of fasting, continue to cook them for ordinary fast-food dishes. It is very difficult to refuse a tasty sauce, because it makes the taste buds perceive the usual food in a new way and brings a sense of festivity to the daily menu.