Homemade truffles with tahini. Source: Sarah R / Flickr
For Orthodox believers, the first day of Great Lent is today, Clean Monday. Apparently this is a big holiday in Greece with its own special practices and foods, but in Russian Orthodox traditions food is something to be avoided today. After having stuffed yourself with pancakes and butter for a week, it’s time for a detox.
Some Russian Orthodox hold this day as a strict fast, not eating at all. Others eat only one meal in the evening. Others eat, but adhere to the practice of xerophagy, which technically means dry eating and basically involves eating only raw food.
Clean Monday reminds me of “eating clean,” which has become a popular catchphrase among the health-conscious in the U.S. in recent years. It means to eat whole foods and grains, avoiding processed or excessively refined foods, and is generally a good practice to adopt, even if you’re not following the fast.
If you’re going to do a strict fast today, this recipe will help you keep up your strength in the process.
10 dates; 5 dried figs; 1/2 cup almonds; 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts; 1 Tbsp tahini
Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until it makes a paste. Form into balls. Store in the refrigerator.
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