Lent is the longest of all Orthodox fasts (seven weeks) and at the same time the strictest. At this time, it is necessary to abandon the use of all products of animal origin (it is not only fish, meat and seafood, but also dairy and sour-milk products, eggs, vegetable fats). The exception is the Annunciation and the Palm Sunday. In these holidays, the use of fish and seafood is acceptable.
Also in Lent you can not eat white and much more buttery bread, mayonnaise, sweets. Other delicacies are not recommended, even if only vegetable ingredients were used for their production: fasting is not a diet, but rather a training in the ability to do without excesses, so”lean feasts” are contrary to the spirit of fasting. Of course, fasting can not drink alcohol and it is recommended to refrain from smoking. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, you should also refrain from using vegetable oil.
For strictly observing posts the restrictions on Lent are even stricter: on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays one can eat only raw vegetables and fruits, drink water or compote and eat bread; and on Tuesdays and Thursdays you can eat hot food, but cooked without butter. But for those who fast for the first time or do not fast for a year, this is not recommended: too drastic changes in diet will do more harm than good.
What can you eat in Lent? The basis of the diet at this time are vegetables and fruits (including dried fruits), root crops, cereals and legumes, various pickles, mushrooms, nuts, gray and black bread, drying and crackers. Coffee is better limited, but tea, herbal infusions, fruit drinks and jelly can be drunk.
Despite all the restrictions imposed by fasting, the range of dishes that can be put on the table is still very wide. For breakfast, you can cook porridge on the water. As cold snacks salted and pickled vegetables, sauerkraut, salads from vegetables or root vegetables will suit. On the first you can cook vegetable soups with the addition of cereals, mushroom soup, bean soup, lean soup or borsch. On the second – potatoes in all kinds, stewed or boiled vegetables, vegetable stew, fried mushrooms, canned potatoes or corn, dishes from beans or lentils, cereals with vegetables or dried fruits. As a dessert – fruit purees or baked apples, jelly or juices. Food should be simple – but no one forbids it to be varied !