The 46-day Lenten fast for Serbians and other Orthodox Christians is strict. Western Christians, for whom Sundays are exempt, fast for 40 days, unlike Orthodox Christians who also fast on the six Sundays in Lent. Not only is meat abstained from for the entire 46 days, but eggs and dairy products as well. See this list of foods that are OK to eat during Serbian Orthodox Lent.
But fasting and abstinence don't have to mean boring. These recipes fall under the allowable foods list and can make... for delicious meals.
01 of 08
Ajvar is a Croatian / Serbian roasted eggplant-sweet pepper mixture, sometimes referred to as vegetarian caviar. It can be mashed or left chunky, depending on personal taste, and served as a relish, vegetable or spread on country-style white bread like Lenten pogacha as an appetizer.
02 of 08
This recipe for Serbian sweet sauerkraut salad uses oil in addition to the diced peppers, onion and celery found in this sauerkraut salad recipe.
03 of 08
04 of 08
Macaroni replaces the potatoes in this meatless version of Serbian white bean soup - pasulj. If desired, 1 large peeled and diced potato can be added with the rest of the vegetables. It will help to thicken the soup. The soup should not be covered while cooking to help reduce some of the liquid.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
This recipe for Serbian baked beans or prebranac is as much starch as it is vegetable and can be served as a vegetarian main course or side dish.
06 of 08
Whole baked fish, fried fish, fish chowders, (squid salad) and bakalar (salt cod) are popular options for fasting.
07 of 08
For cabbage lovers, these vegetable sarma or (where "posna" means Lenten or fasting) allow one to indulge in a favorite food while still following the church's rulings on abstinence.
08 of 08
This recipe for Serbian Lenten pogacha (POH-gah-cha), also known as pogaca, uses no eggs, milk or butter, so it is perfect for a fasting meal, like the period before Easter and during Advent. Compare this with a nonfasting pogacha recipe.