Thursday, August 1, 2013

Accessorizing the Vegan, Simple, or Lenten Table

Veggie & Olive Tray
Dip Tray with Veggies & Chips
Pickled Lemons
Quite frequently, healthy Vegan meals are made up of frugal, whole foods, simply prepared - what I sometimes call "peasant food." That's wonderful for your health, your wallet, your time, and can be great for your soul.

But, for company? Sometimes it doesn't seem fancy enough. In fact, when I have been a guest in the homes of others, sometimes they even object, "We can't feed you just beans and rice!"

For Orthodox Christian families, the first two weeks of August are a "Lenten" time, when our food is simpler, but we may still want to entertain guests, or have special family meals.

Sometimes Vegan cooks try to make meals fancier by using exotic or expensive ingredients, but that really isn't my style. I LIKE simple, frugal food! Some complain of proverbial "Champagne taste on a Beer budget," but, I have Beer taste on a Beer budget. But, I still want meals to be a special occasion for fellowship and hospitality.
Fresh Homemade Bread

Pickle & Olive Tray
So, what to do when you're having friends over, or just want to make a meal more special for your own family? I like to accessorize. And, this isn't just my own custom, it is the common way in many Greek Orthodox households. As a Church cookbook explained (and I paraphrase) These staples are always on the Lenten Table: Fresh Bread, Dips, Fresh Vegetables, Olives, Pickled Vegetables . . . .

And, this custom isn't limited to the Greek Culture. My Pennsylvania Dutch family members also had "Seven Sweets and Seven Sours" as normal accessories on their tables. And of course, the Italians have the Antipasto Tray. And, Koreans serve several small dishes with meals. I'm guessing that there are few cultures that have not traditionally accessorized the table. But, in our very busy modern American culture, we have forgotten these customs.

Hospitality, or even a family meal, can show diners that you think they're special without breaking your health or breaking the bank, if the table includes a wide variety of tastes & textures to supplement simple fare.

And, an extra bonus? All of these things can be prepared well in advance : )

This is being shared on Healthy Vegan Fridays, Simple Lives Thursday, Modest Monday, Making Your Home Sing Monday. In & Out of the Kitchen, Teach Me Tuesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Simple Living Wednesday, We Made That, Encourage One Another, Wise Woman, The Thrifty Home, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Hearts for Home, Simple Lives Thursday

Fresh Veggies we use to top dishes
like Moujendra or Bulgur Pilaf.
Homemade Vegan Muffins can add a
Special touch to Breakfast or your Fresh
Fruit Dessert


  1. All I can say about you right now is...where is your Pinterest account? All these wonderful recipes and no pins?

    1. I am SO flattered! I'm such a poor photographer, I didn't even consider Pinterest an option. I love when I find my blog has been visited from Pinterest - but I have no account, and don't even know how it works. Maybe I should come into 21st century, huh? : )

    2. I second the pinterest thing! You should create an account. I had no idea what I was doing a few months ago, but pinterest is really user-friendly--- plus, it helps people find your blog. =)

      Hannah J

    3. Thanks for the encouragement - and thanks for stopping by! I actually am working on it thanks to all of you here - maybe one day soon . . . : )

  2. Someone just repinned the blackeye pea recipe I pinned on my board.

  3. These dishes look great!! The bread too. It is very simple to set up a Pinterest account. It is easier than setting up a Blogger account, LOL!! If you can do a blog, you'll find it easier to do Pinterest!!

    Here you go:

    I am linking next to you over at Making Your Home Sing

    1. Thanks for dropping by to visit - and thanks for the Pinterest info - I might just have to do that : )

      Your blog is lovely - nice meditation on God's Creation today!

  4. Well, I DID it! I made a Pinterest page : )

    I would love it if one or more of you would look for it & let me know how (and if) it works - it's called "stuffedveggies" (creative, huh?)

    Thanks a bunch for all your encouragement! : )


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