Ruth is my church name. I don’t often use it outside of the Divine Liturgy, but you can call me that here. Our family was received into the Orthodox Church this past Pascha. It has been an amazing journey, but I will leave the talk of theology to those better qualified than myself.
I am one of those introverts who is not a writer. I like to say things how they are without beating around the bush, but I cringe at writing them down. I love to read others’ beautifully worded blogs, but you might not find any of that here. I also love those recipe blogs where all of the recipes have step by step pictures, but likely, that won’t happen here either.
You see, I am a homeschooling mom of three children. Buster is eight, Snuggle Bunny is five, and Little Man is two. Sorry, their church names are their given names, and I’d rather not use those here. We’re busy, as I’m sure you are, too. Forgive me when you find that my blog is a simple place. I’ll do my best post pictures, but I want to focus on good recipes and valuable information over keeping things pretty.
I’ve been wheat free (among other things) for a decade, but slowly I’ve come to realize that I can’t eat any gluten. Dairy, eggs, and soy are problematic as well. Our family has an even longer list of foods that various people react to, but I will spare you the tediousness of it all.
As you can imagine, I get the question all the time, “So what CAN you eat?” That is what this blog is all about, and it was almost the title. I have a dear friend who had a great explanation on her blog recently, “We don’t eat gluten and we don’t eat gluten-free.” (Read more about that on her blog, Seamless.) That’s just it. I don’t buy a lot of prepackaged gluten free items, nor do I bake much outside of birthdays and holidays. We eat nourishing whole foods. Back to the title. Why “Seasonally Vegan?”
Seasonally – Our lives our full of seasons. The Orthodox Church follows the liturgical calendar. There are seasons for fasting and seasons for feasting. I am still learning about the many cultural traditions of our beautiful church. Many of them include food. I am trying learn how to best approach name days, feast days, and fasting times within our dietary restrictions. I would love to know your traditions, too.
The other question I often get is “How do you eat gluten free on a budget? Isn’t specialty food expensive?” Why, yes, yes it is. That is why I don’t buy much of that. Whole foods are cheaper. I will not harp on organic, pasture raised, or anything like that. There are enough blogs out there that have filled those shoes. I will simply say “kale” and leave the rest up to you. I do what I can on a civil servant’s salary (Thanks for bringing home the bacon, John!), and expect that you do too.
Whole foods are even cheaper if you buy them in season. Learn the seasons. Learn when different cuts of meat are on sale. Buy through co-ops and bulk buys. All of those things will save you money. Don’t worry I’ll share my favorite resources later.
Vegan – Orthodox fasting seasons ask us at the very least to eat a vegan diet during those times. Then there are those Wednesdays and Fridays. Do they sneak up on you, too? I’m getting better at planning for those days, but I sure would love an easy peanut butter sandwich every once in a while. Did I mention peanuts are on our list of no-nos? I already addressed how I feel about baking regularly, so few of my suggestions will include bread… I know it boggles the mind, but it can be done!
For those of you who aren’t Orthodox and have found yourself here, I started preparing vegan meals once a week before I was Orthodox just to save money. Omitting meat not only saves money, but can give more variety in your diet. Even if you don’t need to save money on food, consider doing it once a week and giving what you saved to a charity of your choice.
And for those who are concerned about my use of the word “vegan,” I know that I’m not truly a vegan. Forgive me for treading on your toes. Veganism isn’t my religion. I am a Christian. “Vegan” is simply a word that adequately describes how I eat in due season.
We also love cooking for homeschool projects, so every once in a while I will let you peek into our classroom to see what we’re up to. On a rare occasion I’ll let you sneak into my craft closet to see what is struggling along in there.
** Please note that all products reviewed are my own opinions. I am not receiving any compensation for them, nor do I use affiliate links. **