A Vegan / Lent Cooking Demo with Eleni Saltas

Join us for another amazing cooking demo with cookbook author and social media sensation, Eleni Saltas. Eleni explores two vegan recipes for lent that are easy to make and absolutely delicious.

Kritharaki (orzo in tomato sauce)

1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
1⁄4 cup ketchup (optional)*
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 to 4 cups of water
1 ½ cups vegetable broth
2 cups orzo (In Greek, kritharaki or manestra)
*Ketchup can be added to the tomato sauce to sweeten it. You can use a pinch of sugar instead, or omit this step.

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onions until translucent. Season generously with salt, pepper and oregano. Add in the garlic and continue to sauté for 5 more minutes.
Add tomato sauce, ketchup (if using it), and vegetable broth to the pot. After pouring the can of tomato sauce, fill it up with water and pour that into the pot, too. No drop of sauce goes to waste! Season the sauce with cinnamon and a bit more oregano.
Bring to a boil, and then turn down the heat to low medium and stir in the orzo. Cover the pan with the lid (leave the lid off slightly) and allow to cook for about 20-25 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally throughout, stirring from the bottom of the pan, as the orzo tends to stick to the pan as it thickens. Add water or vegetable broth if needed to cover the orzo.
Check for flavor—add more salt, pepper, cinnamon or oregano if needed. Remember, this is all to your taste.
When orzo is soft, remove the lid and remove the pot from heat and allow it to stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Note: Kritharaki is great warm, but I love it even more cold! If you do need to warm the dish back up though, put the leftovers on a pot on low heat and stir in more water or vegetable broth as needed.

Note: If there are any leftovers and when you need to re-heat, you may need to add more liquid such as water or vegetable broth.

Vegan Bougatsa (custard pie)

4 cups coconut or almond milk (I prefer coconut because it has more fat content)
¾ cups sugar (organic cane sugar is a good vegan option)
1 cup semolina
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of one lemon
½ cup margarine or preferred plant based butter, melted
10 phyllo sheets (I use storeb ought phyllo)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Ground cinnamon, for dusting
Powdered sugar, for dusting (if preferred)

Preheat the oven to 350F.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, sugar and semolina. Stir constantly with a wooden smooth until the custard is smooth and thick.
Remove from heat and mix in the vanilla, lemon zest, and half of the melted butter. Set aside to cool while you prepare your phyllo sheets.
Lightly butter a baking dish (9” x 13”) and layer 5 sheets of phyllo, lightly drizzling each sheet with melted butter. The edges of the phyllo should extend above the top of the pan. Be sure to be light with the butter in between layers, so the pastry comes out crisp.
Pour the custard mixture into the pan and smooth out the surface. Tuck or turn in the edges of the phyllo over the custard to wrap it.
Cover the custard with the additional 5 sheets of phyllo, again lightly drizzling each sheet with the melted butter.
When you get to the final layer, drizzle any remaining butter on top. Top with brown sugar.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden and crispy.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool 5-10 minutes. Cut into pieces, and dust with cinnamon and powdered sugar before serving.
Purchase your wines here, delivered to your door:

Douloufakis Liatiko paired with the Kritharaki recipe

Akakies Rosé paired with the Vegan Bougatsa recipe