Christmas Eve is not only the last day of the Nativity Fast but also the eve of anxious expectation of the birth of God’s son which is associated with the rebirth of all nature in the Bulgarian folk tradition.
Therefore the dishes served on the table are not only to satiate but also to bring fertility and luck during the whole next year. It is compulsory foods which rise to be present, so wealth and fertility rise in the same way. All types of legumes are suitable – beans, corn, lentils, rice, bulgur, buckwheat and popcorn. Other symbolic foods are dried fruits– apples, prunes, raisins, apricots, figs and nuts – walnuts mainly. Don’t forget garlic which keeps away diseases and evil and honey which is a wish for a sweet life. The Christmas cake with coin is also compulsory to be present on the table.
Here is a tried out suggestion from me for healthy Christmas cinnamon buns:
1 cup buckwheat, sprouting
1 cup sprouting rye and wheat
1-2 cups linseed flour
1 Tbs. cinnamon
? cup coconut fillings
1 cup grapes
3-5 Tbs. honey
? cup olive oil
All products are well mixed with a blender or kitchen robot, or they can be strained. More linseed flour is added if the mixture is too watery or more grapes (or water) if it is too dry. The obtained dough is shaped in small flat loaves. They are put in a pan and dried at 48oC for 6-8 hours.
Here is an idea for energizing vegetable salad with the recently so modern microalgae spirulina (can be found in every bio market):
Finely cut vegetables (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower)
? avocado, well matured, cut to pieces
1-2 green leafs, finely cut
3 Tbs. pesto with dill and parsley
2 Tbs. spirulina
This salad cures the body, rejuvenates us and gives energy and tonus. Carrots and avocado supply us with vitamins A and E, broccoli is rich in vitamin C, the leafy vegetables and spirulina are rich in magnesium and useful chlorophyll.
Another pleasant way of spirulina consumption is with avocado and some lemon. Perfect green mousse for crackers or salads is obtained from this combination and a sip of Himalayan salt.
A great way to consume honey in its most useful raw form:
Homemade Lenten candies
Mix honey, coconut fillings and tahini. Wheat germ is added till the mixture gets enough thick to be rolled. Spherical small balls are then made with hands.
You can add cocoa, vanilla or nuts. Thus you may experiment with different tastes as you roll them in crushed raw cocoa beans, coconut fillings, goji berry, grated walnuts, brown sugar or cocoa.
Strudels are one of the typical dishes for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day – with apples, walnuts and brown sugar is my preferred variant. And here is the recipe for healthy Christmas strudel with apples:
5-6 peeled and grated apples
1 Tbs. semolina or even better 2 Tbs. quinoa
1-2 handfuls raisins (white and dark)
1-2 handfuls crushed walnuts
a package of fine pastry sheets
85g melted butter/oil if you want to be Lenten
The oven is heated to 180oC (160 oC for oven with fan)
The grated apples are mixed with raisins and one tablespoon semolina. Stir well. The fine pastry sheets are laid down and the first one is greased with butter and brown sugar. The second sheet is put above and greased with butter. Crushed walnuts are spread on it. The third one is put in the same way and part of the apple filling is spread. Then all is rolled, greased with butter again and put in a pan.
This technique is repeated until the whole filling is used. Usually two large rolls are obtained. You can put them in a circular way in the pan if you want. The strudel is baked to a crispy crust. Castor sugar and coconut fillings are spread on top.
Here are two of my favorite healthy recipes for New Year’s Day:
Smoked salmon with vodka
Himalayan or regular salt
Salt, pepper, sugar and vodka are mixed to taste in a small bowl. The fish is cleaned from the bones carefully and is put with the skin side down on a folio. Vodka’s mixture is spread on it and the salmon pieces are rolled. Put them in a fridge overnight.
The fish is finely cut on the next day. Spread some cream on wholegrain crisps and put the salmon on top.
Oriental chocolate mousse
Products for 4 portions:
100g dark bio chocolate (above 75%)
1 tsp. instant coffee
2 yolks and 2 egg whites
1 Tbs. brown sugar
a sip of salt
cherries for decoration
Way of preparation:
Melt chocolate and butter on bain-marie and add instant coffee at the end. Slightly cool the mixture and stir vigorously the yolks in it. Beat the egg whites, sugar and salt with a mixer until thick foam is gained. Put the chocolate mixture and go on with the beating. The obtained mousse is put in four cups and garnished with a cherry or another fruit – physalis.
Last, it is very important to start gradually eating meat products after you have followed the Christmas Fast. You shouldn’t finish immediately all prepared table luxuries. Eat smaller amounts with less fat and spicy foods.
The meal on 24th of December is a prelude to the feast on Christmas. There could be more dishes but the organism shouldn’t be overloaded on both days. If this happens some side effects are seen, mainly from the digestive system. It is recommended food enzymes in the form of tablets to be taken additionally when the food regimen is changed. They help for better digestion. The most important thing is the food to be in smaller amounts and to contain less saturated fats or concentrated sugars.