5 Weeks into Lent and Rainbow Trout, Mango and Avocado Tartare

I can’t believe that it’s been 5 weeks already.

Yep! I’m now 5 weeks into this crazy no grain, no meat, no junk, nothing deep fried, no refined or “added” sugar (or refined anything, for that matter) and no alcohol, 100% clean eating Lent challenge. 

But you know what? It almost feels like business as usual for me.

Do I get insane cravings? Not at all!

Have I felt deprived in any way? Again… the answer is no.

Am I looking forward to Lent being over?  Hum… honestly? Not even.

I mean, sure, when it’s over, I’ll probably indulge in…

Wait… hang on… what am I going to indulge in? What do I really miss? What is it that I simply can’t wait to have?

I mean, on a scale of 1 to 10, how much do I miss my precious grains? I’d have to say no more than 2, maybe 3. Buckwheat, coconut flour and nut meals have done a very good job at replacing them. And I haven’t even had a chance to give quinoa a go yet. I’m even seriously considering extending that part of the challenge.

Ahem. Considering, I said.

Same scale for meat? Bah… not even 1. Fish, seafood, nuts, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, egg whites and whey have been taking care of my protein requirements. And my bizarre crazy insane nut cravings have finally subsided.

What about junk or deep fried food? Big fat zero, and no replacement needed here either! 😉 (I almost never have that anyway, so that’s not even really a challenge)

Refined sugar? Not really. But I have to admit that sugar is probably what I miss the most, so I’d give it a solid 3. The only forms of sugar that I’ve had in five weeks are those that are naturally present in fruits, and the stevia that is in my vanilla flavored protein powder.

So far, that’s proven to be amply satisfactory. And I’ve had so much dark cocoa powder on a regular basis that I can’t even say I crave my favorite treat of all, Lindt’s Dark Chocolate: A Touch of Sea Salt

As for alcohol, well, oddly enough, that’s probably the thing that I’ve been craving the most, yet, I’m not a heavy drinker at all (well, at least not anymore!) I’ve had the odd craving for a nice, super dark stout or a good glass of chilled white wine.

The thing with alcohol is that it’s very hard to replace. I mean, I like green tea, but there’s no way that I can fool my brain into believing that it’s a suitable replacement for a rich, thick and super tasty stout. He’s not that stupid!

So I guess this is the first thing that I will be indulging in: booze!

Oh, and a teaspoon of liquid honey, straight out of the jar. LOVE my honey. Initially, I was going to allow it during Lent, but then I decided not to. For that very reason. I like it too much! Had to sacrifice it. Hey, call me a masochist… 😉

Or not… I mean, with all the awesome food that I’ve been eating, such as this Rainbow Trout Tartare, how could I even feel deprived?

Again, this year, Lent has allowed me to expand my horizons, discover new ingredients and new ways to use them. I’m enjoying every single minute of it.

I’m almost sad that there’s only a week left.



(Serves 3-4)

  • 400g rainbow trout fillet, skin removed
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into small cubes
  • ½ mango, cut into small cubes
  • 1 green onion, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp unsalted pistachios, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh dill, finely chopped


  • The juice of half a lime
  • 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar (or other light vinegar)
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp Sambal Oelek
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp pure vanilla extract


  1. Add all the ingredients of the vinaigrette together in a small mixing bowl and whisk until well incorporated. Set aside.
  2. Cut your trout fillet into tiny little cubes, then mince the cubes as finely as you can.
  3. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, including the vinaigrette.
  4. You can leave this in the fridge for a few hours to allow flavors to fully develop, or serve immediately.
  5. Garnish with fat free plain Greek yogurt, chopped pistachio and fresh dill


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  1. Donna says

    THIS LOOKS LIKE FRIDAY’S LENTEN LUNCH TO ME!…Gorgeous plating as usual…..and WHAT a fabulous idea to “bundle” the beans in courgette rounds!!!…Your continuous creativity just blows me away!…As yourself….I did not find I missed the refined sugars during Lent…but I can’t wait to have some maple syrup-y things and a nice big glass of a fine bordeaux post Good Friday….By the way…does Saturday actually mark the end of Lent …or is it Easter Day?…My family debates that one constantly!! Thanks for your beautiful…”doesn’t-feel-like-Lent ” recipes…I certainly feel privileged to try them and not at all deprived of anything….bravo et merci….

    • says

      Donna, you are unbelievable! Here I am, answering a super nice comment from you, already flushed behind my screen, and while I’m doing that, you’re leaving me yet another incredibly kind comment! You’re just awesome, thank you so much! I’m just speechless.

      To me, Easter Sunday marks the end of Lent, but apparently, it officially ends on Holy Thursday. However, some say it ends on Holy Friday and others believe that it’s on Holy Saturday . So I guess there is no clear answer. Since I’m a bit of a masochist, you know, I make mine last for as long as I possibly can! So Easter Sunday it is! 46 days! And I include Sundays, too!

      Oh, and the bean thing… I feel I have to confess to something here… I actually saw this in a magazine once and thought it was brilliant, so I simply recreated it. I’m afraid my creativity can’t take the credit for that one! 😉

    • says

      Oh, definitely Leanne. I’m really loving this challenge. While I might not pursue with the 100% grain free challenge, I’m thinking of permanently reducing my grain consumption… and I mean drastically reducing. Especially gluten. I want to get a better feel of the long term effects on my body. 6 weeks just isn’t enough.

      And like I was telling Donna, I stole the idea of the beans wrapped in a zucchini slice from a magazine or cook book… can’t remember. I just remember seeing this a while ago and thinking “how brilliant, I HAVE to recreate this!” Next time, though, I want to do green beans in yellow courgettes AND wax beans in green courgettes. It oughta look stunning! 😀

  2. says

    SO happy to hear how well you are doing during this challenge! You go girl! I need to reduce my grain intake myself…been loving on too many starches these days…and let’s just say my waist line and digestion are NOT pleased with me.
    this tartare is gorgeous – such beautiful colors!

    • says

      Thanks Nora! Glad you like the tartare! I’m a big fan! HUGE fan!

      To be honest, I’m quite surprised myself to not be missing my grains all that much. I was so nervous the week before, and now I’m seriously thinking I want to extend this. For sure, I won’t be eating as much grains as I used to! There are so many alternatives, I want to force myself to discover a whole bunch! Seriously, I am loving this.

      Now I seriously need to get working on a grain-free pizza dough. Yeah, the pizza craving is seriously creeping on me. And even if Lent will be over the next time I make pizza, I will be going for a grain-free crust. I can’t wait! I think I’m more excited with the idea of creating the crust than I am with the thought of actually eating the pizza… 😉

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