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Michink (Mid-Lent) Potluck Dinner

By Robyn & Doug Kalajian
FLArmenians Cuisine Contributors

The Women’s Guild of St. David Armenian Church in Boca Raton, FL has a special way of observing michink, or mid-lent – with a potluck dinner.  This year our dinner will be held on Wednesday, March 13th in Mardigian Fellowship Hall. Each guild member is asked to bring a Lenten recipe large enough to serve 6 people. Attendees eagerly sample a wide variety of tasty, healthy Lenten recipes, while enjoying the camaraderie of everyone present.

Upon the conclusion of the meal, a brief service is conducted by the Very Rev. Father Nareg Berberian.

I don’t know what the other members will be bringing, but I’m planning to contribute one of the following green bean recipes; I haven’t decided which yet.

Option #1: A fresh and delicious way to prepare green beans.

Green Beans with Orange Dressing

Serves 6


  • 1 1/2 pound green beans, stems trimmed and cut in half


  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 1/3 cup toasted unsalted pistachios, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint leaves (or 1 tsp. dried mint, crushed)


  1. Steam beans until tender (they should still be bright green), about 5 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together orange zest, juice, salt and pepper.
  3. Place green beans in a serving bowl; toss with orange dressing.
  4. Garnish with a sprinkling of pistachios and mint. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Option #2: A reliable stand-by recipe.

Lenten-Style Green Beans

Serves 6


  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 ½ lbs. Italian pole beans or string beans, fresh or frozen (defrosted)
  • 1 cup tomato Sauce
  • 1- 15 oz. can diced canned tomato with its liquid
  • 1 cup water (more if needed)
  • salt, black pepper, allspice to taste
  • ¼ Tbsp. cayenne pepper, optional


  1. In a medium sized pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sautė onions and garlic until the onions become translucent. Reduce heat to low. Add the beans, cover, and cook for about 15 – 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes to prevent burning. (At this point no liquid has been added.)
  2. Add the sauce, diced tomatoes, water and seasonings. Mix well; cover and cook on low for 30 minutes till the green beans are tender.
  3. Add additional water, and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

Can be served hot or at room temperature.