For some reason during Lent, I feel kind of “over” all the meatless recipes I tend to use. I’m not sure why– we follow the old tradition of the Church to abstain from meat on both Wednesdays and Fridays year round so this isn’t anything unusual for us– but I’m just going to chalk it up to spiritual dryness.
So while I was looking for some inspiration for myself, I thought I would put a post together of my favorite tried-and-true recipes as well as some new ones I plan to try.
First, it’s worth discussing a few basic things for anyone new to eating meatless on Fridays.
Breakfast for dinner?
This one might seem obvious to most, but I have to admit– it wasn’t for me! Pancakes, eggs, waffles, omelets, hashbrowns etc. wasn’t something that really crossed my mind until the last year as something to have for dinner! As someone who would prefer to eat dinner for breakfast, I avoided eggs and pancakes for dinner for a loooooong time. Having kids has sure changed my tune! Breakfast-type meals can be an easy way to whip something up that the kids will love when you’re looking for something quick to put on the table.
Here’s fun and easy way to get a little creative with what you already like to make without going too far outside your comfort zone if you’re a creature of habit. If you pay close attention to the meals you like to make and your family enjoys eating, you might find that you can substitute different proteins that are vegan/vegetarian without much of a hassle. You might be surprised at how much you enjoy new variations of your tried-and-true classics.
Here are some things I like to sub out from time to time:
- Eggs (poached are my favorite!) for recipes with chicken
- Chickpeas or black beans for recipes with ground beef
- Salmon or some kind of fish for recipes with pasta or salad
Now I’m getting hungry…. MOVING ON!
Don’t be afraid to try new cuisines! Cuisines from around the world tend to be more friendly to a meatless diet than American cuisine. Where our meals tend to center around the protein of the meal, I have the sense (I could totally be wrong!) that other cuisines tend to use protein in meals to complement the rest of the meal, not vice-versa.
With that being said, I tend to gravitate towards Indian cuisine and Mexican cuisine as they are both very versatile. I also find that my kids are then exposed to a lot of different flavors and textures which is great because in the upper midwest, we need a break from time-to-time from our beloved meat and potatoes dinners!
Meals for you to try this Lent!
- Buddha bowls (Here’s a fav at our house). One thing I love about Buddha bowls is that they are extremely versatile and depending on the time of year, I will substitute different veggies, proteins and/or seasonings. So if we have a lot of zucchini from our garden, in this particular recipe, I’ll replace the broccolini with roasted zucchini. Sometimes I’ll use salmon or trout (if I’m feeling extra fancy) instead of chickpeas as well. Buddha bowls can be whatever you want! So be creative! There are so many recipes out there and they’re easy to prepare!
- Burrito bowls with chickpeas or black beans as the “meat”– these are great because you have so many options for toppings! Tortilla chips, jalepeños, salsa, sour cream, cheese, pico de gallo etc.)
- Chickpea curries with naan
- Tuna melts with soup
- Eggs or pineapple with fried rice
- Lentil Tortilla Soup
- Crunchy Thai peanut salad (this recipe has been a hit even with the in-laws! My mother-in-law will bring it now to family events! Sometimes I like to add eggs over-easy or poached eggs for extra protein and flavor, but if you’re looking for something to make with meat, chicken is great with this as well when you’re not abstaining 😉 )
- Homemade Veggie Pizza
I hope these help a little if you’re in a rut this Lent!
I’m praying you and your family grows close to our Lord this Lent. God bless you!
What are your favorite recipes for Lent? Comment below! As a die-hard foodie, I’m always looking for new recipes!