Quick Meatless Recipes for Lent

Eggs and RiceAs Catholics, our abstinence from meat on Fridays during Lent connects us to the sacrificial nature of Christianity.  Jesus died on a Friday, and our abstinence from meat on Fridays helps us to remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and encourages the spiritual discipline of uniting to the Cross of Christ.

 

There are other theological reasons to abstain on Fridays of Lent, including the encouragement of humility, solidarity with those throughout the world (i.e. think of the Operation Rice Bowl from Catholic Relief Services), and the rejection of earthly goods for those spiritual goods that are meant for our journey to Heaven.

 

In south Louisiana, we have been accused of not having a hardship during the Fridays of Lent because of our propensity to eat seafood in delicious amounts.  Therefore, this list of meatless options will NOT include those dishes we crave in Louisiana.  You’re welcome.

 

Mommas who work outside of the home juggle so many responsibilities the moment we cross the threshold of the home on our return from work.  Dinner is just one of those responsibilities.  I know that when I walk into the house, the kids are in line formation, repeating the same chorus:  “What’s for dinner?”

 

In some ways, I’ve tried to curb that enthusiasm by posting a one month at a time menu plan on the refrigerator.  I even assign the teenagers to cook on some nights.  Ha!

 

I want to reduce as much chaos as possible from the home, especially during Lent.  My meatless dishes cannot be elaborate, for my own sanity – and to save room for extra prayer and reflection.  The meatless dishes I present to you are some of our staples during this time.  More importantly, these dishes take 30 minutes or less to prepare.

 

  1. Cheese Quesadillas

Easy peasy…just like it sounds:

 

You need:        
2 flour or corn tortillas per quesadilla
¼ cup of cheese per quesadilla
Cooking oil spray
 
I use all kinds of cheese:  Monterey jack, sharp cheddar, mozzarella
 
This is definitely the recipe the kids can do!  I get the 9 year old involved in this one, for sure.
 
You can serve with your favorite salsa.
 
Prep to eating:  
15 minutes tops!

 

  1. Eggs and Rice

For this recipe, the rice must be made the night before.  We usually have the leftover rice from the meal the night before.  For example, we might have chicken with mushroom soup over rice.  The leftover rice is used for the eggs and rice the next day.
 
You need:        
Rice (at least 1 cup)
6-8 eggs (depending on how much you will make)
1 clove of garlic
Salt/Pepper to taste
2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
 
Then:               
Heat the oil in a wok shaped skillet.  If you don’t have a wok shaped skillet, no worries.  Any skillet works! Saute garlic.  Put rice into the skillet.  Saute with garlic for approximately 2 minutes.  Crack eggs into rice.  Using a wooden spoon, mix/chop/cook the egg with the rice.  Serve with Jiffy Cornbread!
 
Honestly, you could add spinach, kale, or some other type of easily cooked veggie.
 
This has become a favorite of our family.  My Daddy used to cook this for me as a kid.  My Daddy died in January 2015.  Eating this dish reminds me of his face, and how much he loved our family.
 
Prep to eating:  
15 minutes; 30-45 if you add the cornbread
 

 

  1. Meatless Homemade Pizzas

This is one all the kids get to help prepare – because they are making their own pizzas!
 
You need:        
Flour tortillas
Spaghetti sauce, pesto, salsa (use your favorite sauces)
Various meatless ingredients:  mushrooms, onions, bell pepper, olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, spinach, kale (add your favorites)
Mozzarella cheese
 
I set this up like a buffet.  Each kid makes it to their own taste.  We do use the larger tortillas for this (10 inches).
 
Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 10 minutes each.
 
Prep to eating:  
30 minutes

 

  1. Omelet Night

I treat this one like Homemade Pizza night, except you are making Omelets.  Setting it up like a buffet gives the kids choices.
 
Prep to eating:  
30 minutes
 

  1. Smothered Potatoes

This is another one of my childhood favorites, and includes lots of yummy veggies, as you dictate.
 
You need:        
1 package of cube cut potatoes (in frozen section – get the size for your family)
The Trinity (for us in south Louisiana, pre-packaged celery, onion, and bell pepper)
Garlic (we LOVE garlic!)
Olive Oil – about 2-3 Tbsp

Then:               
Start by sautéing the trinity and the garlic.  I like to start with the garlic, mostly because it makes the house smell heavenly!  Once the trinity begins to look translucent, add the potatoes.  Saute for about 3 minutes, carefully defrosting/browning the potatoes.  After about 3 minutes, lower your heat to med/low, and place a cover over the skillet.  Let sit for 3-5 minutes at a time, then “turn” the potatoes.  The potatoes should be getting brown.  Don’t “stir” because the potatoes will get too mushy.  You don’t really want to do that.  You want a solid potato, with some mushy, but not much mushy (that’s a mouthful).  We season with Cajun seasoning to taste.  You can use salt and pepper just fine, too!

Prep to eating:  
30 minutes
 
These are just a few of our family favorites.  What are your favorites?  What are you able to do with the time if you served simple Friday meals?
 
My prayer for you is an incredibly faith-filled Lenten journey…one that graces you with much virtue, time with your family, and solidarity with others.
 
Bon appetite!

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the ideas! A meal that we use during Lent that is quick and easy is a “clean out the refrig” soup and cheese sandwiches. We use a box of vegetable broth and add whatever leftover veggies are in the refrigerator (though a bag of frozen veggies would also work) +/- noodles/leftover rice. We always try to be less wasteful during Lent so this goes along with the theme. Even if a preschooler freaks out over things mixed together in a soup, there is a cheese sandwich on standby so it is also a no-whine meal. :)

    • I love this idea!!! We do clean out the fridge meals about once a month. I love the concept of not being wasteful, especially during Lent. It certainly reminds us we stand in solidarity with those who don’t have excess.

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