Created on: February 18, 2013
During Lent, Catholics and some other Christians do not eat meat on Fridays. Finding creative meals for the time period can be tricky, but with a little thought and some creativity, you can come up with some delicious meat-free meals.
Fish is, of course, the first thing many people think of for meat-free meals during Lent, but you can only eat so many fish sandwiches. Consider trying
Tofu is a another good alternative to meat. Because it will absorb the flavor of whatever you season it with, tofu can be used for many different dishes. Tofu can be stir fried, marinated or baked. If you are suspect of tofu, try using crumbles, which resemble ground beef, in place of meat in tomato sauces and other dishes. Crumbles are usually less offensive to people who think they do not like tofu.
There are a wide range of cheese recipes that will work for Friday night dinners during Lent as well. Quesadillas, cheese omelets, cheese soufflé and pizza all work for meatless dinners. Kids will love cheese sandwiches and soup for dinner. Add tomato to the grilled sandwiches to jazz them up, or use something other than American cheese, such as cheddar, Jack or Colby. You can even use a combination of lots of cheeses.
Ethnic foods can also inspire Lenten dishes. Ratatouille, tapas, vegetarian chili and paella, and vegetable stir fries all make great Lenten meals. The About.com guide for Catholicism, Scott P. Richert, has many wonderful ethnic recipes on his site.
Egg recipes are another popular idea for Lenten meals. Make breakfast for Friday night dinner, including eggs, yogurt, toast, muffins and fruit. Scrambled eggs with shredded cheese, omelets, poached eggs or fried eggs all work well for meatless meals.
Remember that, during Lent, Friday night meals should not be decadent. Friday is a day of penance and the meals should reflect this. Save your feasts for Sunday dinners during Lent, and make your Friday night meals modest meals without a lot of pomp and circumstance. This doesn't mean they have to be boring and without flavor, though—they should just be less of a feast.
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