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getting ready for Lent- I've stocked up on lentils...what are your favourite recipes?

Anybody else giving up meat & dairy for Lent?

I've got a collection of vegetarian and fish recipes, but I was wondering if any of you have favourite recipes that you like to serve during Lent. Especially one-pot meals like lentils, etc.

So far, I've made a black bean, tomato and coconut milk stew with ginger that turned out pretty good.

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  1. I'm considering giving up meat, although I've never tried giving up dairy yet. Tonight I'm having spanokopita!

    4 Replies
    1. re: coolbean98

      Beware, my Dad gave up meat one year ... it seemed such like a good idea, but 40 days is a long time. On Easter he eagerly bit into some roast lamb, and discovered he just didn't like the taste any more! Or any type of meat either, despite many attempts to go back.

      Nothing wrong with being a vegetarian, except now we all have to make 2 versions of dinner when he comes over :)

      1. re: mstrimel

        Oh no!! Your dad must have been really dedicated! I've given up meat a few years, but my birthday almost always falls during lent (or even on Easter) and it ends up being a big cheat day for me, so if I've ever come close to giving up meat (gasp!) I'm sure that reeled me back in. :o)

        Oh, and St Patrick's Day. What an ill-timed holiday that is!

        1. re: coolbean98

          I usually give up drinking to some extent. But I make exceptions for St Paddys Day, my anniversay and birthday, both in April, if need be. Let's call them Holy Days of Non-Obligation. Although if my anniversary falls on Good Friday (happens alot), I'm good on that day! I do a lot of fish for myself, at least every Friday, and tuna casserole or fried flounder for my husband, but that's just what we did growing up.

        2. re: mstrimel

          I lost my taste for chicken, beef & pork after giving up meat for Lent a few years back, and ended up becoming an ovo-lacto-pescatarian for about a year or so.

          Last year, after giving up just meat & poultry for Lent, I ended up really craving lamb by the time Easter came around, and ended up eating more meat than usual for the rest of 2006..resulting in a significant, unwanted weight gain :(

          We'll see if I lose my taste for anything this time...if only I could lose my taste for full fat cheeses and sweets.

      2. I like this one for a vinegar-y lentil salad

        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

        but it is better with the green french lentils. Good warm or cold.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JGrey

          Thanks for the link! The lentil salad looks really good!

        2. I like the Deborah Madison recipe for Moujadahra (sp?)...just lentils, rice, deeply caramelized onions, olive oil, and pepper. But so good! Great with a crisp salad, cucumber with a lemony dressing, something like that. If you need the recipe paraphrased, let me know.

          4 Replies
          1. re: prunefeet

            Please do! I love that stuff, but have only ever gotten it from the Middle Eastern markets. I'd love to have a recipe.

            1. re: Allstonian

              Sorry I keep forgeting when I'm home, I will get to it this weekend!

              1. re: Allstonian

                Ok, here it is:
                Deborah Madison's Mujadarrah, from "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone", paraphrased:
                Heat 6 Tablespoons of olive oil (don't skimp on olive oil) in a large skillet over medium heat. Add one very large onion, sliced 1/4" thick, and cook, stirring often, until they are a dark rich brown. This takes some time, watch the heat. Put 1 1/4 of brown or green lentils in a pot with a quart of water and 1 teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil...simmer 15 minutes. Add 3/4 cup of rice and lots of pepper, and add water to cover if necessary. Cover and simmer over low heat until rice is done, about 15 minutes. Stir in half of the onions, then cover and let stand off heat 5 minutes. (I just put all the onions in at once). Serve with the remaining onions on top. Again, this is good with a crunchy, acidy salad, like cucumber with lemon,, something like that.

              2. re: prunefeet

                That sounds interesting- I'd like the recipe paraphrased. Thanks!

              3. I'm a vegetarian after I gave up meat for Lent (that was 1994). I haven't given up dairy for Lent but I did give up white sugar.

                * Pizza with lots of veggies but no cheese (my personal favourite is artichoke, black olive, roasted red pepper and spinach). Btw, making individual pizzas is excellent if your spouse hasn't given up meat/dairy for Lent.
                * Pasta primavera (whole wheat pasta), lots of veggies and a tomato sauce.
                * Burritos with pinto beans, spanish rice, sauteed peppers/onion, lettuce, black olives, salsa, etc. etc. etc.
                * Vegetarian Hoppin' Jack
                * Quinoa salad - cook and cool quinoa, add veggies, nuts and a vinaigrette.
                * Cuban black beans over rice
                * Garlic hummus on Ryevita paired with some marinated veggies
                * Stir-fried veggies over quinoa or whole wheat couscous

                My best advice is to keep a well stocked pantry so that when you find that *stellar* recipe online, you can run to the kitchen to make it. Also, play with oils (might want to get a mister) to find out which ones work best in a particular dish (I stick with olive and canola for cooking, I have specialty oils for dressings, etc.) Keep nuts and seeds handy for snacking (and for throwing in salads). Experiment with vinaigres, peppers, onion and garlic.

                When you start to eat meat again - go slowly to avoid getting sick (your system won't be used to it). Good luck to you!

                1 Reply
                1. re: librarian

                  Thanks for your suggestions...very helpful.

                  Not sure if I'll start eating meat again after Easter, but I'm pretty sure I'll be craving the dairy....

                2. I just made this yesterday. Stellar

                  Wheatberry Lentil Soup

                  1 ½ c. green or brown lentils, washed and picked over
                  4 c. vegetable broth
                  4 c. cold water

                  Place lentils in 4-quart stockpot, add broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are tender, 25-35 minutes.

                  4 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
                  1 large onion, finely chopped
                  ½ t. salt
                  ½ t. fresh ground pepper
                  2 T. olive oil

                  Heat oil in sauté pan. Add carrot, onion, salt and pepper and sauté for approximately 15-20 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Vegetables should be tender, slightly browned. Then add the following:

                  4 cloves garlic, minced
                  1 ½ t. ground cumin

                  Sauté for about 30 seconds to one minute, Turn off heat.

                  When lentils are tender but not mushy, add 1-1 ½ c. cooked wheat berries** and about two cups of rough chopped fresh chard or fresh spinach. Heat through until greens are wilted. Add in carrot mixture. Add in 3 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

                  Serving size: 1 2/3 cups. Calories per serving: 250. Fat: 8 g (1 g sat, 5 g mono) O mg cholesterol, 36 g. carbs, 9 g. Protein, 9 g fiber, 617 mg sodium, 433 mg potassium. Extra nutrition: fiber, vitamin A, folate, vitamin C and Iron

                  **Plan ahead. Wheat berries need an hour minimum to cook, sometimes as much as an hour and a half, but when cooked they freeze well for a month. Pick and sort 2 cups of wheat berries, put them in a large saucepan with 1/2 t. salt. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, cover and simmer until tender. Spread on a cookie sheet to cool, then freeze in one cup increments. Yield is about 5 1/2 cups. You could also skip the berries altogether and the taste of the soup would be fine, but the nutritional POW would not be as high.