Tomorrow begins Lent. One way to show love during Lent is through the kitchen. For some in my family not eating meat is a small but real sacrifice. So I do my best to make good nutritious and tasty meatless meals. In addition I want to focus on keeping them affordable because part of the importance of fasting is alms giving. What money we have left over after fasting should be given in the basket at mass.
Today I want to share my Top 10 Kitchen Food Staples for Lenten or Meatless Meals:
[tweetthis]Top 10 Kitchen Food Staples for #Lenten or #Meatless Meals[/tweetthis]
1. Whole Wheat Spaghetti, Penne, and Macaroni-
I use these to make meatless spaghetti, vegetable pasta bakes and macaroni and cheese. But the possibilities with pasta are endless! I like to add olive oil, garlic and Italian vegetables to any pasta and you got a fabulous meatless meal on your hands.See one I made recently in the above photo. I added asparagus, onion, tomatoes, and basil with olive oil and garlic. It came out wonderful. The only trick is cooking the asparagus a bit first- but do not over cook! Add tomatoes last.
2. Brown Rice-
I’ve gotten used to using brown rice. Some find it difficult to switch over but I think the trick is learning to prepare it well. Once I figured that out, it was easy. You can make fried rice or rice pilafs by just adding beans or vegetables. Another suggestion is adding rice to soup or salads. You may be surprised how good it is with salad. Or top it with lettuce, tomatoes, and other vegetables. Add veggies and spices to make your own rice dishes.
Please check out my: Spice Blend Recipes
3. Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes and other root vegetables-
You can make these into a meal by baking them together as a casserole. Try my Tri-Color Root Vegetable Bake. Or make a soup with them. Home fries are also good. Another favorite easy option is simply bake them in the microwave. It’s very quick and makes a meal if you add a variety of toppings.
4. Chicken Broth for Soup-
Keep chicken broth on hand for making soup. This is so inexpensive and requires very few ingredients. You can make any “Cream of” Soup with just chicken broth, vegetable of choice, milk, butter and flour. Use my Cream of Cauliflower Soup Recipe to get you started.
Not just trying to be hip here, Quinoa is a complete protein. So you also get the needed protein from Quinoa. My favorite way to cook it is similar to a rice pilaf. Cook the grain as the package directs you. Then I cook slightly some chopped cabbage. In oil I stir fry my veggies and garlic and add quinoa and toss.
I love salads. You may want to try new greens to add new flavor to the table. My favorites as of late are watercress and arugula.
7. Beans and Lentils
I tend to stock up on canned beans and eat them in salads cold. My favorite beans for this are chickpeas, black beans and kidney beans. One such example is my Fresh Tomato and Black Bean Salad (pictured below). Beans are also great for making spreads. Add them to soup and rice dishes too!
Though I try to limit my carbs, if I’m fasting anyway, it makes sense to have bread ready as a staple. Unleavened or yeast free breads are even better. I keep my fridge stocked with frozen all natural breads that I can put in the oven and have ready quickly. I also have a few all natural brands of boxed mixes in the cupboard that I can whip up too. Quick breads and muffins are also good. Try my Oatmeal Blueberry Flax Seed Muffins!
9. Hearty Vegetables: Squash, Eggplant, Asparagus, & Cauliflower-
These vegetable have so many possibilities. They are hearty so it’s easy to make a whole meal from them. Try stuffed cabbage, peppers, etc. Replace meat in your recipes with a bean. Try my Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe (pictured below)!
Always have eggs handy and I am sure you do too. They aren’t just for breakfast though. You can prepare them in so many ways. I enjoy making omelets and frittatas for dinner.
Other good foods to keep on hand: nuts, oatmeal, cut up fruit and veggies, and tofu.
Leave a comment:
What tricks do you have for meatless meals during Lent? What special ways do you observe fasting and abstinence? How do you keep the grump out of eating this way? Does this sacrifice enhance your Lenten journey? How?
* Note: I don’t mention fish here because it’s a given! Special thanks for the hostesses: Top Ten Tuesday