The season of Lent is upon us, which means millions of Catholics around the world have left the indulgences of Mardi Gras behind. Typically, devout Catholics will abstain from an indulgence for the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, like social media, alcohol or sweets. It’s also tradition to forego meat for the seven Fridays during that time period, and these Fridays are oftentimes referred to as “Fish Fridays.”
But what are you supposed to do if you want to sacrifice meat on Fridays but don’t particularly enjoy seafood? While Catholic bishops across the U.S. have declared that followers don’t have to abstain from meat on Friday this year because numerous luxuries have already been sacrificed due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s still a practice many will choose to follow. And if you’re among those followers who want to sacrifice meat on Fridays but don’t particularly like seafood, consider these seven meat-free recipes for Fridays during Lent.
Egg drop soup is one of the best takeout dishes you can make at home, and it’s especially great because it takes just 15 minutes. Pair with spicy mapo tofu or some simple vegetable fried rice for a plant-based Chinese night at home.
Nothing hits the spot quite like a big, juicy burger at the end of the week, and the season of Lent is no exception. Luckily, you can still have this diner classic without ground beef. There are tons of meat-free burger options, from Impossible Burgers to black bean burgers and this Mediterranean-inspired Beyond Burger with a spicy curry ketchup. Serve with homemade fries for a super satisfying Friday night meal.
Stuffed acorn squash is a great alternative to traditional roast chicken for a family-friendly dinner. But if you have some picky eaters, nuts and stuffing may not be an ideal option. Enter: this cheesy rice-stuffed alternative, because we all know cheese makes everything better.
A classic at cafe chains like Panera Bread, black bean soup is packed with protein, so you won’t miss meat or fish when eating this vegan soup. This one pot phenom is best served with crusty homemade bread for dipping.
McDonald’s Filet o’ Fish is an icon, perfect for those busy Fridays when you need to go to the drive-thru. Put a vegetarian spin on this fast food menu item you can make at home by swapping out fish for tempeh, a plant-based ingredient we’re totally obsessed with.
In the midst of winter, comfort foods are king, which is why chicken pot pie (and its cousins, shepherd’s pie and turkey pot pie) are good dinners for the whole family. If you want all that flaky crust and savory gravy without the meat, a blend of cremini and shiitake mushrooms have the texture and flavor of an awesome replacement.
Lasagna is perfect for special occasions or a long, cold winter night when you just need a hearty meal. This lasagna is packed with vitamins courtesy of kale, mushrooms and pumpkin, so you’re getting the good stuff along with tons and tons of cheese. Serve with a robust winter salad.