Reasons to reduce or eliminate meat from your diet range from ethical and environmental concerns to cost and convenience, but on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and every other Friday of Lent (between March 1 and April 13 this year), members of the Roman Catholic Church (and some Anglicans and Episcopalians) will eschew all forms of meat in observance of Lent. It was once traditional for Roman Catholics to abstain from meat every Friday to honor the death of Jesus Christ on what came to be known as Good Friday (the meat was usually replaced with fish), but in 1959 the rules were adjusted so that abstinence from meat was relegated only to Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent.
For some, it’s hard to imagine a meal that’s not structured around beef, chicken, lamb, pork, or some other meat, which makes Lent a potentially frustrating gastronomic experience. But it doesn’t have to be.
A brief period of abstinence from meat opens the door to new culinary horizons that you may never have approached in the past. Experimenting with seafood and vegetarian meal options might just be the little push you need to include a meat-free night in your weekly dinner menu. Canned tuna, salmon fillets, shrimp, roasted vegetables, avocado, and tofu might not be your go-to ingredients, but these recipes will whet your appetite for these meatless protein alternatives.
Click here for 15 meatless dishes that are perfect for Lent (and beyond).