Every Lent, Christians across the world choose to give up something as a sacrifice. The most common choices are things like chocolate, soda and alcohol, but what if this year you give up something that is not only a sacrifice but is also healthier for you, combats climate change and saves animal lives?
By going meatless for lent you are bringing so much more good into the world than you good with just giving up chocolate. It is a lot easier to make the switch to vegetarian than a lot people realize. And once you see how tasty it can be to be a vegetarian, you will never want to go back.
Breakfast is probably the easier meal to avoid meat. With cereals, bagels, fruit and even protein shakes, there are still plenty of filling options without frying up that bacon or scrapple.
Lunch and dinner time is usually when we choose meals chockful of meat, but don’t’ worry. There are a lot of easy but delicious meatless options as well. Check out some of the recipes at https://www.readyseteat.com/
Cajun Black Beans and Rice
For this spicy protein-packed dish, you will need the following ingredients: 1 tablespoon canola oil, 1 cup instant brown rice, uncooked, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 cup reduced sodium vegetable broth, 1 can of black beans, 1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes with garlic, undrained and 1 can of dice tomatoes & Green Chilies, drained.
Directions: 1) Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add rice and chili powder, cook 2 minutes or just until the rice begins to turn golden brown, stir constantly. 2) Stir in remaining ingredients until combined. Cover skillet, reduce heat to medium-low and cook 15 minutes or just until rice is tender. Let it stand 5 minutes and fluff the rice with a fork before serving.
Baked Eggplant Parmesan
Move over Chicken Parmesan, this baked eggplant parmesan gives you all the cheesy deliciousness you expect but without the guilt. And because it is baked and not fried, you can enjoy this Italian favorite for less calories. The ingredients you need include: no-stick cooking spray, 1/4 cup Italian-styled bread crumbs, ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1 large eggplant, ¼ cup of Parkay Original Spread melted, 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, 1 can of diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained, 1 can of tomato sauce with basil, garlic and oregano.
Directions: 1) Preheat oven to 425˚F. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray, set it aside and then combine bread crumbs and parmesan cheese in shallow dish. 2) Cut eggplant into 12 slices, about ½-inch thick. Brush slices with Parkay, then coat each side with the bread crumb mixture. Place on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until tender, turning once. Then top the eggplant slices evenly with mozzarella cheese. 3) Meanwhile, combine undrained tomatoes and sauce in small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, simmer 10 minutes or until slightly thickened. Spoon tomato mixture evenly into 4 shallow bowls. Place 3 eggplant slices over sauce in each bowl.
Want to add a little more pizazz to pizza night? Try making this Mexican pizza for the family. Pita bread is used for the crust for these individual pizzas and instead just cheese and sauce, they are topped with refried beans and melted cheese and sprinkled with crisp lettuce and zesty tomatoes.
Ingredients include: 1 can of Mexican Diced Tomatoes with Lime Juice & Cilantro, drained and divided, 1 can of no fat refried beans, 6 honey wheat pita pocket breads ( 6-1/2 inch), ¾ cup shredded Mexican cheese blend, 4 ½ cups thinly shredded romaine lettuce and 6 tablespoons finely chopped red onion.
Directions: 1) Preheat oven to 450˚F. Place 1.4 cup drained tomatoes in small bowl, set aside. Mix remaining tomatoes and beans in small bowl until combined. Spread evenly onto pita breads. 2) Sprinkle pizzas evenly with cheese. Place on ungreased baking sheets, bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of breads are lightly browned and cheese melts, rotating pans halfway through. 3) Top with lettuce, onion and the reserved tomatoes.
Roasted Vegetable Quesadillas
Your mouth won’t be able to say no to these flour tortillas stuffed with oven roasted sweet potatoes, red bell peppers, onions and melted spicy cheese. The ingredients you will need include: no-stick cooking spray, 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed, 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch pieces, 1 medium sweet onion, coarsely chopped, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, 6 flour tortillas (8 inch), and 2 cups of shredded Pepper Jack cheese.
Directions: 1) Pre-heat oven to 450˚F. Spray 15×10-inch jelly roll pan with cooking spray. Place potatoes, bell pepper and onion on pan, sprinkle with salt and cumin. 2) Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring after 20 minutes. 3) Divide the vegetable mixture evenly onto half of each tortilla, and then sprinkle each with cheese. Fold each tortilla in half over filling. 4) Spray nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat over high heat and add quesadillas. Cook each side 1 minute or until lightly browned and cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
Baked Salmon with Dill Cream
Seafood is healthy for you and is a great meatless alternative for protein. This Baked Salmon with Dill Cream will satisfy even your pickiest eaters. Ingredients include: no-stick cooking spray, 4 frozen salmon fillets, ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ cup reduced fat sour cream, 3 tablespoons lowfat (1%) milk, ½ teaspoon dried dill weed, and ½ teaspoon garlic powder.
Directions: Preheat oven to 425˚F. Spray foil-lined baking sheet with cooking spray. Place frozen fillets, skin-side down, on baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Bake 20 to 24 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork (145˚F).
Eating Out Vegetarian
For those nights you don’t feel like cooking yourself, don’t worry there are plenty of restaurants that offer a variety of vegetarian dishes. At Chaps Pit Beef, we have our popular cod sandwich. For more information on having a Meatless Lent, call or message us today.