40 Dinners Without Meat

I do not want this to turn into a cooking blog, but my sister asked me to let her know of any good meatless dinners I come across as I make meatless dinners this Lent and I thought I’d share them here. I am not going to post every recipe, but give the basics of the dinner I made and if you want the recipe email or comment and I will do my best to get it to you in a timely manner.

I actually do not have 40 meals total, since many nights ended up with leftovers and we may or may not have eaten at home every night:

1. Ash Wednesday-Lentil Soup, bread, and a green salad-the soup had carrots, lentils, onions, tomatoes, vegetable stock broth, and some sherry. Very penitential and much tastier if served with swiss. We had a green salad every day with spinach to keep iron in our diet.

2. Bean Burritos and a green salad-not very creative but easy if you buy the canned beans.

3. Garden Minestrone, homemade freezer biscuits, and a green salad-A minestrone with spinach and zucchini among other veggies and lots of beans! It was so full of protein I did not even miss not having meat! And these biscuits are great! I usually make a double recipe, and you freeze them and pull out and bake as many as you need! Each adult is usually satisfied with just one; since they are as hearty as the kind you can buy at the grocery store from a can or frozen.

4. Channa Masala, white rice, freezer biscuits, and a green salad-Masala is a combination of spices used in Indian food; in addition to garam masala, this dish also contained cumin, turmeric, and coriander cooked with butter and onions and added to a base of chick peas an chicken stock (I used vegetable stock in the Lenten version). This is served over rice. It could be used as a main dish or side depending on what kind of meal you are going for.

5. Pesto Pizza with Tomatoes and Spinach (and garlic for the husband) and a green salad-I buy the pre-made pesto from the olive bar at Wegmans since I only need about $1 worth of it and pesto takes time and energy and basil that I usually do not have while making pizza. I have a wonderful bread-maker pizza dough which I spread with pesto and then add the toppings. Mark wanted whole garlic cloves on his pizza, so he had his own half. I used mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. I think it turns out restaurant quality–if only we had a better oven!

6. Falafel, Pitas, Hummus, and a green salad– I confess that I use a mix for my falafel, grinding soaked but not cooked beans into tiny bits in the blender is not my cup of tea (Hence why I need a food processor). But the mix I found is amazing and just the right amount of spiciness. I do fry my own falafel and sometimes make my own pitas. This time I bought pitas and hummus. The falafel is to be eaten in pita pockets (or rolled up in one) with hummus and other sides. I like to mix garlic powder with sour cream. Pickles are particularly appetizing in this wrap or just plain old cucumber.

7. Spinach Lasagna Roll-ups, biscuits, and green salad-A recipe from my wonderful mother made with cottage cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, cooked spinach, and nutmeg all rolled up in cooked lasagna noodles and baked in marinara sauce. Yum yum yummy!

8. Fish Sticks, Oven-Fried potato chips, and green salad-Frozen store bought fish sticks, easy! The potatos take time; peel, slice super thin, rinse, pat dry, toss in oil and spices, bake for about 20 min. We needed two tray-fulls. I kept them warm in the toaster oven while the fish cooked.

9. French Toast and Baked Apples-Breakfast for dinner! But it was soooo good. Baked apples are so easy; peel, chop, cover in juice, sugar, and butter and bake!

10. Oven-Roasted Chickpeas, Pasta with butter, garlic, and parmesan, green salad– We have had this one a lot before; it is pretty easy and if you cook the chickpeas in oil and garli long enough they are crispy and flavorful. This meal is an attempt to get protein and iron into the lenten meals.

11. Annunciation Dinner- Fish Sticks, Skoralia, and green salad- A traditional Annunciation dinner consists of dried salt cod battered and fried (hence the fish sticks) and mashed potatoes with olive oil, lemon juice, and scallions (instead of milk and butter). They were delicious and I was told to make them again.

12. Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings, green salad, biscuits- My first experience of cooking with tofu, and I think I will again. It takes on the flavor of what you cook with. These were chopped vegetables, tofu, hoisin and soy sauces wrapped in wonton wrappers and steamed. The steaming was incredibly easy, but the preparation took a lot of time. I had leftover filling, that I put in a frying pan with butter, frying it for a few minutes and then added some beaten eggs. This was also delicious!

13. Tilapia with lemon butter, oven-fried potato chips, and green salad– I sprayed the tilapia with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper and cooked it at 500°F for 7 minutes. The potato chips were the same as above. This is a really tasty and easy way to cook fish fillets!

14. Macaroni and Cheese, green salad, steamed broccoli-Your standard Macaroni and Cheese made with monterary jack and chedder cheeses, thickened in a flour, butter, and milk sauce and baked until the au gratin of crushed rice krispies and melted butter browned. I used to make real bread crumbs, but I like the crunchy toppings better. This recipe was enough for two dinners! 🙂

15. Lentil-Barley Stew (which actually was Great Northern Bean-Brown Rice stew), biscuits, and green salad– I was going to make the stew with lentils and rice, when I discovered that I had no lentils. After a quick panicked call to my sister while the celery and onions were already cooking in butter, we decided my beans would be a good substitute and they were! Mark liked it a lot, and he is not a big fan of rice or white beans. This also had tomatoes and shredded carrots.

16. Cheese and Spinach Quiche and green saladHomemade pie crust, and quiche filling. I did not whip the eggs enough; but deflated quiche still tastes like quiche. I will make this again and do it properly. I used to not like swiss cheese, but lately I have discovered that I like it in other things such as reubens, lentil soup and quiche. The next thing I want to try it in is French Onion Soup.

17. Garden Minestrone in bread bowls and green salad-I made the bread bowl dough in my bread maker. I am not satisfied with the bread we get in our bread maker. It is always way drier and not as soft as I would like it to be even when I add an egg with the water measurements. Not sure what to do here. The soup was saved in the freezer from when I made it earlier.

18. Tilapia seasoned with dill, boiled and seasoned potatoes, green salad, green beans- I cooked the tilapia the same way as above, except added dill to the spices. The potatoes were small red potatoes boiled with the skin on; after draining I heated them in melted butter and added salt and pepper and dill “to taste.” I am actually having cravings for fish (at least the plain white ones); which is either a sign that I have gone insane, need more protein in my life, or am becoming more like my husband and less like my father (who hates all seafood). This meal was so pretty on my plate I should have taken a picture. It was also very yummy!

19. Minestrone soup, homemade bread, and green salad- This was a soup I made a few months back and froze the extras. It is a recipe I got from my mother, with shredded cabbage, carrots, celery, tomatoes, beef stock base, kidney and navy beans, peas, green beans, and macaroni noodles. This soup makes you feel healthy while you eat it. And it is best served with freshly shredded parmesan.

20. Stir-fry vegetabes in teriyaki sauce, rice, biscuits, green salad– This was a lot of fun to make, steaming broccoli, chopping mushrooms, carrots, green onions and prepping snow peas; stir-frying them all together and finishing them off with a bit of teriyaki sauce. Served them over rice with extra sauce. It was yum!

Meals I have not made yet this Lent but plan too:

21. Syrian Lentils on Pasta– I have made this before. Lentils, onions, tomatoes, and cumin cooked and in a medium thick sauce over pasta.

22. Anchovy Pizza and Tomato and Spinach Pizza– My husband likes anchovy pizza. Don’t ask me why. It comes in little cans in oil, near tuna, in the grocery store. I will make this with a red sauce and use my yummy breadmaker dough. I will not eat the anchovies… G. might.

23. Two Bean Tamale Pie-I have not made this before, but it has tomatoes, beans, spices in the bottom half and a crust on top consisting of cornmeal, cheese and milk. I am excited to try it.

24. Alfredo Sauce and Broccoli on Pasta– There is a dish common in St. Louis called Pasta con Broccoli. I found a recipe online that we could barely eat it was so rich. So this alfredo sauce looks less rich, but just as creamy. I am going to give it a shot. We will see.

That is all I have planned and done so far. I need a few more recipes to get us through the rest of Lent. I have done a few repeats and we have done a few Friday Fish Fries. That is why you don’t get 40.

2 thoughts on “40 Dinners Without Meat”

  1. holy cow Susanna, this is great! I've been thinking of posting something similar, but there is no way I have 40 meals' worth of ideas 🙂 I thought of you yesterday — we were in a kitchen store and they were selling overpriced biscuit cutters. I didn't get them, so we'll be having square biscuits for a while still 🙂 You need to give me more of these recipes, though!

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