Friday, March 2, 2012

7 Quick Takes: Meatless Meal Ideas

It's the second Friday in Lent, and people all across the country are pulling into the drive-thru at McDonald's for a Filet-o-Fish, packing up the kids for a fish fry in the church basement, and dusting off their trusty tuna noodle casserole recipes. Today, I would like to share some ideas to get you out of your fishy Lenten rut! Enjoy!

1. ...But we like fish!

Photo from YumSugar

I totally understand! Fish is delish! But there are more interesting (not to mention healthier and more sustainable) ways to enjoy this tradish (oh no, somebody stop me) Friday option. Before I go all crazy and suggest things like lobster and king crab, let's remember that we are abstaining from meat for a day for purposes of penance and self-denial, not as an excuse for a different type of feast. So here are some non-feasting, non-tuna-noodle options: salmon with sweet chili glaze, lemony white bean, tuna, and celery salad, sardine sandwich with horseradish cream, or smoked salmon pizza with red onion and capers.

2. Pasta

Photo from Eat, Live, Run
Tired of spaghetti and marinara? Try wintry pasta al forno, stunning stuffed shells, gnocchi with goat cheese, grape tomatoes and basil, or broccoli-basil mac and cheese.

3. Go vegan for a day!

Photo from The Shiksa in the Kitchen

Since we're not eating meat, why not just go all the way and not eat anything animal-based? Try a deconstructed avocado roll; all the sushi flavor, none of the raw fish. These wintry tofu spring rolls look amazing. Roasted kale and coconut salad over brown rice or farro is totally craveable. Never made your own falafel? There's no time like the present. How about this for easy: Italian white beans with Meyer lemon and tarragon piled on top of toasted crusty French bread. Now we're talking!

4. Wait... that's not meat?

Photo from Peas and Thank You

Peas and Thank You is an awesome blog (and cookbook!) for meatless cooking. And also for real-life stories of motherhood that often make me laugh out loud. Some of Sarah's popular, can't-believe-it's-not-meat recipes: Tempeh Spaghetti, Curried Sweet Tater Tot Casserole, Seitan Fajitas, Tamale Pie.

5. Breakfast for dinner

Like we needed an excuse. Scrambled eggs with caramelized mushroom and onion biscuits. Waffles with maple-cinnamon poached pears (no bacon!). Chiles rellenos breakfast burritos!

6. Soup it up.

Roasted tomato and white bean soup with grilled white-cheddar sandwiches. Green lentil soup with curried brown butter. Borscht. Winter squash soup (make it with vegetable broth) with gruyere croutons.

7. Tradish (sorry).

My girl Sarah's got you covered with a great tuna-noodle casserole recipe, as well as one for chipotle bean burritos and caesar salmon wraps. YUM!

Visit Jen for more quick takes. And have a fantastic weekend!


  1. And brinner it is! Waffles sound delicious! Thanks for all the ideas!

  2. Yes! Brinner. Love it. Thanks for the shout-out, too! <3