Thursday, March 17, 2011

Meat-free recipes for Lent or anytime

Well, Lent has begun, and for many in the Catholic world, that means meatless Fridays (or more!). Last week, Elizabeth at That Married Couple posted her family's favorite veggie meals, which inspired me to dust off some of my own favorites (although I am too busy lazy to type out recipes and take pictures, so I just have links to share). Seeing as I am vegetarian, I have a load of well-loved recipes bookmarked. Although, beware--these are so delish, you won't feel like you're giving anything up!

Not-So-Dirty Rice from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen:  I love this rice recipe. I have never eaten dirty rice, so can't speak for its authenticity, but I can testify to how yummy it is. I am a pretty lazy cook, so instead of making it in the beautiful little eggplants like in the original, I just make the rice on its own. I usually add half a cup of dried lentils with the rice (increasing the amount of liquid and adding more as needed) and throw in some spinach toward the end to get my green veggies in.

Curried Couscous Salad from Giada de Laurentiis (via): I don't really know why, but there's something about an aliterative ingredients list that really appeals to (the big nerd in) me. This one is great for that: curry, couscous, cucumber, cauliflower, cashews, and cranberries. Yum! It sounds a bit out there, in terms of ingredients, but it is so good.  I didn't put the full amount of cranberries in when I made it, because Jon generally doesn't like to mix sweet and savoury flavors, but we both agreed that they really make the dish, so I'll be adding more next time. I served this as a main dish, and the two of us polished it all off.

Ten Minute Tasty Asparagus and Brown Rice from 101 Cookbooks: This is kind of a ridiculous name for this recipe the way I make it because  a) I make the rice from scratch rather than use frozen rice, so it takes longer than 10 minutes; b) I rarely make it with asparagus, since I'll only buy asparagus when it is in season (even though I buy most other things year-round)--instead I use zucchini, cauliflower, or broccoli; and c) the stand-out part of the dish, for me, is the tahini sauce, which isn't even in the title. But, as long as you like tahini, it is tasty!

Creamy Pumpkin Penne from Cara's Cravings: I love everything with pumpkin or butternut squash, and probably have a dozen recipes I could share with that as the main ingredient, but I chose this one because, when I made it for the first time a couple of weeks ago, Jon commented about 10 times, while eating, how much he loved this dish. It must be a winner, with praise like that! Oh, and the original recipe calls for sausage, which I am sure is lovely if you like / are eating sausage, but I left it out with no ill effects.

Butternut Squash and Hummus Sandwich (inspiration): Lunch is a toughy for me, because I don't really like plain sandwiches, but it can be hard to cook something every day. I had this the other day, and it really hit the spot. I mashed together 3-4 tablespoons of leftover butternut squash (or micro-bake a sweet potato, if you have no squash) and 1-2 T store-bought hummus. Add hot sauce to taste, a tsp of apple cider vinegar, and some black pepper. Spread on your favorite bread / toast / wrap. Top with grated carrot and half an avocado.

Que aproveche!


  1. Thanks for sharing these recipes! You had me at Curried Couscous Salad, but I'm a sucker for alliteration, too (if you couldn't tell by my blog name! ;) so now I *have* to try that one!