I give up church for lent.
Lent isn't a popish throw-back. Lent is a time for searching our minds about Christian discipline and repentance. Christ was big on the repenting thing. Unlike contemporary Christian leaders, Christ counseled his followers to be attentive to prayer and fasting. Not because they were evil (although some might have been) but because it's a discipline that carries over to ordinary life.
Enough of all that!
Let's get to the non-bacon recipes!
I am roman catholic and I give up meat on Fridays.
Which is not hard as I usually make grilled cheese sandwhiches, PB & J, lentil soups, fried tilapia, tuna salad sandwhich or tuna salad with pasta...pizza...the options are endless.
This year I'm going to try to make more international type vegan dishes (I'm orthodox, so like Ginger said, no meat, no dairy, no eggs, no fish, no alcohol, and no oil, but I tend to be a bit lenient about the oil in things like Hummus). I'll let you all know how it goes, and post the good recipes on here :)
I tend to eat a lot of Oatmeal for breakfast during Lent, and I'll admit to using non-dairy creamer :p
My priest really emphasizes that Lent is not just about fasting, it is about spending the time drawing closer to God with prayer, almsgiving, as well as fasting. The fast should also be a fast from sinful behavior, so if you are keeping the fast from food, but you continue to sin frequently and knowingly, then you aren't really keeping the fast. It should be a time of self reflection to find the parts of our lives that are keeping us separated from God.
To answer the food question, I have a couple of good monastery cookbooks which I'll be using quite a bit for the next forty or so days. I normally keep my weight under control, but I want to make a concentrated effort to lose ten pounds during Lent by being more thoughtful about what I'm eating.
For some reason I seem to always end up on South Beach at Lent. Fridays get difficult, as I hate tuna. My eggplant bake works pretty well, though.
1 medium sized eggplant
1 small onion
1/3 jar roasted red peppers
1 jar no-sugar added marinara sauce (I used Trader Joeâ€™s Organic)
1/3 package Mozzarrella cheese
Â½ small package ricotta cheese
Slice eggplant, brush with olive oil and bake on a cookie sheet in oven, app. 5 minutes per side
Slice onion and carmelize (with garlic if you like garlic)
Layer the eggplant, onions, red peppers, cheeses and marinara sauce in small casserole dish
Bake for approximately 45 minutes
Tonight I'm cutting up an eggplant for a good vegetarian chili, with onions, peppers, and beans. A little shredded cheddar on top doesn't hurt either, although I will probably give up the dollop of sour cream on top as a nod to seasonal deprivation. The Silver Palate's vegetarian chili recipe is the one I usually use.
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