...beyond mac and cheese...
1. bean & rice tacos- prepare beans & rice (I prefer black beans and medium grain brown rice), add some salt, cumin, paprika and chili powder and use the mixture instead of meat for your favorite Mexican-style dish. Offer shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, black olives, sour cream and cheese to put in tacos- easy to keep vegan if you omit the sour cream and cheese. You could have soy versions of the milk products- We use soy only once a week because of potential health concerns.
2.grilled vegetable kebabs- use any favorite vegetables- try to use 'rich' vegetables that will 'stick to his ribs.' I like mushrooms, zucchini, onion, sweet peppers, broccoli, parboiled carrots- sprinkle with salt and garlic powder and grill; serve with any quick grain like couscous, quinoa or lentils. Another very easy idea- spread some barbecue sauce on both sides of a big portobello mushroom and grill- this is better than a hamburger!
3. baked anything- Here is a priest's wife guarantee - Use onions and garlic and some olive oil- put whatever it is in the oven- he will love it! Try pasta primavera (pasta, any favorite vegetables along with artichokes, onions, a bit of garlic, some cherry tomatoes, green peas, and red peppers for color. Then put in baking dish and cover with bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with basil and oregano. Broil until top is browned)
4. vegetable stew- Cut onion and sweet peppers into chunks; begin to saute while you peel carrots and potatoes. Add carrots and potatoes cut into chunks; cover with water. Add can of tomato sauce. Bring to boil and then add a cup of frozen peas and a cup of frozen corn. Put on low and then add 3 cloves of minced garlic, freshly chopped Italian parsley and dry oregano to taste.
5. anything breaded and fried- cheese, mushrooms, cauliflower (parboil first), eggplant (peel, dip in a bit of egg only). Dip in egg and then bread crumbs- then fry quickly in grapeseed oil, turning once. I am going to try to do a vegan version using almond milk before the bread crumbs.
6. bean soup- start with sauteing a chopped onion, add chopped celery and carrots, and go from there. I try to add a chopped red pepper for color - Use lentils if you are pressed for time or forgot to soak the beans last night. I try to have Italian parsley and fresh dill on hand. Add garlic. Bean soup is good with sour cream if the day isn't vegan.
7. peanut butter and jelly sandwiches- this is what priest-husband got for lunch today. He didn't grow up with pb and j sandwiches, so it doesn't make him feel like a little kid. This is my go-to lunch for Wednesdays and Fridays during Lent (it really should be a year-round but I don't like them that much). It is really the ideal fast food especially when he has to be driving around lunch time- I'll make it up at dinnertime with something more yummy.
I hope I have sparked some ideas here- Most men really prefer to be carnivores, so it can be a big adjustment for them if they are trying to be as meatless as possible during the fasting season. If your family isn't attempting to be vegan- it is not that bad because anything tastes better with cheese and sour cream- I tried almond milk for the first time this week and can I tell you- I am never going back to soy! And- don't forget hummus- it really is the best snack using favorite vegetables as dippers (we like snow peas)---one more thing wives--- don't forget to 'offer' a good multi-vitamin (and aspirin if he is giving up caffeinated beverages) to your dear one as it will help his body through this seasonal adjustment. Giving up animal products can deplete the body of Vitamin B- and then he will be exhausted. We don't want that!