Friday, March 11, 2011

Meatless Meals for Manly Men- 7 QuickTakes

...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!


  1. Bookmarked this and will definitely use this Lent! I have the toughest time cooking this time of year.

  2. I will add to that with some of our favorite vegan recipes (Byzantines go all out vegan for their fast days, and even wine and oil on weekdays although no oil is too tough for me most of the time).

    Soups! Garbanzo tomato pasta soup, orzo tomato soup, red lentil bulgar soup, barley soup with veggies and tomatoes. If you go without oil, you can saute veggies in... water (bleh). This is nice for having non fasting kids too, because it is easy to accompany with cheese toast.

    Falafel - just use the dried beans because the canned ones dissolve into the oil

    Pasta with fresh pesto (hold the cheese, if you prefer)

    Thai peanut sauce with tomatoes and coconut milk (easy to make from scratch if you have a grinder and Thai red chili paste) over rice


    Garlic mashed potatoes made of reserved broth and margarine!

    Basmati rice pilaf (vegetarian broth base) with mixed vegetables

    Fresh baked bread with a tub of smart balance...

  3. Thanks for the great ideas, Ana

    I must add a caveat- onions and garlic are perfect for everyone- except my brother. He refuses to eat onions and his long-suffering wife cooks around his onion-phobia...weird guy, no? I don't think he would like my mashed beans and 'candied' onion go-to recipe

  4. My husband also hates and fears onions. I love them. I sometime make things with sauteed and ground up onions in them, and I use onion powder occasionally. Sigh.

    My husband really does throw up if there are whole or identifiable onions in anything.

  5. I lol-ed at the "long suffering wife" comment.

    My husband refuses to fast or abstain. Of course, he ends up abstaining anyway because he doesn't cook and I won't cook meat this year. :)

    Thanks for the ideas. The pasta sounds great!! A little parmesan cheese for non-vegan would be awesome!

  6. we don't have the fasting rules on us (thank you martin luther!) but my husband is vegetarian so these are good ideas for me.

  7. Can I just say I really love your blog - it has great practical advice, and you just seem like a lovely lady. I'm glad I stumbled upon it!

  8. We had this last night for dinner with fresh bread and a green salad:

    It was amazing! Hubby took it to work for lunch, which for him is big. He doesn't like having the same thing two times in a row.

    The kids loved it too.

    PS. I enjoy your blog and I really like reading your comments on other blogs. Always interesting.


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