Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Meatless Meals for Manly Men (replay)

...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. reminder: quinoa is a complete protein.

  2. Thanks jen- I'll put it on the menu for tomorrow

  3. Great ideas! I love them! We DO the Mexican thing, for sure! I've not tried the baking trick, but will.

  4. Hummus is a wonderful invention.

    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.
    Sigh. Yes. It's hard on the wallet too.

  5. Thanks for re-running this post! I made brown lentils with rice tonight for our RCIA potluck dinner. Super easy, done in 20 minutes, and nice heat with curry powder and cumin along with the onion, garlic and carrots I added. My DH really liked it. It's a good thing - there's lots of leftovers. :)

  6. Can I also suggest Minestrone Soup? It's very chunky and you can basically add whatever things you like, working from a base of carrot, celery, onion and zucchini with beans. I tend to use cannellini beans and chickpeas, but you can use any type you like. Then add pasta, rice or even potatoes. Finally, add 1 can of diced tomatoes. It's delicious and the big vegetable chunks kinda convince you that you're not missing meat!

  7. Byzantine Lent forbids fried foods during Lent at least if your being strict about it.

  8. anonymous about frying foods-

    I guess this is where my 'Roman-ness' comes through. yes- some people still use no oil during fasting times- for me as a mom who is trying to stretch the dollar and keep us healthy, this just isn't possible. I suppose we could eat peanut butter or beans and bread for all fasting times. is this healthy? I am trying to find that impossible balance between living in the world and being of heaven. While I am learning more about and appreciating our Eastern tradition more(and I am trying to become stricter as I go along)- sometimes it gets a little...I don't know- our strict 'laws' might be one reason why there were 12 people at presanctified last night and 10s of thousands who attended Roman-rite Masses yesterday...

  9. Does that mean we should throw our traditions to the wind like the Latins did (remember the Latins still kept a strict fast of no meat oil or dairy until the early 20th cent.) In my opinion we shoyld promote traditional fasting and do whatever you as an individual can do in consultation with a spiritual director. Just my .02¢.

  10. anonymous- I hear you! But one little irritating thing for me (again-probably old Roman ideas coming out) is that the traditions for fasting are so strict in the Eastern rites, but I can go to my spiritual father (which I have) and figure out an individual plan for me. But officially, I am fasting according to the guidelines. Our traditions are important- but it sort of bums me out that vegan on Wednesdays and Fridays and meatless all other days is considered 'liberal.'

  11. In my opinion its not considered liberal.....its considered what you can do. For me it becomes liberal when it is held out as the standard (not that you are doing that). I know I tend to be a bit of a Pharasee. :)

  12. All these sound really yummy. We're having lentil and rice tacos for dinner tonight, actually. (Although, seeing as I am vegetarian anyway, that is not unusual, but I do try to keep it simple or vegan on Fridays during Lent) You can make vegan sour cream from cashews, apparently. I have never tried it, but have heard good things.

    1. I am vegan too, and Friday nights always seem to be Mexican night with black bean tacos.

  13. Thanks! Too bad my husband hates mushrooms, tuna and peanut butter (we're Western Catholics). I have to get pretty creative. I always appreciate ideas!

  14. I am a huge fan of beans, being vegan helps that, but one thing I do each week is make a HUGE pot of lentils and brown rice cooked in a vegetable broth. Even dh is liking it.

    I love the idea of fried food, men truly love anything fried.

  15. The bean and rice tacos sound great. I have this on next week's menu :) Thanks for sharing!


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