I spent some time sketching out our lenten menu for the next several weeks, and I thought I’d post them here each week, as it’s always helpful to me when others do this, and then I have them recorded for next year. Of course, every family needs to follow their own fasting rule, according to their family’s needs and the advice of their spiritual father. For us, with a breastfeeding mother and young children, I make a few allowances, like serving fish on Sundays and occasionally eggs, and we might decide to make some other changes as time goes on. I feed my kids (and myself, if I feel I need it) other things if I feel it’s necessary, even if they are not on the official menu. I say this just so no one is scandalized that my menu might mention fish or eggs occasionally, and also to be honest that our menu is often even more non-lenten than it appears on the menu.
Many of the recipes are things I have made for a long time or that I have in cookbooks at home, but if there is a link, I will provide it. This week is heavy on recipes I don’t have links for, but for online inspiration, I have a Lenten Pinterest board to peruse. Our own family’s food preferences are to eat little to no soy or other processed foods, as few grains as we can get away with while eating lenten, and as many vegetables as we can fit. It’s mostly me who avoids a lot of grains, so where there is oatmeal or toast on the menu, I usually eat an avocado, sardines, or just the smoothie, and where there is rice or tortillas with a meal, I just skip it.
Breakfasts: oatmeal, green smoothies with almond butter toast, chia seed pudding, banana oat pancakes (the comments say you can leave out the egg with no problem), pumpkin pancakes (I have a lenten version in a cookbook that I’ll try to adapt to use oats like this one).
Lunches: Mostly leftovers with this miso sweet potato and broccoli bowl, or these broccoli noodles with thai peanut sauce when there aren’t leftovers. There will probably be hummus with pita bread and cut veggies and peanut butter sandwiches for the kids.
Monday: Cuban black beans and rice (from Vegan Planet), salad, mango chunks
Tuesday: Mujeddara with tomato sauce (I prefer koshari, which is the Egyptian way of eating lentils and rice, which includes a spicy tomato sauce, but I’ll skip the pasta, so it’s kind of half mujeddara, half koshari)
Wednesday: Slow-cooker dolmas to take to the potluck after Presactified Liturgy.
Thursday: Seafood curry (I make this up – if you have a Trader Joe’s, they have frozen bags of mixed shellfish (scallops, calamari, and shrimp), or if you don’t have that, just shrimp would work too. I stir fry a pile of veggies, add the seafood mix, and when it’s all cooked add a can of coconut cream, a bunch of curry powder, some lime juice, and some Thai fish sauce. To be strictly lenten you could use soy sauce. All of us love it).
Friday: pinto bean burritos with avocado, tomatoes, and olives.
Saturday: Thai butternut squash soup (from Moosewood’s Simple Suppers), Thai salad