Lenten Friday meals - recipes and ideas?

Hi folks

I thought we could share some meat-free meal ideas. I’m tired of relying on pizza!

My kids won’t eat fish – my son doesn’t like the taste and my daughter lives by the Finding Nemo credo “Fish are friends, not food!” LOL

Ideas/recipes are most welcome!

I know fish is a hard food for kids to like. Do you think they would eat tuna fish? Sometimes you can mix it in with other foods to disguise it. I usually mix it with mac-n-cheese or mix it with ranch dressing instead of mayo and put it in a cresent roll with a little cheese and bake it. Another favorite of ours is pierogies. We just had a battle last night over the fish. I made taliapia and covered it with parm cheese, bread crumbs and dill and my son sat there for almost two hours eating it. He finally did, with a lot of protesting. Good luck on finding other ideas. if I can think of anymore I will post them.


Meatless chili.

Taco salad made with beans. You can do bean tacos, too.


Main dish salads other than taco salad. Most have potatoes and/or beans as a filler.

Anything made with eggs - you can even have breakfast for supper, which most kids like. Pancakes, eggs, toast, whatever you like other than bacon or sausage. Omelets are good too, as is quiche, but lots of little kids don’t like egg pie!

I’ll try and post some recipes later. My family are no great fans of fish either, and we are gluten-free so I don’t have the pizza option. Gotta be creative!

The other night I made “zucchini balls” instead of meat balls.

Grate 1 zucchini.
Mix in some grated romano cheese,
some seasoned breadcrumbs,
seasoning (salt pepper, I use Mrs.Dash)
1 egg.
Mix until it looks like a soft dough,(if it looks too wet add more breadcrumbs) then saute in some olive oil. Use a spoon to drop them into the oil, because the mixture will be fairly soft soft.
Dont flip them too soon or they will fall apart.

Heat some pasta sauce (tomato based) and add the “zucchini balls”, serve with pasta.

The zucchini won’t even taste like a veggie, the kids will love them.

grilled cheese and tomato soup.

“breakfast” for dinner (omlettes, french toast, etc.)

And like TheRealJulianne suggested~pasta

My daughter is 4 so while she doesn’t HAVE to abstain I try and keep her to what I myself am doing. The rest of our family is non practicing or a different religion all together. Yesterday we had an egg sandwhich for lunch and a cheese pizza for supper.

With her though, I can for the most part, get her to eat anything. Fish though, while I had great success when she was younger, I’ve been struggling with. Though, she will happily do tuna sandwhichs. I personally cannot blame her. I myself am not a fan of fish outside of tuna. I cannot stand the smell of it for some reason.

I imagine our lent will be filled with lots of pretend Jiggs dinners minus the salt beef. So lots of potatos, carrots, turnips and cabbage.

I’ll certainly have to subscribe to this thread!

We had grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner last night and will have it again during Lent.

We will also likely eat breakfast for dinner on one of the Fridays of Lent.

Other options besides our church fish fries:

White chili sans chicken
Cheese and veggie pizza
Mac and cheese
Spaghetti with marinara

I personally would love to have fish tacos, but hubby doesn’t like fish much and likely wouldn’t eat it at all if it wasn’t breaded or fried. Fried fish tacos just don’t sound as good to me, though. But, maybe they would be okay.

I also like pasta with a white sauce, but hubby only likes red sauce, so I go with that. Two of my kids don’t like red sauce, so they eat plain noodles with butter and salt.

I had a grilled cheese and creamy tomato soup last night too. YUM!!

Also, what about various types of chilli?

I’m going to stock up on soups, salad items, veggies, fruits, etc. at the supermarket this weekend because gasp I’ve given up pasta for Lent. :slight_smile:

While I love fish, I don’t always have some on hand, so I improvise on days when meat is a no-no.

Yesterday’s small meal was 3 mini pitas and hummus.
Last night’s supper consisted of sushi (vegetable Maki) and cole slaw. The biggest sacrifice wasn’t the lack of meat, it was only eating half the order of Maki.:smiley:

:eek: I could never do that!!

Take corn tortillas.

Layer them like this:

Tortilla on the bottom - black beans - tortilla - cheese - tortilla - corn - tortilla - more cheese - tortilla on top. Put them into the oven with foil on top of them. You only have to cook them for a few minutes to heat the middles up and melt the cheese.

Quesadillas are good too, if you can eat flour tortillas, or you can make them with corn tortillas. That’s just a tortilla, the filling (cheese) and another tortilla on top. You can do those in the microwave.

Cheese tacquitos are fun for kids to eat. Deli-Mex makes good ones.

Irishmom2~Well, I’m going to give it a shot. Tuesday evening after I got home from work, I got on my step stool and put ALL of my pasta-type items (including noodle soups :() inside the highest shelf of my kitchen cabanet.

Also, I plan on searching online for beef/pork/chicken/fish/veggie related recipes for either the slow-cooker or something else that’s easy. Oh, and I plan on making quite a few new salads.

I could use some lunchbox ideas. All I’ve got is hard boiled eggs (which 2 out of my three won’t eat), peanut butter (which only one will eat with any ounce of enthusiasm), cheese sticks (rejected by one of them) and hummus (which 2 out of 3 won’t touch, in any flavor). None of them will eat tuna – I can make them eat it at home, but not at school.

Hot lunches our out - our school cook does a terrible job and the meals are unhealthy. She serves half a white hoagie roll with garlic butter on it as a main dish for Fridays with a side of overcooked veggies and canned fruit.

When fish is warm, you get more of that fish smell so I try to eat it cold. Tuna sandwiches with apple slices and celery mixed in is nice with soup.

My 2 pot dinner. One pot boiled veggies, potatoes, rutabagas, celery and anything else you want to throw in. Other pot, fave soup. Pea soup lets say, that’s a favorite. Fill bowl with with veggies, pour soup over top like gravey. Grainy bread. Change the soups around. Sometimes I open a can of lentils and portion some into ice cube trays and freeze/bag. You can throw a few cubes of lentils into a soup as you like for the extra nutrition. Good when you fast from meat, eggs and dairy.

Red kidney beans combined with brown rice make a nice meat substitute.

How about something hot in a small thermos? Soup, chili, past, ramen noodles…
Or a salad/container full of whatever vegetables they like and a small container of their favorite dressing for dipping. You can stuff everything into a pita too.
Cold leftover pizza becomes room temp by lunch. When my son brings that, other kids want to trade their lunch for it.
Yogurt- Chobani greek-style is our new favorite and higher in protein. :slight_smile:

Remember that if the kids are under 14 they aren’t required to abstain from meat on Fridays during lent (though I certainly understand parents wanting to instill the habit in their kids when they are younger.)

My favorite is clam chowder, I know this isn’t “fish-less” but is very tasty. We usually have some form of fish on Friday’s. Here is my clam chowder receipe. I made a double batch of it last year for a lenten pot luch at church last year and didn’t have any leftovers. I usually serve this with warm sourdough bread, and it isn’t as time consuming as it sounds:

1 - 2 tablespoos butter or vegetable oil
2 (6.5 ounce) cans minced clams
1 (6.5 ounce) can chopped clams
1 medium white onion (minced)
2 Celery Stocks (finely diced)
1 bottle of clam juice
6- 8 potatoes. Peeled and diced
1 cup of butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 quart half-and-half cream
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
ground black pepper to taste

1.In a large pot or skillet (with enough room for the potatoes, onion and clam juice) melt 1 - 2 tablespoons butter, or heat vegetabel oil in a pan.
2.Stir the onions into the butter/oil. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
3.Add potatoes, celery, and thyme to the pot. Drain juice from clams over the onions, celery, and potatoes. Add additional bottle of clam juice and if needed water to cover, and cook over medium heat until tender.
4.Meanwhile, in a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth. Stir in half-and-half cream and stir constantly until thick and smooth.
5.Spoon vegetables and clam juice into the cream mixture. Heat through, but do not boil.
6.Stir in clams and vinegar. When clams are heated through, season with salt and pepper. Don’t over cook the clams, they can become tough.
7.For thinner chowder stir in water until you get the consistency you desire.

  • Greek yogurt - high in protein and the ones with fruit taste great

  • Cottage cheese w/fruit

  • Microwavable mac and cheese

My family loves them grilled in olive oil. Easy to make.

wow, giving up pasta would be super hard…

my husband is a pretty picky eater. he’s been branching out more lately but gets really annoyed when I say “I didn’t think you’d like that” - it turns into a whole discussion about how I sound like his mother, and that just because he chooses not to eat something and would much rather eat something else doesn’t mean he won’t eat it - but I don’t see the point of bothering to make stuff he wouldn’t choose to eat on his own.

case in point was the frozen beer battered fish fillets I bought for yesterday. gorton’s, they were quite delish and actually tasted beer battered. I was impressed, esp because i don’t usually like breaded-fried things. I didn’t think he’d like them and got that lecture when I commented. :rolleyes: apparently the fish issue is only with plain fish… but I still think I could screw that up, because I think any food not smothered in sauce is “plain” to him. hahaha he totally makes my love of food and the kitchen so much more difficult…

anyway, to answer the question!

mac&cheeze with some veggies, peas or broccoli work well mixed in. pizza. pasta. grilled cheeze/soup/salad. just salad, but with lots of toppings. mexican type stuff like burritos/quesadillas/nachos. veggie stew. I second the pierogies and breakfasts for dinner!

all of those can be made fairly quickly if necessary, but you can also switch things up a bit either by making the standard stuff from scratch, or by doing it a different way. for example, try a white sauce instead of red for the pizza or pasta. or if you have more money and/or time, try a new ethnic food each friday! lots of indian, hispanic, eastern european, and asian recipes are meat free. if you have a larger grocery store, health food store or ethnic market around, you can even find frozen dishes that, while meant to be a single serve meal, could be used as a side for a family dinner.


My portabella cheese burgers with french fries

Big hardy hamburger buns - nothing mushy - hard round rolls works well

Portabella mushrooms - cleaned & seasoned with S&P, onion & garlic powder and a drizzle of olive oil - Grill them or broil them on both sides

When are are done, put your favorite cheese on them and serve them on the rolls

Have toppings ready, like sliced tomatoes, lettuce, pickels & onions ~ also ~ those French fried onions that come in that can work well as a topping.

Have ketchup & mayo topping also

Make home made or frozen fries and you have a great meal.

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