I am planning a very simple Lenten Menu this year. The first thing on my list is split pea crockpot soup. I would love to hear other ideas for very simple (frugal, staple) meals. This far I am focusing on crock pot soups. Please share! I hope to develop a menu of meals that will encourage solidarity with human beings who live in poverty and put the rest of the food budget toward almsgiving.
Split pea soup
Rinsed split peas 1lb
Sliced carrots and celery
8 cups water
Cook in crock pot on low until peas are tender. Remove bay leaf. Blend soup until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
We eat these year-round (we observe Friday abstinence year-round), but here’s a kid friendly vegetarian recipe:
Lentil/Chickpea Veggie Burgers:
1 cup dried lentils
1 to 1.5 cup diced cooked veggies (anything you want, I usually use some combination of carrot, bell pepper, onion, and mushroom)
2 cups chickpeas (or 1 can)
1 egg (skip if you go vegan for Lent - you can use leftover cooking liquid from the lentils instead)
1 inch ginger (or 1 tbsp ginger powder)
1 clove garlic
Preferred spices (I usually do 1 tsp cayenne pepper and 1.5 tsp curry powder. If you’re going for plainer fare, you can use less flavorful spices, lower the amounts, or skip.)
Simmer 1 cup of lentils in 2 cups water until tender (uncovered, 20-30 minutes. Add water as needed to make sure the lentils are just barely covered.) While those simmer, saute your choice of diced veggies. You should end up with about 1-1.5 cups once they are cooked.
Puree 2 cups chickpeas with half of the lentils, half the veggies, 1 egg (or reserved cooking liquid from the lentils), ginger, garlic clove, and chosen spices if any.
Mix that mixture with remaining lentils, veggies, and bread crumbs. Add enough bread crumbs that the mixture can form patties fairly easily - it should feel similar to hamburger. Form patties and dredge both sides with flour.
You can freeze them at this point for later use - I usually put on a baking sheet covered with wax paper, and then after they are frozen place them together in a large freezer bag. To cook, you can bake them at 400, flipping once, until hot and crispy. For crispier burgers, you can fry them with a little bit of oil.
You can eat them any way you would eat a veggie burger. My 2 year old likes his on a bun with a little ketchup like a hamburger, but as is tastes pretty good, too.
I am thinking I might play with the recipe a little bit and see if I can’t make a kind of lentil/chickpea loaf out of it, too. :hmmm:
Spanish Turnip Soup (Caldo Gallego)
Lenten vegan meal to served with bread
1lb great northern beans
1 chopped onion
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
6 cloves garlic
1 leek, chopped (white part only)
1/2 cabbage, chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large turnip, peeled and diced
1 bunch of collard greens, chopped (or turnip or mustard greens)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large 2 quart pot, cook beans until tender. In a larger 5 quart soup pot add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil and cook onion, bell pepper and garlic until soft. Add leeks, cabbage and greens and cook 2-3 minutes. Add potatoes and turnips and enough water to cover vegetables. When potatoes are almost tender, add the beans and the water they cooked in. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are tender and the soup is thickened. drizzle with additional olive oil.
It seems to me that there was a thread like this last Lent, and maybe even the Lent before that. I would count it a favor if someone were to find the time to find some of those threads and post links in this one! (If you list the recipes to be found in the thread, wow, you get triple brownie points!!)
Family size mac’n’cheese
regular can petit-dice tomatoes
regular can sweet corn
1/2 tsp curry powder (red curry powder is better, use a full tsp if you want more flavor)
a couple glops of Cheez Whiz for extra cheese sauce
Add tomatoes to mac water, cook mac, drain, prepare cheese sauce per directions, add curry, add to mac, add corn and Cheez Whiz. Heat and stir until well blended.
Polish egg noodles and Pot Cheese.
This is something I grew up with every Friday, back in the days when Friday meant absolutely no meat!
Boil up a mess of wide egg noodles in the usual way; only, when you empty the pot into a collender, throw in a half stick of butter or margarine. Toss the noodles with the butter/margarine until the noodles are evenly coated with it. Put the noodles back into the pot or a large bowl. Mix in at least a pint of drained large curd cottage cheese, or an equal amount of farmers cheese broken up into large chunks. Add in a heaping tablespoon of sour cream. Douse with a shake of black pepper and toss with a fistfull of chopped green onion stalks.
Portion out and make a pig out of yourself!
Fridays during lent always means shrimp for me. Here are some recipes I like to use to get the most out of the meat by stretching with eggs.
1lb. Louisiana gulf shrimp (40-50 count, peeled)
1pt. Dark roux
1lg. Yellow onion (chopped)
4cloves Garlic (chopped)
8 Whole eggs
1bunch Green onions (chopped)
All purpose seasoning to taste
Make dark chocolate-colored roux with flour and oil. Add bell pepper and onions to cool off roux. Add water and simmer on low, stirring occasionally for one and a half hours. Add shrimp, red pepper, salt and garlic powder to taste. Let cook 5 more minutes. Add green onions, parsley and eggs. Let sit 25 minutes before serving.
1lbs. Louisiana gulf shrimp (40-50 count, peeled)
4 tbsp oil
8 whole eggs
4 cloves of garlic
2 cups bean sprouts
16 oz rice noodles
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch green onions
1/2 cup crushed peanuts
Pad Thai Sauce
8 Tbsp lime juice
3 Tbsp fish sauce
6 Tbsp sugar
3 tsp Sriracha hot sauce
Prepare noodles according to package instructions
In a wok saute shallots, garlic, and shrimp then set aside
scramble eggs and set aside
combine shrimp, eggs, sauce, and bean sprouts and cook for about 10 minutes.
cover dish with cilantro, green onions, and crushed peanuts to serve
2 cans kidney beans, undrained
1 can great Northern beans, undrained
1 can black beans, undrained
1 can pinto beans, undrained
4 cans water or vegetable broth
1 lb frozen spinach
1/4 cup vegetable oil
garlic, salt, and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and simmer until of desired consistency. Serve with a splash of red wine vinegar and cornbread. This freezes well.
Tuscan Garbanzo Bean Soup
2 cans garbanzo beans, undrained
1 can water
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1-2 large sprigs fresh rosemary (or about a tablespoon dried)
2-3 cloves crushed garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil and red wine vinegar to taste.
Combine all ingredients and simmer until of desired consistency. Add more olive oil and red wine vinegar immediately before serving.
For a Spaniard, a meal is not a meal without bread!
I see you have “Caldo Gallego”. I do not use cabbage – just the collard greens added at the end and cooked until wilted. Have you had it at an Authentic Spanish (from Spain) restaurant or had it cooked by a Spaniard? Are you putting “unto” in it? If you have not had the “real” one, then I do not think you need the “unto”. A non-Spaniard business acquaintance and I were talking that he makes it for his family, but it does not have that “authentic” flavor. I asked him if he put “unto” in it. He had not. Since I had some at home, I told him I would give him a piece – very little is used. The next time he prepared the Caldo Gallego, he was very happy with the results. “Unto” is not sold in stores – at least not in the U.S.A. I do not know about in Spain. Does any one know if “unto” is sold there? We always made it at home.
You might want to try this fast one: Ingredients:
Basil Pesto sauce (I buy it frozen and take a piece for the meal)
Cook the pasta, drain it, mix in Pesto sauce to taste, add the tuna (mix in or not), and the cheese. Enjoy! I also use cooked (of course! :D) chicken when it is not Lent.
Or you might want to go Jewish with this one!
Scrambled Eggs with Nova Lox
Pinch of salt
Nova Lox – cut the slices
Dice the onion and “fry” in a little oil with the salt (onions cook faster)
When the onion is to your liking, add the scrambled egg.
When the above is almost done, add the Nova Lox and mix it all in.
I have had it as an omelet, but it does not taste the same to me.
“Nova Lox” does not have as much salt as “Lox”
I like it with toasted bagel, with butter and a tiny bit of jelly/preserves. My mouth is watering!
Polenta – there are many ways to cook it.
Below is another recipe. I do not have “Picture privilege”.
Crustless Pierogi Quiche
Serves 6 Ingredients
• 1 (16-ounce) box Mrs. T’s potato and cheddar pierogies
• 1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
• 1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
• 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
• 3 cups baby spinach
• 2 scallions, sliced
• 1 1/2 cups milk
• 3 large eggs
• 3/4 tsp. salt
• 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
• 1 cup shredded Asiago cheese
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Boil pierogies as box directs.
Melt butter in 12-inch skillet over medium heat; add red pepper slices and mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes or until just tender. Remove to bowl with slotted spoon. Add spinach and scallions to drippings remaining in skillet; cook about 3 minutes or until just wilted. Remove to bowl with vegetables.
Grease a 3-quart casserole dish. Beat milk, eggs, salt and pepper in large bowl, until well mixed. Add vegetables, cheese and cooked pierogies. Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish. Bake 40 minutes, or until mixture is puffed and golden.
Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart Recipe
Recipe created by Rebecca Lando
I first made this when a friend hired me to cater her wedding. The bride was a vegetarian, and I knew from my own experiences at catered, sit-down events how dismal the vegetarian options usually are. I wanted her meal to be as filling and appetizing as everyone else’s, and that’s how I came up with this tart.
Serves 4 as a main, 8 to 10 as an appetizer
• 1 small butternut squash
• Olive oil as needed
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 4 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
• Up to 1/2 cup white wine
• 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
• 2 to 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
• 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
• Pinch of ground cinnamon
• 1 large egg, separated
• 1 sheet puff pastry
• 1/2 cup chèvre or other soft goat cheese, softened
• 1/4 cup grated Pecorino cheese
• 1 Tbsp. water
Preheat a rimmed baking sheet in a 425°F oven.
Halve the squash lengthwise. Rub the flesh and skins with oil and season the flesh with salt and pepper. Lay the squash flesh-side down on the preheated baking sheet and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until the skin is browned and wrinkled and a knife slides easily into the flesh. Remove from the oven and cool; turn the oven temperature down to 400°F.
Meanwhile, heat a good glug of oil in a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until the mushrooms have released and reabsorbed some of their juices. Add the garlic and rosemary and toss together. Turn the heat to medium-low and keep cooking; if the pan starts to get too dry, douse it with a splash of wine. Scrape to deglaze and keep cooking until the mushrooms have shrunk by about half and are soft, about 10 minutes. At the last minute, fold in the thyme and turn off the heat. Let the mushrooms rest while you prepare the squash.
As soon as the squash is cool enough to handle, peel the skin off. Transfer the flesh to a large bowl and mash it with the back of a fork. Mash in the heavy cream, starting with 2 tablespoons, the nutmeg and the cinnamon. When the mixture is cooled completely, whisk in the egg yolk. Season with salt and pepper.
Lightly flour a work surface and a rolling pin. Unfold the puff pastry and roll it out to the size of whatever pan you’re going to use—either a 9-inch pie pan or a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Drape the puff pastry into the pan and push it in gently. Let the excess dough hang over the edges for now.
Prick the bottom of the pastry all over with a fork. Spread the butternut squash about 1/2 inch thick over the bottom of the pastry; it should come about halfway up the tart’s sides. Cover in an even layer of the mushrooms. Dot evenly with the chèvre and cover in an even dusting of Pecorino.
In a small bowl, beat the egg white with the water into an egg wash. Brush over the exposed puff pastry; trim off any bits of dough that hang low down the outside of the baking dish.
Bake the tart for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven, cool for 5 minutes, then slice into wedges or squares and serve.
From The Working Class Foodies Cookbook: 100 Delicious Seasonal and Organic Recipes for Under $8 per Person (Gotham) by Rebecca Lando.