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With today being Friday, we abstain from meat. Usually, the younger boys abstain as I just don’t fix meat. They typically do not mind, but they will occasionally forget and grab some meat to eat. (An example is going through Sam’s Club today where they had multiple chicken samples they hungrily grabbed before I could remind them.) Church law permits their consumption of meat until the age of 14, so it’s ‘okay.’ I just prefer they get the idea ingrained now.
On tonight’s menu is macaroni and cheese using a method I shared in the past. Last Friday was pan-fried halibut.
But, what I really love is vegetarian soups with homemade bread for a lighter meal. Our parish hosts simple soup dinners on Friday nights followed by Stations of the Cross. I would go tonight. But with Mr. O, P and R headed on their Boy Scout camping adventure, I dare not tempt fate with the younger boys.
On Ash Wednesday, I ‘winged’ it with a lentil soup recipe. It came out great and the boys are asking when I’ll make it again.
Basically, I sautéed some diced carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in a little olive oil until they were soft. Then, I placed it with a few bay leaves in 12 cups of water with one pound of lentils. This was cooked at a simmer for a little over an hour before I added a small can of tomato paste. That tomato paste helped with the elimination of chicken stock and added another vegetable to the mix. If I’d had diced tomatoes in the house, I probably would have added those, too. We used some shredded sharp cheddar cheese in the fridge that was a topper for the soup.
I served it with homemade whole wheat biscuits that night. With the leftovers, we added egg noodles to stretch it out. Considering that food prices are on the rise and good meat can be expensive up here, we might be seeing more lentil dishes on the table. I think the big batch I made that night of lentil soup costs maybe $3 to make without the cheese as a topper.
Those kinds of meals are the same kind to make weekly and then place the difference in the rice bowl. And, a simple vegetarian meal on Fridays helps to reinforce the idea of sacrifice.