Lent means suffering, and therefore, sacrifice. Christians, especially Catholics, are called to fast and abstain during this season. For some hearty eaters, this is bad news since it means not eating meat. Do not fret, however. You can still eat healthy and hearty foods even if you have to set aside the yummy treats for a while.
- Fish and Tuna Fish, beans, pasta, wheat, and fruits are the best meals to serve during Lent. If you are an on-the-go type of individual, you can just secure yourself a can of tuna (with fifty percent less salt if you are diet-conscious) and add on some fresh veggies like lettuce, tomatoes, and a layer of mayonnaise. You can add frozen or cooked beans, too. To add color to your meal, you may put in carrot bits. Voila. You now have a meal that is both light to the body and spirit!
- Rice Bowls If you want a heavier meal, go for carbohydrates. You can have a rice bowl meal composed of various seafoods like shrimp, squid, and salmon. You may season it with celery or string beans for that tangy flavor. For variation, you may prepare noodles and add diced tomatoes and spices instead of the usual seasoning. As an added touch, sprinkle it with grated cheese.
- Leftovers Give your leftover food a special twist. De-bone and shred the fish and wrap it in spring roll wrappers. Add green bell pepper, tomatoes, and cheese into the dish and fry it. It is not only economical but it is also a good way of transforming an old dish into a new one. It's called reinvention!
- Omelets A simple meal as that of egg and potato omelets can be used as a staple Lenten meal. Cooking time may take about 30 minutes. For a meal that would serve 8 persons, prepare 3 potatoes and 6 eggs, onions, olive or palm oil, and a teaspoon of rock salt. First you'd have to peel the potatoes and onions. Cut the potatoes in slices the way they do when preparing French fries. Next, slice the onions into bits, and beat the eggs until you see no whites and yolk. Pour palm oil onto the pan and heat it. Stir in potatoes and onions, and add the beaten eggs. Spread evenly into the pan. Add a teaspoon of salt to taste. Cook until you see the sides of the omelet are lightly brownish. Serve and cut into wedges. Another variation is to cook the egg then wrap the potatoes and onions with it.
- Fruits If you are fond of eating fruits (they make good meals, by the way), you may try cooking fritters. All you need are a cup of water, a teaspoon of baking powder, a half-teaspoon of salt, a tablespoon of salt, a cup of flour, and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Once you have the ingredients ready, then mix everything to make a batter. Add slices of banana and fry them in oil. It's healthy and tasty, too.
Lenten does not really keep you from eating delicious food. In fact, it forces out the creative chef in you. Have fun cooking this Lenten season!