Tales from the Kitchen

Kitchen table discussions with recipes and ideas for shopping on a budget, cooking for a family, meal planning.

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I'm happily married, mom to four boys and four girls at home, with one in the presence of God. We are slowly working on raising our own food and making much of what we need. I knit, cook, read, pray, think, write, crochet, and I'm trying to sew, too.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Lenten Cookery

Tonight I will be making my Accidental Souffle, which is a spinach, egg and cheese dish I made up one night when I needed to come up with something for dinner. That and a salad will be dinner tonight.

On Friday we ate a lovely frittata with potatoes, onions, peppers and asparagus. Also with a salad. Earlier last week, we had Melanzane al Forno, with broccoli raab steamed and sauteed with lots of garlic, and some pasta.

It has been challenging to come up with Lenten meals, and we've come up with some tasty and satisfying meals. Even though we haven't given up meat entirely, only on Wednesdays and Fridays, we are trying to use it less. My goal is that next year we will go meatless for the entirety of Lent. It is a physical discipline preparing us for spriritual discipline. Our priest quoted a saint this Sunday who said that if you can control what you eat, you can control your passions. We think this is really true, as all are matters of appetite. We are still trying to be guided by the idea of leaving the table before we are satisfied.

We did take a feast day last Monday, as Rich's parents were in town and watched the kids while we went out. We had a choice of dinner at a seafood restaurant to which we've been wanting to return and a diner type place with great burgers. Rich had been craving a burger for so long that we went with that place, and did eat a meat centered meal along with (!) french fries.

I am looking for some simple dishes for Saturday's dinner, they can include meat, but not as a main feature. Any ideas?


Blogger Not Kristen! said...

As someone who eats meat rarely, I can't help but find the idea of having difficulty avoiding meat a bit amusing. (But really, I understand. I'd find it difficult to do without fruit, for instance.)

Anyway, here's one of my favorite recipes. I don't know if it's to your taste or not.
Mediterranean Lentils and Rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onion, minced
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup lentils
2 cups vegetable broth
1 can crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup currents, dried (these are small grapes)

Heat oil in wide skillet and add onions, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne and salt. Cook over medium-high heat until onions are soft, about 10 minutes (keep and eye on the heat--onions should cook fast but not burn).

Add lentils and broth or water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove hte cover and add tomatoes and currants. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cover again. Cook for 10 minutes more, or until lentils are tender.

Serve over rice topped with feta (or parmesan) cheese. The feta adds a lot to this dish.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006 1:06:00 PM  
Blogger Ranee said...

Thank you!

I know it seems like an odd request, but I have an extremely carnivorous husband. I have promised that I will not make a meal that doesn't include at least dairy, eggs, or beans, basically a decent amount a protein. If he decides to go otherwise, we'll change, but he really prefers a good protein base, and it takes enough of a heaviness, mouthfeel and flavor to make him feel full. So, I experiment. It is made more complicated by the fact that he isn't as big a fan of soup as I am.

Thursday, March 30, 2006 10:17:00 AM  

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