Monday, February 22, 2010

Easy Lenten Meal!

No, it's not Friday, but in a moment of insanty, I chose to give up meat for Lent... this is not going to be an easy 40 days.  I almost always incorporate meat in my meals so this will force me to expand my horizons a bit and create some new meatless dishes that will still be satisfying.  Not that last night's dinner really 'expanded my horizons' but let me set the scene... can't eat meat, temperatures have cooled drastically for a couple days, slightly sore throat, fridge full of veggies, homemade chicken stock in the freezer... maybe you know where I'm going with this?

I absolutely love homemade soups and they are so easy!  I always make a big batch so we can enjoy some leftovers!  After a few easy steps, we had a hearty and healthy pot of soup to enjoy for a couple of days.  For this vegetable soup, I literally used all of the veggies that I could find in the fridge - celery, zucchini, green beans, cabbage, corn... there aren't too many standard veggies that won't fit the bill . I started the soup by sweating some onions and garlic, and stirred in the celery after a few minutes.  I then tossed in a big bowl of veggies, cooked for a few minutes, and covered with chicken stock.  After bringing to a simmer, I added a can of tomatoes (undrained), a can each of drained and rinsed red kidney beans and cannellini beans, threw in a couple bay leaves, seasoned, and simmered for about 30 minutes.  I had a few fresh tomatoes as well so I seeded, chopped, and threw those in last minute.         

I found some whole wheat pasta in the pantry so I decied to add it to the vegetable soup to make it a bit more filling .  I like to cook my pasta separately and add to each serving as I HATE mushy pasta in soup.  I threw in a few leaves of spinach just before serving so they would wilt slightly but maintain the shape and flavor. 

The point of this story is that you don't need a recipe.  Play around, use what you have, be creative.  I also find it very important to taste as you go.  As my stock was homemade, I added a bit more salt than I probably would have if I had used store bought stock that already contains quite a bit of sodium. 

I am looking forward to enjoying some delicious and healthy vegetarian meals over the next month or so.  Feel free to share your favorites!


  1. Good luck girl! I gave up meat for Lent a few years ago and my carnivore instincts were overwhelming me by the end! I ate LOTS of eggs and fish that Lenten season.

  2. I probably be ravenous by the time this is over!!! But I am sure my body will feel great! Good thing I love seafood and eggs!

  3. I realized I used CHICKEN stock, oops! Substitute vegetable stock!



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