7 Quick Takes Charla Ink Slingers Lent Meatless Fridays Recipes


7 Quick Takes: Meatless Meals
Part of the Catholic family’s dilemma every Lent is what to eat on Fridays. There are some who stay faithful to no meat every Friday throughout the year, but most need some great ideas to feed the family without breaking the bank and without being too extravagant, because, after all, it is supposed to be sacrificial. In my part of the country, we are landlocked, so seafood is kind of a delicacy and quite a splurge, to be honest. We also get overwhelmed with pasta dishes during this season, so here are some easy and faithful recipes of alternatives to fish and pasta for those Friday night dinners.
We present:

LENTIL Sloppy Joes

(AKA: “Snobby Joes”) I got this recipe from a fellow “Sista.” My beef eaters at home like these more than traditional ground beef sloppy joes.


• 2 stalks celery, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 small onion, chopped
Sauté chopped celery, garlic, and onions until soft and add to quinoa before cooking. Make quinoa according to package, using vegetable broth instead of water.
• 1 medium onion sliced
• 1 red pepper
• 1 green pepper
• 1 C snap peas
• 1 C sliced mushrooms
• 1 can sliced water chestnuts
In a separate pan, sauté all vegetables until soft and cooked through. Serve over a bed of quinoa.


This is an easy one. Served with some beer bread, it makes a hearty meal.

• 1 ½ C red lentils, rinsed
• 2 celery stalks
• ½ chopped onion
• 2 minced garlic cloves (optional)
• 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
• 1 tsp oregano (or to taste)
• ½ C brown rice
• ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
• 1 cup chopped tomatoes
• 10 C vegetable stock
• Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes or until lentils are soft. Super easy and really good. It pairs well with most soups and stews.

• 3C SIFTED flour (make sure it is sifted or it’ll be a brick)
• 3 tsp baking powder

• 1tsp salt
• ¼ C sugar
• 1 ½ C (12oz) beer
Mix together and place in greased loaf pan. Pour ¼ – ½ C melted butter on top. Bake at 375° for 1 hour


This one is for mushroom lovers. It is a tasty meal or good as a side dish.
• 2T Olive oil
• 2 cloves of chopped garlic
• 12-16 ounces fresh baby spinach
• 1½ C Sliced baby portabella mushrooms
• 1½ C Sliced white mushrooms
• 1C fresh chopped tomatoes
• 3T balsamic vinegar
Sauté all ingredients together until soft and fully cooked; toss with balsamic vinegar, and serve on a bed of white or brown rice.


You can follow this recipe or make your own regular lasagna recipe, using sliced zucchini instead of lasagna noodles, minus the meat. Link found here.


My mom used to make stuffed bell peppers when I was growing up, but this recipe is a variation without ground beef; feta cheese gives it a kick. Feel free to omit the green onions or sauté regular onions until very soft; then add them. My kids are opposed to onions, so I quite often do this in most recipes.


Lentils can be used in place of ground beef in many recipes, and this is one of them. I do not use the “adobo sauce,” salsa is a good substitute. Link found here.

There you have it. Good ideas for meatless dinners that do not involve seafood or pasta. We hope this makes your Fridays during Lent a little more interesting.
May your Lenten season bear fruit in your spirit and your journey bring you closer to our Lord.

For more Quick Takes, check out Conversion Diary.

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#FishFriday – It’s Not Just for Lent

If you’ve heard the buzz lately, you know that the bishops plan to readdress and reemphasize that the faithful abstain from meat on Fridays, but do you know why? I know that, for many of us, this can come across as “lotsa rules” or “how can the Church be so determined to focus on this {perceived minutia} when we have so many bigger fish to fry?” – pun intended. It’s simple when you understand the core of Christ’s love for us. It’s about the spirit of the law vs. the letter of the law. Let me give you an example of both.

Letter of the law:

Days of Penance*

  • Can.  1249 The divine law binds all the Christian faithful to do penance each in his or her own way. In order for all to be united among themselves by some common observance of penance, however, penitential days are prescribed on which the Christian faithful devote themselves in a special way to prayer, perform works of piety and charity, and deny themselves by fulfilling their own obligations more faithfully and especially by observing fast and abstinence, according to the norm of the following canons.
  • Can.  1250 The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.
  • Can.  1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
  • Can.  1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.
  • Can.  1253 The conference of bishops can determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence as well as substitute other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety, in whole or in part, for abstinence and fast.

*Pulled from the Vatican website

Spirit of the law:

  • Jesus has a particularly scandalous love for each one of us.
  • Jesus died on the Cross for you – yes, YOU!
  • Each Friday is an opportunity to unite our small sufferings to His redemptive suffering on the Cross.
  • Out of our love for Him, we offer something small {such as meat if that is a particular suffering for you} to show Christ that we recognize and appreciate His gift of salvation for us.
  • We are not limited to giving up meat, but can also offer up other acts of penitential suffering as well – this varies from person to person, depending on our particular struggles and sufferings.

When we break it down into two categories like this, we can see that the letter of the law is borne of the spirit of the law. Without the spirit of the law, it’s all just words. If your heart isn’t convicted to a love for Christ, all you will see giving up your precious meat on Fridays is just a mere inconvenience. It’s so much more than that. SO. MUCH. MORE THAN THAT. The next time you start to feel that way about the laws of the Church, look at the Cross and lay those feelings at His feet. Pray for Jesus to soften your heart to understand the foundation of the rules. They are all rooted in a love for Him. Promise.