Growing up, we were a meat-and-potato kind of family and Lenten Friday meals were truly something my brother and I dreaded. My mother is a perfectly fine cook except when it came (comes) to seafood.
She would buy frozen cod that would stick to the cardboard box in which it was packaged. She would try to peel away the box, which never gave me much confidence in where that meal was headed. She would then cook it on the broiler inside the toaster oven. (I don’t know why she wouldn’t use the regular oven.) It was slimy and tasteless. There was no sear or texture. Just overall it was a truly terrible meal.
Those meatless cod Fridays were a sacrifice at our house. However, so many families serve meat alternatives now that I don’t think it’s a big deal to give meat up on Fridays. In fact I have to go out of my way to make the meals less enjoyable because for us seafood is a treat – a luxury even. (Prices are high I think – maybe because I live in the desert now!)
For example, the kids love this salmon recipe. It’s healthy and tasty and super easy to clean up. But is that really what the church had in mind when we were told not to eat meat? They also adore shrimp, calamari, scallops, and most fish.
They love cheese pizza and plain pasta so those aren’t a sacrifice either.
I am trying to plan meatless meals that involve beans. They hate beans – that’s more with the spirit of the rule.
So is it a big sacrifice for your family to go meatless? Do you choose to go meatless during the year for health, financial or environmental reasons? What do you like to serve for meat alternatives during Lent or other times of the year?