8 DELICIOUS LENTEN RECIPES THAT WILL MAKE YOU FORGET MEAT

Lent is a period of self-reflection and fasting that prepares Christians for Easter Sunday. For many, that means abstaining from eating meat, which is not always easy. From veggie pizza to kicked-up burrito or fried rice with a twist, these Lent recipes will give you some tasty options.

VEGETARIAN FRIED RICE (FOR 4)

  • 120g of mushrooms sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 170g of kale thinly sliced without the stems
  • 2 garlic cloves pressed
  • 4 cup of cooked long-grain rice
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sriracha (or chili powder of your taste)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, tossing occasionally, until golden. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add sesame oil to the same skillet, then add the kale and cook, tossing for about 3 min. stir in the garlic, and cook another minute. Add the rice and toss for about 2 minutes, until heated through.

Push the rice-kale mix to the sides of the pan, and pour the eggs into the open space in the middle, and cook stirring often, until eggs are almost set, then fold in the rice and cook an extra minute. Toss with soy sauce, sriracha and mushrooms.

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER SALAD (FOR 8)

  • 1 medium cauliflower (about 1 kg)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup unsalted roasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cup baby arugula,
  • Salt & pepper

Heat oven to 220°C, and place oven rack in the lower third.

Quarter, core and slice the cauliflower into thick slices. On a baking sheet, toss the cauliflower, 2 tbsp of olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until tender and golden brown, about 25 min.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together vinegar, remaining oil and 1/4 tsp of salt and pepper. Toss in the scallions, almonds, raisins and cranberries. Let sit, tossing occasionally, while cauliflower roasts.

Toss roasted cauliflower with almond mixture, then fold in arugula. Serve.

SPAGHETTI WITH GRILLED GREEN BEANS AND MUSHROOMS (FOR 4)

  • 350g whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 280g mushrooms cleaned and trimmed
  • 220g green beans trimmed
  • 1 bunch of scallions, trimmed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2 lemons
  • Grated Parmesan

Heat the grill to medium high. Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of water according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the mushrooms, green beans and scallions with the olive oil, crushed red pepper and 1/2 tsp of salt.

Grill the vegetables until tender, 3 to 5 min, transferring them to a cutting board when they are done.

Halve the mushrooms and put them back. Cut green beans and scallions into 4 cm pieces and place back in the bowl. Press the garlic into a purée and add to the bowl. Finely grate lemon zest on top.

Cut the lemons in half and grill them, cut side down, until charred.

Add the cooked spaghetti to the bowl and squeeze the juice of the charred lemons on top and toss. Add grated Parmesan before serving.

SWEET & TANGY SALMON WITH GREEN BEANS (FOR 4)

  • 4 salmon fillets of 150g each
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 kg fresh green beans trimmed

Preheat the over to 220°C. Place fillets in a baking sheet greased with oil.

In a small skillet, melt the butter, stir in the brown sugar, soy sauce, mustard, oil, salt and pepper. Remove. Brush half this mixture over the salmon fillets.

Place green beans in a large bowl. Drizzle with the remaining brown sugar mixture and toss to coat.

Arrange the beans around the fillet and roast until fish just begins to flake easily with a fork, and the beans are crisp tender, about 15-18 minutes.

SPINACH QUESADILLAS (FOR 4)

  • 120-150g fresh baby spinach leaves (about 4-5 cups)
  • 4 green onions chopped
  • 1 small tomato chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (mix of Mozzarella and Cheddar)
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 6 flour tortillas
  • Sour cream

In a large skillet, cook and stir the spinach with the onions, the tomato, the lemon juice and the spices, until spinach is wilted. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheeses.

Top half of each tortilla with spinach mixture. Fold the other half over the filling. Place them on a griddle and cook over medium heat until golden brown, for about 1-2 min per side.

Cut quesadillas in half and serve with sour cream.

GRILLED GOAT CHEESE AND ARUGULA SANDWICHES (FOR 4)

  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 8 slices of dark bread
  • 1 1/2 cup roasted sweet red pepper
  • 8 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 cup fresh arugula
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened

Spread the tomato pesto over 4 slices of bread. Layer with roasted peppers, mozzarella, goat cheese and arugula. Top with remaining bread slices. Spread the outside of the sandwiches with butter.

In a large skillet, toast the sandwiches over medium heat 3-4 min on each side, or until crisp and cheese is melted.

Serve with a side salad.

MUSHROOM-BEAN BOURGUIGNON (FOR 10)

Missing the delish stew ? Here is a meatless alternative that will soon be a favorite.

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 medium carrots sliced
  • 2 medium onions halved and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 400g mushrooms cleaned and quartered
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 bottle or dry red wine
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp minced fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cans white beans of 400g each, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pack frozen pearl onions
  • 3 tbsp flour

In a presto, or even better, a cast iron cooking pot, heat 2 tbsp of oil. Add carrots and onions, cook and stir for 10 min, until onions are tender. Add garlic and cook an extra minute. Remove from the pot.

In the same pot, heat 1 tbsp of oil. Add half the mushrooms, cook and stir until lightly browned. Remove from the pot and repeat with the remaining mushrooms and oil.

Return all mushrooms to pot, add the tomato paste. Cook and stir for about 1 minute. Stir in the wine, 1 1/2 cup broth, salt, thyme, pepper and carrot mixture. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Let simmer covered for 25 min.

Add beans and onions and cook another 30 min. In a large bowl, whisk the flour and the remaining broth until smooth. Stir into the pan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened, for about 2 min.

Serve with rice or pasta.

MUSHROOM-ROASTED GARLIC PIZZA (FOR 2)

MUSHROOM-ROASTED GARLIC PIZZA (FOR 2)

  • 400g fresh pizza dough
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Ground black pepper
  • 250g mushrooms
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup white cheese (Fontina or Mozzarella)
  • 6 leaves of fresh mint
  • 1/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

Place the cooking rack at the bottom of the oven and preheat the over to 260°C.

Peel the garlic and place on tin foil and drizzle with a tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle with a bit of black pepper. Close the foil and pop in the oven until the garlic is tender, about 20 min.

Meanwhile, trim and chop the mushrooms and toss them in a pan with the remaining olive oil, over medium heat. Sprinkle with salt. Let the mushrooms release their moist until dry and start browning. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Prepare the cheese shavings and chop the mint.

Stretch the pizza dough on an oiled baking sheet or pizza stone. Sprinkle the white cheese on the dough and then bits of the roasted garlic, and then scatter the mushrooms over, and finally the mint. Add the Parmesan shavings, and grate black pepper over the whole thing. Bake until cheese is melted and crust golden.

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