Greek Quinoa Pita Pockets

Today is the halfway mark for my annual Meatless Lenten dinners series – I feel like this season has been flying. We’ve been so busy, and as we roll closer to spring, the family to-do list only seems to grow.

Greek Quinoa Pita Pockets 2

The whole thing is making me really glad that all of this year’s Lenten dinners are make-ahead friendly.

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Chickpea Caesar Sandwiches

Welcome to our second Lenten Friday and another fabulous, vegetarian, make-ahead meal!

Chickpea Caesar Sandwiches 2

Today I’m sharing a super versatile sandwich base.

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Baked Vegetable Tacos

Today is the first Friday of Lent, so I’m kicking off my annual Lenten project – sharing meatless meals every Friday. What began as simply a way to keep from eating plain spaghetti and pizza every Friday has grown into one of my favorite yearly blog projects.

Baked Veggie Tacos 1

But, nine years on, how do I keep this series fresh? I’ve spent a bunch of time thinking about our family’s current needs and how to get them to reflect in my meatless Friday posts.

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65+ Meatless Meal Ideas for Lent

It’s become a yearly tradition on the blog to share meatless meals every Friday during lent – and to kick things off with a big ole’ roundup of meatless meals.

65+ Meatless Meals for Lent

This is actually my ninth year doing this, if you can believe it, so I thought it was high time to get everything in one place.

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Crispy Orange Cauliflower

Chinese takeout fake-outs have become some of my favorite Lenten dinners. Our local Chinese restaurant has limited meatless options so it isn’t really a great option for us during Lent. Cravings a few year back led me to Kung Pao Chickpeas and then General Tso’s Cauliflower.

All of these sort of hide the bulk of the meal with the sauce, so even if you’re not usually a cauliflower fan, you might like this. Battered, fried, and covered in the fresh orange sauce, you can barely tell you’re loading up on vegetables here. My kids happily gobbled it down!

Crispy Orange Cauliflower

Crispy Orange Cauliflower
(adapted from Fork and Beans)
Serves 2

1 small head of cauliflower, cut into small florets

1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 Tbsp. olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp. olive oil
Zest of 1 orange + juice of orange
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp. corn starch
1 tsp. brown sugar

Rice, for serving

Mix together egg, water, cornstarch, flour, and olive oil to create a batter. It should be thick enough to coat, but not clumpy – think waffle batter consistency!

In a large skillet or wok, heat the vegetable oil on medium high.  When the oil is heated, dip each piece of cauliflower into the batter and then add it to the hot oil. Fry until browned, then transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.

In another skillet or wok, heat olive over medium-high heat and then add garlic and green onions and cook for a minute. Stir in orange zest and juice and cook for another minute. Add soy sauce and vinegar and bring to a boil.

Toss cauliflower in sauce and serve over rice.

 

 

 

Crispy Orange Cauliflower

Hawaiian Black Bean Sliders

So. Much. Rain. SO. MUCH. RAIN.

Seriously, I’m getting ready to build an ark. I’m not sure the backyard is ever going to dry out at this rate. And let’s not even talk about that our sump pump died  a few weeks back…

Suffice it to say, I’m really, REALLY dreaming of warm, sunny days.  How nice would it be to be on a beach somewhere tropical? So, for this Lenten Friday, I’m cooking up some island-inspired sliders that are – of course! – meatless.

I made these as sliders because they’re the perfect size for the kids, but you could make these as four large burgers too.

Hawaiian Black Bean Burgers


Hawaiian Black Bean Sliders

(adapted from Domestic Superhero)
Makes 1 dozen sliders

1/2 onion , chopped
3 garlic cloves
1
14.5 oz. can black beans , rinsed and drained
1/2 cup rolled oats
1
/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1
green onion , chopped
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 cup plan breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
12 pineapple slices
12 onion rings
Sweet bbq sauce
6 Swiss cheese slices, halved
12 slider rolls

 

In a food processor, pulse the onion and garlic until finely chopped. Add the beans, oats, corn, green onion, cumin, curry powder, and cayenne and pulse until well mixed – about 20 seconds.  Scrape down the sides, add salt and pepper to taste, and process for another 10 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and chill for several hours.

When ready to cook, stir in breadcrumbs and form into a dozen equal-sized patties.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes, turning halfway, until their is an outer crust and the patties are heated through. Top with cheese during the last 2 minutes of cooking.

Add the cooked patties to the slider rolls. Top each with a pineapple ring, onion ring, and a drizzle of barbecue sauce. Serve immediately.

Hawaiian Black Bean Sliders

25 Meatless Meal Ideas for Lent #LentenDinner

65+ Meatless Meals for Lent

Find my updated list of Meatless Meals for Lent here!

 

Lent starts today, which means my annual Meatless Meals for Lenten Fridays series does too. You can check back here every Friday until Easter for a new, delicious meatless meal!

As I started working on this Ash Wednesday kick off post, I realized that I didn’t have many new meatless meals on the blog this year – and roughly half were pizza-related. In an effort to make things more well-rounded, I asked my blogger friends to share their favorite meatless meals, too. Below, you’ll find some from me and some from them – and plenty of variety to please everyone!

You can also check out my previous roundups – 16 Meatless Dinner Ideas for Lent, 16 More Meatless Dinner Ideas for Lent, 12 More Meatless Meal Ideas for Lent, and 9 More Meatless Meal Ideas for Lent for more ideas.

See you back here Friday for the first meatless Lenten dinner post of the year. (Spoiler alert: it’s pizza related. Of course.)

25 Meatless Meal Ideas for Lent

Meatless meal ideas from Kate’s RecipeBox:

Eggplant and Garlic Pizza

Florida Strawberry Pecan Pizza

Greek Pizza

Quinoa Pizza Burgers with Garlic Bread Buns

Enchilada Rice Skillet

Spanakopita Quesadillas

Cauliflower Nachos

Slow Cooker Vegetable Lasagna Soup

Pinto Bean Burritos

Meatless meals suggested by my blogger friends:

Spicy Quinoa Corn Chowder from Mary Ellen’s Cooking Creations

A “Meaty” Stew from I Was Born to Cook

Golden Red Lentil Dal Saag from The Tiny Tyrant’s Kitchen

Huevos Rancheros Burgers from Joesin’ for Taste

Spring Greens Quiche from Faith, Hope, Love & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Mushroom Stroganoff from A Day in the Life on the Farm

Roasted Brussels Sprouts Carbonara from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Bean Ragout and Crisped Mushrooms from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Hearty Veggie Meatloaf from Simple and Savory

Falafel Waffles from Cooking with Carlee

Fried Lasagna from Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Warm Pasta Salad with Tomato and Zucchini from Book ‘n’ Cooks

Cauliflower Risotto with Asparagus and Mushrooms from Caroline’s Cooking

Healthy Vegetable Skillet Dinner from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Easy Vegetable Pot Pie with Fillo Crust from All that’s Jas

Vegetarian Chickpea, Carrot, Cilantro Curry Patty from Shockingly Delicious

Greek Pizza

Today is Good Friday and the last installment of the Lenten dinner series for the year. And I saved the best for last.

One of our local pizza places makes a salad pizza – it’s basically a warm crust with a garden salad on top and it’s amazing. This is pretty much the Greek salad version of that. There’s something amazing about the contrast of the warm, melt-y feta against the cold crunch of the vegetables. Seriously, if you don’t already have dinner plans, you need to make this tonight.

In the interest of speeding things up (because I have zero patience on Friday nights), I used a pre-made pizza crust for this. You could also use your favorite pizza dough and just bake until the dough is golden brown – probably a few extra minutes.

GreekPizzaDone

Greek Pizza
(slightly adapted from Cooking Classy)
Makes 1 pizza

1 prepared pizza crust
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/8 tsp. dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 oz. shredded mozzarella
4 oz. feta, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Whisk together the olive oil and garlic and brush over the prepared crush. Sprinkle the crust evenly with oregano, basil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Top evenly with mozzarella and then feta.

Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is golden. Immediately top with red bell pepper, grape tomatoes, olives, onion, and parsley and serve.

Quinoa Pizza Burgers with Garlic Bread Buns

I’m sure none of my long-time blog readers are surprised to see that pizza has made it’s way into the Lenten dinner series. I’m a pizza fan. It was bound to happen.

The beauty of these is – like pizza – you can top them however you want. If it wasn’t Lent, I would have added some pepperoni on top. Ham and pineapple would also be good. These are a great idea if you’re looking for a meal that will please both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike!

QuinaPizzaBurgers

Quinoa Pizza Burgers with Garlic Bread Buns
(adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie)
Serves 6

1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
2/3 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 tsp. oregano
3/4 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. basil
1 cup cooked or canned pinto beans, drained and mashed
6 burger buns
6 slices of mozzarella cheese
6 Tbsp. pizza sauce
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. garlic powder

In a small saucepan, combine quinoa, water, and salt. Bring to a boil and then turn heat to low and cook for 14 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
Combine cooked quinoa, tomato paste, spices, and mashed beans. When well  combined, divide into six equal parts and form into patties.
Spray a skillet with non-stick spray and cook patties over medium heat until both sides are browned and patties are heated through. Top with 1 Tbsp. pizza sauce each and a slice of mozzarella cheese. Cover and let cheese melt.
Meanwhile, spread melted butter over the cut side of the buns and sprinkle evenly with garlic powder. Broil until toasted.
Serve burgers on toasted buns immediately.

Enchilada Rice Skillet

We’re officially into the phase of Lent where meatless Fridays feel like a chore. The new meals I was most excited to make have already been tried out and I’m trying really, really hard not to just fall back on pizza and fish sticks.

This meal was a bit of a compromise. I had something veggie-packed and healthier planned – but cheesy comfort food sounded much better for the night. And it was.

We topped leftovers with grilled chicken and pulled pork for lunches the next day – both were great!

EnchiladaRiceSkillet.JPG

Enchilada Rice Skillet
(from Budget Savvy Diva)
Serves 4

1 cup rice, uncooked
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups red enchilada sauce
1/2 cup of green salsa
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
Pinch of Salt and Pepper
2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese

Cook rice according to package directions.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the garlic, onion, and pepper and cook until onion is soft and translucent  – about five minutes.

Add in rice, corn, black beans, enchilada sauce, green salsa, and spices. Mix until well combined and cook for an additional five minutes, until everything is heated through.

Sprinkle the cheese over the top and cover. Cook until cheese is melted and serve immediately.