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Good Lenten Recipes

LuvMaerz's picture

Well, today is Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of Lent.  Today, and every Friday until Easter, many Christians will be abstaining from meat.  I was wondering what other people eat on these days.  Sometimes it is hard to fix a satisfying meal with no meat...although we can use eggs and fish.  It seems a staple in my husband's family is tuna casserole and fish sticks.  Since I am a convert to Catholicism, I did not grow up observing this tradition.  Therefore, I do not have personal experience to call upon.

So... does anyone have any good, healthy meat-free meals that they usually prepare for these fasting days?  My husband enjoys the salmon that I marinate and grill... I will try to post that recipe for you all.  But since payday is tomorrow, I will probably be making some tuna casserole or tuna burgers tonight Wink

Re: Good Lenten Recipes/Kevin?

2 posts have disappeared - what happened??

Re: Good Lenten Recipes/ what happened?

Am I crazy or did some postings disappear?

Amish Fastnacht and Easter

Since this is a website about Amish cooking, and after a brief internet search, I came up with information in relation to the Amish and lent.  First if you type just the words Amish and lent into your browser, you get many answers 95% of which use the word "lent" as is "She lent a helping hand today".  Then this interesting term came up "Fastnacht", and that it is a food eaten on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. 

I am going out on a limb, and probably start a debate, hopefully a good intellectual one though.  Liturgy and rituals do not a Christian make.  Being in the Holy Word of God daily, taking the step to commitment yourself to a personal relationship with Jesus, and really it is that relationship that changes lives, for eternity. The book of John, in the New Testament is a great place to begin that relationship. John 3:16 is probably one of the most quoted verses, one of my favorites is

John 7:37, "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."  

The study notes for another favorite verse, John 7:39, (paraphrased), One of God's purposes since the beginning of time has been to dwell with humans and enjoy fellowship with us. He does this by dispensating the Holy Spirit with in us. The indwelling the Holy Spirit occurs automatically when a person is saved, is not an "experience", but produces spiritual experiences, is permanent, the basis of all teaching on the Holy Spirit, and is the source of new life in the believer. 

I love this time of year! It is a time that the world allows an open discussion about Jesus!  There would be no Easter bunnies, chocolates and jelly beans without Christ having died on the Cross and Risen into Heaven three days later; there would be no Christmas without Easter.  The birth of Jesus Christ, Saviour to all the world wouldn't be what it is without Easter. Think about it!  May,the love of Jesus bless your day.   

LuvMaerz's picture
Re: Amish Fastnacht and Easter

"Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it.  Once you've lost it, you can never get it back."


     As a convert to Catholicism, I can honestly say I have experienced life on both sides of the fence.  Believe me, at one time I thought these "rituals" of the Catholic church were ridiculous, also.  BUT... I have come to realize and enjoy that this is just how we choose, in our faith, to honor Jesus and to remember what He did and continues to do for us.  By this means, it really brings our family together as one and gives us a opportunity to teach our children our faith and the premises on which it stands.  In the Bible, fasting was often used as a way of clearing one's mind in order to better communicate with God.  On these Holy Days, we are asked to abstain from meat and to eat 2 smaller meals and 1 regular meal...I really don't think this is the same as the fasting in the Bible, but it is something small that we give up to remind us what Jesus gave up in paying the ultimate price for us!  Many people also give up something they enjoy for the entire Lent season, such as chocolate, soda, tv, video games, etc. that also help them identify better with Christ's greatest sacrifice.

I understand that people who have not been raised in this kind of church setting, like myself, might think that the recitations and prayers are mindless, memorized script.  All I can say is, church is what you make of it, no matter the denomination.  There will always be someone in the back, napping or balancing their checkbook, regardless of which building you choose to worship in Undecided.

raised liturgical

Oh, but I was raised in a liturgical church, married and worshipped in a liturgical church up until about nine years ago.  It is really easy to be trapped by the liturgy, and think that it is the Way, the Truth and the Light.  Praise the Lord, He is so good! Sometimes the Lord teaches us in baby steps and sometimes in big grand momments.  In this case the baby steps paid off (for Him, that is), that He opened mine eyes so I could see Him!

Our womens Bible study group just finished an interesting study on prayer. The basis of the study was the Lord's Prayer, which could be considered rote.  Upon breaking it down, it is the most wonderful marvelous prayer, Jesus, prayed this prayer to teach us how to pray. When He says "After this manner therefore pray ye:" He doesn't mean to literally pray this prayer and only this prayer in this way; the prayer is a model of how to pray.  I also found it interesting that Catholics, do not include "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen." which is liturgical in origin, but also releases all power and glory to God, in heaven, and not to any man on earth. If that petition is included it would negate the power of the whole heirarchy of the Catholic church!      

Fasting is a whole subject in and of itself, there are many books good and not so good written on the subject, the Holy Bible is the best source.  

Here is my challenge, about reading God's Holy Word.  Read it daily, not becuase your church tells you to read this passage or that for just a few days of the year. Dive in head first take the plunge, start with the scripture the church has given for the day, then study it, look up the study notes, cross reference the verse with like verses. If you don't have a study Bible and concordance, look it up on line. Read the book of John, just even the first chapter. Pray without ceasing, let God lead you through His Word. 

LuvMaerz's picture
Re: raised liturgical

"Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it.  Once you've lost it, you can never get it back."


Actually, the Catholic church does recite the last line of the Lord's Prayer... this is done with our hands held, raised toward Heaven.

All I can say is that there is a lot of misconception regarding the Catholic faith and a lot of rumors that are perpetrated without first hand knowledge.  I will say without the love and guidance of some great priests and RCIA sponsors, I literally would not be here typing this today.  Basically, I owe my life and sanity to the fullfiling life I found.

KJuneBug, you seem to be a woman of extreme faith and strong conviction.  That is wonderful! 

Isn't there a saying about discussing politics and religion?  Wink  Truce! 

Re: re: re: raised liturgical....

LuvMaerz, I know that in any church that there are those who are there on Sunday morning and call themselves good with God, the are also the C & E's, (Christmas and Easter) and consider themselves right with God too.  Then there is the rest of us who live in and through the Word daily, no matter the denomination on the church sign; I am going to go out and say that is the kind of Christian you are. 

The Lord is so great and so big, that He thought to bring me to faith through a very liberal liturgical church, without that door openning I wouldn't have the conviction or the strength to proclaim, not only my faith in Jesus Christ, but also proclaim that truth to others. I also have first hand experience with Catholics as my sister (who works in the Religous Education Office at her Parish)and her husband are raising their children in the rituals of the church including attending the K-8 school at their parish. However, my sister does not know the Lord, she is not in the word and is totally caught up in the rituals and liturgy of the church. On the other hand, I have met families from her parish who do know and love the Lord and are raising their families in a very conservative fashion. I wouldn't have said the things I said without first having done my homework. 

I would hope to carry on conversations that is only pleasing to the Lord, I do think that this being a site with Amish roots that that would happen. All praise and Glory go to Him!

So, if your church recites the last line, with raised hands (that is a big show of praise) then, why when we are praying the Lord's Prayer at family gatherings, does my sister make funny faces at us when we finish the prayer?  I have always wondered this? 

When you are out grocery shopping at the fish counter, this is an opportunity to share the Good News, let that person know you are abstaining from meat as a fast unto the Lord!

You in a different post were trying to decide who to vote for, take it to prayer let the Lord lead you in that, too. Mostly just keep praying for the country, for the sin, and that God forgives this nation, and is merciful in who will be the next leader.     

LuvMaerz's picture

"Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it.  Once you've lost it, you can never get it back."


The church also gives us little booklets at Easter and Christmas with devotions and readings for each day of the season to read and reflect on as a family.  These are always nice Smile

Re: Lent

Lent is a liturgical church (mainly Catholic, ELCA Lutherans) thing.  Non-liturgical Christian churches don't even have a service on Ash Wednesday, or even acknowlegde Lent, because it is not written in or commanded by the Bible, it was created by humans.  At our church, we tend to focus solely on the Word, we worship as usual until Holy week, then we have additional services on Maundy Thursday (service of communion) and Good Friday.

We had Catholic neighbors growing up, they ate fish sticks on Fridays.  My sister married into a Catholic family, I am not sure what she does for her family on Fridays.

Re: Good Lenten Recipes

Have to say you're a better Catholic than me.  I also converted to Catholism over 20 years ago, and wasn't raised on the "no meat" Fridays.  When I met my husband I had a discussion with a family friend who happen to be a priest.  We talked about the meatless Fridays and how giving up meat was a way of making a sacrifice and the money that you save on not eating meat should be given to the poor. I had a good laugh because what I spend on fresh fish is more than what I spend on meat!  Also, at my house, I don't like fish, so to have fish on Friday is a treat not a sacrifice for everyone but me.  Also, I see fish as an animal: meat comes from animals so fish is a meat (I know many will argue this, but have never understood why fish is ok).  

So back to what do we do for Lent.  When I make "meatless" Friday dinners it is usually Italian.  Spagatti with meatless tomato sauce and LOTS of cheese, meatless Lasagna with again, lots of cheese (I'll use several types).  Red beans and rice is another meal that the family enjoys.  Vegtable soup with tomato base (no beef stock) and grilled cheese sandwiches. 

And then we do the count down and look forward to EasterTongue out 

LuvMaerz's picture
Re: Good Lenten Recipes

"Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it.  Once you've lost it, you can never get it back."


LOL  I agree!  You can buy hamburger for $2/lb, but fresh fish costs $5.99/lb and up!  Nearly the cost of prime rib roast.  I have been burned (freezer burned, that is) on the quick-frozen fish fillets...they always taste so fishy.  Yuck.  I grew up eating fresh bass and crappie, from the catch bucket to the skillet in 2 or 3 minutes flat. So I suppose I am spoiled on that kind of fish.  I can tolerate fresh salmon fillets, as long as I can marinate them in my special marinade of orange juice, soy sauce, grated fresh ginger, garlic, sesame oil, and honey.  I just add the ingredients to taste.  They I either grill them straight on the grill, or I grill them on a water-soaked cedar plank which makes them so smokey and good!

 And as for why we CAN eat fish.... well, apparently back in the day's of old, meat was considered a real luxury food for well-to-do people.  It was either something that had to be bought, or you had to own enough land for the animals to graze on.  On the other hand, any peasant could grow or forage for vegetables, and anyone could catch fish in a lake or stream.  So apparently, obstaining from meat is not necessarily about the animal that the food comes from, but about the connotation of "rich" food and "poor" food.  And no, I am not a Biblical genius... I got this info off the Internet Wink

Re: Good Lenten Recipes

Lots of other denominations have Ash Wednesday services &  observe Lent as a time for interospective thinking.   Was raised what was then known as Missouri Synod Lutheran, & they had/have the corner on Lenten hymns in minor keys.   Beautiful.  As a young girl/teen I loved having so many verses in one, because it gave me time to learn the alto part in just one or two singings of a hymn. 

I remember just the Catholic kids coming home on Ash Wed., with a smudge of  ash on the forehead, but now, that seems to be more widespread, including our UCC church. 

I also remember [as a kid] that in those times, Catholics couldn't eat meat every Friday, & during the whole of Lent, none.  Our high school cafeteria had to accomodate this with alternatives.  Kept asking the question, what about people  in places where fish is the main staple-----what did they do then?   Found the answer a few years later in history class, as a teen-------the fish diet was given up & shellfish were eaten at those times. Loved it that things which were expensive delicacies here were sacrificial there.   

 Also, during WWII, when meatless Tues. was instituted as a way to help the war effort, the Catholic kids were the ones who groaned the most, because for them, it meant 2 days a week without meat.   With rationing being in place, their mothers were hard pressed to come up with anything different than they made on Fridays.   CS

LuvMaerz's picture
Re: Good Lenten Recipes

"Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it.  Once you've lost it, you can never get it back."


I'm embarrassed to say, back in college when I didn't know anything about this stuff, I tried to wipe the "dirt mark" off the forehead of one of the admissions counselors.  LOL  I couldn't understand why she didn't see that huge black smudge on her head!

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