Lent is just around the corner so your Friday menu is going to have to undergo some adjustment. Meat is out of the question, but that’s okay. Taking a break from it is a good thing—not only for your health, but it also allows you to try some new recipes that you may find are even better than your usual Friday night meat fest. See if one of 12 twelve Lent recipes doesn’t give you something to celebrate this season.
1. Skinny Lemon Tilapia: Fish is definitely the catch for Fridays during Lent. And even if you aren't a huge fish lover, you'll be enjoying it much more than you think after eating this delicious dish that has a fresh, crispy, flaky taste sure to satisfy. Asparagus and butternut squash provide the perfect finishing touches. (via Skinny Mom)
2. Egg and Vegetable Bake: Sure it has eggs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it any time of the day during Lent. This baked egg dish is loaded with vegetables and spices so you don’t even need a salad with it. And leftovers can even be enjoyed for a weekend brunch that's savory and satisfying. (via All Recipes) (photo credit)
3. Chickpea Burgers: Giving up meat doesn’t have to mean giving up burgers; you just have to find a different way to make them. The answer is with this recipe that calls for chickpeas, breadcrumbs and a whole host of seasonings so good you won’t even notice it’s meatless (via Yum Sugar).
4. Meatless Chili: As with the burgers, you can also enjoy chili for Lent without the usual meat. This vegetarian version includes black beans and just about every vegetable under the sun. You can use the suggested spices or come up with your own mixture. You can’t lose with this protein-packed, veggie-loaded recipe (via Yum Sugar).
5. Lent Lasagna: Not only does this recipe lack meat, but it also lacks pasta which makes it perfect for Lent and perfect if you're watching your calories and carbs. Low-fat cheeses like ricotta and mozzarella, along with some belly-filling vegetables, make you quickly forget there is no meat or pasta of any kind in this meal. (via Spark People) (photo credit)
6. Morroccan Cod: The flavors of Morocco give this cod recipe its intense flavor. Cinnamon, ginger and allspice are just a few of the spices that turn a simple fish into a delicious dish. And with a side of mango slaw, you and your family will fall in love with this flavorful Lent recipe. (via Market Wired) (photo credit)
7. Salmon Penne with Green Beans: Whole wheat pasta, Alaskan salmon and a side of green beans in vinaigrette make this one irresistible meal. There is nothing fancy added to this recipe which makes it easy to make and delicious to eat. (via Fresh Family Recipes)
8. Cajun Style Shrimp and Cheese Grits: Here’s a real taste of New Orleans that you won’t want to miss...even during Lent. Pepper, scallions and Cajun seasoning give these shrimp their bite. The side of grits with fat-free or low-fat cheese complements the shrimp perfectly and deliciously. (via Examiner) (photo credit)
9. Skinny Shrimp Tacos: You can absolutely enjoy your favorite Mexican food during Lent. Tacos don’t always need meat to taste good. Shrimp is the main ingredient in this recipe along with whole wheat tortillas, spicy seasonings and your favorite taco toppers. (via Skinny Mom)
10. Spicy Peanut Noodles: A taste of Asia for Lent? Why not. These spicy noodles get their kick from the special sauce featuring lime, garlic and peanut butter. Pour it over the whole wheat pasta and mixed veggies to get a protein packed meal. (via What's Gaby Cooking)
11. Greek Farro with Chickpea Salad: This salad has enough in it that it feels like an entire meal. Packed with faro, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and onions, you won’t have room for much more. The accompanying herbed yogurt dressing provides that authentic Greek taste we know and love. (via Cookie + Kate)
12. Skinny Lobster Mac and Cheese: Your family’s mac and cheese just got better with the addition of lobster. Whole wheat pasta, fat-free milk and a healthy serving of lobster meat turn a common recipe into what is sure to become a regular part of your menu all year round. (via Skinny Mom)
From vegetarian to fish recipes, you don’t have to worry about what to make for dinner on Friday during Lent. Get started with these dozen recipes and try putting your own spin on them if you want to soften up the flavors or add more spice. Just don’t be surprised if you are eating them long after Lent is over and done.