Here’s another Orthodox Lenten Menu Plan from my kitchen to yours!
Lent has arrived!
Right now, we are still in the early days of Lent. The food doesn’t look too bad…yet. Or maybe it does. 🙂 It depends how much you enjoy cheese, steaks, ug. Let’s not talk about that!
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Sometime, around the middle of Lent, food starts looking pretty ehh (at least in our house!). At that point, it’s easy to just keep pulling out tortilla chips and salsa…toast and another apple or banana… That’s why I have to make a menu plan this time of year. Otherwise food boredom sets in and nutrition can quickly go downhill.
By the way, here’s my disclaimer: I am not a medical expert by any means! I do not add up calories, fat, or nutritional content. You should consult with your health care provider for any and all health, nutrition, and food advice. My menu plans are just that: a meal plan I make for my family. Here, I get to share it with you in hopes it can help ease your burdens and save you some time!
As I said last month, during Lent my focus for menu planning is on keeping things as simple as possible. Hence, as the calendar progresses into Lent, the meals are pretty basic, but still (hopefully) nourishing. Generally they are just one dish; a pot of soup, a salad, a sandwich, etc. You’ll find one or two “special” meals for occasions (like birthdays) that fall during Lent. But otherwise, the meals are meant to minimize time spent in the kitchen…
If you would like to read about why we share our menu plans (and why they are “Orthodox”) then check out the beginning of this post.
A few things worth noting:
- First, this menu contains only dinners. If you are looking for breakfast and lunch help, check out A Menu Method for Families on a Tight Budget. This is the system we use to save us time and money. Breakfast and lunch ideas can be found there.
- Second, Sundays for us are very full, so I never plan a meal for Sunday evening. It is my day off from cooking, so we scavenge for food: leftovers, popcorn, snacks – anything we can find!
- And finally, some of the members of our family have very specific diet restriction (including low carb, low dairy, low/no sugar). Hence, our menu selections tend to be homemade, from scratch, and generally healthy meals. Most can easily be made gluten free as well by substituting out the bread/pasta selections (that’s what we do!).
- Oh, many recipe’s I include will contain olive oil. We just substitute an oil like canola etc. in its place if it is a fast day.
Orthodox Menu Plan
1 fast – Carrot Ginger Soup (I substitute 1/2+ tsp (to taste) of curry powder in place of curry paste, use water instead of veggie broth, omit cilantro, and skip the chia seeds- yes, I’ve changed the recipe quite a bit…but we love this recipe!)
2 w&o – Lentil Sloppy Joes & Carrot/Celery Sticks (cook lentils according to package instruction then mix in your favorite canned sloppy joe mix (or make your own) and simmer until desired thickness. Serve on buns.)
3 w&o – Sunday – Leftovers
4 fast – Cashew, Broccoli, and Chickpeas Stirfry over Brown Rice (can you tell I cook a lot without recipes?! For this one, I just stir fry the frozen broccoli and canned chickpeas in store-bought teriyaki sauce, toss in some cashews when it is almost ready and serve over rice…super quick meal, but full of flavor!)
5 fast – Vegan Pancakes and Fresh Fruit
6 fast – Pepper Strip Tostados*, Refried Beans, and Fresh Fruit (this recipe is from Sarah over at theorthodoxmama.com…she recommends refried beans and fresh fruit with the tostados, so that’s what I’m going to do! Can’t wait to try this one – looks so easy!)
7 fast – Lentil Shepard’s Pie (I substitute cooked lentils for ground beef in my standard Shepard’s Pie recipe)
8 fast – Chickpea Nuggets* w/honey mustard (for dipping), carrots sticks and fresh fruit (note: read the comments of the recipe if you intend to use store-bought breadcrumbs…)
9 w&o –Black Bean Quinoa Chili*
10 w&o – Sunday – Leftovers
11 fast – Veggie Wraps (Super quick meal – we mash up avocado and add any veggies we have on hand…usually lettuce, tomato and peppers…and salt – otherwise, there is no flavor!)
12 fast – Strawberry Banana Smoothies with veggies (peppers and snow peas)
13 w&o – Baked Thick Cut Seasoned Oven Fries* and a fresh salad (with nuts or chickpeas on it – for protein)
14 w&o – Tortilla Chips, Salsa, and Refried Beans (This is the one time I’m pulling out the old stand-by this Lent. Since it is the Great Canon, I know there won’t be much time for cooking, plus since we haven’t had it yet this Lent, it will actually be a treat!)
15 w&o – Split Pea Soup
16 w&o – Shrimp Chickpea Curry over Rice w/steamed California Veggies (another no recipe, quick meal…) Warm store-bought curry sauce (I buy it at Costco, but most stores sell it) and a can of coconut milk. Add in a can of chickpeas, and a few handfuls of shrimp (fully cooked, frozen, devained, no tail) and cook until warm. You can omit the shrimp if you want a budget meal or omit the beans if you want to use lots of shrimp. My friend makes a rendition of this and I love how simple it is…and the kids like it too!
17 w&o – Sunday – Leftovers
18 fast – Minestrone Soup
20 fast – Gimme Chimmis with lime wedges and guacamole (this comes from my favorite vegan cookbook, Eat, Drink & Be Vegan – I’m so excited that Dreena shared this recipe online so I can share it with you. It’s been a long time since I’ve made these, but I can’t wait to have them again – they had really good flavor…yum!)
21 fast – Chickpea Pot Pie (I substitute chickpeas for chicken and almond milk for dairy milk in a standard Chicken Pot Pie recipe)
22 fast – Potato Water Soup – (simmer potatoes, celery, onions, parsley and lot of salt in a pot of water until desire consistency…I know, it sounds really plain, but our family really enjoys it…plus it’s a great budget meal!
23 w&o and caviar – Grilled Shrimp Kabobs w/Veggies (shrimp, pepper chunks, grape tomatoes, & par-boiled potato chunks marinated in favorite Lenten dressing and grilled)
24 fw&o – Sunday – Baked Haddock, mashed potatoes, and steamed Broccoli (yes, Sunday is leftover day, but it’s a feast day and a fish day!)
25 fast – Taco salad w/lettuce, lentil “taco” meat, tomato, black olives, salsa, & guacamole (prep lentils as normal, add taco seasoning just like you would to cooked ground beef and then simmer until desire consistency)
26 fast – Spaghetti with marinara sauce and fresh snow peas (Yes, I know we had this last month, but during holy week I need really quick meals that my kids like, so we’ll be eating repeats!) 🙂
27 fast – Black Beans and Rice w/Fresh Lime and Onions on the side (we just cook rice, top with black beans and squeeze fresh lime on top…add onions if you want more pizzazz).
28 w&o – Falafel with pita, veggies, and tahini sauce (honestly, we use the boxed falafel mix…yes, fresh would be better, but during Holy Week, simple and quck is best!)
29 strict fast – Leftovers (For the kids etc.)
30 w – Leftovers (again, I know…but we try to keep eating on Holy Saturday to a minimum, plus it is a very busy time preparing for Pascha!
fast – regular fasting guidelines apply (no meat or dairy)
fw&o – fish, wine, and oil
w&o – wine and oil
w – wine
* New recipes – can’t wait to try! Let me know what you think if you try it!
Hope this helps you finish this Lenten season of cooking without too much stress… Blessed Lent!