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Meatless Meals for Lent

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Mar. 17, 2015

Now that we have reached the middle of Lent, you may find yourself wondering what to make for dinner on Friday nights. Perhaps you’ve been resorting to canned soup or fish sandwiches from McDonald’s. While these are delicious, they can get old. Here are three student-friendly, meatless dishes perfect for Fridays in Lent.


“Melted Cheese on Toast”

My mom made this open-faced sandwich weekly when I was growing up. In fact, it was the only meal everyone in my family agreed on. You will need a toaster oven or regular oven with broiler. Make this dish as simple or elaborate as you like.

1-2 slices of favorite bread, toasted
1-2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
Thin slices of cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese to cover bread
1 teaspoon dried basil (optional)

Optional vegetables, sliced thinly:

Bell peppers


  1. Turn the broiler on “lo” to preheat the oven.
  2. Spread mayonnaise thinly over both slices of bread.
  3. If using vegetables, layer them evenly over mayonnaise.
  4. Drape the cheese slices evenly over the mayonnaise or vegetables (if using).
  5. If using basil, sprinkle lightly over the cheese.
  6. Place the sandwiches on baking trays or directly on the oven racks. Put them close to the broiler so they will cook faster, but watch them closely so they don’t burn. They are done when the cheese is browned and bubbly.

Serves 1-2



Fruit & Cheese Platter   

I used to take the ingredients for this meatless meal to work for lunch, but it can also be enjoyed as a simple, Lenten supper. It is especially ideal if you do not have a kitchen. The basic plate consists of a variety of cheeses, fresh & dried fruits, crackers, olives, and nuts. Suggestions are included, but feel free to remove or add according to your taste.

Suggested Ingredients: 

Cheddar, mozzarella, or chevre, sliced
Apples, pears, or figs, sliced
Crackers, any kind
Olives, any variety
Dried cranberries
Cashews, almonds, or pecans, unsalted


  1. Arrange offerings on a plate or, if sharing with friends, arrange so each person can serve themselves. For fun, try arranging the foods in a decorative pattern on your plate.
  2. Sandwich apples and cheese between crackers, drizzle honey over cashews, nestle an olive in a cloud of chevre, or invent your own creations!



Crockpot Enchilada Pasta

This slow-cooker meal from is a delectable combination of traditional enchilada ingredients and toothsome orzo pasta. I like making this when I have a full day and want a hot meal when I come home. All you need is a 3.5 quart crockpot and a can opener. Freeze the leftovers or serve them to your friends who will, undoubtedly, be stopping by to find out what smells so delicious.


1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed in can
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 cup (5 oz.) frozen corn kernels
1 14-oz. can enchilada sauce
1 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried cilantro
½ teaspoon cumin
4 oz. regular cream cheese
2 cups (13 oz./363g) dried orzo pasta


  1. Place all ingredients except orzo pasta in slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for up to 4 hours or on low for up to 8 hours until ingredients are simmering. The cheese may not melt.
  3. Add orzo pasta and stir to combine evenly.
  4. Let cook for 15-20 more minutes on high until pasta is cooked and tender.
  5. Add additional broth or water ¼ cup at a time if dish seems dry.

Serves: 4-6


Hope these help bust you out of Friday meal boredom! What are your go-to meatless meals?