Faith,  feasts,  food,  School

What’s On Our Plate. Literally.

PlateWell it’s been one week into Lent. I miss meat. I’ll back up a step – we gave up meat for Lent. Isn’t that one of the saddest things you might have heard? I’m sad. We’ve done this only once before, and I distinctly remember coming to the conclusion fairly early on that meat is easy to make and it’s convenient. Non-meat proteins typically take longer to prepare, so one has to prepare early and not forget or one might be eating fries for supper (again)(maybe)(is it a win? hard to say).

As a side note, yesterday and today Saskatchewan has their home educators convention, and this year (a first, they tell me), they have a children’s programme. So Spencer was able to join me at the convention but be provided with some great opportunities at his own level to learn and have fun. Since the programme officially started at 1pm, there was no lunch provided, but we had been there since 9:30am for a supplemental workshop. Thankfully, there was a concession in the arena – yay! food! Or so I thought. Yesterday was Friday. And not only was it Friday, but we gave up meat for Lent, so there was a double-whammy of responsibility weighting my choice for food. Turns out the arena doesn’t care if one is Catholic (unlike most fast food places that cater to having something fish on the menu, especially during Lent season) and they had meat (except the egg salad wrap) and non-main meals (ex. chips, popcorn). I knew Spencer would not go for egg salad and I didn’t feel like forking over the money for the wrap ($6.50! bah!). So we had nachos. Which means tortilla chips with a surprisingly small amount of fake spicy cheese.

2016-02-19 11.59.35 - editTurns out that at 3:30pm, I don’t care what the price is, but I’m gonna buy that darned wrap if I made the silly choice to just have nachos for lunch. I should have known better.

So, apart from that rabbit-hole, we are currently meatless except on Sundays and it’s been working moderately well. This what we are eating over Lent:

2016-02-19 20.53.17 - editWe have two veggie meals under our belt, and this is my review of them:

Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Casserole.

This was really good. The website says ‘Alfredo Casserole’ but it really isn’t anything like Alfredo sauce…the similarity is garlic and basically ends there. But the sauce does work nicely with the artichoke and spinach and I absolutely loved the meal. Spencer ate it mostly willingly, Cassia ate the melted cheese on top (she also had a major snack about 45 minutes prior supper…) and Felicity, predictably, turned her nose up at it all (we’re hoping it’s a stage). Andy enjoyed it too. So, at this point in our lives, it’s a winning meal and we will do it again.

Changes I might make next time:

  • mash some white beans up and add to sauce for protein
  • use milk instead of water for sauce
  • add in sun-dried tomatoes
  • use 1/2 rice, 1/2 orzo pasta

Pan-Fried Gnocchi, White Bean and Sun-dried Tomatoes

This was okay. I’ll be honest – I’ve never used gnocchi before, so I was really unsure how it could just be pan-fried and not boiled in water first. Fearing wasting food (because I did it wrong), I boiled it in water and just used it that way, but discovered that they probably could have been pan-fried right out of the package and have had a better texture and possibly flavour.

The flavour of this meal was a little bland. I included a dash of garlic powder to try to liven it up, but it needed more than just that. Or if perhaps it had a sauce of some type it would have been better? We have one more package of gnocchi so I’ll tweak the recipe next time and see if we can make it better, but as it is I wouldn’t do it again.

So that’s what was on our plate this week. Another day of the convention today but I’m going to be sure to bring some snacks this time, even though the meal is provided. Hopefully they’ll offer something that’s not meat based, but I can’t be sure.

How’re your Lenten resolutions going?

Loving God through my family, friends, and interactions in my world.

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