By in Food

Meat Free Fridays... how hard is it?

It's that time of year again! The season of Lent started on Wednesday which means Meat Free Fridays until Easter. For those of you who don't know, this is a Catholic tradition that states no meat on every Friday leading up to Easter. That means all of March, some of February, and some of April this year.

Personally I have no problem giving up meat on Fridays because... I don't eat meat any day of the week! I eat fish but I don't eat meat, and luckily fish is Friday approved. This tradition always makes me giggle a bit as I watch others struggle to give up meat for one day a week. ONE DAY! Obviously I don't think it's that hard to not eat meat, so I laugh when people act like it's the hardest thing in the world.

So for those of you who have a hard time, here are some meat free meals you can have to survive the Friday's during lent.

  1. Eggs & Cheese (like the picture) or Omelets with just veggies
  2. Any kind of pasta with any kind of marinara or cheese or Alfredo or veggie sauce
  3. Any meal that normally has meat in it, but just don't put meat in it! Like spaghetti can still be a meal without meat!
  4. Fish, of course, is allowed, so we usually eat fish every Friday
  5. Replace the meat in a meal with veggies or "veggie meat"... such as Hamburger Helper with Morningstar Crumbles
  6. Pizza with no toppings or just veggies
  7. Egg Salad Sandwiches (my favorite)
  8. Or how about just a regular salad - no meat!

Really giving up meat once a week should be a good idea for anytime of year, not just lent. It's healthy and offers some variety in your diet. I think the meat-eaters who complain about this just need to learn some new things! Learn some new meals or new combinations of food that can be very yummy. My family is lucky I'm a non-meat-eater because I come up with all the Friday meal ideas so they don't have to worry about it :)

As a side note, my brother in law decided to try to give up meat for ALL of lent - that's 40 days of no meat for someone who normally has it daily. Good luck to him!

If you are a meat-eater, could you go 1 day a week without meat? How about 40 days in a row? Obviously you know my answer emoticon :grin: Now i want to hear yours!

Image Credit » Me

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UK_Writer wrote on February 19, 2015, 9:21 PM

It's really not a sacrifice at all is it - makes you wonder what's wrong with people that can't go a day without meat. Especially if they're doing it for Lent, which is a whole religion/God thing.

MommyCharm wrote on February 19, 2015, 9:42 PM

It is hard for a meat-lover like me but it's one way of sin repentance so even if it's hard, I am willing to do it.

buzymommy wrote on February 19, 2015, 10:06 PM

Yes and many people I am related to or friends with find it very easy not to eat meat on Fridays, as well as have other meat-free meals just because in their life. However there are these few I always encounter who seriously act like it's impossible. One time I went to a Mexican restaurant with coworkers and one said "well if we are going Mexican then I guess I HAVE to eat meat because there is nothing else". I said um how about cheese, beans, tortilla, veggies, all the things I eat at Mexican are meat free! It's just an excuse I think, they really don't want to follow it so they make excuses.

buzymommy wrote on February 19, 2015, 10:07 PM

You are looking at it the right way :) I think it's supposed to be hard honestly, that's the point of Lent altogether.

MommyCharm wrote on February 19, 2015, 10:41 PM

definitely. besides, it only happens once a year so what's a five or six meat-free Fridays compared to 45-47 Fridays that I can eat an all-meat meal? :)

scheng1 wrote on February 20, 2015, 12:19 AM

I have no problem giving up meat for a few days too. It does take some planning but we are healthier as a result.

peachpurple wrote on February 20, 2015, 11:56 AM

only friday no meat? should be okay. I could go 3 weeks no meat because our fridge is bare.

White-Feather wrote on February 20, 2015, 12:04 PM

I usually go at least one day a week without meat--often two or three. It's never on Friday, though. I've been doing meatless Mondays and meatless Thursdays. I've slowly been increasing the days I go without meat and would like to one day be a vegetarian, or at least close to it. Meat is a habit and that is why it is so hard for people to go without it. We are trained and conditioned from childhood to eat meat so our bodies become addicted to it. So it takes time to wean ourselves from it. I have meatless days, not because of some organized religion, but because it is healthy for my body and good for the environment. When I do eat meat I try to eat organic grass-fed bison or beef or chicken that was raised in a humane, free range way and without all the antibiotics, growth hormones and gmo feed. Meanwhile I have cut way down on the fish I eat considering how polluted our oceans have become.

AliCanary wrote on February 20, 2015, 4:37 PM

That egg and cheese looks yummy! I have a good friend who is Serbian, and they fast up until Eastern Orthodox Easter, but their fast is a bit more strict--NO animal products except fish, so it's basically pesca-vegan, I guess you'd say. This is extremely difficult, as so many things you wouldn't expect are made with egg or milk, like bread. And it's every day, not just Friday. It's tough! Also no alcohol, which for Serbians is REALLY tough!

BrenndaMarie wrote on February 23, 2015, 8:09 PM

I really do not like the taste of many meats so it is not that hard for me, although I am not Catholic.

buzymommy wrote on February 23, 2015, 8:24 PM

You are right, it does take planning. In the past I wouldn't think and I'd make a huge meal with chicken on Thursday... then I'd realize my husband couldn't eat the leftovers Friday, then we'd have dinner plans Saturday. I hate wasting food!

buzymommy wrote on February 23, 2015, 8:25 PM

:) Well it's even easier if you don't have food. I just met a lot of people who can't even go 1 meal without meat, let alone a day. It surprises me!

buzymommy wrote on February 23, 2015, 8:27 PM

It's a habit, you are right, and people are also led to believe that they can't be healthy and strong without it. I'm plenty healthy and I haven't had a bite of it in over 15 years! I gave it up for other reasons though, honestly it just started to gross me out thinking about it. For some reason I can still eat fish, as long as I don't see skin on it emoticon :tongue:
My daughter has many meatless days b/c she's being raised by me :) I'm not going to make meat unless my husband is going to eat it, so we kind of do meat some days and no meat other days.

buzymommy wrote on February 23, 2015, 8:30 PM

Yes that would be difficult and I know people who are vegans. The first thing I always say to them - is what about CHEESE! That's my favorite! My mom was reading about lent the other day and she was surprised to find we are actually supposed to "fast" on Friday, not just give up meat. It said they expect a person to eat 2 small mini-meals and only one large meal and that's fasting. Honestly she wasn't raised that way, and I was never taught that in 12 years of Catholic school, so I'm not too worried about doing that.

buzymommy wrote on February 23, 2015, 8:31 PM

:) I gave up meat more because it started to gross me out thinking about where it came from, but now I really do not like the taste either. When we make a meal that has chicken in it, I just eat around the Chicken b/c I'm not that picky... but if I get a bite of chicken in my bowl accidentally I usually say yuck and just try to eat something else real quick to get the taste out of my mouth. I guess I've grown not to like it :)