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It’s Friday in Lent…What To Eat??

March 11, 2011

Since Notre Dame is a Catholic School, Friday’s in Lent meant there was no meat in the cafeteria. This makes sense right? But every single year, without fail, people were outraged. Sure not everyone at the school is Catholic, and I understand that observing Lent is a choice, but you chose to go to a Catholic School so it really shouldn’t come as a surprise. There was always Subway or Burger King in the student center if someone was desperate.


One of the things I find most interesting is that people tend to only be upset about avoiding meat when they are TOLD they have to. On any given day people might choose a slice of cheese pizza or get a veggie stir fry, but when someone else says they can only eat those things they suddenly become awful. I spent lots of time trying to suggest good meat-free meal ideas to friends and family, so I thought I’d share with you as well. Friday’s in Lent don’t have to mean unsatisfying meals!

The Restaurant Options:

  • Chipotle is one of my favorite places for meat-free meals. You can still get your burrito or bowl, just get black beans instead of chicken or beef! You can also get a cheese quesadilla and fill up on their delicious chips and guac. Be careful though — their pinto beans have bacon in them!


  • Hit up your favorite pizza place for a slice! In St. Louis, Pi and Imos are popular.You could get plain cheese or have fun with veggies or pineapple for a topping. A side salad adds a healthy touch.
  • Panera has great vegetarian options! Their Mediteranean Veggie sandwich with hummus and feta is delicious. They also have a vegetarian soup every day as well as smoothies and salads.

  • Sushi! Even if you don’t like raw fish there are always california rolls and veggie rolls. It makes a fun group meal if you get a bunch of rolls to share. And don’t even get me started on seaweed salad. It’s amazing.



  • If you don’t feel like cooking, head to your local grocery store and pick up some of their pre-made pasta salads. Whole Foods has some amazing ones, and Straubs here in St. Louis has a Thai Pasta Salad that will knock your socks off.
  • Breakfast for Dinner! From scrambled eggs to pancakes and french toast, there are tons of meat-free morning meals that can be eaten any time of day.

  • Haven’t indulged your inner child in a while? A PB&J with an apple is a great lunch option. You could even use almond butter or honey instead. Go crazy folks!
  • Trader Joe’s makes some incredible vegetarian gnocchi, ravioli, enchiladas, and meatless meatballs. Pick these up next time you’re at the store for an easy to prep meal at home.


  • Cooking fish can be easy if you use the classic campfire technique: place a filet on tinfoil with some olive oil, spices, and veggies. Wrap it up and pop it in the oven (instead of over a campfire) and you’ll have a flavorful meal in no time!



Now is the time to test out one of those recipes you have been eyeing. What’s the worst that can happen? Dominos delivers.

  • How about the tempeh sloppy joe’s I make? Even my brother and boyfriend loved these, so I’m sure you will too!

Hope this gives you helpful ideas for ways to make Friday’s in Lent feel a little less boring on the meal front.

  • What are your favorite meat-free meals for Fridays in Lent?
  • Does your family have a Friday tradition? I know lots of people go to Church Fish Fries or make fish sticks at home!
21 Comments leave one →
  1. Diary of a Fitness Amateur permalink
    March 11, 2011 2:21 pm

    Hey, this was a great post! This will give me some really great ideas for meals on Friday. Keep up the great work. Thank you

  2. March 11, 2011 3:34 pm

    SO AGREED!!! ppl dont even realize that they eat meat free sometimes- love all the links! my fam dusnt have any fri traditions! hmm!… since im always meat free i love using beans to beef things up!

  3. March 11, 2011 3:43 pm

    Thanks for checking out my blog! You are so right–there are numerous options via beggie style!!!

    I’m thinking of you on your 20 miler this weekend.

    If you want to try a pair of Recovery socks, use code “ja001dw” to save 15%. They run about $35 a pair…but so worth it on double digit runs!

  4. March 11, 2011 4:00 pm

    I’m so not into the sandwich at Bread Co. The whole thing is such a cop out. Neither feta nor cucumbers belong on a sandwich because they IMMEDIATELY fall off. There is only 1 properly constructed veggie sandwich in StL and that’s at Blues City Deli. Sandwich makers really need to put more thought into construction and also think outside the box a little more. Can you tell this is one of my soapboxes?

  5. March 11, 2011 4:11 pm

    Great post!!! I cant wait to try my hand at black bean burgers!

  6. March 11, 2011 4:32 pm

    Mmmm food delicious as always 😉 My moms hardcore around lent/ easter also, if I am at home, we cant eat meat either on the important days… Happy easter !

  7. March 11, 2011 7:38 pm

    My mom used to make salmon patties on Fridays during Lent. But lucky for me, I lOVE salmon patties!

    Some of my favorite meat-free meals include veggie and cheese pizza, a Chipotle salad with black beans instead of meat, and an ice cream sundae (does that count? :D.)

  8. March 11, 2011 8:29 pm

    Hi! I’m new to your blog, but I was just about to do a similar post! You are so right; people make such a fuss on Fridays during Lent! Though I love eggs no matter what, I’ve found that omelets are a perfect option for dinner on Fridays. The protein keeps me satiated and you can stuff a ton of veggies into one!

  9. March 11, 2011 9:31 pm

    i don’t play lent but i still need to get my butt to chipotle! on a scale of 1-10 what would you rate their guacs?!

  10. March 11, 2011 10:46 pm

    I went to a great new vegetarian restaurant today and got tabbouleh, israeli cucumber salad, beet root salad, and falafel. All yummy non-meat options for a Friday in Lent 🙂

  11. March 12, 2011 12:35 am

    Loved this post since I’m going meatless on Fridays! I think I’ll end up at Chipotle sooner or later!

  12. March 12, 2011 7:50 am

    Great post! I went out to dinner tonight with my fiance and his family, and when I said “remember, it’s Lent” my fiance and his dad actually got annoyed with me because I reminded them. I wasn’t saying it to be annoying! It was half hearted joke, really. But you’re right – people flip out when they’re told they’re NOT supposed to do something. It’s one day! What’s the big deal?

  13. March 12, 2011 9:02 am

    A good ol’ can of beans with rice and veggies is good for me! Clare, I didn’t realize you were from St. Louis. I LOVE Imo’s, my mom’s side of the family is from there, and I was born and raised for part of my childhood in Chesterfield!

  14. mel permalink
    March 12, 2011 10:15 am

    Do you not consider fish meat? I don’t think fish should be included personally but to each her own!

  15. March 12, 2011 1:00 pm

    These are some fabulous suggestions – I am personally a HUGE fan of that Panera sandwich, btw! I’m vegetarian all the time, but my colleague gave up meat for Lent so I will have to share some of these additional ideas with her. Like you show here, it’s really not so hard!

  16. March 12, 2011 6:45 pm

    People always want what they can’t have! Your story made me laugh, though 🙂 I definitely think tempeh is a great sub for someone who absolutely has to feel like they’re eating meat.

  17. Abby permalink
    March 18, 2011 11:05 am

    Our family tradition when I still lived at home was making tuna casserole! Great post–my boyfriend is a meat freak. I’ll have to try out some of these on him!

  18. April 1, 2011 12:38 pm

    Great post! To this day, my mom still calls me every Friday during Lent to remind me not to eat meat.


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