Tag Archives: lent

“Yay, it’s the first day of Lent,” said no one ever…

Yup, it’s that time again. Time to string up the lights, and sing Lenten carols. Oh wait. No. It’s a time of giving up the things we love and experiencing guilt. Ho hum.

Growing up Catholic, my siblings and I dreaded this time of year. Lenten sacrifice and no meat on Fridays, although mom often bought us pizza or made fish sticks so I guess it wasn’t all bad. And since we usually gave up chocolate or candy, that led to stuffing our faces with sweets and honey baked ham on Easter Sunday until we put ourselves into a Paschal coma. Alleluia!

Though some of my past Christian traditions have fallen to the wayside, sorry mom, sacrifice during Lent is one of the things I still strive to do/think about/attempt/fail miserably at for 40 days (not counting Sundays) before the first full moon after the Spring Equinox. (Yup, that’s how Ash Wednesday is determined). I like to think of it as a way to better myself…and this year will be no different.

It wasn’t difficult to decide what to give up this year. I’m ashamed to admit but I’ve developed somewhat of a dirty little shopping habit. It became even more clear to me yesterday when I set out to buy a heart shaped cookie cutter and came home with $123.38 worth of merchandise, including 12 assorted cookie cutters and a cookie jar. In my defense I visited 9 stores before finding said cookie cutter and when I finally found a store that had one, it was part of a 12 piece set and I figured, why go through this again, and bought the whole darn thing. $21.65 WITH a cookie jar. I’ll call that a score! So as you can see I definitely have a little bit of a problem tendency and I’m giving up shopping for Lent.

There, I said it. Now it is so. (sign)

The “rules” of the sacrifice? Obviously food and household items are excluded. And there are a few birthdays coming up which I’ve already received gift requests for, one being the All-Star’s. And I surely can’t disappoint my Pisces compadres (they’re so sensitive – shhh).

So that’s about it. It’s in writing so there’s no turning back. We’ll see how long I last. I’m thinking I can do it. We’ll just have to live without new throw pillows and fragrant candles for the next six weeks. Fortunately, I recently purchased both so I think we’ll be ok.

What would be/is your Lenten sacrifice??


Fridays, Not just for Fish

Okay, so it’s Lent. For many that means no meat on Fridays. But don’t let Lent be an excuse for carbs. Pasta, the easy vegetarian fix, it isn’t exactly a nutritional substance. And while we’d like to think that faux-meat is a healthy alternative, it’s really just another example of a processed food-like substance. So what’s the alternative? Of course you can have fish, a wonderful source of omega-3’s and a nutritious way to keep the ritual. But fresh fish isn’t always an option. I say, turn to the bean! High in fiber and protein and always available, a hearty bean soup can fill your belly and your appetite, especially in these last few weeks before the thaw.  Here’s my recipe for a delicious black bean soup I conjured up. Let me know what you think.

Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup

1 lb black beans, soaked overnight in water and rinsed
3 red bell peppers, chopped
1 serano pepper, chopped
1 jalepeno pepper,chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 organic celery stalks, Chopped
3 garlic cloves (optional)
1 cup corn, freshly cut from the cob (if available)
4 cups vegetable (or chicken) broth (according to mom it’s only the flesh of the animal you have to refrain from)
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro
1 lime
a little bit of sour cream (just to be naughty)

I went the total easy route with this recipe. Warmed some oil, added the veggies and beans at the same time, mixed it together, then added the stock and the spices to taste. Set it low and cooked it partially cover until the beans were tender, about an hour. Viola! Perfecto! It was delicious.