Tag Archives: Lent

How To Give Up Meat For Lent

After giving up meat for Lent, a lot of people have asked us what we ate, or how we managed. The most popular comment from friends and family has been, “There is NO way I could have done that.” Well, yes you could have…and yes you can. 40 days of no meat was not bad at all and has actually passed very quickly. We have learned that meat, while exceptionally delicious, is more of a luxury than a necessity. In a recent brainstorming session, we tried to recall all (or most) of the meals that have allowed us to not only make it through our meatless Lent, but eat well along the way.

The following is a list of the Newly Feds meatless Lenten menu items in no particular order. These meals were all homemade by us, all of the recipes are very doable, and most were made on weekday nights.

If there is a recipe you would like to try or like to see us write about, let us know and we can make that happen.

  1. Scallion and Edamame Fried Rice
  2. Garden Vegetable Risotto
  3. Shrimp Po Boys with Low Fat Blue Cheese Broccoli Slaw
  4. Nicoise Salad with Grilled Tuna
  5. Scallops with Linguine in a Herb Wine Sauce
  6. Spinach Macaroni and Cheese
  7. Vegetable Lasagna
  8. Minestrone with Pesto Soup
  9. Vegetable Stir Fry
  10. Vegetarian Wild Rice Burgers
  11. Brown Sugar Mustard Glazed Salmon with Grilled Vegetable Ratatouille Salad
  12. Stuffed Portabella Mushroom Caps
  13. Fish Tacos
  14. Red Pepper Alfredo
  15. Shrimp Pad Thai
  16. Portabella Mushroom Stroganoff
  17. Boca Burger Tacos
  18. Coconut Shrimp with a side of Sesame Thai Noodles
  19. Spiced Lentil Soup
  20. Spaghetti with Caramelized Mushrooms
  21. Spring Vegetable Pizza
  22. Linguine Primavera with Pesto
  23. Beer Steamed Mussels
  24. Bocca Veggie Hot Dogs with Homemade French Fries
  25. Fish and Chips

We also have enjoyed various meals out and with family and friends that aren’t listed. But we promise, NO meat has been eaten during Lent (not even on Sunday).



Filed under Entrees, Lists, Vegetarian Recipes

Vegetarian Wild Rice Burgers

For many, foregoing meat on Fridays during Lent is a huge challenge. Some find it challenging just to remember that it is Friday period. Most have difficulty remembering that it is a Friday, in Lent. That is, until after they bite into a big juicy burger.

This Lenten Season the Newly Feds are taking the meat-free-Friday challenge one step further. We have decided to give up meat. All meat. Even bacon. No meat for 40 days. Period. We are 16 days in and the withdrawal symptoms are coming on strong. It’s not that we need meat, its just that its so tasty. So far, the worst has been having brunch without bacon (really?) and grilling steak without being able to eat it. Other that that, so far, so good. We have been adapting old recipes and trying lots of new ones. All in all, we have eaten well and stuck to our guns. This challenge, though, requires a bit of creativity and that’s where wild rice comes in.

Ever been to Duluth, Minnesota? No? Why are we not surprised? Despite being covered in snow 363 days a year and having an average temp of 4, Duluth is home to some great food. Some of the best is found at a brewery and restaurant called Fitger’s Brewhouse. There, you can find one of the best burgers, meat or veggie, we have ever had. The folks over at Heavy Table have attempted to recreate this fantastic burger, and they are not far off. That said, the Newly Feds don’t follow directions very well and we added our own twists and sort of winged this one in places. Let’s be clear, though. You WILL NOT miss the meat…that much. While nothing beats a good old fashioned beef burger, this comes pretty close to taking the edge off.

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Vegetarian Wild Rice Burgers With Garlic Horseradish Mayo

Loosely adapted from Heavy Table. Makes approximately 8 burgers.

  • 1 12 oz package pre-cooked wild rice (found at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 12 oz package pre-cooked brown rice (found at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 cup diced fresh mushrooms (we used button, but portabella would be excellent here)
  • 1 1/2 cups HOT water
  • 2 vegetarian bouillon cubes
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • A few dashes (to taste) of each of the following: black pepper, onion powder, ground cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, and garlic
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3/4- 1 cup crushed saltine crackers
  • 8 good quality buns (we used Challah)
  • 8 slices sharp good quality sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Tomato slices (optional)
  • Several tablespoons of canola oil (for cooking).
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons of horseradish spread


1. Cook both packages of rice, following package directions. Mix in a large bowl with the diced mushrooms. Cover and refrigerate overnight. This step is optional, but recommended.

2. The day of: Remove rice from the refrigerator. Take the hot water and bouillon cubes and mix until dissolved. Pour over the rice mixture and heat in the microwave until the rice is tender (approximately 5 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave).

3. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, beat the eggs, and add the olive oil, and the seasonings. Mix well. Add the shredded cheese and mix to combine. Slowly, add the warm rice mixture, making sure the rice is not so hot as to curdle the eggs. Mix until combined. This mixture should still be wet. Add the crushed saltine crackers, a little at a time, adding enough crumbs until the mixture holds together loosely when formed into patties.

4. Heat a skillet, ideally cast iron, over medium-high heat. Once hot, add a small amount of canola oil to the pan. Form patties out of the rice mixture and place in the pan, being careful not to splatter the oil. We recommend cooking no more than three at a time. Cook for 3 minutes on medium-high heat. Flip with a pancake spatula and add a slice of cheddar cheese to the burger. Cook for an additional 3 minutes with a lid covering pan. Once done, remove the cooked burger and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat for the rest of the burgers.

5. Serve burgers on the buns with lettuce, tomato and garlic horseradish mayonnaise (to make, mix the light mayonnaise, diced fresh garlic and horseradish).



Filed under Vegetarian Recipes