Meatless Fridays

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to finally get us into the routine of meatless Fridays.  If you aren’t Catholic, it’s a devotion of sorts, a small deprivation performed for the sake of doing penance for our sins and those of others.  It’s really small.  It’s pretty easy.  But we couldn’t maintain it at all.  We’d forget about it in our meal planning, or go grocery shopping and partake of the sample lady’s sausages on pretzel toothpicks.  We messed it up so often that I just gave up!

But it’s a small sacrifice, and it’s an easy sacrifice, and if millions of other Catholics can do it, so can I, right?

To eliminate any decision making that might accidentally result in sausages on the breakfast plate, I set a Standard Friday Menu Plan.  We have oatmeal for breakfast and we have tuna salad for lunch.  By the time I have to cook dinner, I’m already well aware that it’s a meatless day, and have no trouble cooking appropriately.

That’s it!  That’s all it took: eliminating the mealtime decision-making that might lead to slip-ups.  We’re ten Fridays into the year, and we haven’t messed up a single one!

You are probably a superstar at your Friday penance, but I thought I’d share, just in case.

Happy Monday!

7 Comment

  1. Beckie R. says:

    Curious: does Tuna count as meat? It comes from a living animal; or is meat just from land animals?

  2. It’s meat from warm blooded animals. 🙂 We have our meatless was well down now, but I remember having a hard time getting off the ground too! Even now we still mess up, especially if our normal routine is broken. Last Friday I was traveling and needed to pick up breakfast and got a bacon egg and cheese biscuit. During Lent, no less! Didn’t even realize it till an hour later.

  3. Randall R Goedel says:

    Q. I understand that all the Fridays of Lent are days of abstinence from meat, but I’m not sure what is classified as meat. Does meat include chicken and dairy products?

    A. Abstinence laws consider that meat comes only from animals such as chickens, cows, sheep or pigs — all of which live on land. Birds are also considered meat. Abstinence does not include meat juices and liquid foods made from meat. Thus, such foods as chicken broth, consomme, soups cooked or flavored with meat, meat gravies or sauces, as well as seasonings or condiments made from animal fat are technically not forbidden. However, moral theologians have traditionally taught that we should abstain from all animal-derived products (except foods such as gelatin, butter, cheese and eggs, which do not have any meat taste). Fish are a different category of animal. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, (cold-blooded animals) and shellfish are permitted.

    Retrieved from

  4. That’s a great question, Beckie. Our priest friend looked that up for us after we questioned the “legality” of frogs’ legs at Friday fish fries. 🙂 It applies to fowl and mammals, but it is permissible to eat any kind of fish, shellfish or amphibians. We eat tuna salad every Friday, because it’s easy, and we have fish sometimes on Friday night, but usually go with a bean-based meal.

  5. We don’t always eat meatless on Fridays, as we should, but usually remember to offer something else instead (except during Lent). What I don’t understand is how so many Catholics can think that going out to Red Lobster (or even pricier seafood restaurants) is a sacrifice. Not! Especially living in Ohio, there is almost no fish (except canned fish and inexpensive frozen fish like catfish — or caught yourself) that qualifies as a sacrifice. We’d be better off eating cheap meat than restaurant shrimp, scallops, lobster and fish. Mostly we just go meatless/fishless.

  6. We started going meatless on Fridays year round probably about 7 or so years ago. It was really difficult at first. I remember thinking there was NOTHING to cook without meat. We ate a lot of mac n’ cheese, or fish. But our family grew fast and fish got too expensive. Some of my favorites are cream of veggie soups with bread. Lentil soup, or a lentil and rice dish my mom made that we all like. Quiche, bread and salad. Potato kugel is easy and delicious. We love these: with applesauce, sour cream and green beans on the side. I know with vegetarian/veganism being a bit trendy right now, there are lots of food blogs with recipes. I often find they call for things I don’t have or can’t easily find. I like Moosewood’s cookbooks, especially their older ones, for helpful recipes made with more normal ingredients. I get them from the library and copy the best recipes down-they’re not all usable for me.

    1. Oh, and those turnovers-Pockets, we call them: if you try them, double the filling (at least) and triple the dough. It makes way too much filling. I about half the fat for the dough and more liquid (and usually lard instead of butter). It’s one of those recipes that I’ve made so often I know how to get it right; hard to explain to someone else.

Comments are closed.