Read

A Carnivore’s Guide to Lenten Fridays

Creator:
Published:
January 30, 2024
March 5, 2020
Try these meatless Lenten meals, especially if you're a carnivore craving meat.|Try these meatless Lenten meals, especially if you're a carnivore craving meat.

Your stomach grumbles for pepperoni on your pizza. Your ears clamor for the sizzle of bacon. Signs for every fast food burger joint in town glisten on the drive home. Normally, visions of meat don’t haunt you at every meal. But it’s a Friday during Lent. The floodgates open.

It seems that any time I’m restricted from something, I start craving it even more: the candy wrappers that shimmer when I’ve committed to a healthy diet; the alcohol that promises to make my evening more relaxed when I’m trying to cut down. Now that we’re in Lent, it seems that I crave meat at every meal on a Friday.

For Catholics, Lent is a 40-day season of intentional preparation for Easter. Throughout this season, we ramp up in three departments: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Under the fasting umbrella, we give up certain likes or extravagances while also abstaining from things periodically — like meat on Fridays.

The reason for added sacrifice on Friday relates to the idea that Jesus died on Good Friday. Friday has therefore come to symbolize a day of penance — by offering something up, we are uniting our small sacrifice to that of Jesus on the cross and remembering his work of salvation. In ancient times, meat was a luxury eaten on special occasions and on feast days. During Lent, Catholics abstain from meat as a symbol of simplicity and penance.

Hence the invention of McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich and other fast-food Lenten options. Fried fish between smushed hamburger buns might seem more like a cruel and unusual punishment than a spiritual practice, so if you’re like me and can’t stomach the idea of a Filet-O-Fish for lunch on Fridays during Lent, don’t worry — there are other options.

These recipes include a range of food options that go from simple to slightly extravagant. Because Lent is a time of sacrifice and penance to help us better love God and others, we can also limit our portions or eat more simply as a way to stand in solidarity with those who are hungry or suffering. During our Lenten journey, we can confidently wave goodbye to the Filet-O-Fish and confront our body’s grumbling and clamoring for meat with a prayerful disposition as an opportunity to strengthen our wills and open our hearts.

Here are meatless meal options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for each Friday of Lent to get you through the season feeling not only like a “good” Catholic (whatever that means), but also like a balanced and well-nourished human being.

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Creators:
Kate Fowler
Published:
January 30, 2024
March 5, 2020
On a related note...
“The Clamour of the Heart”

“The Clamour of the Heart”

Maisy Williams

Journaling to Better Mental Health: Where to Start

Journaling to Better Mental Health: Where to Start

Julia Hogan-Werner

I Found Healing from Self-Harm When I Stopped Hiding

I Found Healing from Self-Harm When I Stopped Hiding

Kristen Deasy

How To Thrive in Isolation, From a Cancer Survivor

How To Thrive in Isolation, From a Cancer Survivor

Mary Beth May

3 Tips for Learning from Your Mistakes

3 Tips for Learning from Your Mistakes

Matt Paolelli

How & Why to Work Out in Cold Weather

How & Why to Work Out in Cold Weather

Sarah Coffey

Sleep vs. FOMO: Every College Student’s Dilemma

Sleep vs. FOMO: Every College Student’s Dilemma

Julia Hogan-Werner

Feast Day: The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Feast Day: The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Grotto

What I Learned from the Whole30 Diet

What I Learned from the Whole30 Diet

Abigail Braun Kaikati

What You Might Be Getting Wrong about Self-Care

What You Might Be Getting Wrong about Self-Care

Sophie Caldecott

A Practice in Mutual Restoration

A Practice in Mutual Restoration

Nicole Watt

5 Simple Ways To Not Let The Summer Pass You By

5 Simple Ways To Not Let The Summer Pass You By

Lillian Fallon

"Brief Encounters of the Jesus Kind"

"Brief Encounters of the Jesus Kind"

Marjorie Maddox

"Welcoming the Stranger"

"Welcoming the Stranger"

Ellen B. Koneck

Marriage is About More than Just the Couple

Marriage is About More than Just the Couple

Molly Cruitt

New to Prayer? Here are 3 Creative Ways to Approach It

New to Prayer? Here are 3 Creative Ways to Approach It

Marlene Bayersdorfer

Holy Spirits Wine Brings People Together (and to God)

Holy Spirits Wine Brings People Together (and to God)

Grotto

What I Learned When I Took a Leap of Faith

What I Learned When I Took a Leap of Faith

Josie Kuhlman

Stained Glass Art Invokes Awe and Curiosity

Stained Glass Art Invokes Awe and Curiosity

Grotto

How This Ancient Meditation Practice Changes My Day

How This Ancient Meditation Practice Changes My Day

Mike Jordan Laskey

newsletter

We’d sure love to be pals.

Like what you see? Make it easy on yourself and we’ll meet you right in your inbox next time.