Lenten Creations In the Kitchen

In case we come up short on our Lenten intentions, we have always abstained from meat on both Wednesdays and Fridays in Lent. Needless to say, requiring two meatless meals and two meatless lunches for my husband’s work lunch every week often has it challenges. There have been some days when I’ve managed to come up with something from nothing for dinner!

This past Wednesday, I was busy sewing and didn’t want to spare the hour or more to go shopping for fish for dinner. Since it was payday week and we hadn’t done our pay day shopping, I went through the refrigerator and cleared out all the vegetables on hand and made vegetable stew. My basic recipe:

Lenten Vegetable Stew
2 cans of diced tomatoes with the liquid
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic buds, smashed and diced
4 peeled and thinly sliced carrots
3 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
1 cup thinly slice cabbage
1 large bunch of Kale
Sliced mushroom if you have them
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 cups chicken broth or equivalent in bullion cubes or bullion paste
2 teaspoons salt or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Chili flakes
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder

Saute the onions and garlic until limp and softened. Add everything EXCEPT the cabbage and Kale to your soup pot, bring to a boil and turn down to simmer, covered for about 15 minutes or so or until the vegetables are almost tender. Add the cabbage and Kale and continue cooking until they are done. Serve!

Cheesy Dumplings
1 cup flour (You can substitute King Arthur’s gluten-free flour with good results)
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs

Mix together everything except the eggs to incorporate. Add one egg and mix in. You are looking for a soft but not runny dough so depending on the dryness of the day you might or might not need the second egg. Mix well. The dumpling should hold their shape.

Bring another pot of salted water to a boil and then turn down to simmer and drop in your small spoonfuls of dumpling batter and gently simmer until they are cooked through. Drain and place them on top of bowls of your hot soup. For an extra zip to the dish, you can dust them with grated Parmesan cheese.

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