Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Surviving Lenten Cooking

Weeping, lamentations, gnashing of teeth, sackcloth and ashes- What? Did something horrible happen? No. I just have to cook vegan again. Oh the horror.

So, as you might see, I am not a fan of vegan cooking. I don't even know why. I think it is the lack of easy recipes that don't involve a separate shopping trip for each entree. I have been working up my collection of easy to prepare meals that we actually like. Of course, the point of Lent isn't to kill yourself in the kitchen to make delicious Lenten food, but it would be nice to not feel like you are eating cardboard every day. I am not fasting since I am both pregnant and nursing, but my husband is. Since he spends most of his time during the day at seminary, I eat my meat and cheese then. At night I make a Lenten meal that we can eat together.

THANKFULLY it has been getting a lot better with time. Our first full Lent I spent most of the time making stir fry. The problem was that
A. I didn't know how to use a wok,
2. I didn't know how to make stir fry correctly,
3. My only other meal was probably pasta with red sauce.

It was bleak.

So, I have a variety of meals now. So far, it has been rather enjoyable. I have realized that I have matured so much in the past few months.Probably my biggest boost has been to plan my day better. For a while, I was at a loss to make meals, take care of Katherine, get my required hours of work finished (I am an online teacher's assistant), and keep the house up to my standards. I went to bed around midnight so many times trying to finish my hours of grading exams for the day. Meanwhile, dishes were piled in the sink, laundry was backed up and there were cups and glasses all over the place.

I found that my biggest problem was not utilizing Katherine's nap times to my advantage. I now have been managing to get everything done-happy baby, clean house and work finished at a reasonable hour.

Consequently, this makes cooking our dinner enjoyable to me and not a time of stress. I have even had time to throw in some baking. So, yes, Lent is going well so far.

I made Thai pumpkin coconut soup tonight. It was fantastic- even for non-fasting days. The recipe is super easy and you can modify the ingredients to something more practical. I used canned pumpkin in place of chopped, fresh pumpkin, an onion in place of a shallot and lemon juice (reduced to 1/3) instead of lemon grass (though lemongrass would have been super awesome). You can also use carrots, broccoli, bok choy and mushrooms in addition or in place of other vegetables. I added rise to thicken it up.

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Thanks for stopping by! If you have a particular question, you can always email me at rebekahbethany {at} gmail.com

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