What a Mercy girl can eat on Lenten Fridays

With Lent starting up and Fridays now becoming meatless, Mercy girls share their favorite meatless recipes.


Finding something to eat on Fridays during Lent can be hard, but learning and trying new recipes can create new favorite meals and satisfy the taste buds. (Photo credit: Molly Lyons)

It is no secret: Mercy girls love food. Whether devouring a Kickin’ Chicken wrap during a mod, or having a friend deliver some famous chicken tenders to their fourth hour, Mercy girls are always eating. Yet, a common penitential practice is abstaining from meat on all Fridays of Lent.

According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), abstinence laws consider that meat comes only from animals such as chickens, cows, sheep or pigs – all of which live on land. Abstinence does not include meat juices and liquid foods made from meat.  Thus, such foods as chicken broth, gravies, or sauces, as well as seasonings or condiments made from animal fat, are technically not forbidden.

The Mercy Cafe abstains from serving meat on all Fridays of Lent, so there will be no Kickin’ Chicken, hamburgers, California Turkey wrap, or bacon toppings offered at the Mercy cafeteria on those days.

So, what do you eat on these Fridays? Sure, a plate of salmon and potatoes is an option or a grilled cheese and a bowl of tomato soup is always appetizing, but what about the other five Fridays?

There are some unique alternatives to these typical Lenten Friday meals. With a few easy steps and ingredients, these meals will leave you satisfied and full.

Below are some recipes that were sent in by fellow Mercy classmates. Comment below if you choose to try any of them. Enjoy!

Senior Erin Tisdel shared one of her favorite meatless dishes to enjoy during Lent. This twist on a classic is sure to please everyone.

Grilled Cheese Pie
-3/4 lb. grated Muenster cheese
-1 egg
-3/4 cup flour
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/3 tsp. pepper
-1/2 tsp. oregano
-vegetable of choice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine egg, milk, salt, oregano, flour, cheese, and vegetable of choice. Pour the mixture into a heavily greased 8″ pie pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle some cheese on top. Bake for two more minutes and then serve.

Freshman Mallory Conrad’s favorite meatless dish is her mom’s famous quiche, which is perfect for a Lenten Friday night.

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche
-9″ pie crust, made or store-bought
-5 large eggs
-1/4 cup sour cream
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1/4 tsp. white pepper
-1 cup chopped frozen broccoli
-4 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese
-1/4 cup finely diced onion (optional)

Beat eggs in a large bowl with a whisk or a hand mixer. Add sour cream, salt, and pepper and continue mixing until most of the sour cream is all incorporated. Stir in the broccoli, onion, and cheese. Pour into the pie crust and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes, when the middle is set.

Sophomore Marissa Cabrera prefers pasta during Lent. Her favorite? Her grandma’s spinach tomato pasta.

Creamy Spinach Tomato Tortellini
-20 oz. three cheese tortellini
-2 tbsp butter
-2 cloves of minced garlic
-3 tbsp all-purpose flour
-1 tsp onion powder
-1 1/4 cup milk
-1/2 cup heavy cream
-1 can petite diced tomatoes
-1 1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach
-3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
-2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
-salt and freshly ground black pepper
-6 tbsp finely shredded parmesan, plus more for serving
-red pepper flakes, for serving (optional)

Cook tortellini according to directions listed on the package. Meanwhile, in a large and deep skillet or saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, then add flour and onion powder and cook, stirring constantly for one minute. While whisking, slowly pour in milk and cream, then whisk until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to simmer, then add tomatoes, spinach, basil and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook several minutes longer until sauce has thickened and spinach has wilted. Add parmesan cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat. Toss prepared and drained tortellini into sauce mixture. Serve warm sprinkled with additional parmesan cheese if desired and optional red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

Along with these recipes, adding fresh vegetables to your standard grilled cheese like avocado or fresh pepper can add flavor. Try a new side dish, like sweet potato fries, garlic green beans, or fresh corn salad. Being open-minded when you try new foods can not only introduce you to new favorites, but broaden your diet.