Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Get Ready for Lent, cuz Surprise! It's here!

I'm approaching Lent with a strange mixture of (happy) anticipation and dread this year. I think it might be because last year's Lent, even though it was the first time I had really ever observed it, seemed to go so well. Now that we're doing this a second time around, I wonder if I'll be able to rise to the occasion.

Ha ha. Pride. You nasty bugger you. Well, at least now we know one thing I'll need to be confessing this year...

(This was going to be a post for JEI, but since it looks like that may not be happening anymore, will you consider saying a prayer for Alicia and her family? This post is offered for her.)

What has worked for you or your family to make Lent meaningful?

Last year, on each Friday of Lent I packed a picnic lunch and took the kids to our church to do our own little Stations of the Cross. We would look at the picture for each station, I would explain what was going on/say a prayer to go with the station and then move on. By the end the wee girl was able to identify almost all the people in the pictures, so I think that was meaningful? I certainly gained an appreciation/awe for all that Jesus endured out of love for us. I'm going to try and do it again, but since this year the little dude is well...2 instead of 1 and *far* more mobile, I'm wondering how it might go down. Ah well, it's church right? He couldn't get into that much trouble could he? #famouslastwords

This year we're also going to try Nancy's Jesus Tree. The little girl is *still* talking about how she misses her Jesse tree - though I'm quite sure that's just because she misses the lights - so we'll see how this one goes over. (And if you read my last post - we're doing the paper one people! Definitely not the felt one. Though if anyone wants to go ahead and make me a set of those I would totally be on board with accepting it. :) )

What’s your go-to meatless meal?

Honestly? Taco night with refried beans instead of meat (we love these (not an affiliate link. Just FYI)) and then fish nuggets with broccoli. But I do have a few other easy meals, like this Sweet Potatoes with Beans and Greens or the Red Lentil Coconut Curry with Spinach below (it's easy! Promise! The ingredients list just looks long because of all the spices.)  Should you be interested, you can also find a list of all my "Friday Abstaining" meals here.

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Wild Rice Bowl with Red Lentil-Coconut Curry and Spinach

  • 1 cup wild rice (or brown, I use brown)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (or butter or coconut oil)
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger (or a 1/4 tsp dried ginger, if using add with other spices)
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste (like this one)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 12 teaspoon cayenne powder (optional)
  • 3 12 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves tightly packed
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 12 cup Greek yogurt
  • 14 cup cilantro leaves (lightly packed) to garnish
  1. Prepare the wild rice according to the package instructions. Most wild rice takes about 45 minutes to become tender; you can also make it a few days ahead so it's ready when you need it.
  2. While the rice is cooking, heat the ghee in a large saucepan with tall sides over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and cook until lightly golden and soft. Add in the minced garlic and ginger, and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the red lentils, red curry paste, tomato paste, and spices, and cook until fragrant. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil.
  3. Once the lentils and broth reach a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the lentils are soft. Before serving, fold in the fresh spinach leaves, and pour in the coconut milk. At this point, taste the curry and adjust the seasoning according to your liking; add more salt or cayenne, if needed.
  4. To serve, divide the wild rice equally into 4 bowls. Top each bowl with the curry, a dollop of yogurt, and fresh cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.

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Do you count Sundays as being part of Lent?

I'll have to defer to Kendra of Catholic All Year for this one, as I had no idea this was even a question! I just figured that your fast continued on Sunday because, well, it's still Lent. But nope. Read all about it here. (Really! It's quite informative)

What will you be doing for Lent this year?


  1. <3 <3 <3 Thanks for the prayers and understanding, Sara. Once we get past these next few weeks of testing and appointments, maybe JEI can happen again. We'll see.

    I love the idea of the Stations/picnic combo! You're right that it's going to be hard to top last year. Just kidding. Mostly.

    Seriously though, you're in a different set of circumstances now, so just try to have the most fruitful Lent for where you are with the littles. :)

    I love the idea of bean-y tacos. I'm adding it to my mental list for Fridays. Thanks for the idea!

    1. You're welcome! We did have to go through a few different kinds of beans before we found a brand that everyone liked (which was why I made the suggestion) but now that we've found it, taco night is a near weekly occurrence. And thank you for the encouragement... We definitely are in a different season with the littles, and I'm really (really) starting to experience how bringing kids to mass is like it's own little penance. Gotta keep reminding myself to keep doing it, but lower my expectations if you know what I mean.