Lenten meals don’t have to be drab, unsatisfying or time-consuming. They can be appealing, healthful and quick.
To be sure meatless meals are nutritious, simply follow the Food Guide Pyramid. Because they have such high-quality protein, eggs are a meat alternate and make a good Lenten choice. They’re also one of the easiest foods to cook in a hurry. For a balanced meal, simply combine the eggs with a grain and veggies. Then, for a dairy serving, add cheese or serve with milk.
Just grab a pot or pan, a spoon and some eggs and consider your options. If your family enjoys Latin foods, you might heat up a can of vegetarian refried beans and spread them on tortillas. Top with poached, fried or scrambled eggs and let everyone add their own choice of lettuce, tomato, avocado, shredded cheese or salsa. Another meal, serve a vegetable-based soup with comforting egg salad between slices of whole wheat bread, on bagel halves or in pita pockets. For dessert, offer fruit topped with yogurt.
On an especially busy night, combine all the ingredients in one pan to make a handy skillet supper. For Dijon Rice & Egg Skillet Supper, use rice from the bottom of the Pyramid, your choice of frozen veggies from the next tier and eggs – nature’s own convenience food – in place of meat. Season with ready-made condiments and, in short order, you’ll have a hearty dinner on the table.
Dijon Rice & Egg Skillet Supper
2 to 4 servings
2 cups water
1 cup uncooked rice
1/2 cup bottled non-fat Italian
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cups frozen vegetable
Parsley sprigs, optional
In 10-inch skillet with lid, cook rice in water according to package directions. Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together dressing and mustard until well blended. Stir dressing mixture and vegetables into cooked rice. With back of spoon, make 4 indentations in rice mixture. Break and slip an egg into each indentation. Cover. Cook over medium heat until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard, about 3 to 4 minutes. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Microwave: Cook rice in water as above. Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together dressing and mustard until well blended. Stir dressing mixture and vegetables into cooked rice. Transfer to 9-inch pie plate. With back of spoon, make 4 indentations in rice mixture. Break and slip an egg into each indentation. Gently prick yolks with tip of knife or wooden pick. Cover with lid or plastic wrap. Cook on full power, rotating 1/4 turn every 2 minutes, until eggs are almost done, about 6 to 8 minutes. Let stand, covered, until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard, about 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish as above. Note: Microwave cooking times are based on a full power output of 600 to 700 watts. For a lower wattage oven, allow more time.
Nutrient information per 1/4 recipe using green beans, peas, carrots and zucchini without parsley: calories 285, total fat 5 gm, cholesterol 213 mg, sodium 476 mg, potassium 274 mg, carbohydrate 45 gm, protein 11 gm, and 10% or more of the RDI for vitamin A and C, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, iron, phosphorus