I've been eating meatless on Fridays for a while now....probably since 2005 or so, when I finally learned that Catholics are still supposed to be abstaining every Friday of the year (from meat by default, but in the US, you are permitted to substitute a different penance).
My husband is like many men, and wants to eat meat - and lots of it - at every dinner. On nights we can't have "real meat," he's going to want to eat fish. So for most Fridays during our marriage, I've made fish sticks and pierogies for dinner, at his request. Fish sticks aren't bad, though we would love to have higher-quality fish sometimes. But because of the price, it has to be reserved as a special treat for us. After years of fish sticks, I'm starting to get sick of the same thing every week.
Now that we've gotten over the "hump" of adding another baby to the family, I've found myself with more time and desire to cook better (i.e. healthier, more "from scratch") meals. I've been trying to slowly get Tom used to the idea of eating a couple meatless dinners a week - at least one of which doesn't include fish either. So I've been trying out some new recipes...
I really love the cookbook, Twelve Months of Monastery Soups for meatless dinner ideas. I still haven't tried many of the recipes (though my goal is to make one new soup each week over the next few months - we'll see how that goes!). The few meatless soups we've tried, though, have all been shockingly delicious! I mean, you look at a recipe and it's basically taking vegetables, water, salt and pepper and throwing it in a pot. You boil it, simmer it, stir it. You would think it would be so bland and flavorless, but each time, you're left with the most delicious pot of soup. No meat, broth, or bouillon necessary! It's amazing! Then just add some good crusty bread, and it becomes a very comforting and tasty meal.
And now that I've made you eager to hear more about these amazing soups...I'm going to just change gears and give you a completely different recipe. Maybe I'll share some soup recipes on future Fridays. Today, though, I'll share the meal we'll be eating for dinner tonight.
12 oz. uncooked fettuccine
3/4 c. butter
1 c. whipping cream (or heavy cream)
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp nutmeg (optional...and I don't think I've ever added it)
1. Cook fettuccine, drain water, keep noodles warm.
2. Meanwhile: melt butter in Dutch oven over low heat. Stir in cream and pepper. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir frequently.
3. Stir in cheese. Cook and stir until cheese is just melted.
4. Stir in noodles until coated. (add nutmeg now if desired). Enjoy!
I'm planning to cook some broccoli to throw in, and probably do a spinach salad on the side. Grilled chicken would also taste great in this on a meat-friendly day.