Ash Wednesday Beans

I’m sharing our Ash Wednesday meatless fare. In our family we are meatless on Fridays and Ash Wednesday. I’m striving to add one more day of meatless meals during Lent (and perhaps throughout the year), aiming for a legume meal. Usually we do some kind of fish.

I need to get over my fear of beans. It can be easy to create a delicious meal without eggs, dairy or wheat. Vegan recipes have all sorts of ideas. I do worry of too much fume-producing meals, but once a week is not “too much.”

I found a recipe in Celebrating the Faith: Lent and Easter in the Christian Kitchen by Laurie Navar Gill and Teresa Zepeda. Mrs. Gill’s reasoning behind this dish: “This is a tasty dish, but in my opinion, canned black beans with their purplish liquid are fitting for this day of sackcloth and ashes.” She even slips a tiny teaspoon of ashes from the burned palms after it is all cooked. It doesn’t change the taste, but another Lenten reminder.

I highly recommend this cookbook, especially if you’ve got food allergies and can’t seem to find inspiring meatless meals that don’t incorporate cheese. But the cookbook has more than abstinent menuse. There are also other Lenten ideas, bread recipes, Holy Week and Easter Season recipes.

We found this meal tasty, and even better the next day, and I only made a few changes. The spices and veggies reminded me of tacos, so I served this with taco shells and brown rice. It serves 8, so next time I’ll cut down the portions for my family!

Black Beans and Rice

3 cans black beans
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup picante sauce
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
a few dashes Tabasco sauce
Cooked brown rice

In a family size skillet, heat olive oil and then saute carrots for 3 minutes. Add peppers, onions, garlic, celery, picante sauce, water, and spices, mix together and cover. Cook for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse beans, add to skillet, cook 5 more minutes. Serve over rice and/or in taco shells.

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