Friday 16 September 2011

Friday Menu ideas 1

I'm delighted by the reestablishment of the Friday penance. Although we've been observing the traditional meatless Friday since the children were small only a few Catholic families that we're friends with have done the same which has lead to comments ranging from "ooooh, aren't you good" (not particularly, actually, but we do make an effort to do the penance)  to "isn't that a bit old fashioned" (your point is?) and "my Granny used to do that". Now we're not the only Friday fisheaters on the block, and I'm really glad -- not because the silly comments will cease, but because my children will see their friends doing as we've always done which will reaffirm and confirm a small part of their Catholic identity.

Given how expensive a lot of fish is, and how gloriously tasty a good vegetarian Indian take-away can be, we've added a few other rules over the years. We try to keep things simple, modest and inexpensive on Fridays in addition to cutting out meat, although as I've had to point out to one of my  sons, this doesn't mean that we aren't allowed to enjoy our food ("Mum, this soup is too tasty for a Friday!" Oh dear!)

I'm going to try to share a few easy Friday meal ideas over the next weeks -- take them or leave them, change them or adapt them. The best recipes are the ones that you try and tweak to make your own. Bon appétit!

Spinach Soup (it's a meal in itself with some good bread).
(serves 10 as main meal - reduce proportions for smaller number or save the rest: it freezes beautifully):

1 kg frozen spinach
500g onions
6 med/lg sized potatoes peeled and quartered
6 crushed garlic cloves (or to taste - we all like Garlic)
salt *or* Marigold vegetable stock powder
glug of olive oil

Sweat onions and garlic in olive oil until soft in large casserole, then add potatoes and cover with water (approx 2l). Simmer for 20 minutes until potatoes coming apart. Add spinach - cook for 4-5 minutes, gentle simmer. If using frozen spinach, stick it straight into the pot (don't bother to defrost) add a few minutes cooking time. Add salt and pepper to taste. Or add pepper and  Marigold vegetable stock powder to taste.

If you have a stick blender (hand blender) whizz up the soup until it is smooth. Otherwise do the same with a potato masher. It's thick, tasty and satisfying and, unbelievably, children (even sceptical visiting ones) love it.

Speedy method for cheats: buy your spinach, onions and garlic pre-chopped and frozen (Waitrose or Sainsbury's both do decent chopped onions and garlic). If you keep these in the freezer you'll have a potential meal ready with the addition of a few potatoes.

Cost for 10 people: less than £5; considerably less if you buy your potatoes at Lidl, chop your own onions and garlic and use frozen spinach. Practically free if you grow the stuff yourself.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds tasty.

    Hi, and welcome to the Catholic Blogs list. I'm RAnn and I host a weekly meme called Sunday Snippets--a Catholic Carnival in which Catholic bloggers gather to share posts with each other. I'd like to invite you to join. This week's host post is at