I'm not the world's most supportive wife when it comes to John becoming Orthodox. I don't go to church with him most Sundays, and when I do, I don't enjoy it. I'm not sure if it's too Catholic or not Catholic enough. Half the time I wish that, if he were inclined to woo, he could stick to the woo we're used to. The other half, I wish that if he wanted a religion, he could have picked one that isn't homophobic and patriarchal. It's like the worst of all possible worlds: ritual that's alien instead of comforting, and doctrines that are virtually the same as the Catholic ones. But that was what John was looking for, I guess, and I'm glad he's happy.
The one thing I don't mind backing him up on, though, is the fasting. The Orthodox fast the entirety of Lent, and by that they mean no meat, no fish, no dairy, no eggs, and no olive oil. Invertebrates are okay. I'm not ready to make vegan meals every dinner--I just don't know enough things to make that we like--but I've agreed to try for three days a week, and he can make the rest of his food himself.
I'm excited because I desperately need to mix up our dinner menu. We have had everything I usually make a million times. Taking out meat gives me space to do more with the other ingredients.
So, what to make? So far my vegan repertoire includes:
pasta with marinara sauce and spinach
falafel in a pita with cucumbers and vegan mayo
black bean tacos with corn/bell pepper relish
black bean/bell pepper soup
tomato soup with focaccia on the side
split pea soup
breakfast for dinner (vegan pancakes, homefries, baked apples)
lentil curry with coconut milk (the kids did not love this one)
tofu stirfry (nobody liked this option)
I'm a bit limited by not wanting to do much frying. Fried eggplant, for instance, is delicious but John is watching his cholesterol and eggplant soaks up fat like a sponge. Another limitation is that I mostly shop at Aldi and do not want to make a separate trip to the regular store for tofu, lentils, or other "odd" items. Luckily margarine and soy/almond/coconut milk are all available there.
I can come up with endless soups but I would like more things that aren't soup. I tried white bean "faux-fredo" sauce once and it was an utter fail . . . the noodles soaked up any liquid in the sauce, so it was just a starchy paste clinging to the noodles. Maybe ratatouille or vegan lasagna would be good? John also thinks there's got to be a way to make spanikopita vegan. Honestly I would put just about any veggie into a pie.
I have no trouble getting by without meat, really. But cheese. Everything on this whole list would be better with at least one dairy product added.
Anyway, what are your favorite family-friendly vegan recipes?