Vegetarian Options for Fridays in Lent

Senior Avery Dierks made an Avocado Mac N' Cheese dish last Friday.

credit: Avery Dierks/Achona Online

Senior Avery Dierks made an Avocado Mac N’ Cheese dish last Friday. “I have an obsession with avocados!” says Dierks, “when I remembered I couldn’t eat meat, I thought that this idea would be good.”

Isabella Alfonso, Senior Staff Writer

Wake up call: it’s Lent, and you can’t eat meat on Fridays. Ouch. This sounds like a huge sacrifice, and it seems impossible to find vegetarian food that you enjoy for a whole day. However, in reality, there are so many options that have slipped right under your nose! Think about it– because of America’s modern and diverse culture, every restaurant and recipe can now somehow accommodate for vegetarians. This is 2016, after all, and according to the Vegetarian Times, “10 percent of U.S. adults, or 22.8 million people, say they largely follow a vegetarian-inclined diet”. Therefore, it is actually quite difficult to find a place that does NOT serve at least one item without meat. Eating vegetarian is not only easy, but it is also nutritious and delicious! If you’re still doubtful, here’s some more advice for the questions you might have:

 

“What are some local places to try?”

In the south Tampa Bay area, organic and green trendy spots have popped up in abundance. Some hit places with a largely vegetarian menu near Academy include So Fresh, Fruitwood, Fresh Kitchen, Cooks, and Buddy Brew.

Senior Lindsay Boos comments when questioned about her instagram, “I just loves how yummy and pretty the food [at Buddy Brew] looks!” She says that she mostly goes there for breakfast because it serves great coffee, but sometimes she will get lunch or an early dinner. “They have a really good grilled cheese with apple, avocado on top of toasted bread. Sometimes I also get their toast with peanut butter and bananas,” claims Boos.
credit: Lindsay Boos/@linds_boos on instagram/used with permission
Senior Lindsay Boos comments when questioned about her instagram post, “I just loves how yummy and pretty the food [at Buddy Brew] looks!” She says that she mostly goes there for breakfast because it serves great coffee, but sometimes she will get lunch or an early dinner. “They have a really good grilled cheese with apple and avocado on top of toasted bread. Sometimes I also get their toast with peanut butter and bananas,” claims Boos.

“What if I don’t want to give up my favorite restaurant chains on Friday nights?”

That’s fair. No one wants to ignore their Friday night Chipotle craving. However, you can get your usual bowl, cut the meat, and get extra beans (for protein) or sofritas (tofu). Bonus: if you buy a veggie bowl at Chipotle–not including sofrita bowls–you receive free guac! FREE GUAC! Also, check if your favorite burger joint has a veggie or black bean burger. Most joints do, and you’ll be surprised at how delicious they are! Hint: BurgerFi’s veggie burger tastes like a McDonald’s hashbrown… #happiness. If you’re in the mood for a wrap, Tropical Smoothie also has “beyond meat,” or tofu, that tastes identical to chicken. They have a variety of wraps that can each be replaced with beyond meat upon request!

For a friendly tip, chances are that every restaurant will take meat out of your order if you ask them to. Let’s face it, they like the business and they’re not going to deprive you of your right to eat. Without being said, don’t be a jerk and order “the Chicken Piccata but hold the chicken.” That’s just wrong.

 

“I’m eating food at home. What do I do now?”

Like I said before, it’s easy to morph and alter meals to make them vegetarian. For some tasty spins on basic and easy-to-make foods, you can look to Pinterest to help you make:

Senior Grace Toups shares her vegetarian creation, “a cauliflower pizza with spinach, artichoke, mushroom, pesto, mozzarella, Parmesan, and baby swiss cheese”. You go, Grace Toups.
credit: Grace Toups/Achona Online/used with permission
Senior Grace Toups shares her vegetarian creation, “a cauliflower pizza with spinach, artichoke, mushroom, pesto, mozzarella, Parmesan, and baby swiss cheese.” You go, Grace Toups.

 

Senior Christina Thompson admits that sometimes she’ll heat up a frozen veggie Boca Burger and whip together a small salad for dinner. “I never have the time or the will to make an over-the-top meal. This is good because it takes ten minutes to make,” says Thompson.
credit: Christina Thompson/used with permission
Senior Christina Thompson admits that sometimes she’ll heat up a frozen veggie Boca Burger and whip together a small salad for dinner. “I never have the time or the will to make an over-the-top meal. This is good because it takes ten minutes to make,” says Thompson.

 

If you give the “fasting” a chance instead of cheating on the no-meat-on-Fridays rule, Lent can turn into a chance to expand your palette and be adventurous!