RECIPES: Here’s what to eat this Lent if you’re giving up meat

Vegan Thai noodle soup. Picture: Supplied

Vegan Thai noodle soup. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 22, 2021


Thousands of Christians throughout South Africa have embarked on a period of sacrifice as they observe Lent, which began on February 17.

The season of Lent is a time where people cut out certain foods, drinks, and other indulgences and replace them with prayer, meditation, and reflecting on their spiritual lives. It is also the time Christians give up meat on Fridays for the roughly 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday.

While this may not sound complicated, it can be a challenge for busy families if you are not prepared with some family-friendly meat-free recipes.

Vegan Thai noodle soup

A staple in Thailand, this soup can be found on almost every street corner in every province in the popular tourist country.

Thai noodle soup offers well-balanced flavours with lots of textures going on, depending on your toppings. It is also probably one of the easiest noodle soups you can make at home.


16g ginger

2-3 garlic cloves

2 Thai red chillies

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp curry powder

Zest of 1 lemon

½ tsp turmeric

2 tbsp Thai red curry paste (store-bought)

2 tsp soy sauce or tamari sauce

Juice of 1 lime

1 can coconut milk

1 litre vegetable broth

Cubed firm tofu

Vegetables of your choice – diced

2 tsp sugar

1tsp salt

2 tsp oil

1 packet rice noodles


Add oil to a pan and fry chopped onions till translucent.

Make a paste of ginger, garlic, curry powder, coriander powder, turmeric, red chillies, and lemon zest. Add this paste to onions and sauté.

Add red curry paste and sauté.

Add coconut milk and boil it to a simmer.

Add vegetable broth, soy sauce, lime juice, salt, and sugar, and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

Boil rice noodles as per package instructions.

Stir in the vegetables, tofu cubes, and simmer for another 2 minutes.

Serve with noodles at the bottom of the bowl and add the soup.

Finish off with crushed roasted peanuts, bean sprouts, spring onion, and a lime wedge.

Recipe by Vegan Lass.

Veggie lentil quesadilla

Quesadillas are the quintessential Mexican snack. They are so simple to prepare. These are hearty, garlicky, and perfect for a quick lunch. Serve with a salad or soup for a filling meal.


Makes: 4

1 sweet potato, peeled and diced

300g butternut, peeled and diced

60ml Lifestyle Food grapeseed oil

10ml ground coriander

3ml Lifestyle Food fine sea salt

250ml cooked Lifestyle Food quinoa

1 red onion, finely chopped

5ml chopped garlic

1 red pepper, diced

15ml ground cumin

5ml Lifestyle Food cayenne pepper

400g tin of lentils, drained and rinsed

Juice of 1 lime

3ml Lifestyle Food fine sea salt

60ml Lifestyle Food roasted seeds

8 flour tortillas

500ml grated cheddar and mozzarella cheese

1 avocado, sliced


Roast the sweet potato and butternut, half the oil, coriander, and salt at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes until tender. Set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the onion, garlic, red pepper, and spices for a few minutes.

Add the lentils and cooked quinoa and stir well. Stir in the lime juice, salt, and roasted seeds. Lay one tortilla in a frying pan, sprinkle with cheese, the roast sweet potato mixture, the lentil mixture, then slices of avo, and lastly more cheese.

Cover with a second tortilla. Heat the frying pan to medium and cook until lightly browned, turn the tortilla over and brown the other side. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas and filling. Cut into wedges and serve.

Recipe by Angela Day.

Chakalaka pie

Just one way of putting a local spin on a popular pastry dish.

Serves: 4-6


15ml sunflower oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into small, ½ cm-cubes

125ml prepared beef stock

2 x 300 g cans Bull Brand Corned Meat, cut into small cubes

1 x 410g can chakalaka

65 ml chopped coriander leaves

250ml self-raising flour

A generous pinch of salt and a pinch of ground white pepper

1 large egg

125ml milk

125ml sunflower oil

Salt and pepper

1 onion extra, sliced into rings

45ml chopped parsley


First, make the filling. Heat the 15ml oil in a large frying pan and add the chopped onion.

Lightly fry until soft and golden.

Meanwhile, place the potato cubes in a small saucepan and add the stock. Bring to a boil and cook until just tender. Drain the potatoes and pat dry. Add to the onion and continue to cook until the potato is tender.

Add the Bull Brand Corned Meat, the chakalaka, and coriander leaves and stir lightly.

Transfer mixture to an oven-proof pie dish.

Now make the batter: place the self-raising flour, parsley, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Beat together the egg, milk, and 125ml oil and slowly add to the flour. Whisk until smooth.

Pour the batter over the meat mixture, spread it out to cover the meat, and arrange a few onion rings on the top of the batter.

Bake the pie in a preheated oven at 190°C for 40 to 45 minutes or until the batter is cooked through and golden brown.

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