Day 3 of 7: The Very Best Lenten Practice We’ve Ever Done


Today is Wednesday, and that means we have one week until Lent begins!

Clearly, Rhonda has discovered memes.

Clearly, Rhonda has discovered memes.

Sound the alarms, folks.

I want to tell you about the very, very best Lenten penance the Ortizes ever, ever did.  And I will tell you, because this is my blog.

Several years ago, before we had children, Jared and I gave up variety for Lent, specifically in our diet.

It was awesome.

Our menu was this:

Toast and eggs, smoothie, and/or oatmeal.

Lentils and Rice with Carmelized Onions from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything.

Rotation of the following:  Black Bean Soup, Red Beans and Rice, White Bean Soup from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Cooking, and Chickpea Soup from the same.  Beans, beans, and more beans.  Soup was served with homemade bread and peas.

That was it.

It was a great Lent.  Our menu was simple, we could cook in large quantities, freeing up time, and we were able to give alms out of the money we saved on food.  As for the requisite suffering (because it can’t be a sacrifice unless there’s, you know, a sacrifice), I assure you that I was very, very tired of our food choices by Week Six.  Especially the lentils.

You should have seen us gorging on stuffed olives, sausage, fruit, and cheese after Easter Vigil.

Word to the wise:  One must ease into Easter feasting after giving up variety.  Except those with stomachs of steel.

We’re giving up variety again this year again.  Our menu will be different, and I cannot give up meat entirely, given my health concerns, but all the same, begone variety!  I hope it’s as wonderful as it was the first time we gave it up.

I’m interested: What are you thinking of giving up for Lent?


  1. says

    This sounds wonderful! Would you mind sharing this year’s menu? I was thinking of doing something similar, but hadn’t articulated it that clearly to myself.

  2. Catholic Mutt says

    That sounds like an interesting sacrifice to try. I like that it not only frees up time if you’re making big batches, but you don’t have to think about what you’re going to make each day.

    • says

      Exactly! We’re doing something similar with our non-Lenten meals as well. We have 11 meals that everyone can eat (I’m gluten-dairy-egg-chicken-nut-peanut-soy-grapes-wine(boo)-free) and keep them on rotation. Makes grocery shopping a cinch. So with Lent, we’re going to see “how low can we go.”


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