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Veggies add variety to Lent

By By Penny Randall / staff writer
March 3, 2004
While many Christians look forward to celebrating Easter next month, some are preparing themselves by praying, fasting and abstaining from certain foods during the 40-day season of Lent.
One of the most common practices is refraining from eating meat on Fridays the day of the week that Jesus died. Instead, many people substitute a meal centered around fish.
Lent originated during the early days of the Christian church as a time to prepare for Easter.
Today, the season stretches from Ash Wednesday until Holy Week. Among many guidelines during the season are ones designating what types of food people should and should not eat.
One type of food people can always eat during the season: vegetables. Burkhart said vegetables are popular because they help you feel full on days in which you refrain from eating meat.
Too often, vegetables are an afterthought quickly steamed or boiled. But vegetables can be used in soups, salads and entrees. You can bake sweet potatoes, steam broccoli and cook carrots in a variety of ways.
For a different taste, you can even roast vegetables a dry-heat method that requires an oven, a pan, and a little oil or butter. The result: Vegetables that are crisp, yet tender and full of complex flavors.
For breakfast, try the German jelly-filled doughnuts known as "fasnacht," the fried French doughnuts called "beignets," or the Polish doughnut known as "paczki."
Some folks serve small, lightly sweet, hot cross yeast buns on Good Friday. A cross on top of the baked bun is often filled with icing.
And then there are the Friday meals centered around fish dinners that can include such dishes as fried, farm-raised catfish; baked or broiled flounder; and pan-fried speckled trout.