Posted by: mmstanger | February 22, 2010

Menu Mondays: Observing Lenten Embertide

Menu Plan MondayAs part of my Lenten Promises to Pray, Fast and Give, I have been eliminating blogging and recreational internet time from my days until all my other roles and tasks have been attended to. Well, needless to say if you’ve witnessed my lack of posts over the past week, you might have guessed correctly that after focused time with the kids, regular chores, de-cluttering and organization missions, paid employment, etc., there’s been little time for indulging in internet pursuits! However, yesterday, I gave myself a “pass”. Mike was asleep with a migraine and congestion and the kids wanted to play on their new bunks, so, since I had to sit in their room to ensure safety anyway, and since somehow our internet was working in there unplugged, I decided it was okay to do a little research and surfing…

As such, I came upon the idea of Ember Days, which is quite nicely explained at Fish Eaters as well as at Family Feast and Feria , with an additional helpful post at Wildflowers and Marbles.  And, since neither our menu nor Lenten activities had crystallized in my mind yet for the coming week, Ember days took hold of both.

So, here’s the plan:

Lenten Embertide focuses on the rebirth of nature and the gift of light. So, our Power Food of the week will be a repeated one: eggs! Not only can eggs be credited as a great source of protein, a brain booster and an anti-inflammatory food as detailed at World’s Healthiest Foods, but they are also a traditional symbol of new life, a great alternate protein source for days of abstinence and fasting and – bonus – a favorite of my kiddos. So, bring on the Egg Power Foods Labs!

And, since this week has three special days in it, I am foregoing my decision of last week to return to Dinner Choices based upon Theme Nights, and planning meals for each day by the day – breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner included!

Monday’s breakfast will be leftovers from the fridge, ham and eggs for Mike, pancakes and toppings or oatmeal for the kids and me.

– Mike’s Lunch: leftover Thai curry from our anniversary dinner out, spruced up with pineapples, tomatoes and spinach leftovers from the fridge, with a side of rice and an apple.

– Home Lunch: egg and spinach dish for Power Foods Lab fun.

– Snacks and Treats: cupboard and fridge rummage or homemade muffins if we are up to it.

– Dinner: roasted squash, potatoes & vegetables with ham or turkey slices for the carnivores and leftover beans or tofu for me.

Tuesday we need a quick breakfast before Luke’s OT, so it will be overnight oatmeal with toppings. And, for snack afterward, a peanut butter or cheese roll up picnic in the car after grocery shopping on the way home.

– Mike’s Lunch: ham –cheese-corn-potato salad and pineapples

– Home Lunch: pasta & chickpeas with broccoli

– Dinner: spinach baked omelet and biscuits – and easy meal for a night I work

Wednesday, an Ember Day, is dedicated to Mary and is a day of reflection and spiritual orientation. It is also a day of fasting and partial abstinence, meaning there should be only one full meal a day, which can include meat. Plus, at Fish Eaters there is a suggestion to observe the Lenten Embertide with children by having them take note of the day’s weather in order to predict the weather of the following month. So, breakfast will be living room windowside, allowing us to observe the weather and our feathered friends at the birdfeeder. So, I think homemade miniature blueberry pancakes, as a finger food, will do the trick. Blueberry in honor of Our Lady’s traditional color – blue.

– Mike’s Lunch: leftover pasta, tuna & vegetable salad and a piece of fruit

– Home Lunch: yogurt & toppings before or after the traditional Latin Mass I hope to get us to at our local parish.

– Snacks and Treats: Only healthy ones like raisins and cashew nuts in honor of trying to fast, while still considering the kids are kids and I am pregnant!

– Dinner: tomato or bean soup and rosemary (in honor of Our Lady) quick bread, cheese and edamame – an easy meal for a night I work.

Thursday’s breakfast will be overnight oatmeal and toppings again.

– Mike’s Lunch: turkey & tomato sandwich, carrot sticks and hummus

– Home Lunch: build-your-own sandwiches (bread, hummus. turkey, ham, peanut butter, vegetables, etc.)

– Snacks and Treats: leftover biscuits and spreads, yogurt, nuts, raisins, etc.

– Dinner: broccoli, rice and leftover meats (not too painful a dinner for Mike to get the kids to eat while I work)

Friday, is an Ember Day, dedicated to penance and is a day of fasting and full abstinence. Since works of charity and mercy, almsgiving and praying for souls in purgatory are traditions of Ember days, too, I hope to make muffins with the kids in the morning, saying a prayer for our deceased relatives and friends before we eat them and, then, heading off to share some with G.G. at her nursing home before Luke’s OT appointment. An ambitious plan – and one that might go astray, but something worth shooting for.

– Mike’s Lunch: whatever he chooses on his business trip

– Home Lunch: actually, in the car one, as the kids are sure to be hungry before we get home from OT– peanut butter sandwiches

– Snacks and treats – ditto Wednesday’s

– Dinner: ravioli and sauce with steamed vegetables

Saturday, an Ember Day, is dedicated to thanking God for benefits and graces received in the past quarter year and is a day of fasting and partial abstinence. Also, traditionally, it is a day to pray for an increase in vocations. So, we will have a light breakfast of fruit-spread tortillas as we say a prayer for priests and thank God for our blessings.

– Mike’s lunch: whatever he chooses on his business trip

– Home Lunch: yogurt & toppings

– Snacks and Treats: ditto Wednesday’s, although, if we find time, I would like us to bake something to thank our parish priests for their service in honor of their choice of vocation, so we may nibble a bit on whatever it is

– Dinner: Breakfast for Dinner Night: Hidden-Fruit Waffles with toppings

Sunday’s breakfast will likely be pancakes, made with the nutrition boost of whatever leftover fruit or starchy vegetable we have in the fridge, a favorite of the kids.

– Home Lunch: Leftovers

– Dinner: Build Your Own Taco Bite Night with beans, chips, sauce, vegetables, cheese etc. – an easy meal to get on the table fast whenever Daddy gets in from his flight

As a side note, Ember Days, traditionally, became particular occasions of prayer by and for pregnant mothers. So, with many meal-time graces this week, we will say an extra prayer for the unborn babies we spiritually adopted at church, as well as for Baby Jack, due to grace our family in July. And, at lunchtime storytime, we will read from our growing collection of pro-life preschooler books.

For other’s menu plans, please enjoy the links at I’m an Organizing Junkie.  And, as always, please note that clicking on the categories below this post will not necessarily bring you to related psots in this blog.  However, clicking on the ones in the right sidebar will.

Also, if you have great Theme Night ideas, egg recipes, or ideas for observing Ember Days – especially with preschoolers – please leave me a comment!

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