Wives’ tales and meatless meals

This article was posted on: February 24, 2017

Have you ever heard if it rains on Easter it will rain for the next seven Sundays or to always wear new clothes on Easter Sunday? I have always loved old sayings and wives’ tales. I don’t want to be superstitious, but I still don’t walk under a ladder, step on a crack or open my umbrella inside. After all, I am a woman of faith and that is all I need. I have always wondered, however, why so many sayings pertain to Easter time and spring. I guess they are old farmers’ wives tales.

I have so many beautiful Easter memories, but unfortunately not as many happy food thoughts of the season. Long before “meatless Mondays” came in vogue, Lent posed a problem to us Midwestern meat-eating Catholics. After all, you can only eat so many grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato or potato soup. By the way, everyone knows to plant your potatoes on Good Friday … but I digress. It would be lovely if we could all afford Lobster Thermidor for Lent. However, that would not be much of a sacrifice would it? Working for the Diocese of La Crosse for a total of 15 years, raising my family Catholic and having a humble pocket bookhave forced me to get creative with meatless dishes throughout the years. I love ethnic cookbooks and experimenting with different cultures’ cuisine. Friday night has always been date night for my husband Bob and me. Mainly because we could only afford to go out for Friday night fish fry, and not prime rib Saturday. Believe me, going out every Friday is not much of a sacrifice, either!

Creating so many meatless options has come in handy. I was blessed to receive the “In My Name” Award last year from Catholic Charities in La Crosse. I have been a part of an amazing small group that started the event 10 years ago under the leadership of Archbishop Listecki, with the direction of Deacon Richard Sage and Karen Becker. The Lenten Luncheon occurs during Lent and is a soup luncheon to raise money for Catholic Charities and honor two individuals or groups. We have helped to expand the event to Wausau and Milwaukee. We have served three different soups every year, with one option that is always meatless. We are in the midst of planning and organizing the event. “Knock on wood,” I have an amazing group of friends to help me once again this year come up with some meatless options!

By Cathy Cooper, coordinator of dietary and services for the Holy Cross Diocesan Center

Photography by Monica Organ



For the sauce
Creating a roux

½ cup melted butter ½ cup flour ½ tsp pepper 1 tsp vegetable base 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning

3½ cups milk 1 cup dry white wine
Whisk together forming a creamy white sauce

½ cup Monterey Jack cheese

Set aside
filling 12 oz. flaked imitation crab 1lb. peeled deveined shrimp 1 ½ cups cooled sauce

Divide crab mixture between 10 large flour tortillas

Roll and place seam side down in a 9×13 pan

Sprinkle 1 ½ cups of Monterey Jack cheese over the top

Ladle remaining sauce over all and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes

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