Vegetable Frizzle: A meatless meal for Lent

By Lucia Ferrara

The perfect meatless meal for Lent, Vegetable Frizzle, is my take on Asian-style stir-fried vegetables.

Besides being delicious, this family pleasing dish is super adaptable. You don’t have to use just the vegetables I list below. Use whatever you like or whatever you have on hand. At one time or another, I have used for this dish Bok choy, carrots, green beans, green or purple cabbage and napa cabbage. Yellow or red onions or even shallots are great additions as well.  If you want a little crunch, you can also add water chestnuts.

To add protein to this meatless dish, I add a can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas). When you want to add a meat protein, almost anything goes well in this recipe: cubes of chicken, pork or beef taste great in this mix. Shrimp is also a family favorite.

The sauce is garlicy, tangy and honey sweet with just a touch of hot chili spiciness. If you like more heat, you can add more chili paste. My colleague here at the Renewal Center suggests slicing fresh jalapeño or serrano chilis into the vegetable mixture.

Any rice you like works with this dish: jasmine, long grain, short grain basmati or instant rice.

Whatever combination of rice, veggies and protein you serve up, you can count on your dinner guests of licking their plates clean of Vegetable Frizzle.

Honey Garlic Sauce:

  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ tsp grated fresh ginger
  • ½ tsp roasted red chili paste
  • 1 tsp cornstarch

Chop for frying:

  • 2-4 cups broccoli
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

Prepare enough rice to serve 4-6 people. Two cups of uncooked rice should be enough. Follow cooking instructions on the package.

Cooking as a spiritual practice

A Meal Pray for Lent*

Lord our God,

Bless our table, our food and wine,

As well as all of us

Who sit about this table.

Come, Gracious Lord,

And join us at this feast

As we prepare to join your son, Jesus

By prayerfully entering these 40 days of Lent.

As this Lenten roadway causes us to reflect

Upon the death of our Lord,

May we also remember his victory

In his resurrection from the dead.

May this meal

Be a joyful foretaste

Of the rebirth and new life that is the promise

Of the feast of the Resurrection.

*This prayer is adapted from Prayers for the Domestic Church by Fr. Edward Hays.

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[Lucia Ferrara, the Director of Hospitality at Precious Blood Renewal Center. Share your thoughts with Lucia or ask her questions using the form below or by sending an email to]

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