This country tart is not only tasty, it was shared by a good friend. Lois Rogers photo
This country tart is not only tasty, it was shared by a good friend. Lois Rogers photo
The Holy Season of Lent is a time when folks may be looking for tasty, easy-to-prepare meatless meals. Over the years, The Monitor’s freelance writer Lois Rogers has created a library of meals in her Keeping the Feast column. Check out all of her recipes at:!

It soon emerged as a trend in my house.

As soon as the stay-at-home orders set in, I noticed that friends were still coming to call, not in person but on the telephone. They peppered this very peculiar Lent with questions about what was on the dinner menu here. In return, they’d fill me in on the dinners they were preparing in their own homes.

Now, some may consider these conversations a poor substitute for the up-close and personal Lenten parish fellowship of simple suppers, pizza parties and fish fries.

But those phone calls have brightened the long days of social distancing around here. We’ve all added insights about how to make the most of the food that often lingers long on our pantry shelves or in the freezer.

One friend, for instance, never much interested in chili, expressed her delight in developing a pleasing concoction by mixing an eclectic combination of beans she had on hand with ground turkey and crushed tomatoes (also on hand).

Another shared her tips for enhancing thin slices of chicken filet (something I have failed to master) by baking them instead of sautéing them and using panko breadcrumbs to improve the texture and taste.

We all also discovered we were eating as much probiotic yogurt as we could to support our immunity and drinking herbal tea – mainly chamomile – with honey and lemon to soothe our nerves at night.

Along the way, we exchanged recipes and managed to ease our coronavirus fears and frustrations if only for a while.

So, amid the loss of so much in-person fellowship this Lent, there is a poignant joy in maintaining the connections that we have held dear for decades by breaking bread virtually and in spirit.

My friend Juta Nolan, who follows Keeping the Feast, has come up with wonderful ideas for dishes over the years. She contributed the idea for the Country Tart with tomatoes, ricotta and thyme that appears below. It is surprisingly easy to make, tasty and economical. I hope you will give it a try with your family – and call a friend to share the recipe. 


Grace before meals

Father of us all,

This meal is a sign of Your love for us:

Bless us and bless our food,

And help us to give you glory each day

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Source: Catholic Online