Our household vegetarian dishes become a major part of our menu mostly only for Cuaresma.
Lent or Cuaresma is a religious observance in our calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends about six weeks later on Easter Sunday. For these 40 days, there is to be no red meat in our cooking. There are families that prefer to have all 6 weeks meat free and some just take out the reds. For my household, we tend to do both.
Cuaresma has always been a diligent part of our family. Especially since this observance falls on the fiestas in Mexico where my parents are from. When I was young I remember traveling to Mexico with my mom and brother for these fiestas and let me tell you one thing they were amazing. All the local people had arrangements made to last them for three days consecutively. Everyone would attend mass during the early hours of the morning and then go home to get ready to attend the fiesta at night time with live music, tons of food stalls, big fireworks show and rides just like a carnival. Here on the other hand if that year we didn’t go to Mexico my father made sure that we gave up something for those six weeks. “Just as an offering” he would say. He too participated and since he used to drink alcohol some years back he would always stop drinking beer for those 40 days. My mother would give up red meat completely for those days as well. Mom and dad would always tell us that it didn’t matter what we gave up for those 40 days as long as we gave up something. It could be from food to watching TV. Regardless of what we gave up we always made sure that on the first day of Cuaresma we had Capirotada ready. As soon as Ash Wednesday got here out entire kitchen menu changed.
NO RED MEAT!
So it’s safe to say that here I’ll share with you our veggie dishes. Even though we are allowed to eat fish and chicken for these six weeks, we choose to leave those out of our menu from time to time.