Meatless Friday: Beyond PB&J and Tuna Salad


Meatless Fridays at

It keeps hot foods hot and cold foods cold?  HOW DOES IT KNOW?

It keeps hot foods hot and cold foods cold? HOW DOES IT KNOW?

The first year my family and I aimed to do a totally meatless Lent, I lost count of how many people asked us, “But what are you going to do about lunch?”  See, I’m allergic to peanuts, to the point where people can’t even eat them around me.  Alas, no peanut butter in the house.  And believe me, I’ve tried:  the kids just don’t like any other nut butters with which we could substitute. Neither do they like tuna.  And I can’t say I blame them.  So while other moms are slapping together the tuna salad and the PB&Js, I have to get a little more creative.

Thermoses to the rescue.

Here’s a list of our favorite things to put in the Thermos during Lent (and, well, the rest of the year, truth be told):

  • Teeny Tiny Taco Topping
  • Carrot Salad
  • Mediterranean Black Bean Salad
  • Black Tie Taco Beans (put this in the slow cooker on low the night before, and you’re ready to fill your Thermoses in the morning before the bus shows up)
  • Refried bean burritos, cut into pinwheels
  • Hummus with veggies and crackers packed alongside
  • Salsa with a side of baked corn chips and shredded cheese
  • Cheese cubes with crackers, and carrot sticks
  • Spaghetti-Os (don’t judge)
  • Whole wheat cous cous with chopped raw veggies, some olive oil, lemon juice, and a favorite seasoning or two
  • Leftover ANYTHING: Make an extra big batch of dinner the night before and use the leftovers for lunches

See, it’s not so hard getting through meatless days without peanut butter!  You can do this!  Or wait–maybe you’re already doing this.  What are some peanut-free or other hypoallergenic suggestions from your family’s lunch repertoire?  

You can find all our Meatless Friday featured recipes here.

Copyright 2015 Erin McCole-Cupp. All rights reserved.
Photo copyright 2015 Erin McCole-Cupp. All rights reserved.


About Author

Erin McCole Cupp is a wife, mother, and lay Dominican who lives with her family of vertebrates somewhere out in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. She's working with Our Sunday Visitor on a book about parenting spirituality for survivors of family abuse and dysfunction. Find out more about her novels and other projects at


  1. I have a house full of peanut butter and Nutella lovers with no food allergies, so there’s plenty of that on toast, bagels, or rice cakes. Tuna has been banned from the house by my husband because of Fukushima, so, unfortunately no tuna salad. A few kids like grilled cheese. They all love chips and salsa and/or hummus. Fried egg sandwiches are a regular staple, and they all love hard-boiled eggs – if only I could remember to make them!

  2. Have a son with peanut and multiple tree nut allergies. We eat lots of sun butter and jelly, cheese sandwiches. Same son dislikes any legumes, so nothing with beans or lentils. Hard boiled eggs over salad greens, seeds. Cheese quesadillas.

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