Meatless Fridays, Week 1

Thank to all you awesome people, we raised $5500 for the Sisters of Life this first week. I’m excited to see what we can do next week.

Welcome to Week 1 of my “Blogging for Babies, Meatless Friday Recipes”! As promised, I have three recipes for you: one fast, easy, and kid friendly; one allergen friendly; and one “a little bit fancy.” To be honest, though, all this week’s options are super easy. They had to be, as I needed to cook and photograph them all yesterday during naptime!

Before I give you the recipes, I have one exciting piece of news. Last night, a generous friend donated all the money we needed to reach our adoption fundraising goal. Which means from here on out, every dollar left in my Venmo tip jar will go to the Sisters of Life, an amazing community of religious sisters dedicated to upholding the sanctity of life and helping women facing unplanned pregnancies! Thanks to more donations that came in last night, we already have almost $800 there for them! To add to the tip jar, you can scan the Venmo code at the bottom of this page with the Venmo app on your smart phone or just use my Venmo name: @Emily-Chapman-33.

I am so excited to do this for the Sisters and the mothers they serve. Thanks for being a part of this effort with me!

Fast & Easy: Tortellini with Brown Butter, Walnuts, & Sage

Serves: 4; Prep Time: 5 minutes; Cook Time: 10 minutes

This is as fast and easy as it gets—store bought tortellini made ever so slightly fancy with a nutty brown butter sauce. If that is too fancy for your kiddos, just set aside their portion of the tortellini and top theirs with olive oil and shredded parmesan. Toby managed his “grown up” version just fine last night, although he did note, “Dis has stuff on it.”

I served this with roasted broccoli, but any roasted vegetable or even just a salad, would work just as well for a side dish.


  • Fresh or Frozen Tortellini, 20 ounces
  • Walnuts, chopped fine, .25 cup (once chopped)
  • 8 Tablespoons salted butter, divided
  • Fresh Sage, .5 ounce package (about 36 small to medium sized leaves)
  • Garlic, 2 cloves, crushed
  • Parmesan, .25 cup shredded
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper


  1. Fill a medium or large pot halfway, with water and a couple pinches of salt; bring to a boil; once boiling, add tortellini and cook according to package directions; drain; return to pot and cover to keep warm;
  2. Meanwhile, roughly chop sage;
  3. In a medium skillet, melt 2 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat; once butter is melted, add chopped walnuts and continue to cook, stirring almost constantly, until the solids have turned a golden brown and the foam has mostly settled (about 3-5 minutes); pour into a bowl and set aside;
  4. In the same medium skillet, melt remaining 6 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat; once the butter has melted, add crushed garlic cloves and chopped sage leaves; continue to cook, stirring almost constantly, until the solids have turned a golden brown and the foam has mostly settled (about 3-5 minutes); remove garlic cloves from pan and discard;
  5. To the pot of tortellini, gently stir in both brown butter sauces (one with walnuts and one with sage);
  6. Serve with freshly shredded parmesan and a touch of salt and freshly grated pepper if desired.

Allergen Friendly: Curried Carrot Soup

Serves: 6; Prep Time: 5 minutes; Cook Time: 25 minutes

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free*

This is one of my absolute favorite easy, healthy, delicious soups. It comes together crazy fast, has so much flavor, and tastes almost as good without the cream and croutons, as it does with them, making it a great allergen friendly recipe. If you’re off the gluten, though, I recommend getting your hands on some good, gluten free bread and coconut cream, because the combination of the toasted bread, cream, and curried soup is pretty amazing.

When serving this for dinner, I pair it with a hearty salad and extra bread.


  • Baby Carrots, 2 pounds
  • Onion, 1 medium
  • Chicken Broth, 5 cups (sub with vegetable broth for vegan)
  • Butter, 3 Tablespoons* (sub with olive oil for dairy free)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2 Tablespoons + more for bread
  • Curry Powder, 2 Tablespoons
  • Kosher Salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Water, 2 cups
  • Heavy Cream, .5 cup (Optional) (Sub with coconut cream for dairy free)
  • French bread (or something similar), 6 slices (Optional)
  • Cayenne Pepper (Optional)


  1. Peel and medium chop the onion;
  2. In a large pot, melt butter and oil over medium-high heat; add onion and carrots; sauté, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes;
  3. To the pot of vegetables, add chicken broth, curry powder, and salt; bring to a low boil and cook for 15-18 minutes or until carrots are soft; remove from heat;
  4. While the vegetables cook, brush olive oil onto bread; broil or toast in the oven or a toaster oven, until top is golden brown (2-4 minutes);
  5. Using a hand-held immersion blender, blend soup until smooth (alternately, working in batches, puree soup using a blender or food processor);
  6. With the stovetop on simmer, stir in 2 additional cups of water, and bring soup back to desired temperature; taste for salt and pepper, adjusting if needed;
  7. Ladle soup into individual bowls; drizzle 1-2 Tablespoons of heavy cream into each bowl; place bread in the center of the bowl, sprinkle with a pinch of cayenne pepper, and serve.

Just A Little Bit Fancy: Sriracha Salmon Cakes with Sriracha Aioli

Serves: 4-6; Prep Time: 10 minutes; Cook Time: 16 minutes

This was a last minute, “I have nothing planned for dinner so what can I throw together from scraps in the cupboard” invention that is now a Friday family favorite (we eat meatless on Fridays all year). The Sriracha in the salmon cakes adds flavor, not heat, and Toby eats them happily (sans the Sriracha aioli). I usually make only half this recipe for our family, which means the whole thing comes together, start to finish, in 15 minutes, but for feeding more than 2 people and a toddler, you should allow extra time for cooking.

I usually serve this with a green salad or, if tomatoes are in season, with a Caprese salad (fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, dressed with olive oil and salt).


Salmon Cakes

  • Boneless Canned Salmon, 24 ounces, drained
  • Eggs, 2, beaten
  • Mayonnaise, 4 Tablespoons
  • Worcestershire Sauce, 2 Tablespoons
  • Dijon Mustard, 2 Tablespoons
  • Sriracha Sauce, 1 teaspoon
  • Panko Breadcrumbs, 1 cup
  • Yellow Onion, 1 small
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil for cooking

Sriracha Aioli

  • Mayonnaise, 8 teaspoons
  • Sriracha Sauce, 2 teaspoons (adjusting to taste)
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  1. Peel and finely chop onion;
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the salmon cake (EXCEPT the olive oil), gently stirring until mixed and all salmon chunks have broken up;
  3. Divide up the salmon mixture and form into 12 patties;
  4. In a separate bowl, mix remaining mayo and Sriracha, drizzle with olive oil and stir until smooth; set aside;
  5. in a large drying pan, heat 2-3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil; when the oil is so hot a drop of water will sizzle in it, add half the salmon cakes; cook 4 minutes per side; transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm (or place in a warm oven); if the pan seems dry, add more oil to it and heat, then add remaining salmon cakes, again cooking 4 minutes per side; remove from pan and combine with other salmon cakes;
  6. Serve salmon cakes with Siracha aioli on the side.


  1. If you prefer not to fry these, you can broil them in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until they are a deep golden brown; watch carefully, though, in case they start cooking to fast. If that happens, just lower the rack in the oven a bit.
  2. Make sure you get boneless canned salmon, or you will spend half an hour picking bones out. Aldi used to carry boneless salmon, but lately, the only stuff I’ve found there has teeny bones in it. When I made this recipe to photograph this week, I got the Wild Planet canned salmon from Fresh Market (also available at Whole Foods, Giant Eagle, and other major grocery stores), and it was perfect.

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2 thoughts on “Meatless Fridays, Week 1

  1. Emily P says:

    Thanks for the recipes! In case anyone’s wondering, I make a similar carrot soup using full-fat canned coconut milk (unsweetened) instead of heavy cream, and it works wonderfully.

  2. Mindy Schriver says:

    All your recipes look delicious! I just wanted to comment about the canned salmon. I use the type with bones for my salmon cakes all the time. It’s been my understanding that you leave the bones in for added calcium. I do remove the large backbones but you don’t have to. Saves time & money! You’ll never notice they’re in there. They’re cooked soft from being canned.

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