In the still chilly months, frozen fields mean that fresh produce is very limited. Russian households make a batch of machanka, or mushroom soup, to fill them up and keep them warm on Friday evenings. Stews and soups based on root vegetables and barley are another hearty and popular choice.

Syria and Lebanon

In this more Orthodox part of the world, there are more eating restrictions than in the West during Lent. With oils off the menu, Mujaddara, a lentil and rice pilaf with a cumin seasoning, is a popular dish for families during Lent. On weekends, caramelized onions will be added for extra flavor.


Some Italian families opt for a side salad to accompany a plate of delicious cannellini beans. The meal will have been slow-cooked in a clay pot on top of a wood fire, providing a warm meal cooked with love and patience.


Made of honey and sesame, the pasteli is a popular healthy choice during times of fasting that also symbolizes fertility. This ancient sweet treat of the Greeks is a bit of a precursor to the modern-day cereal bar.


Although Lent is a time of abstinence, there's still room for a bit of dessert in Mexico. Capirotada is served at this time of year and the ingredients of this bread pudding are rich in religious symbolism. The bread represents the Body of Christ, the cinnamon sticks the wood of the cross, the cloves are the nails, and the syrup is the Blood of Christ.

United Kingdom

Originating from Wales, the traditional Welsh rarebit is a filling comfort food popular for many families. This dish of melted cheese on toast with a dash of Worcestershire sauce will add a little zing to your Friday evenings.