This weekend is a time to get together with your family. Whether you're religious or not, I love Good Friday and Easter simply for the fact that I get to have a nice, long weekend with my brother and parents and we get to just spend time together, catching up over delicious meals.

Since Good Friday is a time to avoid meat, I shared some yummy meatless recipes (all featuring fish!) but now I'm looking at other options as well. Although nobody in my family is a strict vegetarian, I think it's still nice to have veggie-filled plates on occasion. From salsa and vegetable stuffed peppers to an amazing Good Friday scramble and some healthy (and meatless!) papas rellenas (just don't yell at me for changing your recipe, abuela), there's great vegetarian recipes that anyone will love.


Read more ¿Qué más? 3 delicious meatless Good Friday recipes.

Vegetarian Papas Rellenas (recipe courtesy of Bake Me Away)

Ingredients (Dough):
5 pounds (3 large – 4 medium) sweet potatoes (I had 1 large, 1 ginormous)
½ cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Lots of pepper
optional: I added about 1 teaspoon chipotle powder

Ingredients (Filling):
olive oil
1 cup diced onion (any color – I used yellow)
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ chili pepper, minced (Aji recommended – I used Fresno)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
1 cup cremini mushrooms, small dice
1 handful torn kale pieces
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup raisins, soaked in 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes, then minced (I omitted these, but will try next time)
1 cup cooked quinoa
¼ c. white wine, water or stock for deglazing (I forgot to do this!)
Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients (Final prep):
1 – 2 large egg(s), beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
Dash cayenne pepper
Dash salt
1 – 2 cups panko bread crumbs
Oil for frying (enough for 2" in a heavy pan like a medium sized dutch oven)

Directions (Dough):
1. Boil unpeeled potatoes whole until tender when stuck with a fork. Let potatoes cool.
2. When potatoes are cooled, peel them and either mash them with a potato masher, fork (what I used), or force them through a potato ricer (preferred).
3. Add cornstarch, salt and pepper, and chipotle powder if using. Knead "dough" thoroughly to ensure that ingredients are well combined and uniformly distributed.  I just used a spoon for this.

Directions (Filling):
1. In a large skillet, caramelize onions in olive oil for about 5 minutes.
2. Add the garlic and chili pepper and cook.
3. Add the cumin and paprika and cook briefly (a few seconds).
4. Add the mushrooms and kale and cook until soft/wilted.
5. Add black beans and raisins (if using).
6. Deglaze the pan with white wine, water, or stock.
7. Add the quinoa and season with salt and pepper.
8. Allow filling to cool before forming "papas."

Directions (Finishing):
1. Use three small bowls (or other shallow containers) to prepare the papas.   In one, combine flour, cayenne and salt.  In the second, beat the egg(s).  Put bread crumbs in the third.
2. Flour your hands and scoop up 1/6 of the total dough to make a round pancake with your hands.  (I made 3 large and 8 small.)  Make a slight indentation in the middle for the filling.
3. Spoon a generous amount of filling into the center and then roll the potato closed, forming a smooth, potato-shaped casing around the filling.  Repeat with all dough (you should have 6 papas…or lots of little ones).
4. Heat 1 ½ – 2 inches of oil in a saucepan to about 350 – 375° F.
5. Dip each papa in the three bowls to coat: first roll in flour, then dip in egg, then roll in bread crumbs.
6. Fry the papas (in batches if necessary) about 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Flip once in the middle of frying to get both sides.   (Mine were all completely submerged.)
7. Drain on paper towel and store in a 200°F oven if frying in batches.
8. Serve with salsa criolla (or other sauce of preference) immediately.

Salsa & Vegetable Stuffed Peppers (recipe courtesy of The Empty Kitchen)

4 medium red peppers
1 cup bottled salsa, divided
2 cups zucchini, chopped
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded Cheddar Cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
2. Cut tops off peppers; discard tops, seeds and membranes.
3. Combine 1 cup salsa, zucchini, and beans in a medium bowl; stir well. Divide mixture evenly among peppers.
4. Sprinkle cheese evenly among peppers.
5. Put peppers in a baking dish. Add approximately 3 tbsp water to dish.
6. Bake peppers for approximately 45 minutes, or until cooked through and cheese is melted. Peppers should be soft but not mushy.

Good Friday Scramble (recipe courtesy of Food and Spice)

green onions
 jalapeno peppers
and cayenne powder

Just fry up sliced white mushrooms in butter at medium-high heat until the moisture is gone and they're nice and brown. Turn down the heat, add some more butter to replace the butter absorbed by the mushrooms, and add lots of finely chopped up jalapeno peppers, the white parts of the green onions, and celery to give the scramble some crunch. While this is frying, break some eggs in a bowl and add plenty of yogurt or milk, cayenne powder, the green parts of the onion, and whisk the mixture until well combined. After a few minutes, add the egg mixture to the pan and stir-fry until the eggs are cooked. Sprinkle on some sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, toast and butter some slices of bread, and you've got a fantastic breakfast feast.

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What is your favorite vegetarian meal to make for Good Friday or Easter this weekend?

Images via Bake Me Aways, The Empty Kitchen, Food and Spice

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