Meatless Monday: Vegetarians can participate in Mardi Gras indulgence

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By: Danielle Waldron
dwaldron@flavor574.com

Mark H. Anbinder/Flickr

Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is the last big shebang before the Lent season — rich foods play a central role in the celebrations. 

The holiday and some of the traditions that still stand date back to springtime celebrations thousands of years ago, including early Roman festivals, the History Channel reports.

Rather than observe every holiday individually when Christianity arrived in Rome, all of the traditions and celebrations were observed and melded, resulting in the boisterous and indulgent celebration of Mardi Gras. 

Historically, the purpose of the holiday is to use the remaining foods that won’t be consumed during Lent, such as meat, eggs, milk and cheese, according to History Channel. 

Thus, finding vegetarian or vegan-friendly foods during Lent isn’t tricky, but might prove more challenging on Mardi Gras.

Celebratory spreads include foods straight from the Bayou – gumbo, jambalaya and crawfish, Southern Living reports – but nary a vegetarian option beyond pastries like king cake or beignets. 

Though it isn’t the “traditional” thing to do, a lot of foods can be prepared to suit vegetarians who want to take part on Fat Tuesday: 

After the winter blast ripped through northern Indiana on Valentine’s Day, it’s a great time to kick back and warm up with a taste of the Big Easy. If you go out to eat, be sure to ask the staff about the ingredients in any traditional foods if you have special dietary needs. There are a handful of places to go out and celebrate with food and live music in Michiana. 

How are you celebrating Mardi Gras this year? 

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