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2/3/2013 11:21:00 AM
Rice bowl tradition focuses on prayer, fasting, giving
Catholic Relief Services photo
CRS volunteer Ana Correia prepares food in East Timor.
Catholic Relief Services photo
CRS volunteer Ana Correia prepares food in East Timor.
Meatless recipes
CRS shares a few simple, meatless recipes from regions that receive assistance through the Rice Bowl program.

Recipe From Burkina Faso: Bean Cakes
1 can black-eyed peas, drained
1 small onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
1 egg, whisked
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 cup flour
¼ cup oil
2 cups cooked rice
Place black-eyed peas in a blender with the onion, carrots, and egg. Blend to a smooth paste and add salt and pepper. If bean mixture has too much liquid to form balls, then add a ¼ cup of flour to thicken. Shape mixture into 2 inch balls and roll in flour. Pat into flat discs and fry in vegetable oil until browned (about 5-7 minutes), turning occasionally. Serve with rice.
This recipe serves 4 people.

Recipe from Lesotho: Pap with Spicy Vegetables
2 ½ cups cornmeal
4 cups water
Boil water and then stir in cornmeal. Simmer, stirring often to prevent burning, until mixture is thick and fluffy and water is absorbed. Serve with spicy vegetables.
Spicy Vegetables
3 tbsp fair trade olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 green pepper, finely diced
1 chili pepper, finely diced
2 tomatoes, finely diced
Sauté onion and peppers in pan with oil until soft. Add remaining ingredients, mix thoroughly and simmer (stirring occasionally) for 15 minutes. Serve warm over pap.
This recipe serves 4 people.

Recipe from East Timor: Batar Da’an
1 bag frozen corn
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 butternut squash, cut into small pieces
3 cups water
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp fair trade olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cooked rice
Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until tender. Add water and squash, and increase heat until water is simmering. Add corn and kidney beans, reduce to medium heat, and cook (stirring occasionally) until squash is tender (15-20 minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with rice.
This recipe serves 4 people.
Latin America and the Caribbean
Recipe From the Dominican Republic: Black Bean Soup
3 cans black beans, drained
2 tbsp fair trade olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1 green or red bell pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup celery, chopped
3 cups water
2 tsp oregano
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cooked rice
Sauté onions, peppers, garlic and celery in oil until soft. Stir in oregano and bay leaves and cook for 1 minute. Add water and drained beans and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally. When soup begins to thicken, remove from heat, remove bay leaves and stir in salt and pepper to taste. Using a potato masher or the back of a spoon, mash some of the beans to thicken the soup a bit. Adjust seasoning and serve with rice.
This recipe serves 4 people.

Middle East
Recipe From Pakistan: Mixed Vegetable Tihari
½ cup oil
2 onions, chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp turmeric
3 whole cloves
3 potatoes, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup peas
1 cup green beans, chopped
4 green chilies, whole
2 ½ cups white rice
4 cups water
¼ cup lemon juice
Salt to taste
Sauté onion in oil until crisp and golden brown. Add ginger, chili powder, turmeric, cloves, and potatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add carrots, peas, green beans, and whole green chilies and cook for 1 minute. Add water and bring it to boil. Add lemon juice and rice and mix well. Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes, until water is absorbed. Remove chilies. Serve hot.
This recipe serves 4 people.

The small cardboard “bowls” that have become, for many, a traditional way of observing Lent arrived in parish communities recently. The tradition embraces Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and giving.

Every year, millions of Catholics in the United States participate in Operation Rice Bowl. Catholic parishes and schools from more than 12,000 communities use symbolic rice bowls as the focal point for their prayer and fasting. Participants make the small sacrifice of preparing simple, meatless recipes each week and putting the money they would have spent on a big meal into the containers. Those donations support CRS' mission to fight global hunger and poverty.

Twenty-five percent of proceeds are channeled back into the diocese where they were collected. Last year, money was distributed to Catholic charities and organizations all over the west coast of Oregon.  The remainder of the money helps fund CRS’s global mission to alleviate suffering and promote human development all over the world.

At St. Alexander Church in Cornelius, Nela Kale sends a bowl home with each child enrolled in parish religious education classes.

“We try to make [almsgiving] very hands-on for the kids,” said Kale, director of religious education. “They like to shake the bowls and hear the coins inside.”

Handling the Operation Rice Bowl in this way provides a great lesson in philanthropy for the children, Kale said, but leaving children in charge isn’t without its quirks. Last year the parish received a few bowls stuffed with rice rather than coins by literal-minded youngsters.

But, as they say, it’s the thought that counts, and every little bit of goodwill helps. According to Joe Hastings, an organizer with the CRS western region office, 80 parishes in the archdiocese ordered between 250-700 bowls to be distributed in the pews this year. All of those small donations add up to more than $8 million each year used to assist poverty alleviation projects.

During each of the weeks of Lent this year, Catholic Relief Services will highlight one country and one U.S. diocese with special reflections and stories. To receive the weekly reflections, register online at crsricebowl.org.


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