It has been a practice among Roman Catholics to abstain from eating meat during lent. Some of them even strictly follow a week-long fasting as a sign of respect, repentance, and reflection during the Holy Week. Since Filipinos are known to have a big appetite, eating cannot be fully removed from some people’s daily routine.

Fish and vegetable dishes are commonly served during this time of the year and we have here few suggestions of easy-to-make meatless meals that will not violate our tradition during the Semana Santa. These are healthy and sumptuous meals you can enjoy during this season:


1. Ginataang Tilapia

This viand is one of the favorites of every Filipino, mainly because tilapia and coconut milk is a match-made in heaven. Best to be eaten with freshly cooked rice, and you are in for a delicious meal. It is easy to prepare and cook – ideal for a heavy lunch or dinner.


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 1-inch knob ginger, sliced
  • Bokchoi (pechay)
  • 3 to 4 pieces tilapia
  • 1 400-ml can coconut milk (gata)
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (patis)
  • 2 to 3 pieces finger chilies (siling pangsigang), Optional
  • 2 to 3 pieces red chilies
  • salt, to taste

Cooking Procedure:

  • Heat oil in a medium-sized pan and saute garlic, onion and ginger.
  • Add the tilapia and coconut milk. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add fish sauce and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Let is simmer again for 10 minutes.
  • Add chillies before serving.