Explore the world through new flavors and help fight world hunger.

By: Jodie Shield, RDN

Got any fasting plans for Lent? Check out CRS Rice Bowl and discover how what you give up for Lent can change lives. You and your family can transform your meatless Friday meals into an international dining experience and fight world hunger. Once again, CRS is offering five simple, easy-to-prepare, meatless recipes from countries around the globe and inviting everyone to donate the savings from not eating meat – about $3 per person per meal – to help feed our brothers and sisters in need around the world. Each global kitchen recipe features an inspiring cultural story of a person from the country where the recipe originated, along with how-to tips from CRS volunteer families who prepared the recipes.  There’s also a free app available for you to quickly download the recipes, track your meatless meal savings, read daily reflections, and much more.

For the past four years, I have been analyzing the recipes for CRS Rice Bowl and this year’s recipe lineup offers a tasty eating adventure. Each Friday during the 40 days of Lent, I will be sharing one the Global Kitchen recipes from Colombia, Laos, Rwanda, Honduras, and Madagascar. And if you purchase my app Time To Eat Healthy, I will be donating all of the profits made during Lent to CRS Rice Bowl. This week’s Friday menu comes from Honduras.

Bean Soup with Chayote Squash and Rice

4 – 6 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 60 minutes


1 onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons fair trade olive oil

3 (15-unce)z cans red beans, drained

2 cups water

1 vegetable bouillon cube

1 yellow chili, seeded and minced

1 jalapeño, seeded and minced

1 (15-unce) can diced tomatoes with liquid

Juice of 1 lime

2 chayote squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes (may substitute yellow squash or zucchini)

Fresh cilantro

4 cups cooked white rice


Sauté onion, bell pepper and garlic in oil until translucent. Add beans, water and bouillon, and heat thoroughly. Add yellow chili, jalapeño, tomatoes, lime juice and chayote, and simmer on low for about an hour. Add cilantro and serve over rice.

Nutritional Information per serving: 388 calories, 14 grams protein, 71 grams carbohydrate,  5 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 14 grams fiber, 396 milligrams sodium

Need another international meatless meal? Check out this video for Fattet Laban from Lebanon!

Note: CRS (Catholic Relief Services) is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in 91 countries, without regard to race, religion, or nationality.

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About Author


Jodie Shield, M.Ed., R.D., L.D.N.
Jodie Shield has been a consultant and spokesperson in the field of nutrition for over two decades. A former national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (1989-1995), she has worked extensively with the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center and taught nutrition and medical dietetics at the University of Illinois. Currently she is a complemental faculty member of the College of Health Sciences in the Department of Clinical Nutrition at Rush University in Chicago.

(3) Readers Comments

  1. Looks delicious! Any pepper recommendations for those who aren’t big fans of spicy and want to swap out the jalapeno?

    • Jodie

      It is delicious! Not a jalapeño fan? I would suggest leaving it out and doubling the sweet pepper. To kick up the heat, add a pinch of chili powder. Enjoy!

  2. This looks like a recipe I would love to try!

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