The Nine Days previous are days of mourning - no new clothes, no swimming, no parties, no laundry.
No meat except for Shabbat. No wine except for Shabbat (wine=grape products. Beer, whiskey, mead - all fine.)
For carnivores, it's a challenge. Because making meals with meat is easy. With dairy, you need to be creative. Also - I want meals with a minimum of fuss and I want to control fat and salt.
Plus this past week, I had an extra restriction that had NOTHING to do with the holiday and everything to do with poor planning the week before - I had rice three of four days in a row. So, we really didn't want any rice dishes. Which is a problem since a lot of vegetarian dishes depend on rice.
It started Sunday night, so the dinners started Monday night:
1. Refried bean tacos with onions, tomatoes, cheese and sour cream. I made the beans spicy and the tomatoes were really good, so no salsa.
2. Spinach baked with eggs and feta cheese, plus bread and butter.
3. Falafel, hummous, babaganoush, Turkish salad, techina, tabouleh, Israeli salad, pita. I bought all of it, of course, although the tabouleh was a mix. I got the falefel fresh from a local pizza place.
4. Normal Thursday night meal: pan-grilled trout, steamed broccoli and baked sweet potato rounds (I dusted them with ginger this time.)
5. Shabbat dinner - New World Casserole (layers of thinly sliced onions, potatoes and tomatoes, with skinless bone-in chicken thighs.) and green beans.
6. Lunch with friends.
7. Wednesday redux
8. Sarah's Pasta (pasta spirals with canned salmon, peas and garlic.)
We were never bored and I didn't and don't miss meat.