Honestly, I abstain from meat for days at a time without even realizing it — partially because I love vegetables and grains, but also because meat-free eating can still be hearty (not to mention inexpensive). But tell me I can't have meat for, say, a handful of Fridays during Lent, and suddenly I'm a carnivore.

As observers of Lent know full well, it's really hard to avoid juicy chicken or burgers. But it helps to remind myself of all those meatless mains I crave outside of Lenten restrictions. I don't have to eat the soggy fish sticks of my childhood nightmares; I can make ooey-gooey gratin, spicy salads, or filling frittatas. If you, too, are looking for filling meat-free meals, check out these 17 dishes. Don't worry — the steak can wait.

For temporary pescatarians

1. Black sea bass with vegetables en papillote

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

2. Roasted black cod in ginger cilantro broth

(Mark Weinberg/Courtesy Food52)

3. Kimchi, shrimp, and soba salad

(Bobbi Lin/Courtesy Food52)

4. White bean and tuna salad with hard boiled eggs and dukkah

(Linda Xiao/Courtesy Food52)

5. Green curry with shrimp and baby bok choy

(Rocky Luten/Courtesy Food52)

6. Zuni's pasta with preserved tuna

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

For temporary vegetarians

7. Cavatappi with sun-dried tomatoes, brie, and arugula

(Julia Gartland/Courtesy Food52)

8. Creamy goat cheese grits

(Julia Gartland/Courtesy Food52)

9. Cauliflower fennel salad with roasted lemon & shallot salsa verde

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

10. Andrew Feinberg's slow-baked broccoli frittata

(James Ransom/Courtesy Food52)

11. Alex Raij's mushroom confit (setas confitadas)

(Linda Xiao/Courtesy Food52)

12. Jean-Georges' ginger fried rice

(Linda Xiao/Courtesy Food52)

13. Cabbage e pepe

(Julia Gartland/Courtesy Food52)

14. Spiced chickpeas with wilted kale and roasted carrots

(Julia Gartland/Courtesy Food52)

15. Linguine with chickpeas

(Bobbi Lin/Courtesy Food52)

16. Silken comfort tofu

(Bobbi Lin/Courtesy Food52)

17. White potato and cheddar gratin

(Rocky Luten/Courtesy Food52)

This story was originally published on Food52.com: 17 must-make meatless mains for dinner tonight.