Meatless meals are a Lenten standard

Instead of Friday fish fries, try breakfast dishes or cuisines that offer healthy alternatives to meat

    As Lent continues, you may be looking for alternatives to the traditional Friday fish fry.
    There are numberous meatless dishes, everything from the predictable macaroni and cheese, eggs and tuna casseroles to breakfast entrees such as pancakes and waffles.
    Plenty of cuisines include dishes ideal for Lenten dinners. Many Italian foods can be adapted to eliminate meat, for example, and Asian dishes often don’t include meat. There are also numerous Mexican foods that use beans instead of meat.
    Seafood is a popular choice. Try a seafood lasagna, vegetable-laden minestrone soup or cheese-stuffed tortellini.
    Try crepes, filling them with jelly or jam.
    While many people have thought about trying a vegetarian lifestyle, Lent is an ideal time to try a few meatless dishes. Pasta dishes, vegetable pizza, cheese soup and baked potatoes with a variety of toppings are just a few ideas.
    But if traditional dishes are what you’re after, sandwiches are a quick meal option, perhaps the ever-popular peanut butter and jelly. There’s the standard grilled cheese sandwich accompanied by tomato soup, or a panini or wrap filled with veggies.
    Meatless dishes can be more healthy, nutritious and budget-friendly than those containing meats while still providing tasty, timely foods for the entire family to enjoy.
    Following are some meatless recipes from www.damndelicious.net.

 

damndelicious.net

Spinach Tomato Tortellini Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
4 cups chicken broth
1 14.5-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1 9-ounce package refrigerated three cheese tortellini
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 cup water
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cups baby spinach, chopped
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

    Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook two to three minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent.
    Whisk in chicken broth, diced tomatoes, tortellini, basil, oregano, bay leaf and water, then season with salt and pepper.
    Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer five to six minutes, until tortellini is cooked through. Stir in spinach and cook about two minutes, until it begins to wilt.
    Garnish with Parmesan and serve immediately.
    Makes four servings.

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

1 cup quinoa
1 10-ounce can mild enchilada sauce
1 4.5-ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
1/2 cup frozen, canned or roasted corn kernels
1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
1 Roma tomato, diced

    In a large saucepan with two cups water, cook quinoa according to package instructions. Set aside.
    In a large bowl, combine quinoa, enchilada sauce, green chiles, corn, black beans, cilantro, cumin and chili powder. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.
    Spread mixture in an eight-inch square or two-quart baking dish that’s been coated with cooking spray. Top with remaining cheeses. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 15 minutes, until bubbly and cheeses have melted.
    Serve immediately, garnished with avocado and tomato, if desired.
    Makes six servings.

 

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo

12 ounces linguine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

    In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain well.
    Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook two to three minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent. Stir in milk, heavy cream, goat cheese and Parmesan and cook one to two minutes, until cheeses have melted.
    Add red peppers, then puree with an immersion blender. Stir in pasta and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
    Serve immediately, garnished with additional Parmesan, if desired.
    Makes four servings.

 

Easy Burrito Bowls

1 cup uncooked rice
1 cup salsa
3 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
1 15.25-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
1 15-ounce black beans, drained and rinsed
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
For chipolte cream sauce:
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon chipotle paste
1 clove garlic, pressed
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon salt

    To make sauce, whisk together sour cream, chipotle paste, garlic, lime juice and salt. Set aside.
    In a large saucepan with 1-1/2 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions. Let cool, then stir in salsa.
    Divide rice mixture into serving bowls and top with lettuce, corn, black beans, tomatoes, avocado and cilantro. Serve immediately, drizzled with chipotle cream sauce.
    Makes six servings.
    You may substitute two tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce for chipotle paste.

 

One Pot Zucchini Mushroom Pasta

1 pound spaghetti
1 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 zucchini, thinly sliced and quartered
2/3 cup peas
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 sprigs thyme
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup heavy cream

    In a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium high heat, combine spaghetti, mushrooms, zucchini, peas, garlic, thyme and 4-1/2 cups water. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer eight to 10 minutes, uncovered, until pasta is cooked through and liquid has reduced. Stir in Parmesan and heavy cream.
Serve immediately.
    Makes six servings.

 

Slow Cooker Potato and Corn Chowder

24 ounces red potato, diced
1 16-ounce package frozen corn
3 tablespoons flour
6 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream

    Place potatoes and corn into a six-quart slow cooker. Stir in flour and gently toss to combine. Stir in chicken stock, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
    Cover and cook on low heat for seven to eight hours or on high heat for three to four hours. Stir in butter and heavy cream.
    Serve immediately.
    Makes eight servings.

 

Easy Lo Mein

8 ounces lo mein egg noodles
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 carrot, julienned
1/2 cup snow peas
3 cups baby spinach
For sauce:
2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha

    In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, ginger and Sriracha.Set aside.
    In a large pot of boiling water, cook noodles according to package instructions.Drain well.
    Heat olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add garlic, mushrooms, bell peppers and carrots. Cook three to four minutes, stirring frequently, until tender. Stir in snow peas and spinach and cook two to three minutes, until spinach has wilted.
    Stir in egg noodles and soy sauce mixture, and gently toss to combine.
    Serve immediately.
    Makes four servings.

 

Cheesy Enchilada Rice Skillet

1 cup uncooked rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 cup canned corn kernels, drained
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup mild enchilada sauce
1/2 cup mild green enchilada sauce
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon oregano
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

    In a large saucepan with 1-1 /2 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions. Set aside.
    Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion and bell pepper and cook two to three minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent.
    Stir in rice, corn, black beans, enchilada sauces, chili powder, cumin and oregano and cook two to three minutes, until combined and heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
    Remove from heat and top with cheese. Cover about two minutes, until cheese is melted. Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro.
    Makes four servings.

 

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