I have been sharing my favorite recipes for you and your family to enjoy during the 6 weeks of Lent, or for that matter, any time of the year. It all began in 2010, and since then I’ve shared dozens of tasty recipes.
This year, Lenten season begins on Wednesday, March 1st and ends on Easter Sunday, April 16th.
While you can always default to Mac & Cheese, why not spend just a few minutes more to enjoy a meal truly worth the time and effort—a recipe you’ll want to enjoy all throughout the year?
All of these recipes are “meatless,” meaning they are composed of any combination of vegetables, dairy, fish or shellfish and delicious seasonings. That may seem like you’d be missing out on something, but nothing could be further from the truth! Here’s just a small sampling of some of these great recipes throughout the years.
2010 Eggplant Rollatini
2013 3 Cheese Ricotta Torte with Basil & Roma Tomato
2014 Spinach & Dill Crusted Salmon
2015 Ratatouille Muffin Tin Meals
So, what’s in store for 2017?
In this, my first of two Lenten recipe packages this year, let’s begin with one of my favorite fish: cod.
Parmesan Crusted Cod on Sautéed Spinach with Palomino Sauce: Serves 4
4 – 6 to 8 oz Portions Cod
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
¼ Cup Milk
½ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
½ Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
¼ Cup Vegetable Oil
1 TBSP Butter
½ Cup Onions, Chopped
1 tsp. Garlic, Minced
1 – 10 oz. Package Fresh Baby Spinach
1 Pint Nino’s Palomino Sauce (or Marinara Sauce)
- Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
- Prepare a breading station with 3 separate shallow bowls. Place the flour in bowl #1, beat together the egg and milk, and place in bowl #2. Then, mix together the Parmesan cheese and panko bread crumbs and place in bowl #3.
- Pre-heat a medium-size, non-stick fry pan on medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil.
- One by one, bread each piece of cod by flouring, then coating with the beaten egg mixture, then coating with the Parmesan cheese crumb mixture.
- Place each piece of breaded cod in the fry pan as you go and fry on both sides of each piece until golden brown.
- As each piece of cod is finished browning, place them on a non-stick baking pan or on a sheet of tin foil sprayed with a non-stick vegetable oil.
- Place the cod pieces in the pre-heated oven for approximately 15 minutes or until firm and completely cooked through.
- While the cod is in the oven, sauté the garlic and onions in the butter until tender (but not browned). Add the spinach and carefully stir and turn over until the spinach is JUST wilted.
- Also, while the cod is in the oven, heat the Palomino (or Marinara sauce) until simmering.
- Serve by portioning ¼ of the spinach sauté on each plate, top with a cod fillet and top with a ¼ to 1/3 cup of the sauce. You may additionally wish to sprinkle each serving with additional grated or shaved Parmesan cheese.
The second recipe I have for you is one you may have made or enjoyed your whole life, but one I’ve spent a good deal of time to perfect.
Forget about a thick, juicy steak; a broiled lobster; or smoky barbecue ribs off the grill. There are just times when nothing, and I mean nothing, beats the crispy, ooey, melty gooeyness of a Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
As simple as an “ordinary” grilled cheese sandwich is to make, an “extraordinary” grilled cheese sandwich requires a little bit more dedication.
Everything from the bread to the spread and cheese is critical. (Spoiler alert: My personal choice of cheese is a 3-cheese layering of Tillamook Cheddar + Colby Jack +Aged Gouda). For the rest, click here to read my 2015 blog on this subject titled “In Search of the Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich.”
My third recipe is for your sweet tooth. While I have to admit that nearly every dessert imaginable is meatless (unless you ask a bacon fanatic), you may, in keeping with a non-meat meal of vegetables, try this fabulous dessert/snack.
These fritters are addictive. They are almost a warm cinnamon donut (but better).
Acorn Squash Fritters: Makes about 12 Fritters or 4 to 6 Servings
1 Large Acorn Squash (enough to yield 1 ½ cups of cooked, mashed squash)
1 Ex. Large Egg
2 TBSP Melted Butter
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
¼ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1 ½ Cups Self-Rising Flour
¼ Cup Pecan or Walnut Pieces
3 to 4 Cups Vegetable or Canola Oil
½ Cup Granulated Sugar
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
- Pre-heat oven to 375 F.
- Cut acorn squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the fibrous material and seeds.
- Spray a sheet pan or casserole dish with non-stick spray, and place acorn squash—halved, cut side down—with a small amount of water (1/2 cup or so) to create some steam.
- Cook in the oven approximately 45 minutes or until very tender.
- Remove the squash from the oven and cool until the cooked pulp can be scraped from the skin.
- Measure and mash (or puree) 1 ½ cups of the acorn squash, and then combine in a bowl with the butter, egg and sugar.
- Sift together the spices and flour, and stir in with the pecan pieces.
- Heat oil in a saucepan to 350°F, leaving plenty of additional cooking space. Oil should be deep enough to cover fritters.
- Drop spoonfuls of batter into hot oil and fry on both sides until golden brown.
- Remove cooked fritters from hot oil with a slotted spoon, place on absorbent paper towel, and then dredge in a mixture of cinnamon sugar. Serve.