One Does Not Live by Bread Alone, There is also Fish and Vegetables…

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Feb 022015
 

One Does Not Live by Bread Alone, There is also Fish and Vegetables…

What is Lent?
Lent is the forty-day liturgical season of fasting and prayer before the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. The forty days represent the time Jesus spent in the desert, where, according to the Bible, he endured temptation by Satan.

Here is a little history….

On the Christian calendar, Lent is the 40-day period from Ash Wednesday to Easter. When it was first observed in the fourth century, its focus was on self-examination and self-denial in preparation for Easter, and Christians used fasting (abstaining from eating food) in the early years as a visible demonstration of this process.

Over the centuries, Catholics have relaxed some of the strict fasting rules. Today, only Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all Fridays during Lent are considered fasting days.

On these days, Catholics over the age of 14 are to refrain from eating meat. In addition, on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, those between the ages of 18 and 59 are to eat only one full meal and two smaller meals and aren’t to eat between meals. Orthodox Christians are far more rigorous in their observance of fasting during Lent, believing that regular fasting is a crucially important discipline for one’s spiritual growth. Meat, dairy products, and eggs (which historically were considered more luxury foods than ordinary breads) aren’t allowed, with some additional restrictions on certain days. They can only eat fish (which was historically considered less of a luxury than red meat) on the feasts of the Annunciation and Palm Sunday. In addition to refraining from eating, Lent is often a time when Christians give up something pleasurable (furthering the focus on self-denial), be it chocolate, meat or — shudder the thought! — Coffee.
SO….What does this all mean to you?

Well whether you participate in Lent or not, it means you will need RECIPES!!! Whatever rules your family lives by, you need to know what to feed them right? So I have gathered up some recipes that are perfect for Lent, or anytime really.  I hope a few of them will be your favorites!

Garlic and Lemon Shrimp

CQ- Garlic Lemon shrimp

This Easy Garlic and Lemon Shrimp couldn’t be simpler to make, but the taste is special enough that you can serve it for any kind of occasion.

Famous for its potent smell, Bacalao was once one of the world’s most important food commodities. Popularized in Europe thanks to fisherman from northern Spain who cleverly devised a way to preserve it—cure it with loads of salt, then set it out to dry under the sun—during their long journeys on the high seas, bacalao eventually made its way to the new world, a pre-industrial protein that traveled well without refrigeration. These days, dried bacalao remains popular throughout Latin America, especially during the holy days of Lent, when it’s often braised in a flavorful, tomato-based sofrito-style stew.

But this recipe, takes a different approach to the beloved bacalao: lighter and simpler to make, it’s also better for those watching their sodium intake.

Bacalao with capers and cilantro

CQ- bacalao-with-capers-and-cilantro

Pan-fried for just a few minutes in a little butter and olive oil, and finished with lime, capers and fresh cilantro, it’s a delectable summer interpretation of a Latin classic.

Spicy Baked Cod

CQ- Spicy Baked Cod

click here for this spicy treat…

For those who don’t enjoy seafood…here are a few veggie options.

 Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup

CQ- Sweet Potato and Lentil soup

This is one vegan veggie soup that is so packed with flavor…who needs meat! 

In traditional French Onion Soup, you make the soup and float a piece of crusty bread topped with cheese on top of it. And it’s delicious! This recipe is a little bit different, though. The bread, onions, and cheese are in grilled Panini form. The (faux) beef broth is served on the side and you dip your sandwich into it. As you eat your Panini, bits of onion, cheese, and bread fall into the broth so when you’ve finished off your sandwich, you have a little bowl of French Onion bliss waiting for you.

French Onion Soup Sandwiches

CQ-French Onion soup Sandwich

Is it a soup? Or is it a sandwich? It’s both! These grilled Panini sandwiches are full of caramelized onions and Gruyere cheese–its French onion soup in sandwich form.

Feta & Spinach Couscous Patties

CQ- Feta and Spinach Couscous

Feta, spinach and dill flavor these tofu patties. Slice some lemon wedges and pick up some whole-wheat pita bread to serve with this Greek-inspired meal.

As with most quesadilla recipes, these whip up in no time. The most time-consuming step is sauteing the mushrooms, and I think you will agree that your 15 minutes was well-invested once you taste the resulting garlicky awesomeness. After the mushrooms are prepped, all you do is layer the ingredients and cook your quesadillas in a skillet until the tortillas are toasty, the spinach wilts, and the cheese is melted. And then? You dig in. And that’s the best part by far.

Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas with Avocado and Pepper Jack Cheese

CQ-Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas with Avocado and Pepper Jack Cheese

These hearty, flavorful quesadillas feature garlic-sautéed mushrooms, baby spinach, creamy avocado, and zippy pepper jack cheese for a meatless — yet filling and satisfying — meal.

 You won’t go hungry with these meals under your belt!

Lent is Feb 18 – April 2  

 

  Lent is meant to be about not what we lack, but what we gain in the form of spiritual growth and conversion.

 

Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas with Avocado and Pepper Jack Cheese

 Holiday/Entertaining, Vegetables, Vegetarian  Comments Off on Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas with Avocado and Pepper Jack Cheese
Feb 022015
 

Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas with Avocado and Pepper Jack Cheese
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter, divided
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned, dried, trimmed, and sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 (8-inch) white or whole wheat tortillas
  • 4 ounces shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 ounce baby spinach leaves
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Set a 10- to 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add oil and ½ tablespoon butter; once melted, swirl to coat pan.
  3. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately five minutes or until mushrooms give off liquid.
  4. Increase heat to high and stir frequently until liquid has completely evaporated.
  5. Add remaining ½ tablespoon butter to pan, and stir and cook until mushrooms are tender and browned, about five minutes more.
  6. Add garlic to pan and stir constantly for about 30 seconds, or until garlic becomes aromatic but not too dark.
  7. Season mushrooms with salt and freshly ground black pepper and transfer to a plate, draining on a paper towel if they seem too oily.
  8. Lay out two tortillas on a cutting board.
  9. Sprinkle EACH tortilla with 1 ounce of shredded cheese, ½ ounce spinach, ½ of the cooked mushrooms, ½ of the sliced avocado, and final 1 ounce of shredded cheese.
  10. Lay the remaining tortillas on top.
  11. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  12. Transfer an assembled quesadilla onto the skillet.
  13. Cook for a couple of minutes, occasionally lifting edge of quesadilla to check color of underside, until tortilla begins to turn golden and cheese starts to melt.
  14. Carefully flip quesadilla over and cook for another couple of minutes or until cheese is fully melted.
  15. Remove hot quesadilla to a plate and repeat with second quesadilla.
  16. Alternatively, you may cook both quesadillas at the same time on a flat griddle.
  17. Slice each quesadilla into 6 wedges and serve hot.

 

Feta & Spinach Couscous Patties

 Easy Recipes, Holiday/Entertaining, Side Dish, Vegetarian  Comments Off on Feta & Spinach Couscous Patties
Feb 022015
 

Feta & Spinach Couscous Patties
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup water
  • ⅔ cup whole-wheat couscous
  • ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • ⅔ cup shredded seeded cucumber
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup silken tofu
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • ⅔ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup snipped fresh dill
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 cups sliced or torn green leaf lettuce
  • Grape tomatoes, halved, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Stir in couscous, cover and remove from the heat.
  3. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  4. Combine yogurt, cucumber, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder and salt in a small bowl.
  5. Mash tofu with a fork in a large bowl.
  6. Add spinach, feta, dill, onion, pepper, the remaining ½ teaspoon garlic powder and the couscous; stir until well combined.
  7. Form into 8 patties, using about ½ cup for each.
  8. Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to the lowest setting.
  9. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  10. Add 4 patties and cook, turning once, until lightly golden on both sides, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to the baking sheet.
  11. Repeat with the remaining oil and patties.
  12. Serve over lettuce, topped with the yogurt sauce and garnished with tomatoes, if desired.

 

French Onion Soup Sandwiches

 Easy Recipes, Holiday/Entertaining, Soups, Vegetarian  Comments Off on French Onion Soup Sandwiches
Feb 022015
 

French Onion Soup Sandwiches
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 4 Ciabatta rolls, halved
  • 1 c. shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 4 c. no-beef broth, heated (you can find meatless beef broth at stores like Whole Foods)
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on low heat.
  2. Add sliced onions and cook until caramelized about an hour and fifteen minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in salt and pepper to taste and thyme.
  4. Heat Panini press or grill on high.
  5. Divide caramelized onions onto bottom of rolls and top each one with ¼ cup of cheese and top half of roll.
  6. Grill for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is golden-brown.
  7. Serve each sandwich with 1 cup of broth.

 

Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup

 Holiday/Entertaining, Soups, Vegetables, Vegetarian  Comments Off on Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup
Feb 022015
 

Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp safflower oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 small tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1½ tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 1 cup baby spinach or kale
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat and sauté onion for about 2 minutes, until soft.
  2. Stir in tomatoes and ginger, cooking an addition 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne and salt and cook for 2 minutes, tasting to make sure it’s to your liking.
  4. Next add the sweet potatoes, broth and lentils.
  5. Bring soup to a boil then reduce heat and cover, allowing to simmer for about 30 minutes.
  6. Then add spinach (or kale) and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Enjoy!

 

Spicy Baked Cod

 Holiday/Entertaining, Seafood, Vegetarian  Comments Off on Spicy Baked Cod
Feb 022015
 

Spicy Baked Cod
 
Ingredients
  • -1 lb cod fillet, cut in half (2 pieces)
  • -salt & pepper, for seasoning
  • -2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • -1 or 2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped (i grate mine with a hand grater, works great!)
  • -1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • -1 tablespoon Delallo Hot Pepper Bruschetta OR 1 teaspoon Sriracha Sauce (adjust according to taste)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF
  2. Rinse cod with cold water and pat dry; set aside
  3. In a medium bowl, add olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, & hot sauce; stir together
  4. In a shallow dish, season cod with salt and pepper on both sides and pour the marinade over it
  5. Marinate for about 20 minutes, turning once
  6. Transfer marinated cod to baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray; pour any remaining marinade over fish
  7. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until it flakes easily

 

Bacalao with Capers and Cilantro

 Easy Recipes, Holiday/Entertaining, Seafood, Vegetarian  Comments Off on Bacalao with Capers and Cilantro
Feb 022015
 

Bacalao with Capers and Cilantro
 
Ingredients
  • 4 fresh, skinless, boned cod fish fillets, about one inch thick
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • ¼ cup flour, for dredging
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • 3 T butter
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 T capers
  • 2 limes, one thinly sliced, 1 sliced in half and juiced
  • 1 T finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1 T finely chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
Instructions
  1. Dry the fish fillets with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large, shallow bowl, whisk the flour and the paprika to combine well.
  3. Lightly dredge the fillets in the flour, shaking off excess flour.
  4. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and butter.
  5. Just before the butter starts to brown, add the fillets.
  6. Brown for 2 to 3 minutes, then carefully flip over to brown the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Reduce heat if butter starts to brown too much or burn.
  8. When the fillets are done (they should be opaque and flaky), remove to a warm platter.
  9. Add the capers to the pan and cook for another minutes.
  10. Add the lime juice, parsley and cilantro and stir to combine.
  11. Pour the sauce over the fish fillets.
  12. Garnish with sliced lime and more cilantro and parsley.
  13. Serve immediately.
  14. Makes 4 servings.

 

Garlic and Lemon Shrimp

 Easy Recipes, Holiday/Entertaining, Seafood, Vegetarian  Comments Off on Garlic and Lemon Shrimp
Feb 022015
 

Garlic and Lemon Shrimp
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. jumbo shrimp, thawed if frozen
  • (I used 21-25 per pound size, which was good for this recipe. Buy pre-peeled shrimp or peel them when they have thawed.)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 T finely minced garlic
  • 2 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 T lemon zest (or a little less if you're not that fond of lemon zest)
  • Sea salt to taste (I did not use much salt)
Instructions
  1. If using frozen shrimp thaw them over night in the refrigerator.
  2. Drain shrimp and pat dry.
  3. Zest one large lemon and then squeeze the juice, to yield at least 2 T juice and close to 1 T lemon zest.
  4. Finely mince garlic cloves to make 2 T minced garlic.
  5. Heat the oil over medium high heat and then melt the butter, using a large heavy pan.
  6. (I used a pan that was nice enough to serve the shrimp from, which helps keep them hot.)
  7. Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook just until they start to turn pink at the edges, not more than 1-2 minutes.
  8. Turn shrimp over quickly and add the minced garlic.
  9. Continue to cook until shrimp are barely firm, probably not more than 3-4 minutes more.
  10. (Don't overcook; the shrimp will continue to cook a little in the hot pan.)
  11. Turn off heat and add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt as desired and stir to coat shrimp. Serve immediately.