(Family Features) With people across the country observing Lent, a religious tradition observed during the 40 days before Easter, it’s time to rethink the standard family meal menu.
This nearly eight-week period typically calls for a special diet. Specifically, red meat is cut out on Fridays for some and for the entirety of Lent for others. According to Datassential, 26 percent of consumers observe lent and of those, 41 percent said they eat fish on Fridays instead of meat.
Eating two servings of seafood per week – as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans – is one way to make a positive commitment to you and your family’s health during Lent and throughout the year. According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, research shows eating seafood 2-3 times per week reduces the risk of death from any health-related cause. Seafood also provides unique health benefits as a lean protein and is a quality source for omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats essential to human health and development.
With so many seafood options available, including Alaskan cod, snapper, salmon and more, it can be easy to incorporate this nutritious lean protein into your diet.
This simple recipe for Blackened Catfish with Quinoa and Citrus Vinaigrette can help you on your way to a more nutritious meal plan that includes consuming seafood twice per week. If you can’t find catfish or prefer to substitute, any white fish such as cod, mahimahi or flounder will work.
For more seafood recipes and Lenten meal inspiration, visit seafoodnutrition.org or follow #Seafood2xWk on social media.
Blackened Catfish with Quinoa and Citrus Vinaigrette
Recipe courtesy of chef Tim Hughes on behalf of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 cup corn, canned and drained or frozen and thawed to room temperature
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup edamame, shelled and thawed to room temperature
- 3 cups quinoa, cooked
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 pound catfish, cut into four fillets
- 5 tablespoons Blackening Seasoning
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- To make Blackening Seasoning: Combine salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and thyme.
- To make Quinoa Salad: Heat and oil skillet. Add corn; salt and pepper, to taste, and saute until golden brown. Add edamame and sauteed corn to quinoa and set aside.
- To make Blackened Catfish: Heat cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon peanut oil added. Coat both sides of catfish fillets with Blackening Seasoning. Add catfish to skillet and cook 5-6 minutes per side, or until well done.
- To make Citrus Vinaigrette: Whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, honey and thyme. Slowly add olive oil, whisking until dressing is formed.
- Serve Blackened Catfish on top of Quinoa Salad and drizzle with Citrus Vinaigrette.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Source: Seafood Nutrition Partnership
Feed your family something simple and delicious like this Easy Tuna Casserole, loaded with vegetables, pasta and tuna for a filling meal that everyone can enjoy. In just a few easy steps, you’ll be able to please the entire family without spending hours in the kitchen – perfect for those busy weeknights when time isn’t on your side. Find more family recipes at culinary.net.
Easy Tuna Casserole
- 6 cups boiling water
- 3 cups uncooked macaroni
- 1 cup frozen vegetables (corn, carrots and peas)
- 4 TBS butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cheese powder packet
- 1 can of tuna in water (drained)
- 8 - 10 buttery crackers rounds (crushed)
- Boil water in sauce pan, then add in macaroni. Stirring ocassionaly. Boiling 8-10 minutes.
- Add frozen vegetables 2 minutes before the end of boil time.
- Drain and return to sauce pan.
- Add in butter, milk and cheese. Stir until mixed.
- Pour into casserole dish.
- Add tuna and stir into macaroni mixture.
- Sprinkle crushed buttery crackers over macaroni mixture.
- Serve immediately.
(Family Features) It’s true that classics never go out of style, but they can also evolve to keep current while still maintaining their original appeal.
For example, take the iconic tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich duo. Today’s tomato soup might be seasoned with herbs and garlic, and the grilled cheese might swap goat cheese and mozzarella for the traditional American or cheddar. Meatloaf could be prepared with sriracha replacing Worcestershire sauce or other seasonings.
Another updated idea is for stuffed peppers. It’s easy to give them a Tex-Mex spin simply by using a can of READ Southwestern Bean Salad as the base for the filling. The salad already has black and kidney beans, hominy and corn in it, as well as a slightly spicy dressing. Build on that flavorful combination by adding browned ground beef or turkey, cheese and tortilla chips. Poblano peppers could be substituted for bell peppers for an even more authentic south-of-the-border flair.
While this meal in a pepper bakes, make a salad of spinach or other greens topped with avocado slices and orange segments. Dinner is done and on the table in under an hour. For more easy, flavorful dinner ideas, visit READsalads.com.
Southwestern Bean Salad Stuffed Peppers
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 1 can (15 ounces) READ Southwestern Bean Salad
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 small jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
- 1/2 pound ground lean beef (90 percent lean)
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 3 large bell peppers, any color or combination
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1 cup crushed tortilla chips, plus 1/4 cup (optional), divided
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
- Drain bean salad; discard liquid. With fork, mash half of beans until chunky. Combine with remaining beans. Stir in cumin and jalapeno, if desired; set aside.
- In medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef and onion 8-10 minutes until ground beef is completely cooked, stirring frequently.
- Cut bell peppers in half, lengthwise. Remove membranes and seeds. Line baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray with nonstick cooking spray (or brush lightly with vegetable oil).
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Combine ground beef and onion mixture with bean mixture. Stir in 1 cup tortilla chips and 1/2 cup cheese. Divide evenly among peppers. Arrange peppers cut-side up in prepared pan; peppers should fit snugly. Top with remaining crushed tortilla chips, if desired. Bake, covered, 25 minutes, or until peppers are tender and filling is heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake, uncovered, until cheese melts.
Variation: Ground chicken or turkey breast may be substituted for ground beef. Add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil to skillet and heat until hot before adding ground chicken or turkey and onion to skillet.
Nutritional information per serving: 252 calories; 15 g protein; 20 g carbohydrate;
13 g total fat; 370 mg sodium; 40 mg cholesterol; 5 g dietary fiber; 9 mg iron; 0.07 mg thiamin;
708 IU vitamin A; 34 mg vitamin C.
(Family Features) Slow cookers are a simple, no-nonsense solution to making delicious meals for a family on the go. With minimal prep time, you can walk away and let the slow cooker work its magic – welcoming you home to an aromatic, ready-to-serve dinner. Here are some tips for slow cooker success:
- Brown your meat before you heat. The extra few minutes you take to do so will greatly enhance the flavor of your meal. If you dredge your meat in a little flour before browning, you’ll also get a thicker sauce. While some foods will brown during the cooking process, they won’t have the same color and flavor they get when browned first on the stovetop. If you can find the time for this step, the results are worth it.
- Prioritize your ingredients. Hardy, fresh vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, or turnips for example, cook more slowly than meat. To avoid undercooking these types of veggies, place them on the bottom or sides and the meat on top. Add tender veggies (peas) and strongly flavored veggies like broccoli, cauliflower or onions in the last 15 to 60 minutes. Dairy products like sour cream, milk or yogurt, tend to break down in the slow cooker. To prevent this, add them during the last 15 to 30 minutes of cooking. However, prepared items such as the Bob Evans’ Refrigerated Mashed Potatoes in this recipe can be added at the beginning. Stir in spices for the last hour of cooking. They will lose flavor if cooked with the rest of the ingredients for the duration.
- Resist the urge to stir. Each time you lift the lid to do so, heat escapes, extending the needed cooking time by up to half an hour. Some recipes do instruct you to stir halfway through the cooking process or toward the end, but otherwise it's best to leave the lid closed. To check progress without lifting the lid, spin the cover until the condensation falls off. Then it's easy to see inside.
Here’s a deliciously simple slow cooker recipe from Bob Evans Food Products that your whole family will love:
Slow Cooker Shepherd’s Pie
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 4 to 6 hours
Makes 6 servings
- 1 pound Bob Evans Original Recipe Sausage Roll
- 1 24 ounce package Bob Evans Mashed Potatoes
- 2 cups frozen peas and carrots
- 1 12 ounce jar beef gravy
- In medium skillet over medium heat, crumble and cook sausage until brown. Place in slow cooker. Add peas and carrots. Top with mashed potatoes. Pour gravy on top of potatoes. Cover and cook on low 4 to 6 hours.
For more family-friendly slow cooker recipes, visit www.bobevans.com.
(Family Features) Sweaters and scarves aren’t the only ways to brace yourself against blustery weather. There’s no time like winter to putter in the kitchen, where the cozy heat from the stove and the aromas of mouthwatering dishes can warm you from the inside out.
Rich, hearty stews and creamy casseroles are perfect for winter dinners, but when you’re craving something other than traditional comfort food, there are plenty of other options that will chase away the chill, such as a glass of Pinot Noir.
These three dishes feature common proteins – chicken, beef and fish – in preparations that make it easy to reimagine your winter weather menu. Find more recipes and ideas for warming up this winter at culinary.net.
Fruit Juice and Fish Fillets
The temperatures may be falling, but you can still fire up the grill and fill up your plate with a tasty recipe like this Grilled Citrus Rosemary Catfish, which combines sweet juices for a citrus sauce that coats grilled catfish. Find more main dish recipes including catfish at uscatfish.com.
Grilled Citrus Rosemary Catfish
Recipe courtesy of The Catfish Institute
- 1 lime, juice and zest only
- 1 lemon, zest only
- 1 orange, zest only
- 6 ounces pineapple juice
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 U.S. farm-raised catfish fillets
- 2 lemons
- salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Heat grill.
- To make citrus sauce: In small saucepan, combine all sauce ingredients. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
- To make catfish: Place catfish in shallow dish and squeeze 1/2 fresh lemon over each fillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let rest 5 minutes.
- Grill catfish fillets, skin-side-up, 3-4 minutes. Flip over and grill 2-3 more minutes.
- Transfer catfish to serving plates and spoon warmed citrus sauce over fillets.
A Cold-Weather Solution
While it can be a challenge, there are several ways to pair food and wine appropriately during winter, despite bitter weather. A warm, comforting dish, like Roasted Chicken with Salsa Verde from James Beard award-winning chef Jonathan Waxman, combines well with rosé during the cold season. One reasonably priced wine that matches chicken well is Angeline California Rosé of Pinot Noir. The crisp flavors of light red fruits combine with the herbs accompanying the chicken. It’ll also complement the many other flavors of winter, when an array of dishes hit the table and challenge hosts to find the right wine to serve.
For more wines that work well in wintertime, visit angelinewinery.com.
Chicken and Salsa Verde
Recipe courtesy of chef Jonathan Waxman
- 1 fresh free-range organic chicken (4 pounds)
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup capers in salt
- 4 anchovy filets
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped arugula
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped tarragon
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- To make chicken: Heat oven to 450° F.
- Wash chicken in hot water. Dry with paper towels.
- Using kitchen shears, cut out backbone of chicken and remove any fat (this can be added to chicken stock). Using heavy chef’s knife, cut out breastbone. Season halves with sea salt and black pepper.
- Place chicken halves, skin side up, on two sizzle platters and dab with olive oil. Cut lemon in half and place 1 half, cut side down, next to chicken on each platter.
- Roast chicken 35 minutes, basting every 10 minutes. When done, remove chicken to platter and pour off excess fat. Cut each breast in half and cut the thigh from the leg. Serve with salsa verde (recipe below) and garnish with roasted lemon.
- To make salsa verde: Soak capers in cold water 1 hour then drain.
- Soak anchovies in cold water 15 minutes then pat dry and remove bones.
- Using mortar and pestle, smash capers, anchovies and garlic, until smooth, then transfer to large bowl.
- Add all herbs and olive oil.
- Season with sea salt.
Pair each serving with Angeline California Rosé of Pinot Noir.
Whole and Hearty
A hearty meat-and-potatoes meal is a sure way to warm up on a cold winter night. This heart-healthy, one-dish meal is made with lean top round beef, lots of vegetables and a spicy herb mixture. Find more healthy main dish ideas at health.gov.
Black Skillet Beef with Greens and Red Potatoes
Recipe courtesy of the USDA
- 1 pound top round beef
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
- nonstick spray
- 8 red-skinned potatoes, halved
- 3 cups onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2 1/2-inch strips
- 2 bunches (1/2 pound each) mustard, kale or turnip greens, stems removed, coarsely torn
- Partially freeze beef. Thinly slice across grain into strips 1/8-inch thick and 3 inches wide. Trim away visible fat.
- Combine paprika, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, red pepper and dry mustard. Coat strips of meat with spice mixture.
- Spray large, heavy skillet with nonstick spray. Heat pan over high heat.
- Add meat; cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes.
- Add potatoes, onion, broth and garlic. Cook over medium heat, covered, 20 minutes.
- Stir in carrots; lay greens over top and cook, covered, until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Serve in large serving bowl with crusty bread for dunking.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (fish photo and beef stew photo)