Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lenten Fish Dinner: Tilapia, Spinach, and Couscous

The following Lenten dinner was submitted by Eliana Murphy. Thank you Eliana!

This healthy dinner works well for any day requiring abstinence from meat, so for those Catholics who observe abstinence on all Fridays of the year, instead of offering a substitute sacrifice, it does not have to be used only during Lent.  It could be served with a green salad, and afterwards, grapes could be served.

Baked Tilapia

2 lbs. of thawed tilapia, basa swai, cod, or other white fish fillets
McCormick California Style Coarse Grind Lemon-Pepper Blend (This type of lemon-pepper does not have artificial coloring and preservatives, unlike other lemon pepper blends.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse fish fillets and arrange in metal or glass rectangular baking dish. Add enough water to lightly cover the bottom of the pan (but not enough to drown the fillets!). Sprinkle with McCormick California Style Coarse Grind Lemon-Pepper Blend. Cover pan with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Fresh Garlic Spinach

1/2 or 1 head of garlic
2 bunches of fresh spinach leaves* (if you are short on time you may use 2 large bags of pre-washed baby spinach)
Olive oil

Peel garlic cloves. Rinse spinach very carefully to remove dirt and gravel if not already pre-rinsed. Use a large covered pot (7-10 qt) to cook this dish because the spinach leaves take up a lot of space until they cook down. Pour enough olive oil into the pot to cover the bottom, and add the garlic cloves. Saute for a few minutes on medium-high, then add the spinach leaves and a tiny amount of water, cover the pot, and cook until the spinach is wet and tender (approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally). If you are cooking a larger amount, you may have to add the spinach in batches and allow it to cook down before adding more.

Vegetable Couscous

5 or more garlic cloves
1 onion
2 zucchini
1/2 cup or 1 cup of sliced carrots (carrot chips, shredded carrots, or sliced baby carrots also work)
Olive oil
2 cups pearl couscous (you can also use regular couscous, but the water proportion and cook time is different from pearl couscous.)
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste

Peel and slice the garlic and onion. Slice the zuccini (I prefer to slice the zucchini in half lengthwise, then slice horizontally to get smaller pieces) and the carrots. Pour enough olive oil into a 4 1/2 qt pot to cover the bottom. Saute the garlic, onion, carrots, and zuchini for five minutes over medium-high heat. Add the couscous and saute a few minutes more (add more olive oil if necessary to prevent sticking). Add the 4 cups of water, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and cover and simmer until couscous is fluffy and the water is all absorbed, about 15 minutes. If you wish to have a greater proportion of couscous to vegetables, use 2 1/2 cups of couscous and five cups of water. For a quick version, substitute garlic and onion powder to taste for the fresh garlic and onion.

 For the sake of His sorrowful passion, 
have mercy on us and on the whole world.

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