Meatless Meals

Lenten Meal Blessing

We bless you, Lord and we praise you

for you have given us this meal to share,

provided by the earth and prepared by human hands.

Help us remember those who cannot eat

because of poverty or sickness.

Let the brief hunger we feel this Lent

make us hunger even more for justice.

May this meal strengthen us to do you will.

Blessed be God for ever.

ALL:  Blessed be God for ever.


- Diana Macalintal, The Work of Your Hands




Zucchini, Corn, Black-Bean, and Jack-Cheese Quesadillas


The grated zucchini and defrosted frozen corn that fill these tasty quesadillas contain a lot of moisture. Drain them on paper towels for a few minutes before using; otherwise, you'll end up with soggy tortillas. Serve the quesadillas with spicy salsa.  

  • 1 small zucchini, grated and drained on paper towels (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup defrosted frozen corn, drained on paper towels
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
  • 1 2/3 cups drained and rinsed canned black beans (one 15-ounce can)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 pound Monterey jack, grated (about 1 quart)
  • 8 large (burrito-size) flour tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil

How to Make It

Step 1    

In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, corn, onion, jalapeños, beans, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Toss gently to distribute the seasonings and then stir in the cheese.

Step 2    

Heat the oven to 200°. Set the tortillas on a work surface. Put about 1/3 cup of the filling on one half of each tortilla. Spread the filling to the edge and then fold the tortilla over the filling.

Step 3    

In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat. Add two of the quesadillas to the pan and cook, turning once, until the cheese melts, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and keep warm on a baking sheet in the oven. Repeat in batches with the remaining oil and quesadillas. Cut the quesadillas in wedges and serve.


Vegetable Tip
All commercially frozen vegetables have already been blanched, so you don't need to cook them for as long as raw vegetables. In fact, some—such as corn, peas, and spinach—don't need to be cooked anymore at all. Just defrost and heat.






Layered Eggplant, Zucchini and Tomato Casserole



  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing and brushing
  • 3 medium zucchini (1 1/2 pounds), sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 long, narrow eggplants (1 1/2 pounds), peeled and sliced lengthwise 1/3 inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 pound plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1/3 cup panko or coarse dry bread crumbs

How to Make It

Step 1    

Preheat the oven to 425°. Oil 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Put the zucchini slices on one sheet and the eggplant on the other. Brush the slices all over with oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the slices on each sheet in a slightly overlapping layer. Bake for 15 minutes, until tender.

Step 2    

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat until softened, 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook over high heat until slightly softened and bubbling, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 3    

Oil a large, shallow baking dish (about 10 by 15 inches). Lay half of the eggplant in the dish and spread one-fourth of the tomatoes on top. Scatter with half of the feta and basil. Layer half of the zucchini on top, followed by another one-fourth of the tomato and the remaining basil, eggplant and zucchini. Top with the remaining tomato and feta. Mix the panko with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and sprinkle over the casserole. Bake in the upper third of the oven for 20 minutes, until bubbling and crisp. Let stand for 5 minutes, then serve hot or warm.



Vegetable Soup with Fennel, Herbs and Parmesan Broth



  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 leeks, white parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 fennel bulb—halved, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
  • 6 cups water
  • One 3-inch square Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

How to Make It

Step 1    

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, leeks and fennel and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato and bay leaves and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the water and the cheese rind and bring to a simmer. Cover partially and cook over moderately low heat until the vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes.

Step 2    

Discard the cheese rind and bay leaves. Stir in the parsley and basil and season the soup with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with the grated cheese and serve.


One Serving 180 cal, 10 gm fat, 2.5 gm sat fat, 19 gm carb, 4.9 gm fiber.



Black Beans and Rice

3 cans black beans
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups carrots, thinly sliced
4 stalks celery, thinkly sliced
1/2 cup picante sauce (or tomato salsa)
1/2 cup water (or vegetable stock or white wine)
white wine (optional)
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
a few dashes Tabasco sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil for pan
Cooked brown rice

In a family size skillet, heat olive oil and then saute carrots for 3 minutes. Add peppers, onions, garlic, celery, picante sauce or salsa, water or stock, and spices, mix together and cover. Depending on liquid amount and desire of flavor, add 1/4 cup or so of white wine for flavor. Cook for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse beans, add to skillet, cook 5 more minutes. Serve over rice and/or in taco shells with a salad.


Restorative Vegetable Broth


  • 2 large portabella mushrooms coarsely chopped

  • 2 carrots coarsely chopped

  • 2 ribs of celery coarsely chopped

  • 3 ounces of prunes

  • 4 garlic cloves smashed

  • 4 quarts water

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1/2 tablespoon peppercorns

  • 2 bay leaves


In a 6 quart stock pot add the mushrooms, carrots, celery, prunes, and garlic.

Add water and bring to a boil. Add salt, pepper and bay leaves. Reduce heat to low and barely simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Skim any foam from the surface as it boils. Strain broth and discard solids.

Note: The broth will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for 6 months.




1 9 inch pie shell store bought or homemade

1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

3 large eggs and just enough milk to make 1 1/2 cups


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Sprinkle all but a tablespoon of cheese in the bottom of the pie shell.  
In a 2 cup measuring bowl add salt, pepper, nutmeg, eggs and enough milk to make 1 1/2 cups. Whisk to combine. Pour it over the cheese to within 1/8 of an inch to the rim. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and bake 30-35 minutes in a oven until puffed and browned.




1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons chipolte powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 ounce salmon filets
1 cedar plank soaked
honey for drizzling


Preheat your grill to medium low heat.
In a small bowl combine sugar, salt chipolte powder, cumin and pepper.
Place soaked plank on preheated grill. Close lid and allow to heat for about three minutes. Turn the plank over with your tongs and place salmon on heated side of plank. Close the lid and grill for 12-15 minutes.
Remove from grill and drizzle with honey. Serve immediately.




4 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion chopped
2 cups baby spinach
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper
6 large eggs
4 cloves garlic chopped
1/4 cup goat cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large frying pan over medium heat warm 2 tablespoons olive oil.
Add the onions and saute until tender about six minutes.
Add the spinach and season with salt and pepper. Saute about five minutes.
Transfer to a plate.
Set aside.
In a large bowl lightly beat the eggs with the garlic and cheese.
Stir the spinach into the egg mixture. In the frying pan warm the remaining two tablespoon olive oil. Add the egg mixture. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the eggs are set around the edges, about five minutes. Transfer to the oven and cook until set, about seven to nine minutes
Cut into wedges and serve right away.




2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion diced
1 red bell pepper diced
1 1/2 cup of cooked brown lentils
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 1.2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 1/2 cups ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
6-8 pretzel rolls


In a skillet over medium heat add oil, onion and bell pepper. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until onions are soft. add lentils, chili powder, paprika, cumin and mustard powder. Mix to combine. Add Ketchup and brown sugar. Mix to combine and allow to cook for 10 minutes. Spoon mixture over warm toasty buns.


Lenten Lasagna

1/2 pound mushrooms sliced
1 small onion sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 can pumpkin
1/2 cup half and half
1 teaspoon sage leaves
9 no bake lasagna noodles
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella grated
3/4 cup parmesan grated


Preheat oven to 350
Spray your lasagna pan with cooking spray.
In a saute pan combine mushrooms, onions and olive oil. Cook until onions are translucent about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a small bowl combine pumpkin, half and half,sage leaves, salt and pepper.

Place half the sauce in the dish. Top with three noodles. Put another layer of pumpkin sauce about 1/2 cup. Top the sauce with half the mushroom mixture, half the ricotta, mozzarella and 1/3 of the parmesan. Repeat with another layer. Top with the remaining noodles and sauce and the last of the parmesan cheese.
Spray a sheet of foil with cooking spray and place on top of the lasagna pan. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and brown.
Allow to sit for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.



adapted from Trisha Yearwood


8 ounces cooked elbow macaroni
1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 stick butter melted
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs beaten
6 ounces smoked Gouda cheese grated
6 ounces process cheese such as velveeta grated
1 small can green chilies drained
1/2 cup cheddar cheese grated


Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray. Mix macaroni, evaporated milk, whole milk, butter, salt, pepper, gouda Velveeta and green chilies. Cook on low for 3 hours. Sprinkle cheddar over the top and allow to melt for another 15 minutes. Serve hot.




4 tomatoes

1/2 cup basil leaves

1/2 cup chopped vidalia onion

1 deep dish pie shell

1 cup Monterrey jack cheese grated

1 cup cheddar cheese grated

1 cup Greek style yogurt

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Using a fork poke holes in the bottom of your pie plate. (This is called docking) Place in to a preheated oven and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

While your pie shell is cooking slice tomatoes thinly and layer in a colander in your sink. Sprinkle with salt and allow to drain while your shell is cooking. You can also dab the tomatoes with a paper towel to get some of the excess water off of them. This is an important step because if you do not get most of the liquid out the bottom of your pie it will be soggy.




1 15 ounce container ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasonings
1 16 oz bag of shredded Italian cheese blend I used Kraft
1 cup water
2 24 ounce jars of pasta sauce
1 pound box of ziti noodles uncooked


Coat the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray.
In bowl combine ricotta, egg and 1/2 the bag of cheese. Set aside
In a large bowl combine water sauce and noodles. Put 1/4 of the noodles in the bottom of the slow cooker. Layer half of the ricotta mixture in the slow cooker dropping small spoonfuls and then using the back of a spoon to make a even layer. Add half of the sauce and then the other half of ricotta. Put the rest of the noodles on top. Pour the remaining sauce mixture over the top.
Use the remaining cheese to sprinkle over the top.
Cook on low heat for 4-6 hours
Serve from slow cooker




1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
6 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic
4 salmon fillets
chives for garnish


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk together the mustard, soy, oil and garlic in a zip lock bag. Add the salmon and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Place Marinated fish on a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through.
Garnish with chopped chives.
Note if you are going to freeze this, freeze in the ziplock bag. When ready to prepare thaw the salmon and preheat the oven to 375 Bake in a foil lined baking sheet until cooked through.