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Seafood and vegetarian recipes for Lent

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Mouthwatering & meat-free

If you are among the millions of people observing Lent - starting February 17 this year - and planning on meat-free Fridays, sink your teeth into these seafood and vegetarian recipes.

Mouthwatering & meat-free

Vegetarian recipes for Lent

Despite the notion held by many meat-eaters that a vegetarian diet is nothing more than eating broccoli and rice, vegetarian cooking can be incredibly delicious and satisfying. No doubt, it does require a new perspective on balanced meals, but the resulting meat-free dishes are quite tasty and nutritious. Here are two vegetarian recipes, courtesy of Meatless Monday, to prove it.

Spicy Couscous and Chickpea Salad

Makes 7 servings

6 minced garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
3/4 teaspoon salt
Black pepper
2 cups water
2 cups couscous
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest, freshly grated
1 shallot, minced
1 cup tomato, seeded and diced (fresh or canned)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
1-1/2 cups chickpeas, cooked and drained (well-rinsed if you use canned)

1. Saute garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil over low heat. When garlic is just beginning to turn golden brown, stir in the coriander, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Add water and bring to a low boil. Remove from the heat and add the couscous, stirring to make sure grains are completely covered by liquid. Cover with tight lid and let stand while the couscous absorbs the cooking liquid (see package directions for timing).

2. While the couscous continues cooking in the pot, make the salad dressing: combine then lemon juice, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small mixing bowl. When couscous has puffed up, spread onto a baking sheet to cool. Transfer the cooled couscous to a large bowl, then add lemon juice mixture. Add shallot, tomato, cilantro, mint and chickpeas. Mix well, cover and set aside for at least 1 hour before serving. Can keep for up to a day in the refrigerator.

Southern Scramble with Grits

Serves 4

1-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup enriched, quick-cooking hominy grits
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup low-fat shredded cheese, divided
1-1/2 cups liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters)
2 tablespoons sliced green onions
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In large skillet, bring water to a boil. Slowly stir in grits and reduce heat. Simmer 3 to 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in oil.

2. In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup cheese with remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into grits and stir lightly. Add eggs and cook over medium heat until eggs are soft set and cheese is melted, stirring occasionally.

3. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. If you like, top with chopped tomatoes, salsa or tomato sauce.

Tip: Once the and egg are combined, do not over mix - or the eggs will become dry and appear curdled.

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