Being a vegetarian/pescatarian is hard. I applaud all of you that do it every day because I can barely survive Fridays during Lent when I can’t eat meat. Throughout the years, I've discovered a few easy pescatarian meals to get me through the season.
These recipes are fairly easy for those who can’t cook and they can also be done in a dorm community kitchen in less than an hour. There are five more Fridays left in Lent, so instead of ordering a cheese pizza yet again, try some of these recipes.
- Prep Time:5 mins
- Cook Time:40 mins
- Total Time:45 mins
- Alfredo sauce
Boil your pasta. I love using bowtie pasta mostly because they look cute and are easy to shove in my mouth all at once.
While your pasta is boiling, start cooking your shrimp. Make sure they are peeled before eating them. I season mine with just a little bit of salt and pepper over a little bit of oil in a skillet. Super easy and takes about 5 minutes, or until the side turns pink.
The last step is to pick out your favorite alfredo sauce and bring it all together. Add seasoning, I added pepper and parsley, to taste.
There you have it, an easy, three-step shrimp Alfredo. This can be done in two pans, so it leaves you with a very easy clean up.
#SpoonTip: More Pasta to Pose as an Impasta of Meat
While we’re talking pasta, let’s talk about a recipe courtesy of Rachel Ray on Food Network for a tomato, basil and cheese baked pasta. This recipe has more ingredients, but the result is worth it. Team up with you friends and do this together because it can make 4-6 servings. Here are the steps simplified:
Tomato, Basil and Cheese Baked Pasta
- Prep Time:15 mins
- Cook Time:40 mins
- Total Time:55 mins
- 1 pound pasta
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 a small/medium size yellow onion
- 1 can crushed Italian tomatoes
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup store bought pesto sauce
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/2 fresh mozzarella
Boil Pasta to al dente. This means that pasta is not cooked all the way and is a little chewy. Usually takes 9-10 minutes.
Add extra-virgin olive oil to the pan and add garlic and onion to the pan until cooked. Add tomatoes and bring to a slight boil. Reduce heat and season with salt and pepper.
Drain pasta and put in casserole dish. Add pesto sauce, ricotta cheese, Parmigiana and stir together. Next, pour over the tomato blend and basil and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.
Broil in oven for about 10-12 minutes for the cheese to melt and serve.
Beans for the soul
When lacking in protein, turn to beans. I’m not talking about the character in Even Stevens who was obsessed with bacon, I’m talking beans as in the food.
A friend of mine is a vegetarian and she shared with me some of her favorite recipes. Listed below is a black bean enchilada recipes she makes on the regular, but I decided to try it out for Lent. This one is easy because all you have to do is tenderize the onion, stir in the ingredients and bake for 25-30 minutes. Easy to do in the dorms and you’ll impress all your friends.
Black Bean Enchiladas
- Prep Time:20 mins
- Cook Time:45 mins
- Total Time:1 hr 5 mins
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup corn
- 3/4 salsa
- 1 can black beans
- 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 10 corn tortillas
- 1 can enchilada sauce
Add oil and cook the onion with cumin until soft. Stir in corn and salsa.
Microwave tortillas for a minute and add mixture. Be sure not to add too much, you need to roll the tortilla up tight.
Place filled tortillas in a dish and pour enchilada sauce and cheese over the tortillas and cook for 25-30 minutes.
For when you’re craving a hamburger, try a veggie burger instead. These are strangely good and they satisfy my burger cravings every time. You can add all the same fixins' you would to a normal hamburger, but there’s no actual meat. It’s also great because you can buy them pre-made and all you have to do is follow the directions on the box. I would give this a 10/10 on easiness and 10/10 on flavor.
You can find them anywhere from Walmart to Fresh Market. My favorite brand is Season’s Choice that can be found at Aldi. But if you want a recipe, look at a fellow Spoony's recipe here (she has pictures), but I also wrote it out for you.
- Prep Time:15 mins
- Cook Time:8 mins
- Total Time:23 mins
- 1 can black beans
- 1/2 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Black pepper
- 1-2 teaspoon cooking oil
Drain the beans (save the liquid) and smash half of the beans in a bowl.
Combine all beans (smashed and non-smashed), bread crumbs, egg, garlic powder, smoked paprika and black pepper. Add black bean liquid if needed.
Form the patties and cook for four minutes on each side or until they turn brown.
My all-time favorite meal to make during Lent is Shrimp-n-Grits. In the heart of the south, we sure do love our grits, and what makes them even better is putting shrimp on top. A little bit of spice and this meal will make your taste buds super happy.
- Prep Time:10 mins
- Cook Time:20 mins
- Total Time:30 mins
- 3/4 cup grits
- 3 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 cup cheddar cheese
- 1/2 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning
- 2 tablespoon cooking oil or enough to cover pan
- salt and pepper for taste
Make grits according to directions, add salt butter and cheese once grits are cooked.
Mix shrimp in Tony Chachere's and cook on skillet. Can take 3-5 minutes, or until shrimp is pink.
Put together and serve. Add salt and pepper for taste.
#SpoonTip: Add some spinach
If you would have told eight year old me that 21-year-old me would love spinach she might have thrown up. Spinach is great for a meat replacement because it's high in iron, which is also found in red meat. These technically are not recipes but suggestions for you to explore.
For breakfast, add it to your scrambled eggs. I do this on a regular basis, it really adds flavor.
For lunch, why not add some more green in your salad, adding nuts adds protein.
For dinner, have yourself some spinach ravioli or just cook it up with a little bit of salt and have it as a side dish, the choice is yours. Just know that spinach is amazing and goes with anything, really.
Lent is a great time to try new things, like fish or veggie burgers. Put that cheese pizza down and broaden your horizons this Friday. Happy eating!