Two Recipes: One Especially for Lent

I know that Lent can sometimes mean the same thing every Friday. But if your parish doesn’t have a Fish Fry, do you really want fish sticks every week? I decided to try to share a recipe each Friday during Lent for anyone who wants to try something new or different. Since I keep meatless Fridays in general, I’ve been trying to build up my repetoir so it’s not always the same two things.

This week is a basic recipe and a typical family meal, but it’s been skinnied down by Weight Watchers. You’ll need about 20 minutes of prep time (most things can be done while the noodles are cooking) and 30 minutes of cooking time.

I’ve served this Tuna Casserole to my girls under the names of “Nemo Noodles” and “Sponge Bob Casserole” when they were reluctant to eat “Tuna Casserole.” They aren’t fans of tuna sandwiches, but if I don’t make this often enough, they ask for it to be put on the menu! I also occasionally substitute shells for egg noodles, and I always leave out the thyme. I liked it with the thyme, but no one else did – especially the girls!

If you’re counting WW points, this one is 6 points per serving.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. uncooked egg noodles
  • 12 oz. water-packed tuna fish, drained
  • 2 cups button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 16 oz. fat-free sour cream
  • 1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard (also good: honey mustard)
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, or reduced-fat Swiss (the Swiss is oh-so-creamy!!)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Cook noodles according to package directions without added fat or salt. Drain and transfet to a large bowl. Fold in tuna, mushrooms, and peas
  3. Whisk sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, thyme, salt, and pepper together in a seperate bowl; fold into noodle mixture. Transfer to a 4-quart casserole dish. Top with cheese. Bake until top is golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

********************************

This is not a recipe that tastes low-fat, and is a staple for us during Lent. It’s a really fantastic taste, and after using the Jack cheese for years, I finally bought Swiss (even though it wasn’t low-fat) and won’t go back now. It makes the whole dish smooth and creamy! My kids get seconds and thirds of this one!

And for those of you not giving up chocolate for Lent, I give you a most delicious recipe! You could make these for Valentines, if you wanted.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (from The Cookie Bible)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ butter flavored Crisco stick or ½ cup butter flavor Crisco
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup finely chopped peanuts
  • 36 miniature peanut butter cups, unwrapped (an entire package)
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 F. Place sheets of foil on countertop for cooling cookies.
  2. Combine chocolate chips and chocolate squares in microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl. Microwave at 50% power (medium). Stir after 2 minutes. Repeat until smooth (or melt on rangetop in small saucepan over very low heat.)
  3. Combine sugar and ½ cup shorting in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until blended and crumbly. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then salt and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add chocolate slowly. Mix until well blended. Stir in flour and baking soda with spoon until well blended. Shape dough into 1 ¼ inch balls. Roll in nuts. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 350 F for 8 to 10 minutes or until set. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Press peanut butter cup into center of each cookie immediately. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove coolies to foil to cool completely.
  5. Place peanut butter chips in heavy resealable sandwich bag. Seal. Microwave at 50% power (medium). Knead bag after 1 minute. Repeat until smooth (or melt by placing bag in hot water). Cut tiny (really, really tiny) tip off corner of bag. Squeeze out and drizzle over cookies.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

[image source – I forgot to take pictures of my own!]

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