Lenten Recipes

With the unusual winter, and an early Easter, it is hard for us to think it is already time for Lent!

Hope there is something this week to help spruce up your weekly menu!

Modern Tuna Casserole


Prep: 20 min 

Cook: 20 min

Servings: 6


3 T. butter, divided

4 med. carrots, chopped

1 med. onion, chopped

1 med. sweet red pepper, chopped

1 C. sliced baby portobello mushrooms

2 cans (5 oz. each) albacore white tuna in water, drained and flaked

2 C. fresh baby spinach

1 C. frozen peas

3 C. uncooked spiral pasta

1 T. all-purpose flour

2/3 C. reduced-sodium chicken broth

1/3 C. half-and-half cream

1/2 C. shredded Parmesan cheese

3/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper


In a large skillet, heat 1 T. butter over medium-high heat. Add carrots, onion, red pepper and mushrooms. Cook and stir until tender, 8-10 minutes. Add tuna, spinach and peas; cook until spinach is just wilted, 2-3 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1 C. pasta water. Place pasta and tuna mixture in a large bowl; toss to combine. Wipe skillet clean.

In the same skillet, melt remaining butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually whisk in broth and cream. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes, adding reserved pasta water if needed. Stir in Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Pour over pasta; toss to coat.


One-Pan Tuscan Ravioli


Prep/Total Time: 25 min

Servings: 4


1 T. olive oil

2 C. cubed eggplant (1/2 inch)

1 can (14-1/2 oz.) Italian diced tomatoes, undrained

1 can (14-1/2 oz.) reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 med. zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices

1 pkg. (9 oz.) refrigerated cheese ravioli

1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

Shredded Parmesan cheese

Thinly sliced fresh basil


In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat; sauté eggplant until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, broth and zucchini; bring to a boil. Add ravioli; cook, uncovered, over medium heat until ravioli are tender, 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in beans; heat through. Sprinkle with cheese and basil.


Crispy Pan-Fried Fish


Prep Time: 3 min 

Cook Time: 5 min 

Total Time: 8 min 

Servings: 1


2 thin fish fillets (cod, snapper, flounder, haddock, halibut, grouper) around 5 oz. each, 2.5” thick, skin off

Salt and pepper

1/4 C. flour (plain/all purpose)

1 tsp. paprika, optional

2 - 3 T.  vegetable oil, enough to mostly thinly cover base



Lemon wedges

Finely chopped parsley or dill, for garnish, optional


Use scrunched up paper towels to pat the fish dry on both sides; very important if you are using thawed frozen fish.

Season the fish well on both sides with salt and pepper.

Mix the flour and paprika on a plate.

Coat fish on both sides with flour, pressing down firmly so it adheres, but shake well to remove excess.

Heat a heavy-based skillet (cast iron or nonstick) over medium high heat until you see wisps of smoke. Add oil and swirl to coat the pan - it will heat within seconds.

Add fish - it should sizzle straight away. Shake the pan lightly to move the fish. Cook for 2 minutes until golden and crisp, pressing down gently, then flip. Cook the other side for 2 minutes until crisp then remove.

If it’s browning too quickly, just remove pan from the stove briefly.  If it’s stuck, don’t move - it will release naturally once golden.

Serve fish immediately with lemon wedges and garnish with dill or parsley, if using. It starts to lose crispiness after 5 minutes.


Meatless Chili Mac


Total Time

Prep: 15 min.

Cook: 25 min.

Makes 8 servings


1 lg. onion, chopped

1 med. green pepper, chopped

1 T. olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

2 C. water

1-1/2 C. uncooked elbow macaroni

1 can (16 oz.) mild chili beans, undrained

1 can (15-1/2 oz.) great northern beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

4 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 C. fat-free sour cream


In a Dutch oven, sauté onion and green pepper in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the water, macaroni, beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin and salt.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until macaroni is tender. Top each serving with 1T. sour cream.


Brown Sugar Honey-Glazed Carrots


Prep Time: 2 min

Cook Time: 10 min

Total Time: 12 min

Servings:  4


 5 C. water

1 lb. baby carrots

2 T. butter

1/3 C. brown sugar

1 T. honey

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. salt


 Boil water in a medium saucepan. Add carrots and reduce temperature to medium-high and continue to cook for 5 minutes or until carrots have started to soften but still have a bit of a crunch to them. Drain.

Return carrots to the pan and add butter, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes or until sauce has thickened to a glaze and carrots are soft with a slight crunch.

For a thicker glaze, add 1-2 tsp of cornstarch to sauce.


Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting


Prep: 15 min 

Bake: 20 min + cooling

Servings: 4 dozen


1/2 C. butter, softened

1-1/2 C. sugar

2 lg. eggs, room temperature

1 C. sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 C. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

2 med. ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 C.)



1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1/2 C. butter, softened

2 tsp. vanilla extract

3-3/4 to 4 C. confectioners’ sugar


Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in bananas.

Spread into a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (do not overbake), 20-25 minutes. Let cool.

For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually beat in enough confectioners’ sugar to achieve desired consistency. Frost bars. Store in the refrigerator.


Strawberry and White Chocolate Cream Slab Pie


1 box (14.1 oz.) refrigerated Pillsbury™ Pie Crusts (2 Count), softened as directed on box

3 pkgs. (4 oz. each) white chocolate baking squares

3 T. milk

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1/4 C. powdered sugar

1 container (8 oz.) Cool Whip frozen whipped topping, thawed (3 C.)

3/4 C. strawberry jam, stirred well

1-1/2 C. chopped fresh strawberries


Heat oven to 450°F. Remove pie crusts from pouches. On lightly floured surface, unroll and stack crusts one on top of the other. Roll to 17x12-inch rectangle. Fit crust into ungreased 15x10x1-inch pan, pressing firmly into corners and sides. Fold crust even with edges of pan. Flute or crimp edges; prick crust several times with fork. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Coarsely chop 4 oz. of the white chocolate; sprinkle onto hot pie crust, and let stand 5 minutes. With offset metal spatula, carefully spread melted white chocolate across bottom of crust (will be thin layer). Freeze 10 to 15 minutes, or until set.

Meanwhile, in small microwavable bowl, microwave 7 oz. of the remaining white chocolate and the milk uncovered on High 30 seconds; stir. Continue heating in 10-second increments, stirring after each, until white chocolate can be stirred smooth. Set aside to cool. Shave remaining 1 oz. white chocolate, and set aside for topping.

In large bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar with mixer until well blended. Add cooled white chocolate mixture to bowl; beat until well blended. Gently fold in whipped topping. Spread jam on top of set layer on crust. Spoon white chocolate mixture onto jam layer; carefully spread to cover jam layer. Refrigerate at least 1 hour until chilled.

Just before serving, top with strawberries and reserved shaved white chocolate.


Quote of the Week:

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”  

~ Abraham Lincoln


The Drummer and The Wright County Journal Press

PO Box 159
108 Central Ave.
Buffalo MN 55313


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