Meatless dishes in 30 minutes or less

The Lenten season begins today so I thought I’d share some of my favorite meatless recipes. Whether you observe Lenten traditions, or not, you’ll like these particular dishes for their ease of preparation and their economy, two concepts that are very appealing to cooks strained for time and cash. All of these recipes allow you to feed a family of four in 30 minutes or less and for under $10.

Let’s start with canned tuna, a bag of frozen vegetables and a roll of refrigerated crescent rolls. A delicious change from tuna casserole, Easy Tuna Pot Pie has a creamy cheesy vegetable filling topped with a golden brown flaky crust-a dish even the snoopiest eaters will like.

If you enjoy a good fish fry try Oven Fried Fish. Rolled in a buttery corn flake crumb coating and cooked to perfection in a hot oven, your favorite fillets are guaranteed to have all the crispness of fried without the splatter. Serve with fries or mac and cheese and a side of creamy cole slaw.

Pasta is also a delicious way to go meatless. A simple dish, Mediterranean Ravioli uses packaged cheese ravioli, eggplant and chunky tomato sauce from a jar. A tossed salad and garlic bread complete the meal.

Easy Tuna

Pot Pie

2 T. butter

1 small onion, diced

2 (6-ounce) cans tuna, drained

1 (10-ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables

1 (10.75-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1 (8-ounce) container refrigerated crescent rolls

Directions: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent. Mix in the tuna and frozen vegetables, stirring often until the vegetables are heated through, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the cream of mushroom soup.

Pour the mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and sprinkle with Cheddar cheese. Unroll and separate the crescent rolls. Lay each crescent roll on top of the tuna mixture with points facing inward. The rolls may overlap slightly. Bake at 350 degrees, 11 to 13 minutes, or until rolls are golden brown and filling is bubbly. Let the pie sit for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting. Serves 6 to 8.


Fried Fish

(Crispy fish without the mess of frying.)

1 pound fish fillets, cut into serving-sized portions

1/2 cup milk

1 1/2 tsp. seasoned salt

1/2 cup corn flake crumbs

4 tsps. melted butter

Directions: Combine milk and seasoned salt. Dip fish in milk then in crumbs. Arrange fish on an oiled shallow baking pan. Sprinkle each portion with a teaspoon of melted butter. Bake in preheated 500 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with fork (cooking time depends on thickness of fillets.) Serves 4.

Mediterranean Ravioli

1 (14.5-ounce) package cheese ravioli

2 T. olive oil

1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups packaged chunky tomato sauce

3 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Directions: Cook ravioli according to package directions. Rinse and drain; set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add eggplant, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or till tender. Stir in tomato sauce; cook 1 minute or till heated through.

Combine ravioli and eggplant mixture in large bowl; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serves 6.