Posts Tagged ‘Recipes for Lent’

One salmon taco on a bed of lettuce and cucumber

Fish tacos, that great meal of the Baja Peninsula, should really be an Irish “thing” too. We are, after all, surrounded by water and we have some of the most delicious fresh fish available to us year round.

In our Irish home we use salmon to make fish tacos because we really can’t get enough salmon in our diet, but haddock, cod, or any firm white fish would be equally nice. Served on warm tortillas, with a crunchy mixed salad slaw, a bed of cool guacamole, and a good squeeze of lime, these tacos are delicious. They’re also a good way to get someone, who might not normally like fish, to try it.

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And, did you know that Cinco de Mayo is this Saturday? All of the recipes below, double easily, making them a perfect main course to serve a hungry, festive, crowd. So turn up the Latin music, put the cervezas on ice, and enjoy!


Roasted Salmon Tacos with Mixed Salad Slaw

Serves 8

Ingredients for the Mixed Salad Slaw

8oz/½-lb mixed lettuce leaves, finely shredded

½ seedless cucumber, unpeeled, halved lengthwise, seeds removed and very thinly sliced

2 sticks of celery, chopped

2oz/59ml/¼-cup good white wine vinegar

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions for the Mixed Salad Slaw

At least an hour before you plan to serve the tacos, toss the lettuce, cucumber, celery, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper together in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

Ingredients for Guacamole

2 ripe avocados

Juice of ½ lime

1 teaspoon finely chopped cilantro or parsley

2 tablespoons Garlicky Marinated Tomatoes or plain cherry tomatoes, chopped

Directions for Guacamole

1. In a small bowl, mash the avocado.  Stir in lime juice.

2. Add the cilantro or parsley and the Garlicky Marinated Tomatoes, stirring until just combined. Do not over stir.

3. Cover with cling film {plastic wrap}, making sure it touches the avocado and refrigerate.

Ingredients for Salmon

453g/16oz/1lb salmon

½ lime, juiced

olive oil

1 teaspoon of chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin,

½ teaspoon garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

8 tortillas

Directions for Salmon and Tortillas

1. Pre-heat oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7. Place oven rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking tray with aluminium and top with a sheet of parchment paper.

2. Mix the chili powder, cumin and garlic powder in a small bowl and set aside.

3. Rinse the salmon, pat dry with kitchen roll(paper towel), and, if necessary, remove any bones.

4. Put the salmon fillets on the parchment paper, skin-side down, and squeeze lime juice over.

5. Pour over some olive oil and, with your hands, spread it on all sides of the fish.

6. Dust the fish with the mixed spices. Salt and pepper, as desired.

7. Roast in the oven for approximately 15 minutes or until the salmon is cooked all the way through. Roasting times will vary depending on your oven and the thickness of the salmon.

8. When it’s done, remove the fish from the baking tray and break it apart with a fork.

9. To warm the tortillas, wrap them in moist kitchen roll, pop them into the microwave for 30 seconds to one minute at full power. They should come out beautifully hot.

To Serve

1. Serve the fish on a platter with some lime wedges on the side.

2. Put the tortillas, wrapped in a cloth napkin, on a plate.

3. And bring both the fish and the tortillas to the table with a bowl of the crunchy salad slaw and the guacamole. Let each diner assemble his or her own tacos.

Additional Notes, Related Articles & Credit:

* Irish fish tales from Saveur.com

** If you prefer, you can substitute green and purple cabbage, thinly sliced, for the crunchy mixed salad.

*** If you want to get a jump start on the preparation, make the slaw and the guacamole the night before. If the guacamole turns brown on the top, carefully remove the brown bits and it will be lovely and green underneath.





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During the season of Lent many Christians give up meat on Friday. Our little family is no exception. Today’s meat-free meal is a quinoa and kale salad. The inspiration for this delicious salad comes from my new friend Perry, who lives in Utah and runs a blog called Ski Boots in the Kitchen. I met Perry not long ago and love visiting her blog about living high in the snow cap mountains of Park City {home of the Sundance Film Festival}.


Perry’s Black Bean, Kale and Quinoa Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette got me to thinking what an Irish version of the same salad would look like. Carrots and cabbage seemed an obvious addition so they went into the mix first. Perry’s recipe calls for pomegranate. but given we’re not big fans of pomegranate, I substituted that ingredient with cranberries and raisins, instead.

Quinoa and Kale Salad


The result was a healthy, tasty, easy-to-make meal perfect for a meat-free Friday…or any other day of the year! I dare say my Irish version is as good as Perry’s Utah version…but I’ll let you be the judge. Try them both and let us know what you think.

Best wishes for your continued Lenten resolve!

Irish Quinoa and Kale Salad

Serves 10

Salad Ingredients

5oz/1 large bunch of kale, finely chopped with ribs and stems removed

5oz cherry tomatoes, cut in half

3 carrots, shredded

5oz shredded cabbage

1 can/425g black beans, cooked, drained and rinsed

2 cups/13oz cooked quinoa, cooled

½ cup/2oz dried cranberries

½ cup/2oz raisins

½ red onion, finely chopped

1 avocado, sliced

Vinaigrette Ingredients

5 tablespoons red wine vinegar

15-20 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and fresh-ground pepper


1. Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the package or box it came in. Allow to cool completely. This step can be done a day ahead and the quinoa may be kept in the fridge, if desired.

2. Chop the kale and put in a large bowl along with the cherry tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, onion, black beans, quinoa, cranberries, raisins and red onion. Toss well.

3. In a separate bowl pour in the red wine vinegar and slowly whisk in the 15 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and taste. Continue to whisk more olive oil until the balance between the olive oil and red wine vinegar seems right. Season with more salt and pepper as desired.

4. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss everything together, making sure to coat all ingredients with the dressing.

5. If put in an air-tight container, this salad will keep very well for up to three days.

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Photo from Giada at Home Cookery BookLast week’s post on what Irish Catholics eat during Lent was a big hit. Seems there are quite a few of you out there who, like me, need a warm meat-free meal at the end of a Lenten week.

With that in mind, I offer you the following recipe for Pasta Ponza. It comes courtesy of the bright and beautiful Giada De Laurentiis and is found in her cookery book Giada at Home. You’ll forgive me for saying so but I turned instinctively to this particular chef after watching Pope Benedict XVI resign yesterday. The news from Rome and the beautiful images of Italy made me think Italian food seemed appropriate for this Friday’s Lenten Dinner Challenge. Giada herself was born in Italy but was then raised in Los Angeles. Stylistically, she reminds me of our own Rachel Allen.

This recipe is molto bene! Enjoy.

Pasta Ponza

Serves 4 to 6


Unsalted butter, for greasing

2 cups/12 oz red cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

2 cups/12 oz yellow cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

¼ cup capers, rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling

½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste

½ cup/1oz Italian-style seasoned dried bread crumbs

1 pound/16oz ziti or other short tube-shaped pasta

1 ½ cups/8oz grated Pecorino Romano cheese

¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley leaves


1. Place an oven rack in the centre of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C/gas mark 5. Butter an 8×8-inch baking dish. Set aside.

2. Combine the tomatoes, capers, olive oil, salt and pepper in the prepared baking dish. Toss to coat.

3. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the tomato mixture. Drizzle the top with olive oil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden. Cool for 5 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, 8 to 10 minutes.

5. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water. Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl. Spoon the tomato mixture over the pasta. Add the cheese and toss well. If needed, thin out the sauce with a little pasta water. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.

* Note: Photo was taken from Giada De Laurentiis’ cookery book Giada at Home.

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