Seafood indulgence – Delicious meatless Lenten meals

Looking for delicious meatless Lenten meals? Now is a great time to enjoy fresh seafood. I always keep various types—salmon, shrimp, tilapia—in the freezer for quick, go-to meals, thanks to a friend who loves to fish and share with me. And what better time to spotlight our delicious Gulf Coast seafood than when the Lenten season coincides with the National Nutrition Month of March!

Fast Fish is the perfect simple recipe that works with just about any catch. With only 140-200 calories per 4-ounce portion and very little fat and sodium, baked fish is a lean, nutritious choice. This recipe calls for jalapeńos—I love to add that extra kick, but the recipe is equally delicious without it.

For a dose of heart-healthy salmon, try Salmon with Dill Dijon Sauce. This simple dish has gourmet appeal. Don’t be intimidated by salmon, as this meal takes only minutes to prepare—and even less time to disappear from the plate. A few pantry ingredients plus the fillets will be enough to whip up a meal with a beautiful presentation and savory flavor. Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce risk of heart disease, and may lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. This fish is also a fantastic source of protein, vitamin D, B vitamins, and potassium.

Need light and tasty hors d’oeuvres for a spring get-together? Seared Tuna with Avocado Salsa on Rice Crackers looks fancy without entailing any fuss. I recently made this appetizer for a dinner party and, in response to keen interest, had to direct everyone to Kitchen 101 for the recipe. Its fresh ingredients are just right for spring meals. This and other mouthwatering seafood dishes featured here will ensure that you sail through the Lenten season without much culinary sacrifice.

Easy preparation results in a special presentation.
1 2-lb. fresh salmon fillet
1 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup spicy or creole mustard
1/4 cup light brown sugar
Dill Dijon Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil. Lay salmon on prepared pan. Pour wine over salmon and season to taste. Bake 20-25 minutes or until almost done. Remove pan and turn oven to broil. In bowl, mix together mustard and brown sugar; spread on top of salmon. Return salmon to oven; broil until topping is brown and bubbling, or about 3 minutes—watch carefully. Serve with Dill Dijon Sauce (see recipe below). Makes 6 servings.

1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 1/2 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp. light brown sugar
2 tsp. dried dill weed leaves

In small bowl, mix together all ingredients. Refrigerate.

Nutritional information per serving: Calories 301 | Calories from fat 23% Fat 7g | Saturated fat 1g | Cholesterol 72mg | Sodium 365mg | Carbohydrates 20g | Dietary fiber 0g Total sugars 19g | Protein 34g | Dietary exchanges: 1 1/2 other carbohydrate, 5 lean meat

Holly’s hint: Instead of one large piece of salmon, you can use six smaller pieces for individual servings. I have served this as an appetizer and a main dish at cocktail parties—either way guests were impressed.

This amazing blend of flavors quickly comes together by making avocado salsa and searing tuna ahead of time. Just assemble when ready to serve.
1 12-oz. 1/2-inch thick tuna fillet
Pepper and salt to taste
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped avocados
1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
3 Tbsp. lime juice
48 rice crackers
1/2 cup sweetened chili sauce

Season tuna with pepper and salt to taste. In a nonstick skillet, over medium-high heat, heat oil and sear tuna quickly on each side (sushi-rare tuna in middle). Cool. Slice tuna against grain into 48 small squares. In medium bowl, combine avocados, tomatoes, red onion, and lime juice. Season to taste. To assemble, place small amount of avocado salsa on rice cracker, top with tuna slice, and drizzle with chili sauce. Makes about 12 (4-cracker) servings.

Nutritional information per serving: Calories 135 | Calories from fat 31% | Fat 5g | Saturated fat 1g | Cholesterol 11mg | Sodium 182mg | Carbohydrates 15g | Dietary fiber 2g | Total sugars 6g | Protein 8g | Dietary exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat

Holly’s hint: Jars of sweetened chili sauce are usually found in the Asian section of the grocery store.

This effortless entrée goes well with a light lemon-garlic sauce.
2 4-oz. fish fillets
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup white wine
1 Tbsp. chopped jalapeńos (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat small baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Season fish and coat with flour. In prepared baking dish, add olive oil and garlic; lay fish on top. Sprinkle fish with lemon juice, wine and jalapeńos, if desired. Bake 20-25 minutes or until fish is flaky and done. Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: Calories 193 | Calories from fat 36% | Fat 8g | Saturated fat 1g | Cholesterol 43mg Sodium 63mg | Carbohydrate 7g | Dietary fiber 0g | Sugars 0g | Protein 19g | Dietary exchanges: 1/2 starch, 3 lean meat

Holly Clegg is the author of the best-selling trim&TERRIFIC cookbooks, Eating Well Through Cancer and Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle at Any Age. For more information, visit or