Easy cooking with seafood|Lenten fasting season begins today

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Christian season of Lent begins today with Ash Wednesday. And for the 40 weekdays preceding Easter (the six Sundays don’t count), Roman Catholic, Eastern and some Protestant churches observe a period of penitence and fasting that represent Christ’s 40 days in the wilderness.

For some cooks, planning meals for the Lenten season are a chore. But the solution is to get out the seafood  — such as tuna, salmon, lobster and the fresh fish caught in ponds. And then look through your cookbooks for meatless-meal recipes.

Seafood is easy to cook, and when it comes to recipes, the words healthy and simple don’t always seem to go together. But preparing a nutritious meal doesn’t have to be hard. The first step is to pick a lean protein.

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Fish fits the bill

Dieticians and nutritionists recommend getting lean protein from natural, lean sources such as skinless fish, poultry, beef or pork loins and beans. Protein is essential to keep the body fueled.

Tuna and seafood in general are good protein sources, and have the added benefit of omega-3 fatty acids. Research shows that omega-3s can improve heart health and reduce the risk of some kinds of cancers. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times a week as part of a healthy diet whether it is the Lenten season or not.

Here are some solutions. To make healthy cooking easier, don’t be shy about using products that do part of the work for you. Just use fully cooked and seasoned ready-to-serve seafood medleys to give your family a healthy and delicious meal in no time.

Many seafoods can be paired with your favorite simple sides, or turned into tasty wraps, salads and skillets. For recipes, visit bumblebee.com.