Julia's Guardian Angel Fund

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Our Ash Wednesday Dinner

Ash Wednesday is a day of Fast and Abstinence for us Catholics. What are you making for dinner? My husband and I agreed to light breakfast (for him that was a vitamin drink, for me a high protein Greek yogurt and a banana) and light lunch followed by this meal for dinner AFTER Ash Wednesday Mass.

Toasted Cheese Sandwiches and Tomato Basil Soup
Toasted Cheese Sandwiches:
Good quality bread (white or wheat your pick)...I will use batard made from ABI5MAD white
Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Using a large cookie sheet or stoneware sheet (I use a 10x14 Stoneware Bar Pan), butter the outsides of the bread. Load as much cheese as you like into the bread. Bake until golden brown. If you are using a metal cookie sheet, you will need to check on the bottoms and flip the sandwiches half way through. This works well with gluten free bread, too. You can make many sandwiches at a time this way.

Tomato Basil Soup
4 C. (8 to 10) tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped, or 4 C. canned whole tomatoes, crushed
4 C. tomato juice and part vegetable stock or chicken stock
12 to 14 washed fresh basil leaves
1 C. heavy cream
1/4 pound sweet, unsalted butter
salt to taste
1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper

Combine tomatoes, juice/and or stock in saucepan. Simmer 30 minutes. Puree, along with the basil leaves, in small batches, in blender, food processor (or better yet, one of those handy hand-held food blenders, right in the cooking pan).

Return to saucepan and add cream and butter, while stirring over low heat. Garnish with basil leaves.


  1. Vegetarian mexican-type lasagna about 2 pm. I'm fasting on liquids the rest of the day, my kids (all small) are eating normally but meatlessly. I also declared today Candy Free.

    But I think I will have to give the younger ones some French fries right before Mass. 7 pm is a horrible time of day for us to go to Mass, especially without my husband around to help.

  2. Erin - that sounds good. Is it eggless? If so, can you send me the recipe?

  3. Yeah, it's eggless, but it's loaded with dairy.

    It's not what I'd call gourmet, but it's pretty kid-friendly and pantry-friendly. One of those things I make when Mark's out of town, because I thrive on acclamations of my cooking skills, and this is one of the things my kids will acclaim me for. It's worth it to use sauce you really like.

    Shortcut Mexican Lasagna:

    Nine to 12 uncooked lasagna noodles (depending on size of pan)
    1 - 6 oz can tomato paste
    1 - 15 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
    1 - 16 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
    10 oz smooth enchilada sauce, homemade or canned
    2 cups cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
    9-12 oz shredded cheese such as cheddar, monterey jack, or pepper jack; a little feta or queso fresco is nice if you have it

    Mix the enchilada sauce, tomatoes with their juice, tomato paste, and black beans. Spoon a third of this sauce mixture on the bottom of a 9x13 or 12x8 lasagna pan. Lay three or four noodles in the sauce and spread half the cottage/ricotta cheese on them, then sprinkle with 3 oz shredded cheese. Repeat sauce mixture, noodles, cottage/ricotta, shredded cheese. Finish with a layer of noodles, the remaining sauce, and the remaining shredded cheese. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake 50 min at 375. Remove foil and stab with sharp knife to check if noodles are softened; if not, leave in oven (uncovered) a bit longer. Let rest 5 min before cutting.

    You can add other vegetables to this, maybe up to a cup of chopped or shredded vegetables into the sauce. I find zucchini to be pretty compatible.