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For many, last Wednesday was the beginning of 40 days of change in their normal daily routine. The season of Lent brings a change of diet to some. Giving up meat on certain days or giving up favorite foods (maybe French fries) or groups of foods (for example deserts) can present difficulties in preparing menus that contain a variety of main dishes. This week’s cook column contains meatless recipes that will help provide variety, but still keep the preparation easy.

7-Layer Meatless Tortilla Pie Recipe
(2) 15 ounce cans pinto beans,
1 cup picante sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons chopped fresh
15 ounce can black beans,
1 small tomato, chopped
(7) 8 inch flour tortillas
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
Mash pinto beans. Stir in 3/4 cup picante sauce and garlic. Mix remaining picante sauce, cilantro, black beans and tomato.
Place 1 tortilla on baking sheet. Spread 3/4 cup pinto bean mixture over tortilla to within 1/2-inch of edge. Top with 1/4 cup cheese. Top with 1 tortilla and 2/3 cup black bean mixture. Top with 1/4 cup cheese. Repeat layers twice more. Top with remaining tortilla and spread with remaining pinto bean mixture. Cover with foil.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes or until hot. Uncover. Top with remaining cheese. Cut into wedges. Serve with additional picante sauce and sprinkle with additional cilantro if desired. Makes 6 servings.

Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos
Karena, allrecipes.com
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups canned kidney beans,
2 cups water
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 cups cooked and mashed
sweet potatoes
12 (10 inch) flour tortillas,
8 ounces shredded cheddar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in a medium skillet, and sauté onion and garlic until soft. Stir in beans, and mash. Gradually stir in water and heat until warm. Remove from heat, and stir in the chili powder, cumin, mustard, cayenne pepper and soy sauce.
Divide bean mixture and mashed sweet potatoes evenly between the warm flour tortillas. Top with cheese. Fold up tortillas burrito style, and place on a baking sheet.
Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven, and serve. Makes 12 burritos.
Note: “Serve these with sour cream, chopped green onions and salsa. For vegan burritos, omit the cheese and sour cream. These may be made ahead of time, individually frozen, then heated. For an interesting variation, try deep frying these tasty burritos,” Karena.

Alfredo Mostaccioli
Kimber, allrecipes.com
16 ounce package mostaccioli
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground
black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
Combine heavy cream and butter in a Dutch oven or large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Heat until butter melts, stirring occasionally; be careful not to bring mixture to a boil. Stir in Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Toss with cooked pasta and serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.
Note: “My friends love this Alfredo sauce and it can be used with any type pasta that will hold sauce well. I’ve also used this as a base for making a white pizza and it is excellent! Enjoy,” Kimber.

Allie’s Mushroom Pizza
AllieB, allrecipes.com
12 inch pre-baked pizza crust
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 cup fresh spinach, rinsed and
8 ounces shredded mozzarella
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place pizza crust on baking sheet.
In a small bowl, mix together olive oil and sesame oil. Brush onto pre-baked pizza crust, covering entire surface. Stack the spinach leaves, then cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips; scatter evenly over crust. Cover pizza with shredded mozzarella, and top with sliced mushrooms.
Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and edges are crisp.

Al’s Quick Vegetarian Spaghetti
Albert Ross, allrecipes.com
1 pound uncooked spaghetti
1 cup broccoli florets
15 ounce can whole kernel corn,
1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
1 cup sliced carrots
(2) 8 ounce cans tomato sauce
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add spaghetti and return water to a boil. Cook until spaghetti is al dente; drain well.
Combine broccoli, corn, mushrooms, carrots and tomato sauce in large saucepot. Cook on medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally to keep sauce from sticking. Serve sauce over spaghetti. Makes 8 servings.

Baked Eggplant Parmesan
Dollface, allrecipes.com
2 eggplants, peeled and cut into
1/2-inch slices
1 tablespoon salt, or as needed
1 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
28 ounce jar garlic-and-tomato
pasta sauce
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
16 ounce package shredded
mozzarella cheese, or as
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Place eggplant slices in a colander; sprinkle both sides of each slice with salt. Allow to sit for at least 3 hours. Wipe excess moisture from eggplant slices with paper towels.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet.
Mix breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese together in a bowl.
Dip eggplant slices in beaten egg; coat with breadcrumb mixture. Arrange coated eggplant slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned and crisp, about 5 minutes per side.
Cover the bottom of a 9x13-inch casserole dish with a layer of spaghetti sauce; top with a layer of eggplant slices. Sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of the remaining Parmesan cheese and 1/3 the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers with remaining ingredients, ending with a cheese layer. Sprinkle with basil.
Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is bubbling and golden brown, about 35 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Cheater’s Enchiladas
KOOLMOM84, allrecipes.com
16 ounce container sour cream
12 ounces shredded Monterey
Jack cheese
20 ounce can green enchilada
(18) 6 inch corn tortillas
2 ounce can chopped black
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and 3/4 of the cheese.
Into a 9x13 inch pan, pour a small amount of enchilada sauce to coat bottom of pan. Layer 6 tortillas on bottom of pan. Layer half of the cheese-sour cream mixture and 1/3 of the olives over the tortillas. Repeat this layer once more. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the final layer of tortillas.
Bake for 20 minutes. Cut into squares and serve. Makes 8 servings.

Chili Rellenos Casserole
Clarrisa2, allrecipes.com
(2) 7 ounce cans whole green
chili peppers, drained
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese,
8 ounces longhorn or cheddar
cheese, shredded
2 eggs, beaten
5 ounce can evaporated milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
8 ounce can tomato sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Lay half of the chilies evenly in bottom of baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the Jack and cheddar cheeses, and cover with remaining chilies. In a bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, and flour, and pour over the top of the chilies.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, pour tomato sauce evenly over the top, and continue baking another 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining Jack and cheddar cheeses, and serve. Makes 6 servings.

Cottage Cheese Loaf
Jeannine Parikh, allrecipe.com
16 ounce container low-fat
cottage cheese
4 cups crushed cornflakes cereal
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x9 inch cooking dish with cooking spray. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium skillet. Sauté the onion until soft and translucent.
In a large bowl combine cottage cheese, cornflake crumbs, egg, oil and sautéed onion. Gradually stir in the milk to moisten. You might only need 1/2 cup of the milk, the mixture should be moist but not soupy.
Spread the cottage cheese mixture into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes or until bubbly and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Makes 6 servings.

Creamy Pasta and Vegetables
Campbell’s Kitchen, allrecipes.com
2 cups uncooked
corkscrew-shaped pasta
1 cup broccoli flowerets
1 medium carrot, sliced
1 cup V8® 100 percent
vegetable juice
10.75 can Campbell’s®
condensed 98 percent fat free
cream of celery soup
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Prepare pasta according to package directions. Add broccoli and carrot for last 5 minutes of cooking time. Drain.
Mix vegetable juice, soup, garlic powder, pepper and pasta mixture and heat through, stirring occasionally. Makes 4 servings.
The COOK OF THE WEEK 3rd Edition Cookbook is available. Cost per copy is $10.70, plus $4.80 shipping/handling. Order a copy today by sending a check or money order, along with name and shipping address, to: Humboldt Independent, 512 Sumner Ave., Humboldt, IA 50548.