With people across the country observing Lent, a religious tradition observed during the 40 days before Easter, it’s time to rethink the standard family meal menu.

This nearly eight-week period typically calls for a special diet. Specifically, red meat is cut out on Fridays for some and for the entirety of Lent for others.

According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, research shows eating seafood two to three times per week reduces the risk of death from any health-related cause.

Seafood also provides unique health benefits as a lean protein and is a quality source for omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats essential to human health and development.

This simple recipe for Blackened Catfish with Quinoa and Citrus Vinaigrette can help you on your way to a more nutritious meal plan that includes consuming seafood twice per week.

If you can’t find catfish or prefer to substitute, any white fish — such as cod, mahi-mahi, or flounder — will work.

For more seafood recipes and Lenten meal inspiration, visit www.seafoodnutrition.org.


Blackened Catfish with Quinoa and Citrus Vinaigrette

Recipe courtesy of Chef Tim Hughes on behalf of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership.

Servings: 4


Blackening Seasoning

• 1 tablespoon salt

• 1 tablespoon pepper

• 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

• 1 tablespoon garlic powder

• 1 tablespoon thyme


Combine salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and thyme.


Quinoa Salad

• 1 tablespoon peanut oil

• 1 cup corn, canned and drained or frozen and thawed to room temperature

• salt, to taste

• pepper, to taste

• 1/2 cup edamame, shelled and thawed to room temperature

• 3 cups quinoa, cooked


Heat and oil skillet. Add corn; salt and pepper, to taste, and sauté until golden brown. Add edamame and sautéed corn to quinoa and set aside.


Blackened Catfish

• 1 tablespoon peanut oil

• 1 pound catfish, cut into four fillets

• 5 tablespoons blackening seasoning


Heat cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon peanut oil added. Coat both sides of catfish fillets with blackening seasoning. Add catfish to skillet and cook 5-6 minutes per side, or until well done.


Citrus Vinaigrette

• 2 tablespoons lemon juice

• 1 teaspoon lemon zest

• 1 tablespoon honey

• 1/2 teaspoon thyme

• 2 tablespoons olive oil


Whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, honey, and thyme. Slowly add olive oil, whisking until dressing is formed.

Serve blackened catfish on top of quinoa salad and drizzle with citrus vinaigrette.


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