Tips for Taco Tuesday . . . but on a Friday, and other nonsense for your Monday

by | Sep 15, 2014 | Catholic Living, Recipes | 18 comments

We’ve been meat-free on Fridays for a couple of years now, and it’s been good for our family. It’s a great way to make a sacrifice that we can share with each other and with other Catholics all over the world and through time. I think it’s terrific. Except, of course, for the fact that it’s kind of a pain (as sacrifices often are).

I’ve mostly gotten past the first hurdle of meat-free Fridays, which was remembering to do it at all. But now, the main issue I have, is that we like to try to do fun family activities on Friday, but I don’t have many meat-free dinner recipes that are portable.

But look out, I’m about to go food blog on you.

Enter . . .

The Easy Peasy on the Go Fish Taco

makes 15 tacos, feeds 5-6 adults

one package of 30 corn tortillas
one box large-size frozen fish sticks (30 sticks)
one tube prepared fresh cilantro (in fresh herb section)
one tub fresh pico de gallo type salsa
one bag fine shredded cabbage

at home, bake fish sticks according to package directions, wrap in foil and place in a plastic food storage container
pack fish sticks and tortillas in a warm cooler (oh, the irony)
pack cilantro, cabbage, and salsa in a cool cooler (that’s better)

at destination: for each taco, take two tortillas in your hand, squeeze a line of cilantro down the center of the top one, place two fish sticks, a spoonful of salsa, and a handful of cabbage on top, fold, and enjoy

Seriously, they’re great. Good at the beach, good at the park, probably even good camping, I’d just cook the fish sticks over the fire in a foil packet. My kids love them, if you just keep the fish stick box out of sight, your guests will be impressed, too.

So, the whole reason I had to come up with the fish sticks fish tacos thing was because, while it’s been snowing on some bloggers, it’s been hot here.

Really, really hot.

So when One Direction came to the Rose Bowl and cancelled our homeschool parkday (they should be ashamed of themselves), we headed to the beach.

I love beach days!
And now for some catching up . . . 
There’s really no graceful way to segue from my frozen fish sticks recipe into recommending Daniel Bearman Stewart’s latest post on healthy eating practices, but watch me do it anyway.
“When we look at our contemporary health problems here in the West, we’re
quick to focus narrowly on diet. And it’s certainly true that the
average American today eats very differently than the average American
did a century or two ago. But there are even more dramatic changes to
the way we live. We’re no longer members of close-knit and active
communities made up of strong families committed to each other and a
common cause. We’re isolated individuals leading sedentary lives both at
work and at home. We also consume massive amounts of entertainment and
spend very little time with our families and communities. But these
things aren’t easy to measure scientifically and the solutions are even
harder to implement. It’d be great if the solution to all our health
woes was simply “Eat this one special food” or “Throw away your cheese.”
But, it appears the problem is not just WHAT we eat but HOW we get the
food and WHO we eat it with.”

I loved reading his research, and couldn’t agree more with his conclusions. Ever since I slowly (and sometimes comically) have learned to cook food from scratch over the course of my marriage, that has been our focus. Not restricting our diets, but eating reasonable portions of from scratch foods, and avoiding processed food whenever possible. (I have a prescription for Dr. Pepper, so that doesn’t count. Obviously.) In our family food is a social activity, something we do together, not alone. Food is not the enemy. I hope this way of eating will help my kids grow up with a positive relationship to food and eating, and keep them away from the crazy fad dieting culture.

And, speaking of the Stewarts, I also loved Haley’s post about Instagram Envy, Being Authentic on the Internet, and When It’s Time to Break Up with a Blog.

I’m kind of the opposite of Haley here, I used
to get stressed out reading a “Help! My life is chaos!” blog, because I
always felt like I wanted to fix what was wrong for her, and felt
powerless to actually do anything to
help her. But over the past couple of years of blogging, I’ve come to
learn that (surprise!) people are different and are inspired and
motivated by different things. I love, love, love seeing beautiful
pictures, and I like sharing beautiful or funny moments. But I don’t
assume that beautiful photos mean clean counter tops and
accounted-for-shoes and no-yelling-ever. I like beautiful photos BECAUSE
we have messy counter tops and lost shoes and some yelling. I tend not
to write about things until I’ve finished processing them and feel like I
have a resolution to share. But NOW, I understand that for some people
the sharing of the chaos is PART of their resolution process, and that’s
okay. I don’t have to be able to fix it. Just because someone chooses
to share her crazy moments doesn’t mean she doesn’t have together
moments, and just because someone chooses to share together moments,
doesn’t mean she doesn’t have crazy moments. It doesn’t mean that for me

And guess what? It turns out that the thing I needed to nudge me over the edge on whether or not to join Instagram was Haley saying that everyone’s life was too pretty on Instagram. So, come see an incomplete sample of the pretty parts of my life. I’m @kendra_tierney.

Speaking of pictures, here are a couple you may have missed on Facebook:

was playing on the floor in the living room, while we were working on
school in the dining room (aka the other side of the living room).
Gus: Mom, can Lulu stand up?
Me (with back to Lulu): No, not yet, but soon. Let’s get back to work.
. . . a minute later . . .
Gus: Are you sure she can’t? ‘Cause she IS.
Lulu: (standing at ottoman, waving one arm, and gleefully shouting to get our attention)
Me: Oh. I guess she can.

This is what playing Mass looks like in SoCal. #cantconsecratecornchips

Finally, (whew!) it’s the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows today. Here’s what we’ll be doing.

 We’re going to use sour skittles.  Lemon drops are prettier, but they take forever to eat.

Keep cool/warm as applicable, everyone!


  1. Isabelle Lubbock

    The American version of Fish Finger Sandwiches! It's a staple over here! My pupils had to explain it to me very slowly when I started teaching, but now I'm sold.

    • Kendra

      I'm pretty sure you're supposed to eat fish fingers with custard. 😉

  2. Wendy Klik

    50 yrs ago, when I was a kid, we used sweettarts when playing Mass. LOL…Thanks for the memories.

  3. Kaitlin @ More Like Mary

    I just made fish tacos for the first time this past Friday. So easy. Why did it take me this long?? I added a can of drained white beans to make the fish stretch even further. And THANK YOU for the eat-on-the-go idea. We just moved 30 minutes from town and eating in the car or at our destination is now a necessity if we ever want to go anywhere. Please, please, please do another food post and share some of your other on-the-go recipes.

    And the cilantro tube. I'm finally gonna try it based on your suggestion. The thought of having "fresh" cilantro in the house at all times is so tempting.

    • Kendra

      Okay Kaitlin, I'll add it to the to do list. We definitely do a lot of on the go family dinners. But the secret is: take a dinner you'd normally serve on rice (curry, stir fry, etc) or on a salad . . . And wrap it in a tortilla.

      I like the tubes, I use the basil and the cilantro on years like this one when my poor little garden is baked. 🙁

    • Tia

      is the tube something you can make with existing herbs? I am always left with a large handful of cilantro after a recipe calls for it as "garnish" and am wondering how I can make it stretch. Same goes for basil, unless we're making pesto.

    • Kendra

      I don't see why not. I make pesto out of basil or cilantro and it keeps well. I think if you were to combine cilantro and olive oil and pulse in in a food processor, you could put it in a ziplock bag and cut the tip off of it to squeeze it on the tacos. You could also just bring chopped fresh cilantro! I figured the tube would be easier for us at the beach.

  4. Amanda

    I prescribed myself Dr Pepper, for my mental health. (And it keeps me from being prideful about cooking from scratch, so it's humbling too!)

    I wanted to teach the kids this Our Lady of Sorrows lesson, but we didn't have sour candy, so we used plain Greek yogurt. It was sour, without the fun of candy. Ah well.

    I wonder if my husband would notice fish sticks in his tacos…

  5. Micaela Darr

    Yaaaaaaaaay for Instagram! I'm a "write after I process" kinda gal, too. But I think BOTH extremes of blogs tend to stress me out. Either I'm jealous of someone's perfection or I'm stressed because they're stressed. At least, I used to be. I think I have a more realistic view now, having met several bloggers in real life. 😉

  6. Nanacamille

    Louise is so adorable and look what she can do all by herself. Proud of you girl. My brother and I used to play "Mass" when we were growing up in the long hall to the bedrooms in our house. We used a hall table for the alter with Mom's best lace tablecloth, her silver goblet for grape juice and a silver bowl for Neco wafers (a perfect sub for hosts). We invited all of the neighborhood kids to join us and they loved to play it too. We were the only Catholics and all of the rest of the kids were Presbyterian.

  7. Angie Tancraitor

    Ha! We used to use my mom's apple core-er to make small circles in pieces of bread for our Mass play. My sister and I would dress up in dress-up-clothes and stand in our living room in front of the fire place (which was the altar) singing church songs while bouncing and shushing our dollies to sleep. Then every once in a while we'd whisper to one another that we thought our baby was being too noisy and that we'd need to go to the back of the Church. Good memories!! And who knew I'd really be doing that x6 all these years later 🙂 – Angie Tancraitor

    • Kendra

      Me too Jenny! We've gotten a lot of use out of it. You were so so sweet to make it for her!

  8. Gina Fensterer

    I love this idea! Also…what are some other Friday favorites? I feel like some of us should start sharing meatless Friday faves regularly or something.

  9. Unknown

    I'm a new 5th grade Catholic school teacher and am going to use your lesson. I grew up in public school and worked in public schools, but we played mass a few times and used Necco Wafers in catechism. Thanks =-)

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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