Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Healthy Meal: Fish with Leeks, Shallots and Lemon

It was 6:30 and I was tired. I worked a long day, sandwiched between a long commute and, as per usual, cooking was not high on my list of appealing activities. Enter my resolution to cook more and eat better. (And the ticking spoilage clock that is fish once you buy it).

In any case, I am pleased to report that at 7:30, after 25 minutes of easy prep, I sat down to an awesome, home-cooked meal. One that was healthy, fulfilling, and sustainable.

How, you ask? Well, let me expound. First, if you're going to buy fish these days, you have to go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium website (http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/) and get to its Seafood Watch pocket guide. It offers the definitive list of what you should and shouldn't buy. A warning: it's complicated. I intended to buy cod, but of the list of where and how the cod is fished, Whole Foods failed to offer sustainable cod in its fresh fish section. I also tend to think having a conversation with the Whole Foods folks about the website is a good thing. I ended up with silver hake, like cod but a more course grain. I think this recipe would work with any fish, your conscience permitting.

2 lemons
2 shallots
2 leeks
2 cloves garlic
2 zucchini (or any roast-able veggie)

organic olive oil cooking spray
Sea salt
2 6 oz. fillets of your favorite fish

(6:35 pm) Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a casserole dish (9x12) with olive oil spray - about 3 sprays should do it. Wash and slice leeks on a diagonal for large circles, white and light green parts only. Juice and zest one lemon. Toss sliced leeks, 2/3 of the lemon juice and the zest and a healthy dose of salt into the casserole dish (see picture above) and roast covered for 10 minutes, until the leeks just start to turn soft.

(6:45) During those 10 minutes, mince the two shallots, cut the two cloves of garlic into slivers, zest the second lemon and slice the zucchini into bite size pieces. Put the zucchini, garlic, sea salt, most of the lemon zest and two sprays of the olive oil into two pieces of foil, wrapped well but not closed entirely to prevent the zucchini from steaming. Roast.

(6:55) Take out the leeks and add the two pieces of fish right on top of the leeks. Generously season the fish on both sides with sea salt. Top with any remaining lemon juice, the minced shallots and pepper. Cover and roast side by side with your zucchini 15-20 minutes.

(7:20/7:25) Plating and eating. Easy, delicious and healthy. Get this part: Per serving, this entire dish is only 250 calories a serving. (Hake - 160 cal/6oz; Leeks - 54 cal/1 cup; lemon juice/zest - 20 cal; Zucchini - 20 cal/cup, or 3 Weight Watcher points total for the whole meal). If you anticipate needing more food to be full, I would recommend adding brown rice to the dish.

Thanks go to Great Food Fast, the book that offered the basis for the fish recipe, which I then tweaked a bit.

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