Poached Pesto Cod

When I want a simple, yet filling dish to cook up for dinner, I often turn to fish. Throwing it on the pan with a side of vegetables is super easy, and with just a few added steps, you can make a dish that looks (and most importantly, tastes) restaurant worthy.
Poaching sounds so daunting, but here you will see it’s actually super easy! It is also a very healthy and delicious way to cook fish since it requires no oil and instead uses indirect heat which results in tender, moist (sorry for any of you who hate that word) fish.
Here I sauteed vegetables to serve as the base for my fish and served the poached fish on top, drizzled with a pesto sauce. Make sure to use a low sodium broth in this recipe though because otherwise the sauce gets super salty when combines with already salty pesto. I recommend using Pacific/ Atlantic line or pot-caught Pacific cod as it is an ocean-friendly seafood choice due to the fact that its populations are well-managed and the fishing gear used is environmentally friendly.

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Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 ⅓ cup sliced mushrooms
⅓ cup sliced onion
2 6 oz cod fillets
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¾ cup low sodium vegetable broth
2 tablespoons pesto (try my low fat pesto recipe here!)

Directions:
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and onions into the pan and stir occasionally for about 2 minutes until onions soften.
Sprinkle both sides of cod with salt and pepper.
Place mushrooms and onions to create an even later in the pan and place the cod on top.
Bump up the heat to high and pour in the broth. Next, cover the pan and cooked for 4-6 more minutes until cod is just cooked through.

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With a slotted spoon, transfer the cod and mushrooms and onions to a large serving plate and cover to keep warm.
Continue to cook the broth over high heat, uncovered for about 5 minutes, until reduced to about ¼ cup. Once reduced, turn off heat and add in the pesto. Pour this finished sauce over your fish and vegetables.

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Lemon Garlic Cod

I don’t eat meat but I don’t think I’ll ever give up fish for good. As I’ve always said, I try to live a life in balance and strive to be an educated consumer- and that includes food consumption of course. I do, however, try my best to purchase the most sustainable fish. If you’re interested, click here to learn about choosing sustainable seafood.
After visiting the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium a few weeks ago, I learned Pacific cod from Alaska is a “Best Choice” and a “Good Alternative” when it’s from the U.S. West Coast and British Columbia. However, Pacific cod from Japan and Russia should be avoided because little is known about these populations. In addition, Atlantic cod is on the “Avoid” list, except when it’s certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.
Okay enough facts, now onto this simple, protein packed and yummy recipe…

DSCN4624Ingredients:
2 6oz cod fillets (or any white fish of choice)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
½ tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon thyme
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon capers
Optional: tablespoon chopped parsley

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Directions:
Preheat oven to 400F.
In a bowl whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, paprika, thyme and salt and pepper. Add in capers.
Spray a baking dish/pan with olive oil. Place fillets on dish/pan and pour on lemon garlic mixture.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until fish is white and flaky.
Optional- top with chopped parsley.

Great with a side of my cheesy green bean fries!

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Peanut Zoodles (Zucchini Noodles)

DSCN4375I truly don’t understand how people don’t like peanut butter. I mean I get how you can be allergic and all but in that case you got to at least love the smell right? I’d seriously EpiPen myself all day if I were allergic to nuts. Is there a daily limit on that kind of thing?
Peanut butter can be great for you too, it’s just that normally peanut noodles are a nutritional nightmare. Enjoying some in moderation is always an option, but with this recipe I can eat a GIANT portion any time of the week. All the while I won’t have to wear sweatpants to work, because we all know those are reserved for just Fridays.Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 7.27.05 PM

Serves 2 or 1…

Ingredients:
Sauce-
3 tablespoons peanut flour/powdered peanut butter
1 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons tamari/braggs liquid aminos
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon coconut/rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Juice from 1/4 a lime (about 1/2 tablespoon)
½ teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons Siracha or hot sauce of choice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon coconut sugar or alternative sweetener

Base-
2 medium-large zucchinis
1 large carrot
½ cup sliced mushrooms
1-2 scallions
1 tablespoon chopped peanuts
Optional-
1 cup edamame or precooked shrimp
1 cup shredded cabbage (for even more bulk)

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Directions:
Whisk together all sauce ingredients into a small saucepan.
Spiralize zucchinis and cut strands with knife or kitchen shears so you don’t have any overly long pieces. Slice carrot and mushrooms and add them to your veggie pile.
In a large sauce pan, heat 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Once heated, add your zucchini, carrots, mushrooms and optional shredded cabbage. After one minute, add your precooked and thawed edamame or shrimp. Stir around until vegetables are soft and protein is heated through.
Once finished, remove veggie mixture with slotted spoon. Pat with paper towel to remove extra moisture (so sauce doesn’t get too runny).
Meanwhile, heat up your peanut sauce in the saucepan for ~1 minute. You could alternatively heat your sauce in the microwave as well.
To assemble, simply pour sauce onto your zucchini noodles and toss to coat.

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Garnish with chopped scallions
Remove from heat and top with scallions and chopped peanuts.

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This one is especially fun to eat with chopsticks 🙂

Creamy Kale & Zucchini Pasta/Dip

Sometimes my best recipes come out purely out of an effort to use up the contents of my fridge. I was in the mood for something quick and healthy, yet comforting and delicious all at the same time.
I had some veggies I wanted to use up before leaving for the weekend so I just began roasting and blending and the result was super tasty (all the while I got to feel like a mad scientist in the kitchen)!

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This recipe creates a great stand alone dip for veggies or crackers, but combined with some gluten free pasta, it makes a creamy and nutritious sauce. I chose to serve mine topped with smoked salmon for extra protein and a salty bite. It is perfect for a filling and simple Sunday night dinner or for any night of the week.

Ingredients:

1 large zucchini
½ of a small onion
2 small cloves of garlic
3 cups kaleDSCN4539
⅓ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
Olive oil (spray)
Salt and pepper to taste

Pasta of choice- I chose TJ’s Organic Brown Rice & Quinoa Fusilli Pasta
Optional: smoked salmon

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400F. Slice zucchini into ¼ inch strips and cut your half onion into chunks.
Peel the cloves of garlic.
Grease a baking sheet with olive oil. Place zucchini and onion onto the baking sheet and either spray or drizzle additional olive oil. At this time you may also place the garlic on the baking sheet for a roasted garlic flavor.
Place baking sheet into the oven for 15-20 minutes until veggies are lightly browned.
Meanwhile, steam 3 cups of kale.
Place kale, Greek yogurt, zucchini, onion and either roasted (or not roasted) garlic cloves in the blender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Blend until fairly smooth but leaving some small vegetable chunks.

To make the pasta dish, simply use your pasta of choice and prepare according to package instructions. Once finished, reserve about ¼ cup of pasta water.
Strain pasta and pour into a large bowl. Add in your desired amount of sauce and slowly pour in pasta water while stirring until desired consistency is achieved.
Optionally, top with smoked salmon.

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Great served with my vegan garlic cauli mash!

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Cauliflower Rice Sushi

So unless your head is under a rock (and no judgement here, rocks are pretty sweet) you’ve probably heard of cauliflower rice. Basically you throw some cauliflower into a food processor or blender and whiz it up to magically create what appears to be white rice. You can use this “rice” in place of regular rice in many dishes.

The endless possibilities of cauliflower rice set off a lightbulb in my head- why not make sushi with it?! By no means is regular rice the devil, but by replacing it with cauliflower you are left with a nutrient filled but less calorie dense alternative- which basically translates as an excuse to have more wine.

Makes 1 roll

Ingredients:
1 cup riced cauliflower
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon egg whites
1 sheet nori
Tamari/Braggs liquid aminos

Possible Add-Ins:
Cucumbers
Avocados
Bell peppers
Carrots
Mango
Sushi grade fish
Tofu
Sesame seeds (to sprinkle on top)
…seriously whatever you want, this is the perfect time to clear out your fridge…

cauliflower sushi in hand

Directions:
Create your cup of riced cauliflower by either hand grating it or using a food processor or blender. Place your riced cauliflower in a bowl and microwave for 3 minutes.

Add the egg whites to the cauliflower rice, stir it around and place it back into the microwave for another minute.

Remove the bowl from the microwave, add the rice vinegar and place your cauliflower rice into the fridge.

Once your “rice” is completely cooled you can begin assembling!

Place your nori sheet onto a flat cleaned surface and dump your rice onto the center of the sheet. Using your hands or the back of a spoon, spread the rice evenly onto the nori sheet.

Now it’s time to start adding the good stuff. Start placing your fixin’s onto the center of your sheet. Make sure that if you have several slices of the same ingredient that they are the same size so the ingredients line up well and it rolls up nicely.


rolling cauliflower sushi
Finally, your sushi is roll-ready. roll up your sushi, and for optimal slicing results, place your whole roll into the fridge for about 15 minutes.

cutting cauliflower sushi
Once it is cool to the touch, slice and enjoy with a side of your favorite soy sauce/alternative.
finished cauliflower sushi in circle