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Easy Weeknight Fish Dinner

Posted: February 12th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Pantry staples | Tags: , | No Comments »

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I’m writing this after running up and down the stairs in my apartment about 10 times. Ah, the woes of a pedometer owner trying to get to my daily 10,000 steps. After hearing my doctors recommend it, and then having my daily dose of Dr. Oz’s fitness advice on TIVO, I’ve finally started adopting 10k-a-day. I won’t lie and say it’s easy – it amounts to about an hour and a half of walking – a little more challenging when your day job is a relatively sedentary one. But I know that it’s good for me so I’m going to try to stick with it!

* * *

Tonight I needed a light dinner, to balance my lunchtime food fail:

[ Mint tea, a green chile tamale, sauteed spinach, a large spoonful of Barney Butter, a quarter of a string cheese, a few pistachios and a quarter cup of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream – all of which are delicious on their own, but in combination gave me a tummy ache. ]

In honor of the Olympics I decided to dig from my Greek roots – a large Greek Salad and some Baked Sole in a Mediterranean Tomato Sauce.

Convenience Step One: I cook the majority of our meals from scratch, but sometimes convenience wins out. One of my favorite new products is this frozen Organic Brown from Whole Foods. While I usually make a big pot of my own brown rice at the beginning of the week, and keep 1/2 cup servings in the freezer ready to go, occasionally I run out, and this stuff is great in a pinch. It also costs less than $3 a bag, which is doable, even on a budget.

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Convenience Step Two: My second convenience food was the Reduced Fat Greek Salad from Trader Joe’s. I keep homemade salad dressing, fresh farm lettuce, and chopped and washed veg in my fridge, but sometimes TJ’s wins out. Frankly, it’s because this salad is so darn tasty – feta, tomatoes, cukes, onions and dressing on some crispy romaine. And the whole box is easily split for two good sized salads, clocking in at only 70 calories each, and costing under $3.

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This meal was easy peasy, and done from start to finish in less than half an hour. I adapted this recipe pretty loosely from a recipe in the Every Day Food: Great Fast Food cookbook. It happens to be a pretty cookbook to think up quick weeknight meals, but I usually end up using it just as a starting point. The one caveat – while I usually try to make dinners that I can easily reheat for lunch the next day, fish is one food that doesn’t do so well the next day. We ate all the fish tonight, but there are still leftovers – brown rice and tomato shallot goodness! I use a lot of shallots at home – they are an onion relative that cooks sweetly.

Easy Fish with Shallots and Tomatoes

(Prep time: 10 minutes – Total Time: 35 minutes)

serves 2 generously or 4 as part of a complete meal

Ingredients:

5 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped (or 2 small onions, or 2 leeks – whatever you have)

1/2 of a lemon, sliced thinly (or the zest and juice of 1/2 lemon, for less pronounced lemony taste)*

1 tablespoon olive oil

A handful fresh herbs, such as basil, thyme, parsley, and dill, reserving some fresh dill for serving.

Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper

1 can (14.5 or 15 oz) diced tomatoes (I use Muir Glen Fire Roasted No Salt Added diced tomatoes)

1 pound sole fillets, (cod or other light white fish would work)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Farenheit. In a Le Creuset Pot, or a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, toss together the shallots, lemon slices, oil, fresh herbs, pinch of salt and pepper. Cover with foil, and bake until the shallots begin to soften, 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Remove the baking dish from the oven. Add the tomatoes, and toss to combine. Season both sides of the cod fillets with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; place on top of the vegetables. If you don’t have space to lay the fish flat over the vegetables, roll each fillet up (like I do, in the picture.)

3. Cover the dish and bake until the fish is opaque throughout, 15 to 20 minutes. Top with fresh dill, and serve immediately.

Serve, if desired, over brown rice – 1/2 to 1 cup per person is more than enough, with a nice lemony or greek salad, and some fresh crusty bread if desired.

*Note: Now, I like my fish lemony, so I just go ahead and slice in the lemon. It imparts a slightly bitter taste if the slices are eaten whole, but for those finicky about bitter tastes, feel free to remove the lemon slices before serving, or cook with just the lemon zest and juice.

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