Thursday, March 21, 2013

Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day

Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day is the tagline for National Nutrition Month.  I'm sure the only people excited about this 'holiday' are those working in the nutrition field.  But, this is an excellent opportunity to talk with consumers about what a healthy diet can be and most of all, how delicious a healthy diet can be.  Just because a food is healthy does not mean it has to taste badly.  Delicious and Healthy can coexist in the same dish. (Sounds like a Disney movie, but that's another story.)

The essence of Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day is that there is no one way to 'eat right'.  When exploring the 'right diet' for you, consider balance, moderation, variety of foods and aiming for a healthy lifestyle.  For more information on diets, check out the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website.

If you plan to include fish in your diet, this recipe for baked fish with savory bread crumbs is an excellent place to start.  I came across this recipe in an Italian cookbook.  I tried it out in my Cooking 101 class and they liked it.  Now I am sharing it with you.  If parsley is not your thing, try basil or a basil pesto.  It will still be delicious.

Baked Fish with Savory Bread Crumbs

Serves 6.

Ingredients:

2 pounds whitefish fillets, such as cod
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
6 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Juice of one large lemon, about 3 Tablespoons
½ cup dry white wine
6 large garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
½ cup fine dry bread crumbs
Zest of a large lemon, about 2 teaspoons
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon butter, optional
Fresh lemon slices, for serving

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400°F.

2.  Lightly salt fish on both sides.  Pour 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, lemon juice, white wine and ¼ teaspoon salt into the baking dish, and whisk together well.  Drop in the garlic cloves, and stir with the dressing.  Lay the fillets in the dish, turn to coat both sides of fish with dressing.  If your fish has skin, place the skin side down.

3.  Toss the bread crumbs in a bowl with the lemon zest, parsley, oregano, red pepper flakes, and ¼ teaspoon salt.  Add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil.  Stir  until the mixture is coated with olive oil.

4.  Spoon the bread crumbs on top of the fish.  Bake, uncovered, until the crumbs are crisp and golden and the fish is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes.

5.  Lift the fish out with a spatula, and set on a warm platter to serve family style. 

6.  If desired, reduce the sauce by about one-half.  Add one tablespoon butter, about one-third at a time.  Shake the pan to incorporate the butter.  Pour the sauce over fish and serve.

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