After the rich offerings of the holiday period it’s good to get back to some healthy and nutritious food that doesn’t seem anything like a festive blow-out! Fish always features highly in my January repertoire since it offers such a distinct change in texture, flavour and substance to everything I have eaten for the previous few weeks.
I can usually always find some white fish fillets or steaks lurking in my freezer just begging to be used but this year chanced upon some fresh cod loins in my local supermarket at a knock-down price. I’ve used them to make a steamed fish and vegetable dish over wild rice but you could use fillets, strips or steaks instead of loins of white fish; whatever rice you have to hand (I had some wild rice but you could use basmati or a mixture of basmatic and wild); and add or omit the saffron (a pricey extra I have to admit….but a gift from a friend).
What I can promise from this dish is that it is super high in protein; offers lots of different contrasts in terms of textures and flavours; and tastes like nothing else you will have eaten over the Christmas festivities. So a welcome change!
I would also encourage those who say they can’t eat rice to give this a go….maybe just a spoonful of the rice to see how it sits… you might be surprised.
Here’s to a happy, healthy and positive New Year!
Alaska Pacific Cod Loins with Steamed Rice and Chorizo Vegetables
low-fat cooking spray
1 red onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
50g/2 oz chorizo, sliced
1 yellow pepper/capsicum, sliced
150g/5 oz aubergine/eggplant, cubed and seasoned
1 courgette/zucchini, sliced
50g/2 oz sun-dried tomatoes
250g/11/4 cups wild rice (or basmati and wild rice)
pinch of saffron (optional)
2 tsp ground paprika
500ml/21/4 cups vegetable stock/bouillon
500g/1 lb cod loins, sliced into 5cm/2 inch portions and seasoned
1 large handful fresh coriander/cilantro, chopped
1 spring onion/scallion, sliced
1 tbsp chopped pistachios
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Generously spritz a large, non-stick saute pan with low-fat spray. Heat, then add the onion and garlic and cook until softened. Add the chorizo and cook for a further 1 minute. Add the pepper/capsicum, aubergine/eggplant, courgette/zucchini and tomatoes, mixing well. Cook until the vegtables begin to brown a little and soften.
2. Add the rice, saffron if used and paprika. Stir well then add the stock/bouillon, mixing well. Sit the cod loins over the top of the rice mixture, cover and cook over a gentle heat for 20-30 minutes or until the rice and cod are cooked and the stock has been absorbed.
3. Sprinkle with the coriander/cilantro, spring onion/scallion, pistachios, lemon juice and salt and pepper to serve.
WLS PORTION: 1/2
CALORIES PER PORTION: 450
Image courtesy of The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute