Paprika Rubbed Cod

Paprika Rubbed Cod
Serves 2
Can be Doubled| Can be Halved

With all the holiday events we have the next few weeks, I know I’ll be enjoying good food and drinks more often than normal. I try to balance out the indulgence by having light meals at home that are also very fast to prepare- this cod recipe meets that criteria. The seasonings are very flavorful, and you don’t need any oil. Cod is so low in calories (around 190 for an 8-ounce fillet according to www.calorieking.com) that you can easily have a half-pound serving. And, since it’s also protein rich, this entree will keep you satistfied and full.

Ingredients:

2, 8 ounce cod fillets
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon of cumin
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (optional)
juice of 1/2 a large lemon
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients together except for the cod to make a paste, and rub all over the fillets.

Place fish on foil lined sheet or any oven-proof dish and bake for 5 to 10 minutes.

Turn off oven, and turn on broiler on high. Broil until fish is cooked and lightly brown- maybe another 2 minutes.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve with a big salad and some crispy whole-grain crackers or crusty whole-wheat roll.

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Thai Style Halibut and Green Bean Curry

Thai Style Halibut and Green Bean Curry
Serves 2
Can be Doubled| Can be Halved

Green curry is a staple for us when we go out for Thai food. We usually order a vegetarian or chicken version, but I’ve rarely seen it served with fish fillets. I wanted to find a way to make it at home with halibut which is one of my favorite fish. I’m not professing to be an authentic Thai cook, but the recipe I created is delicious and beats takeout Thai food any day. It’s also considerably lighter than what you would find at a restaurant and comes together very easily.     ~Shivani

Ingredients:

2, 6-ounce halibut fillets
1, 15-ounce can light coconut milk
4 tablespoons green curry paste
1/2 pound trimmed green beans
1/2 tomato, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place fish on a foil lined tray, season with salt and pepper, and bake until done, about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on thickness of the fish.

Cover fish to keep warm while curry cooks.

Heat oil in a medium nonstick pan over medium heat.

Add onion, and saute 2 minutes.

Add garlic, and saute 1 minute.

Add tomato, and saute mixture for 2 minutes.

Add in green curry paste and coconut milk and blend well.

Bring to a gentle boil, add green beans and cook until beans are soft but not mushy- around 5 to 8 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add fish to curry.

Serving Suggestions:

You get your veggies and protein in with this dish so all you need is some brown or jasmine rice, and you’re ready to eat!

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Simple Salmon

Simple Salmon
Serves 2
Can Be Doubled| Can Be Halved

This recipe is laughably simple, but it’s just delicious and came to fruition after much trail and error with different salmon recipes. Salmon is such a buttery, flavorful fish with plenty of good fat, but so many restaurants muck up its taste by adding gobs of butter or other extraneous seasonings. Mahir and I love the basic salmon served at French bistros in Paris and New York City, and I think we’ve come up with a version that stands up to the best boites. The trick is to use the best quality salmon you can find and broil the fish for the last few minutes of cooking to give it a beautiful, brown glaze.     ~Shivani

Ingredients:

2, 6-ounce salmon fillets
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
fresh lemon juice, to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Season fish with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Depending on thickness of fish, bake for 5 to 7 minutes.

Turn off oven, turn on broiler on high (make sure salmon is on the top rack directly underneath the flame), and broil until fish is cooked- probably another 3 to 5 minutes.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve over brown rice or alongside a baked white or sweet potato. Lightly sauteed spinach or broccoli work well as vegetables with this meal.

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Tandoori Tilapia

Serves 2
Can be Doubled| Can be Halved

Tilapia is an easy standby fish because it has such a mild taste and picks up just about any flavor you use with it. I’ve cooked it in dozens of different ways, and this Indian style version is my latest rendition. Yogurt, ginger and garlic are typical ingredients Indian restaurants use in a tandoori marination before cooking the meat, fish or vegetable at hand in a round clay oven known as a tandoor. I’ve used the same tastes in this recipe and lightened it up to make it more Tablespoon friendly. Of course, I don’t have a tandoor at home, but I have to say my stovetop version is pretty darn good!     ~Shivani

Ingredients:

1 pound of tilapia
1/2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of minced ginger
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of garam masala
1/4 teaspoon of red chili powder
chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

Mix together all of the ingredients except fish and cilantro.

Add fish and marinate for 30 minutes.

Warm a nonstick grill pan or nonstick regular pan over high heat and coat with cooking spray.

Lower heat and add fish. Cook for 4 minutes per side- times might vary depending on thickness of fillets.

If desired, squeeze with a little lemon juice, and top with cilantro.

Serving Suggestions:

Try with a warmed whole-wheat pita or a Food for Life Brown Rice Tortilla. The zucchini I posted a few weeks ago is an ideal veggie side.

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Sesame Ginger Spinach Salad with Shrimp & Oranges

Sesame Ginger Spinach Salad with Shrimp & Oranges Low Fat Recipe

Sesame Ginger Spinach Salad with Shrimp & Oranges
Serves 2
Can be doubled | Can be halved
Vegetarian Substitutes

Here’s a fabulous entree salad which takes only moments to throw together, while having a great “wow” factor. Easy to make any day for lunch or dinner, it’s also elegant enough to serve for special guests. And talk about a nutrition powerhouse – spinach, red cabbage, fresh oranges and simply steamed shrimp – you’ve got your iron and minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, and high quality protein all on one plate. Jazz it up with the simple dressing, add some kick with sliced scallions – delicious and nutritious!    ~ Susan

Ingredients:

For the salad

12 large (31-40 count) steamed shrimp – chilled
6 cups baby spinach
3/4 cups julienned red cabbage
3/4 cup sliced scallions
1 small orange – peeled and sliced

For the dressing

1 tablespoon honey + 1 tablespoon warm water – combined
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon peanut oil or canola oil
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry ground ginger

Instructions:

To make the dressing, combine the honey and water in a measuring cup or small bowl. Add remaining ingredients and whisk to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.

For the salad, toss spinach, cabbage and dressing together in a mixing bowl. Use tongs to divide mixture equally onto two large plates, reserving the remaining dressing which collects in the bottom of the bowl. Arrange the oranges and shrimp on top of the salads and garnish with plenty of sliced scallions. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the shrimp and oranges and serve!

Serving Suggestions:

To make a more robust meal serve a side bowl of brown rice for each portion with a simple miso broth poured into it, garnished with strips of toasted nori seaweed, or more scallions.

If you like a spicy-hot salad dressing – add a few dashes of Asian style hot sauce to the mixture.

Vegetarian Substitutes:

Use cubed tofu in place of the shrimp, or for a special treat try it with a handful of toasted cashews instead!

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Swiss Chard and Shrimp Whole-Wheat Rotini

Serves 2 to 3
Can be Doubled| Can be Halved| Vegetarian Substitutes

I’m a big believer in having some sort of whole-grain starch at every meal in reasonable portions- they give me the energy I need to fuel my busy days and put me in a good mood. Though I aim for lots of variety like quinoa, whole-wheat couscous, brown rice and dense, dark breads, I seldom eat pasta. I thought the best way to change that would be to come up with an appealing recipe where I could incorporate this Italian staple. Swiss chard is an extremely nutrition packed green that comes into the season in the Fall so I decided to use that as my inspiration. Mahir raved about how good the dish was and though he refuses to eat leftover seafood, he asked me to pack him the extras for his lunch next day. That was my sure sign that my experiment was a success!     ~Shivani

Ingredients:

1 pound of medium, large or extra large shrimp
1 to 1.5 cups of dry whole wheat rotini (or your favorite pasta)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 large bunch of swiss chard, washed and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of red chili flakes (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Cook pasta according to package directions.

In the meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a medium nonstick pan and saute garlic. Add swiss chard, season with salt and pepper and stir-fry for 3 to 6 minutes or until wilted.

Remove from pan.

Season shrimp with salt and pepper.

Heat another teaspoon of oil in the same pan, add shrimp and cook until done- about 2 to 3 minutes a side depending on size of shrimp.

Turn off heat.

Add swiss chard, pasta and all the other seasonings to the pan, and mix together.

Serving Suggestions:

This is a self-encompassing meal, but feel free to add a simple lettuce, tomato and onion salad as a side dish.

Vegetarian Substitutes:

You can use canned or fresh chickpeas or cannellini beans in place of the shrimp. Skip the sauteeing shrimp step, and leave the swiss chard in the pan. Add all the other ingredients including one can of beans and the extra teaspoon of olive oil that you didn’t use to saute the shrimp.

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Paprika Shrimp and Veggies

Paprika Shrimp and Veggies
Serves 2 to 3
Can be Doubled| Can be Halved

Like so many dishes we cook at home, I owe this one to our nanny Tess. It came together without much forethought: I had fresh shrimp but didn’t have a specific dish in mind. I only knew that I wanted to use up some leftover veggies that we had, and I asked her to come up with something. A half-hour later, this is the amazing creation she turned out. It can be enjoyed like a stir-fry over rice or on its own with a roll. The combination of vegetables is great with the shrimp, and the paprika adds a delightful but not overpowering flavor. I’ve used this spice in curries before but not in a style like this where it plays a starring role. Besides the seasonings, you’ll love how fast it comes together.     ~Shivani

Ingredients:

1 pound large or extra-large shrimp, cleaned and deveined
1/2 bunch of cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 bunch of broccoli, cut into florets
1 large handful of green beans, trimmed
1 small carrot, sliced thinly at a diagonal
1 small red, orange or yellow pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 onion, minced
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons of paprika
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions:

Heat half of the oil over medium heat in a large nonstick pan, and saute garlic and onion for three minutes or until the onions are soft.

Add in all the vegetables except the broccoli and pepper, and saute for five minutes. Add broccoli and peppers, and saute another five minutes or until the vegetables are soft but not mushy. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss the shrimp with the paprika, cumin, salt, pepper and lemon. Warm the remaining oil in a separate nonstick pan or grill pan on medium heat, add shrimp and cook until done- about two to three minutes a side depending on size.

Mix with the cooked vegetables. The vegetables will absorb the seasonings from the shrimp.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve this dish over a bed of brown rice stir-fry style or alongside a crusty whole-wheat roll.

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Scallion Crusted Halibut

Scallion Crusted Halibut
Serves 2
Can be Doubled| Can be Halved

We’re big halibut eaters around here- Mahir and I love the fact that it has a meaty, firm texture but yet has the low calorie and fat content of a light white fish. I’m always looking for interesting ways to prepare it, and I came up with this one after a trip to Whole Foods. In an addition to plain fish, the seafood counters at the stores sell a lot of already marinated varieties, and when I was there recently, salmon fillets with these seasonings were a popular buy. I decided to make the same topping myself but use halibut instead. I initially thought that a half-pound of fish each would be too much, but both Mahir and I finished without much trouble!     ~Shivani

Ingredients:

2 6 to 8-ounce halibut fillets
4 stalks of scallion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons of cilantro, finely minced
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil (you can use all canola if you don’t have sesame on hand)
1 to 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
salt and black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss together all of the seasonings and rub on fish.

Bake for 7 to 10 minutes (bake longer depending on thickness of fish) and turn on the broiler on high and broil until done- an additional 2 to 4 minutes.

Serving suggestions:

Given the Asian flair of this recipe, try with soba noodles tossed with steamed sno-peas, lightly sauteed shitake mushrooms, a touch of sesame oil and soy sauce.

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Greek Style Grilled Calamari

Greek Style Grilled Calamari

Serves 2
Can be Doubled| Can be Halved

This recipe is proof that calamari doesn’t have to be deep fried to be tasty. I came up with it after having the grilled calamari at my favorite Greek restaurant Akti, which is in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens. When Mahir, Meenakshi and I go, we order the grilled squid and shrimp platter to share, and I always relish the tender squid! Since calamari is one of the least expensive fish, takes literally two minutes to cook and has around 205 calories for a half-pound (according to Calorie King), it a no brainer to make it at home. Unfortunately, it’s also overlooked as the star it can be, and most home cooks I know don’t have it as part of their lineup. Hopefully, this super easy recipe will inspire you to change that!     ~Shivani

Ingredients:

one pound of calamari, tentacles and body (most fishmongers already sell it cut up and divided into these two parts)
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon paprika (optional)
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Warm a large non-stick grill pan over medium heat.

In a bowl, toss together all of the ingredients with the squid.

Grill the squid until done. About 45 seconds to one minute per side. Take care not to overcook or the dish will be chewy.

Squeeze with extra lemon juice, if desired.

Serving Suggestions:

In keeping with the Greek theme, eat this dish with a salad of chopped romaine lettuce, tomato, red onion, cucumbers, Kalamata olives, a little feta cheese and a red wine vinegar and olive oil dressing. Warmed whole wheat pita is a good starch pairing.

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Spice Coated Tilapia

Spice Coated Tilapia
Serves 2
Can be Doubled| Can be Halved
Vegetarian Substitutes

This recipe is all Mahir. I was getting ready to coat our tilapia with our usual fajita seasoning mix when he stopped me and said he wanted to come up with something. We had recently dined at an Italian restaurant where we ate the most delicious fennel crusted chicken, and we both were craving that fennel taste so he used that as a starting point. Since our cupboard is replete with Indian spices and fennel is also used in Indian cooking, his creation took a turn to our home cuisine. Mahir likes to cook healthy, but he’s not quite as diligent as me so I was surprised that he came up with a no oil dish. I hope you enjoy it as much as Mahir enjoyed coming up with it.     ~Shivani

Ingredients:

1 pound of tilapia
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds (powder is okay if you don’t have seeds)
1 teaspoon of cumin powder
1 dried red chile or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
salt, to taste
1 handful of cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
fresh squeezed lemon juice, to taste

Instructions:

Turn on your oven broiler.

Using a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder, blend the spices including salt until they are fine like powder.

Squeeze lemon juice on fish, and coat with spice mixture.

Place fish on foil lined cookie sheet or tray and broil until done (about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness of fish).

Top with cilantro, if using, and squeeze with additional lemon juice.

Serving Suggestions:

To make this a complete Indian meal, try with Indian Style Mushrooms and Green Beans or with My Mother’s Gobi.

Vegetarian Substitutes:

This spice mixture would also taste great on sliced tofu or seitan. You can broil them, but they would also work grilled.

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