Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Guest Blogger: Mediterranean Fish with Broccoli and Quinoa

Thanks so much to Karen for this opportunity! After having my son in 2008, I finally returned to work last September. Being a mom, a blogger, a 9-to-5-er, and a nutritionist, means that I am busy!I am sure moms everywhere can relate.

It is important to me that a good healthy meal is on the table most nights, but I would never say that it’s easy.Planning, being organized, planning some more and counting on my husband, all contribute to having nutritious meals most nights.

My criteria for a healthy mid-week meal are 1) It’s quick 2) It’s healthy 3) Leftovers will be good for my lunch the next day.If I can hit these three points, dinner (& lunch the next day) is a success!

Fish is high in omega fats and is a lean source of protein. Quinoa a grain from Peru; is rich in protein, a good source of iron and zinc, magnesium, vitamin E and fiber. It is also a welcome change from brown rice or pasta.Broccoli is a standard ‘good vegetable’; it is a dark green vegetable that fights cancer and is rich in vitamins C, K and A among many other vitamins and minerals.

For this meal there are three key components; the seasoning, the fish and the broccoli & quinoa side dish. It may seem like a lot of work, but it really takes about 20 minutes to get this meal on the table

Make the seasoning a day before to save time, although you can easily whip it that day. If your fish is in the freezer, remember to put it into the fridge to thaw during the day.

Mediterranean Seasoning

This recipe makes a large amount.It is a cheap alternative to the prepared seasonings you find on the shelf at the grocery store and it is much healthier because it does not contain MSG or other preservatives.You can use it to season rice, fish, chicken and vegetables.

Add 1 Tbsp to 1/3 C of olive oil and ¼ C lemon juice to make a simple salad dressing.

3 Tbsp dried oregano
1 ½ Tbsp dried basil
1 ½ Tbsp dried marjoram
1 Tbsp dried thyme
½ Tbsp dried garlic
1 tsp sea salt

Combine the herbs and store in an airtight container.

Mediterranean Fish with Broccoli & Quinoa

You need a medium saucepan, a metal steamer, a frying pan that can go from stove top to oven

1 C quinoa (rinsed twice in clean water)
2 C water
1 + 1/2 Tbsp seasoning (divided)
1 bunch broccoli
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 fillets of Tilapia

I cook my broccoli and quinoa together, not only does this reduce the amount of dishes to wash up, but the vitamins that come out of the broccoli during steaming get absorbed into the quinoa. A nutritional bonus!

In a large pot combine quinoa with water and ½ Tbsp of the seasoning.Cover with a lid and bring to a boil at medium high heat.

While the quinoa comes to a boil, clean and chop the broccoli, don’t forget to peel the stem and cut it up; it’s good too! Place the broccoli in a metal steamer basket.

When the quinoa comes to a boil, stir and reduce the heat to medium low to simmer.Put the steamer with the broccoli on top of the quinoa.Cover with the lid. Check at 10 minutes; if the broccoli is at the consistency you like, remove it from the pot and set aside.If not, keep steaming and check every five minutes until the quinoa is done.It should take 15 – 20 minutes.You know the quinoa is done when it is no longer white in the center and if you have a little bite there is no crunch.While the broccoli and quinoa are steaming, prepare the fish.

In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice, olive oil and 1 Tbsp of seasoning.Take the fish and cut it into smaller pieces.Don’t worry if the fish isn’t completely thawed, I actually find it easier to work with when it’s a little frozen and it will still cook quickly. Spoon the seasoning, oil and lemon juice mix on one side of each piece of fish.Turn the oven to 350 deg. F and heat a frying pan over medium high heat.Do not put any oil in it.Place each piece of fish, seasoning side up, in the pan.Cook for approximately 3 minutes.Using a spatula or tongs, turn over each piece of fish and move the frying pan with the fish into the oven.Bake for 5 minutes.The fish is done when it flakes easily.That’s it!Put the fish, quinoa and broccoli on a plate.You can also make up a salad on the side if you want.

What about leftovers? Fill your lunch container with lettuce, chopped cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and chopped peppers.Flake the leftover fish on the lettuce; add some of the broccoli and ½ cup of quinoa.Topped with salad dressing, this makes a terrific lunch for Mom or Dad.


About the Blogger:

My name is Laurie K. Meher. I am a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (R.H.N.) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I have a passion for family planning. I help couples with supportive nutrition as they plan for a family, after baby arrives and into the school years. On my blog I share information on baby and toddler food and recipes I have developed and found. My husband and I live in Roncesvalles, a community in the West-End of Toronto,Ontario. We have a son who was born late February 2008. I have made his baby food from the start. Some people think it’s a little over the top that I make my own Goldfish Cookies and feed my son rapini, spelt bread and blueberries. I am hoping that by giving my son a large variety of foods from the very beginning he will develop a love for good whole foods. I am sure there will be a time when he wants McDonald’s, but you can be sure I won’t be the one taking him there!
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