BLACKENED FISH & BAKED VEGGIES

BLACKENED FISH BAKED VEGGIES low carb low fat recipe

Creamy avocado blends with the spicy blackened fish and veggies in an easy baked recipe. The crunchy pumpkin seeds add healthy fat and texture to every bite. Baking cherry tomatoes brings a tart and sweet flavor to a simple veggie side. This filling, yet light, dish packs well for lunches and reheats as an easy dinner after a long day.

Allergens and substitutions: To avoid dairy replace the butter with olive oil.

 

HEALING BENEFITS

Cod is a cold, deep water living fish which means it produces substantial amounts of good fat. Besides being a good source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids this white fish is also high in vitamin A, D and E. The meat of this fish has a lighter fish flavor that makes it ideal for those who tend to dislike eating fish. Baked or broiled in butter and spices makes for a healthy indulgence.

 

Avocados are a fruit, not a vegetable. And it has the highest fat content of any fruit on the planet. However, the avocado’s fat is quite healthy and is packed with healing omega-3’s which are good for relieving arthritis and lubricating joints. It is also rich in antioxidants and potassium, which can help lower blood pressure. Don’t let the false “conventional wisdom” of the low-fat movement make you miss one of the most versatile and creamy fruits out there. Avocado is on the Clean Fifteen list, so it is okay to buy this conventionally grown to save some money.

 

Pumpkin seeds come packed with healthy essential fatty acids that can lower bad cholesterol. These affordable and easy to find seeds are high in zinc and good for men’s fertility and preventing issues with the prostrate. Pumpkin seeds are also high in magnesium, vitamin B, protein and iron. A handful of these seeds work well on salads, granola or soup.

 

PUTTING IT ALTOGETHER

Follow the instructions below to make this savory fish dinner. Look for frozen cod or other white fish at Trader Joe’s. If you can find a local, fresh filet it will cook and taste better than the frozen. Seafood Watch is the searchable database of sustainable fish and shellfish compiled by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. You can search by fish type or by one of their state by state guides. They also have convenient and free smart phone apps to use in the grocery store. Making wise seafood choices has never been easier. Catfish or rockfish are acceptable substitutes for the cod used in this recipe. If you’re not a fan of seafood, substitute boneless chicken breast or thigh.

Trader Joe’s sells a great taco seasoning mix. It’s a flavorful blend without any poor quality fillers, nor MSG. Best yet, it’s affordable and saves you time from making your own spice mix. The taco seasoning works well on chicken too.

It’s good practice to pull out all the pots and pans you need before cooking. Likewise, pulling out the ingredients you need to measure or chop beforehand will simplify your cooking. The French call this practice mise en place which translates to “putting in place”. It is practiced in restaurants and taught to chefs in culinary school.

Preheat your oven to 400°F before you start preparing your ingredients. The vegetables take longer to cook than the fish, so I like to get the veggies going first, then work on the fish. Place your sliced onions and zucchini, along with the cherry or grape tomatoes, in an oven-proof dish. A cookie sheet would work as well. Melt 2 tbsp of butter on the stove or in the microwave. Add the salt, pepper and optional red chili flakes. Pour over the veggies and mix. The tomatoes and onions will release some water while cooking and make a delicious buttery sauce.

BLACKENED FISH BAKED VEGGIES ii

Bake in the oven and stir after 20 minutes. After 30-40 minutes of cooking your veggies will be done cooking and look like this.

BLACKENED FISH BAKED VEGGIES iv

Once the veggies are in the oven, pull out your defrosted fish filets. Pat the fish down with some paper towels to remove any excessive moisture. Melt the other 2 tbsp of butter and brush or pour over the fish in a separate oven-proof dish. Cover both sides of the fish evenly with the taco seasoning mix. If you’re averse to strong spice flavors, consider just using butter, salt and pepper.

The fish needs about 10-15 minutes to bake in the oven. After the veggies have been in the oven for about 15 minutes, add the fish to the oven. This is a good time to give the veggies a quick stir. The staggered cooking should make both dishes finish around the same time. Gently push on the fish at the thickest section to see if it is done. Cooked fish should flake away easily. Take caution not to overcook the fish. Too much cooking makes the fish rubbery and chewy.

Top the baked veggies with the raw pumpkin seeds. Slice the avocado just minutes before eating. Store any unused avocado with the seed still in the fruit to keep it from browning.

BLACKENED FISH BAKED VEGGIES iiiServing sizes: This dish has 3 or 4 servings, depending on which meal plan is being followed. Simply divide the fish and veggies into 3 or 4 containers. The 1,500 calorie meal plan has 4 servings, while the 2,000 calorie meal plan has 3 servings. Store in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Microwave to reheat without any plastic, just in glass or ceramic containers.

 

BLACKENED FISH & BAKED VEGGIES
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Creamy avocado blends with the spicy blackened fish and veggies in an easy baked recipe. The crunchy pumpkin seeds add healthy fat and texture to every bite. Baking cherry tomatoes brings a tart and sweet flavor to a simple veggie side. This filling, yet light, dish packs well for lunches or can be reheated for an easy dinner after a long day.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 40 oz
Ingredients
  • Onion, Sliced, ½X
  • Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, 1 cup
  • Zucchini, Sliced, 2X
  • Sea Salt, ¼ tsp
  • Black Pepper, ½ tsp
  • Optional: Red Chili Flakes, ½ tsp
  • Butter or Ghee, 6 tbsp
  • Cod or Whitefish, 1.5 lb
  • Trader Joe's Taco Seasoning Mix, 1 tbsp
  • Pumpkin Seeds, ½ cup
  • Avocado, Sliced, 2X
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in the microwave. Add the salt, black pepper and optional red chili flakes.
  3. Pour over the veggies in an oven-proof dish. Stir to mix. Bake for 15 minutes before adding the fish to the oven.
  4. Melt the other 2 tbsp of butter. Pour or brush over the fish. Cover both sides of the fish with the taco seasoning spice.
  5. Stir the veggies after 15 minutes, then add the fish to the oven. The fish only needs to bake for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Top the baked veggies with pumpkin seeds. Serve with sliced, fresh avocado.

 

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Photo by *saipal and liz west and Niklas Morberg.

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