07 April 2011

heating up the healthy

I called it quits on the cleanse.  It has been two weeks and even though I feel great, I've been seriously craving some hot food.  And some protein - carnivore style.  Though I would have truly loved to devour a giant bleu cheeseburger with bacon and caramelized onions and mushrooms, I'm not that crazy.  I didn't want to blow those two weeks of control and thoughtful, healthy eating in one sitting; one delicious, greasy sitting.  So instead, I decided to pick up some fish and use some of those veggies that were crowding the fridge to whip up something light and delicious that wouldn't overwhelm my shrunken, meatless stomach.  Here's what my brain came up with:

Baked Cod with Balsamic Tomato & Pepper Relish over Salad Greens
I picked up three cod fillets, patted them dry (this part is so crucial!), brushed them with a tiny bit of butter and a sprinkle of sea salt and fresh ground pepper.  Then I laid them in a casserole dish and baked at 375 for 20-30 minutes, flipping once.  As you can see, I had a lot of peppers left and since I'm not the biggest fan of raw peppers, I figured they should be the first veggies to go.  I've made this relish before but I usually serve it with red meat, so this combo was relatively new to me.  The balsamic is kind of like a quickie reduction that I came up with after browsing through about fifty balsamic reduction recipes.  I love the simple sweetness of honey and how it cuts the acidity of the vinegar ever so subtly.  So I whipped up the peppers while the fish was baking and voila!  The cod served on top of a bed of simple salad greens and warm relish with a quick squeeze of fresh lemon made for a very satisfying way to break out of my raw repetition.  I paired it with an inexpensive Grüner Veltliner which brought out a citrusy spice and what a lovely meal it was!

balsamic tomato & pepper relish
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 bay leaf
2 c chopped peppers (3-4 large peppers, I like to use a mix of colors - orange, yellow, green & red)
1/2 c chopped, seeded tomato (about 1 medium vine tomato)
1/2 c chopped cucumber (I like the English, seedless cucumbers)
salt & pepper to taste
1. Put chopped peppers, tomato & cucumber in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt & pepper.  Let marinate in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
2. While the veggies are marinating, heat balsamic vinegar on a high heat, whisk in the honey and drop in the bay leaf.  Allow the mix to come to a boil before lowering the heat to a steady simmer to reduce.  
3. Within 15-20 minutes, you should notice the liquid mixture thickening.  At this point, add the chilled veggies and saute just until the peppers have softened, about 7 minutes.

All right, cleanse complete!  Now we can move on to some serious eats... oh my brain is working overtime, quickly coming up with some tasty treats to share.

1 comment:

  1. Good morning! love your blog! some great new ideas for dinner! Thanks J!