Okay, so this recipe is more a combo caponata-putanesca, but I like the title better with a little alliteration.
This recipe came about at the end of a long work day. I did not want to spend too much time cooking, but I really did not want to go out to eat. When I saw that cod was on sale, I took a mental note of the pantry items I had stocked and grab a veggie for a side dish.
This recipe really comes together quite nicely, and is so full of flavor!
The cooking method here is a mix of baking a poaching for maximum flavor but very little added fat.
Preheat your oven to 450 F. Line a baking dish with enough parchment paper to fold over a form a sealed pouch. Lay fish flat in baking dish.
Combine olives, capers, onion, garlic, tomato, olive oil, anchovies, and tomato paste in a bowl. Use however much of each ingredient you like, and chop them to your liking.
Pour this mixture over the fish. Fold the parchment over, make sure you seal it so the steam will build up. Cook for 10 minutes like this.
Carefully, open the pouch and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the fish flakes easily.
I served my fish with a side of quinoa (so good in the sauce!) and sauteed spinach.
I'm going to reveal one of my favorite flavor hacks. Anchovies! Since I had a few extra anchovies, I sauteed them for about thirty seconds until they melted right into the oil. I then take this liquid gold and mix it into my cooked quinoa. Flavor explosions in your mouth. You're welcome.
I spent a good portion of Sunday trying to create a good dairy-free chocolate chip cookie for my Fiance's birthday. He freakin' loves cookies. Unfortunately, I am not as good a baker as I am a cook, and so my experiment did not produce the best results. Ryan, god bless him, ate the cookies anyway - but honestly, they were pretty bad.
If you have a delicious cookie recipe, please send it my way!
The one request Ryan had for his birthday dinner was Spaghetti & Meatballs. Traditionally, I make the dish with cheese in the meatballs and then also sprinkled on top. So I knew I was going to have to make the sauce extra flavorful to make up for the lack of cheesey, salty, goodness.
Here's the recipe with some pictures. Sorry for the shadows, still figuring out the lighting thing.
I love garlic. If you love garlic as much as me, try grating your garlic using a microplane. This way that yummy, garlicky bite melts into every last forkful!
If you make this recipe please share! #rdinthekitchen @dietitian_inthe_kitchen
Carbs are the best. I love them so much I want to marry 'em. Except they don't love me back quite as much. That is, the simple carbs that taste really really good, they are pretty misbehaved in the body. They break down quickly, leading to fluctuations in blood sugar. They are food for bacteria. They can lead to inflammation. They leave you wanting more, craving more.
Maintaining a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, is part of a healthy lifestyle. Whole grains, beans, legumes, soy, nuts, seeds, fruits and veggies are the building blocks of any wholesome diet.
But sometimes you (and by you I mean me) just want a bowl of white pasta with some butter and parm cheese. Before you act on this craving, think about the WHY. Is there an emotional connection and this is simply comfort food? Do you just really dislike the taste of whole wheat pasta? Are you starving and this is the easiest thing to make right now? Rather than limiting yourself to a small portion (2 oz for most pasta), instead try subbing your pasta with veggies!
Spiralized zucchini is my jam, and very trendy right now, but let't not forget about the classic that is spaghetti squash. This squash has only 10 grams of carbohydrate per cup (cooked) - compare that to the 35-50 grams of grain based pasta, depending on the shape and size of the noodle. Rich amounts of vitamins C, B6 and mineral potassium is another great benefit of eating this veggie. What else? Well, it tastes delicious!
Cooking this bad boy can be a little intimidating for a first timer, so follow this guide and you will have perfect spaghetti squash every time!
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Poke holes around the diameter of the squash, lengthwise.
3. Place in microwave for 3-6 minutes depending on the size.
4. Using the holes as a guide, cut the squash in half. Scoop out seeds.
5. Liberally coat inner squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
6. Place face down on the baking sheet and cook in oven for 45 minutes.
7. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, flip squash halves over. Using two forks, pull at the flesh of the squash and it will separate looking like thin strands of spaghetti.
***See pictures below!
Bright flavors like garlic and lemon go well with this sweet veggie. I recommend preparing this Chicken Piccata with your squash, add a side of steamed broccoli for a pop of color!
I love smoothies. I really do. When it comes to juicing vs smoothies, I am always team smoothie - when made properly.
Often, we load our smoothies with tons of fruit (good because of the fiber, but also full of sugar) and skimp on the veggies and protein. So here is a simple equation to help you ensure that smoothie is as healthy as it is tasty.
2 cups veggie + 2 cups fruit (use frozen and skip the ice) + 1 part protein (7-15 grams) + 1/2 cup unsweetened liquid = bomb.com smoothie
Tip for those who prefer to sleep an extra 15 minutes rather than eating a good breakfast. Make smoothie bags (your chosen fruit and vegetables) ahead of time and keep in freezer. In the morning simply combine bag of frozen fruits and veggies with your liquid and protein to the blender and you are good to go.
Brussel Sprout & Kale Caesar
As any good nutrition student would, I tried desperately to like kale when I was in college. I tried multiple recipes, but to my dismay, I could barely stomach the taste of this superfood. I gave up for a few years, only managing to add the green to my smoothies. A few years later, on the evening of my Master's graduation, I sat with my family at the True Food Kitchen in Fairfax, VA. If you are unfamiliar with the restaurant, it was created by Dr. Andrew Wiel, who has devoted much of his life to mastering the anti-inflammatory diet. [I will talk more about this in the future].
So there I am, trying to decide what to get, when in reality I want to try EVERYTHING. The waitress recommends the Kale Caesar. For a minute I am flooded with flashbacks of my failed attempts and remind myself that I couldn't possibly be a respected dietitian if I don't like kale. So I go for it...
Have you ever take a bite of a dish and actually felt the 'whoosh' of your mind being blown?
Not only did I like the salad, I was obsessed. I devoured it. I licked the plate clean.
So here we are today, with my version of that tasty salad. Hope you like it!
Pesto is the besto
I recently had some close friends over for a dinner party. Of course, my work day got the best of me and I knew I would only have about 30 minutes to prepare a dinner worthy of guests. Quickly, I decided on making a simple pesto to smother some zoodles and grilled chicken. I gathered some heirloom cherry tomatoes for a pop of color, and a nice ball of burrata cheese to top the whole thing off.
I was really shocked when everyone at the table, some very picky eaters included, raved about the pesto. I thought to myself - 'It was so easy, I make it all the time. What are they talking about?' Sometimes people don't know how to take a compliment. That was not the case here. I simply did not think something so classic could still rile people up!
When you think about it, isn't it always the most simple thing that gets the attention? A trench coat over a sequin dress; a portrait in a sea of landscapes. End of story, I sent them all home with the recipe and decided it would be the first recipe I post here.
So here you go. I challenge you to be creative and find new and exciting ways to use this sauce. I'm sure it will become a staple in your home like it has in mine.
This recipe is GF, and can be made DF by replacing the romano cheese with nutritional yeast.
Ashley Shaw MS, RD, CDN