Thursday, July 19, 2012

eat more fish

I'm making it my mission to eat more fish. Fish is what we evolved eating, and it's what our bodies and especially our brains need to run effectively. Fish is like jet fuel for your brain. A serving of fish a day can lower blood pressure, improve your resting heart rate, lower cholesterol and triglycerides, improve your insulin sensitivity, and on and on. Seriously. Start eating more fish...your life will be better for it!

The fish of choice tonight was cod. I was wandering around the produce aisle, wondering what I'd have with said cod, when something slightly alien-looking caught my eye. Broccoli rabe! I almost never see it available at my local grocery store, so I snapped a bunch up. Never mind that I'd never actually cooked it or even tasted it before. When has that ever deterred me?! I knew it was meant to be fairly bitter, but that was about it. I put it in my basket anyway, thinking to myself  "this is what Google is for, clearly".

Turns out one of the traditional Italian ways to cook broccoli rabe is to blanch it in some boiling water, and then sautee it in some olive oil and garlic until it's tender. Well that was certainly do-able! I gave it all a good rinse, then cut off the tough ends of the stalks. In retrospect, I should have cut more off, but now I know for next time. I dunked it all into a pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes, then drained it. I added some olive oil and sliced garlic to the pan and let it warm up, then added the rabe and gave it a few good tosses before shutting the heat off.

Before tackling the rabe project, I had preheated the oven to 425. I cut up about 1 3/4 pounds of cod filets, placed them on a baking sheet lined with parchment, and drizzled them with olive oil. A little black pepper completed the picture, and into the oven they went, for about 12 minutes (as the pieces were pretty thick. I checked at 10 minutes and they weren't quite done). I scrubbed and cut in half a sweet potato and put it in the microwave for about 8 minutes while everything was cooking, as well. Everything basically got done at the same time - fish came out, greens were wilted, sweet potato got scooped out of the skin and mashed up with a little Kerrygold butter (it's made from milk from grassfed Irish cows. Very tasty, and super good for you too) and a touch of salt. I also added a touch of salt to the greens, plated everything up, and it was time to eat!

Cod, sweet potato, garlicky broccoli rabe
The rabe and sweet potato actually made really nice counterpoints for each other - sweet, rich and velvety potato against bright, nutty, slightly bitter, almost floral-tasting rabe...and all against a background of tender, juicy fish. YUM!

So there you go. Fish can be quick and easy, and it's super good for you. EAT MORE FISH!