Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fish 'n' Greens: Another Soul Care Dinner

Today, my twenty-something said: "Mom, we haven't had that good food of yours for some time now." My heart leaped inside my chest. "Good food?" I queried. "Yes, fish and greens and all that stuff you cook. I need to eat your good food." What better motivation for someone who doesn't like to cook and has, this last week, served lasagna dinner two evenings in a row besides allowing Panera Bread, Round Table, Chin Chin and Rubio's to do the honors the rest of the time? Well, soul care dinners are back after a brief holiday :).

Today, I served Fish 'n' Greens, a soul care dinner. Food that nourishes the body of my family members but also nurtures good self and soul care of me, the wife, mom, chef, who doesn't really like cooking :(

Fish 'n' Greens is our family's nickname for Grilled Salmon Indian-style when served with a side Caesar's salad. The salmon took less than 15 minutes in the oven and preparation time is less than 5! I used Silver Coho Salmon Portions Deboned and Skinned bought from the frozen section of Trader Joe.  Any fish can be used, however, as the Indian spices add flavor, and heat, if you're not careful :). The Greens are Romaine Lettuce I picked up at the Farmer's Market. I washed, hand-shredded, and arranged the lettuce on individual dinner plates. I sprinkled freshly grated parmesan and romano cheese on the lettuce and took the Caesar salad dressing (store-bought) from the fridge to the dinner table.  Besides the fish steaks I added a few slices of pink watermelon and green kiwi rounds on the same plate (see above,apologies for the poor photography but my guys wanted to eat!). My Strawberry Smoothie is the popular drink at home these days and that's what I whipped up today too. The Grilled Fish recipe is below.

Grilled Fish Indian-style

Ingredients: Fish, Chili powder (optional or substitute a 1/4 teaspoon of pizza red pepper topping), Turmeric powder, Lemon (preferably fresh, or substitute with salt); Pepper (again, optional, and good to use if you decide to skip the chili powder)

Rub the frozen fish with the spices and lemon juice and leave it to thaw in the refrigerator during the day/night. First, wash the frozen fish steaks. Salmon is best for this although you can use mahi-mahi, swordfish, orange roughy, halibut and any other ocean fish, even dover sole! Second, sprinkle a tiny bit of Indian chili powder - buy the plain red chilli powder not with mixed spices like coriander, cummin, etc. - and a tiny bit of turmeric. Third, halve a lemon and squeeze the juice on the fish. Use the rind to rub the spices into the fish. The biggest mistake you can make is to put too much spice. 1/4 teaspoon for 1 pound of fish is more than sufficient. If that's not spicy enough sprinkle black or red peppers when you're eating! Keep the spiced frozen fish in the refrigerator to thaw until 20 minutes before dinner time. Grill the fish on each side for about 5-10 minutes (depends on fish steak/portion size). Serve.

When served with greens, Caesar with Romaine or Red Leaf Lettuce and Red Mustard or Garden salads, with Romaine, Cucumber, Tomatoes, Carrots, and Mushrooms, are great accompaniments. Fish 'n' Greens is one of my favorite dishes to serve because it is not only easy to cook, the clean up is easier too. I believe this happens because of the individual servings on the dinner plate. When eating, I notice that we all mix the tastes: alternating a mouthful of salmon with a watermelon or a kiwi followed by lettuce. A great soul care dinner.

For those who need carbs, the fish cooked in this way can also be served with a bed of lemon and turmeric flavored yellow rice, steamed green peas, and red carrots. My guys love the colors and the food disappears very fast from all our plates. Make brown rice in a cooker. For 1 cup of rice, take the juice of one lemon, mix with salt and a pinch of turmeric. Heat some olive oil, toss in a few black or brown mustard seeds (skip, if not available) and the lemon juice mix. Simmer a minute, take off the stove. Add the brown rice, mix well and bon appetit! 

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