I was looking forward to Week 30 of the 52 week challenge with its theme of clean eating. Ideally, everything I cook at home would fall into the clean eating category, since I truly believe eating unprocessed foods is the healthiest way to eat. I do think clean eating can include some canned or packaged food (like chicken broth or tomato paste), but for the challenge, I wanted to take clean eating to its purest form - all whole and unprocessed foods other than olive oil and spices. After hunting around for a while for the recipe that I thought would perfectly fit this philosophy, I was inspired by this healthy recipe for halibut and vegetables, and adapted it for our dinner, substituting cod for halibut.
For our roasted cod and vegetable dinner, I used:
- 2 russet potatoes ($0.98)
- 1 red bell pepper ($0.99)
- 1 yellow onion ($0.89)
- olive oil ($0.40)
- salt and pepper ($0.10)
- 1 lb (or so) of cod fillets ($6.08)
- 2/3 bunch of parsley ($1.19)
- zest of 1 lemon ($0.40)
- 1 tsp (or so) of dried oregano ($0.03)
- 3 garlic cloves ($0.08)
For a relatively filling fish dinner for 2, $11 isn't too bad at all. The majority of the cost is the fish. If we had fillets from Costco, it's possible the cost might drop more, but the quality of this wild Alaskan cod was pretty good. We were happy with it.
This is a really easy dish to make and even better, the prep was relatively quick!
1. Chop onion and pepper into thin slices and potatoes into small wedges. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, add olive oil, and mix with your hands until everything is well-coated.
2. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes or so (until potatoes are tender).
3. While vegetables are baking, make the gremolata. Finely chop parsley, zest lemon, mince garlic, and add oregano. Mix them all together.
4. Add salt and pepper to the fish.
5. When vegetables have roasted, move them to the sides of the pan. Add fish to the middle of the pan, and then sprinkle most of the gremolata over the top (reserve a little bit). Move vegetables around so that the fish is nestled within the vegetables (and the vegetables are also on top of it).
6. Bake for another 15 minutes, until fish is opaque in the center and done.
7. Plate the fish fillets. Add the remaining gremolata to the vegetables and stir them around to combine. Plate vegetables.
This dish was exactly what I was looking for as clean eating. Nothing about it was processed or artificial. The vegetables were great, although there were a couple pieces of potato that weren't as soft and tender as I would have liked (I think it was one section of one of the potatoes that needed more time). I think next time I would roast the vegetables for longer or at a higher temperature before adding the fish. Can't go wrong with some extra roasting. Tender roasted vegetables are some of my favorite ways to eat vegetables. All around, the flavors here were good, the gremolata was the perfect compliment to the cod, and we felt so good having eaten such a clean dinner. We would definitely make this again.