My first recipe entry is from the Light and Healthy 2010 magazine that I got as I stood in line at Whole Foods last month. In this magazine, they take delicious recipes and cut back on the fat and calories to make it, I'm sure you can guess... light and healthy! Imagine that. Everything I get from this book, is under 500 calories. For these recipes, I always use them as a base and tend to make them my own in some way or another.
Tonight I played with foods that I've never cooked before: halibut, zucchini, quinoa. Let's get started.
1 Zucchini, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
4 large cherry tomatoes (the recipe called for larger plum tomatoes but couldn't find them at Whole Foods, so I got the little crate of large cherry tomatoes)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
2 skinless halibut fillets, 1 - 1 1/2 inches thick
2 tablespoons of dry white wine (the original recipe called for 1/4 cup, I said no thanks)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 cups of Quinoa
2 Lemon wedges for serving
First, heat the oven to 450 degrees.
Next put your sliced zucchini in a colander and salt it lightly (1/4 teaspoon). Let this sit for about 15 minutes, then spread the zucchini over paper towels and pat them gently to soak up extra moisture. Now, take your large cherry tomatoes and cut them in quarters, core and seed them, then cut each quarter vertically again.
(cherry tomatoes cored and seeded, cut in quarters)
Now, I play with the food processor - if you don't have one, go get one for under $40 at World Market, it's life changing. If you can't take that little errand right now, get your best knife and start chopping. I took about 6 fresh basil leaves and hit the "grind" button for about 6 seconds - it measured at right about 1/4 cup, then scooped it into a medium size mixing bowl. Then, I took about 3 sprigs of fresh oregano and did the same thing. Grind. Measure (right about at 1 teaspoon). Scoop into bowl. Repeat process for the 2 garlic gloves. Add your tomatoes, add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then 3 shakes of salt. You should have a delicious looking and smelling pesto-esque mixture as you can see below!
For this next part, I doubled the aluminum foil and used 2 for the base, about 12 inch squares. Take your zucchini and line them up as the pictures below indicate. Use 1 tablespoon of the white cooking wine and pour over them - I just could not imagine using more than that, which is why I decreased this measurement. Place the halibut fillet on top of the zucchini and then spoon the tomato-basil-oil-oregano mixture on top of the fillets.
Next, take a 3rd 12 inch square of aluminum foil and cover the halibut. Fold each side inward until you have closed it in.
Place on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 18 minutes.
While this is baking, take 2 cups of quinoa and put them in a medium size sauce pan. Add 1 and 3/4 cup of water, let it cook on high and come to a boil - treat like rice. This doesn't need to drain, it soaks up all of the water you cook it in! Do pay attention to this cooking, so that you don't burn it, as I have done with rice before and thought for a brief 3 seconds that I had done again...
Use the quinoa as a bed for your halibut en papillote, transferring the zucchini bottomed fillet with a long spatula. Then use a lemon wedge to squeeze over your meal for a little added flavor.
Fresh out of the oven!
Dinner is served! (Max's portion...looked better for the picture)
Best part? The Halibut en Papillote is only 290 calories! The quinoa adds around 500 per cup serving, but it also is the healthiest grain you can eat. My nutritionist gets the credit for the fact that I have tried this, and who taught me that it is the best grain you can eat. This serving of tiny little seed-like pasta contains more calcium than a glass of milk and 24 grams of protein!