Some of my most memorable dishes involved crab. I often like to bake crab with butter and a sprinkle of sea salt. The result is anything but a simpleton in the realm of good eats – it’s fingerlickin’ delicious! Crab cakes are also a common occurrence in my household, and this recipe beats out any other I’ve ever had at any restaurant throughout my entire life. And, for good reason. There is no overwhelming mayonnaise or bread crumb taste that takes over the crab; instead, you taste the crab and all the other add-ins simply pique its unique flavor. So try this simple and light baked crab cake and you’ll never go back.
Many people shy away from making fish at home, because of the taboo surrounding the ability to cook it just right. I’ve always considered it the easiest of all meats to cook (at least far easier than chicken). The hard part comes in completing the flavor profile. Sure, fish only really needs some oil or butter, salt, and lemon to be a success, but having an arsenal of various sauces to fish from is what makes having fish an exciting and more welcome member at the dinner table.
The delicate flavors of sea bream should not be overwhelmed with some crazy sauce or overwhelming textures. The fragrant, yet neutral complement of a pea and basil sauce make for a complete fish dish that is light, tender, and creamy! I’ve also used this sauce with tilapia and scallops.
Sea Bream: lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol, is abundant in heart-healthy omega-3 essential fatty acids, improves the function of the heart, arteries and veins, raises HDL (good) cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, can reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration (leading cause of blindness) by 50 percent, reduces the accumulation of fat in the body, protects against colon, breast and prostate cancer, improves brain function, deals with symptoms of inflammation, slows down aging symptoms, and helps uplift the mood (antidepressant).
*Remember when picking out fresh fish that it shouldn’t smell “fishy”. Fresh fish smells like nothing – if it’s stinky, it’s not fresh.
Sea Bream with Pea Sauce
Cook Time: 8 minutes
- 2 sea bream fillets
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Dash of salt
- 1 cup of canned peas, drained and rinsed
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Juice of half a lemon
- Small handful of fresh basil
- Red pepper flakes for garnish
Coat the sea bream fillets with extra-virgin olive oil and a dash of salt. Place the sea bream skin-side down in saucepan heated to medium-high for 2 minutes. Pop the saucepan in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 8 minutes until tender.
For the sauce, combine the peas, basil, garlic, juice of half a lemon, salt, and pepper and process until smooth. You may need to add up to 2 tbsp of lukewarm water to get the mixture smooth rather than chunky.
Dollop the pea sauce on each fillet and garnish with red pepper flakes. There will be leftover sauce to enjoy aside the meal.
The perfect finish to a great day.
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NOW, for some shruuuump.
In these parts – along the Turkish Mediterranean, specifically – shrimp stew is a popular dish that is traditionally baked in an earthenware pot with spices, topped with white cheese, and broiled to perfection. However, when using frozen shrimp, which is more budget-friendly and easier to prepare (cleaning shrimp hater, right here), I generally cook the shrimp stovetop as to boil off the pool of water the shrimp would otherwise end up swimming in if baked, transfer to a single-serving pot, top with cheese, and then broil to perfection. I also like to add some traditional flavors reminiscent of the Caribbean, such as lime and red pepper.
If you have normal cholesterol levels, shrimp is completely acceptable in the diet, except don’t fry it! Grill, bake, or steam shrimp and you’ve got yourself a glowing prospect.
Shrimp: provides the body with 48% of the daily value of cancer-fighting selenium, keeps the skin, hair, and nails healthy, prevents anemia due to its vitamin B12 content, boosts energy with iron, builds strong bones with phosphorus, aids in processing fats due to its niacin content, fights depression with omega-3 fatty acids, promotes prostate health with zinc, contributes to a healthy thyroid due to copper content, and stabilizes blood sugar levels with magnesium.
Garlic Lime Shrimp Stew
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients (1 serving)
- 300 grams baby shrimp
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- Juice of half a lime
- 1/2 cup white cheese, grated
- Lime slice and red pepper flake garnish
Begin by melting the butter over medium heat with the chopped garlic. Once melted, add the baby shrimp.
Pour in the juice of half a lime and add the salt and red pepper flakes.
Close the lid of the pan for approximately 1 minute. Remove the lid. As the frozen shrimp cooks, it will melt off a lot of water. You know the shrimp is done when the water evaporates completely.
The flavors have concentrated and the shrimp are just tender. In a small, single-serving dish, put the shrimp and top them with freshly shredded white cheese. You could use cheddar or Monterey jack cheese. Pop into the broiler on high for approximately 1-2 minutes, or until the cheese is just melted or slightly browned (for those of you who like crispy cheese).
Serve with a slice of lime and a garnish of red pepper flakes. Enjoy!
B-12 is the only vitamin you cannot derive from plant sources. While there are synthetic B-12 supplements on the market and nutritional yeast provides some of the vitamin, I personally wouldn’t turn to supplements if I knew I could get my share from a food source, and nutritional yeast simply doesn’t provide enough.
Not being vegan, I love my fish and value its importance in getting in that B-12 in my system.
Salmon is among my favorite fish, and because of its high-fat content and distinct taste, I like to eat it as simply as possible. Usually, this means salt, pepper, lemon and herbs. With some dill in the fridge that is on its last stretch, tonight was fitting occasion for baked salmon with fresh dill.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8-12 minutes
Easy baked salmon with a lemon and dill garnish.
Ingredients (1 serving)
- 1 salmon fillet
- pinch of salt and pepper
- handful of dill, chopped
- juice from half a lemon
Begin by searing the salmon fillet, skin-side down, in a hot pan. The fat from the salmon is enough, so there is no need to add oil or butter. Season with salt and pepper as it cooks.
When the salmon has cooked about halfway through, remove it from the pan and seal it in aluminum foil.
Bake in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes, or until perfectly cooked through, and not a second more. It should be tender to the touch. Salmon is best when it is just cooked through, but no more. It should melt in your mouth!
Remove from the oven and garnish with lemon and chopped dill.
Look how tender and buttery soft!
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