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Getting Omega 3s

March 28, 2010

Another weekend is coming to an end. I hate how the time always flies by so quickly! After Alicia caught the bus back to NYC I spent the day running errands, doing laundry, and cooking. Z and I also headed to the gym together, where we worked our butts off (hopefully literally! πŸ™‚ ) side by side, and came home craving a light, refreshing meal.

I have recently read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food. I truly loved the book. Everything he says about nutritionism and the American diet is eye opening, and ever since I have been paying much more attention to what I am putting into my body. Of course, no one can be perfect, but awareness is important. I think everyone should read the book and then take a look at their own diet and what they believe about nutrition. Now I know what Oprah was going on about!

Pollan has a part in his book about omega 3 fatty acids, how important they are in our diet, and how we as a population are not consuming enough. Without going into a long description about their health benefits (including cancer fighting qualities and heart health), it is good to know that omega 3s are found in fish, flax seeds, and free range eggs (to name the top sources). Looking at my own diet, I realized that my omega 3 consumption is incredibly low. We hardly ever eat fish, the best source for these fatty acids, and once I saw how good they are for you I knew that fish would make an appearance on our table ASAP.

I was looking for a quick, flavorful fish recipe and remembered Cara’s for Jalapeno-Baked Fish. The list of ingredients was simple, and I had most of already in my kitchen. I ran across the street to Bazaar and picked up some Bassa fish, also known as Flounder, and made a slightly different version. My stomach was talking out loud to me as I was cooking, so I loved that this took about 25 minutes to make from start to finish.

Chili Baked Flounder slightly adapted from Cara’s Cravings

2 fillets of flounder, rinsed

1 can diced tomatoes

2 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

1 Thai chili pepper

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds

Preheat oven to 400*

Put the sliced sweet potato in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 4 minutes.

In a blender, 3/4 of the tomatoes and the garlic, cilantro, pepper, and lemon juice. Blend. Stir in the rest of the tomatoes.

Spray an oven safe dish with some Pam. Layer the potatoes on the bottom.

Salt and pepper both sides of the fish and lay the fillets on the potatoes. Top with a layer of the sauce (you will have some left over).

Cook in the oven for 30 minutes.

I served this with some steamed zucchini, fresh cilantro, and the extra sauce on the side.

Cara always does such a wonderful job of creating light and healthy dishes with a ton of flavor. The chili really kicked through this, but became milder when eaten with the flaky fish and sweet potato. The fish was fabulous. I had never had flounder before: it is slightly sweet and flaky, with a very subtle and un-fishy flavor. The texture is lovely, much heartier than other white fish while still maintaining the tenderness. This dish was perfect for tonight, and we ended up scooping a ton of the sauce (very much like a salsa!) onto the rest of the zucchini until it was all gone. I know I will be making this recipe again, as well as cooking flounder to get some good omega 3s!

Side note: I found at Trader Joe’s almond butter with roasted flax seeds. It is incredible, with such a unique crunch to it. If anyone is looking to boost their O3s, or just for some well priced, healthful almond butter, check it out!

Are you a fan of fish? What is your favorite way to eat it?

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23 Comments leave one →
  1. March 29, 2010 8:29 am

    Mmm this is such a light, refreshing, and tasty dinner! I’m a big seafood fan and love nearly all kinds. I agree with you about Pollan’s books- they are enlightening and full of pertinent info for all to know. I really believe in his philosophy of eating and awareness, it has undoubtedly changed the way I view food these days.
    I need to add more fish to my life though. I love it but I tend to not buy it because I would have to cook it that night. Unless I buy it frozen. It’s hard to shop on Sunday and want to have salmon on Wednesday. I guess I should just make a special trip when I want to make a meal with it!
    I love that you served the flounder with sweet potato rounds and zucchini. This is a perfect spring meal!

    • March 29, 2010 9:22 pm

      I agree about buying fish fresh, its so important! I like to stop by on my way home from work to pick it up πŸ™‚

  2. March 29, 2010 8:58 am

    That looks like quite a yummy and light dinner.

    I love fish. I love all sorts, but recently have been paying more attention to the whole sustainability end and what fish is better and safer to eat. So like wild salmon, arctic char, etc. etc. I had flounder the other week at a sushi restaurant–only to find out later its in the “Dirty Dozen” for fish. haha it’s so hard to know what to eat these days!!!

    anyhow just stumbled on your blog, nice to meet you!

    • March 29, 2010 9:21 pm

      Thats so interesting, I’d love to see where you read that! I read that flounder is actually one of the safer fishes ie way less mercury and other toxins than tuna, swordfish, etc! But there is so much information out there, I like to read everything!

  3. March 29, 2010 10:34 am

    What a lovely light fish dish. It sounds so flavorful! In Defense of Food is on my reading list and I’m looking forward to it!

  4. March 29, 2010 12:23 pm

    I loved Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food. I don’t eat fish anymore but I used to love grilling it on the barbecue – soo good!

    I just found your blog, btw — it is great πŸ™‚

    • March 29, 2010 9:19 pm

      Thanks for stopping by! I love having new readers πŸ™‚

  5. March 29, 2010 12:23 pm

    Omega-3’s have really changed my life. Sounds dramatic but it’s true! After I started incorporating more salmon and flax into my diet my skin and hair instantly improved. Don’t get me wrong, my hair still has a long way to go but anything is an improvement!

    Delicious looking flounder!

    • March 29, 2010 9:19 pm

      Thats amazing what physical results you got! I can’t wait to see if I notice a change.

  6. March 29, 2010 1:10 pm

    I need to finish reading In Defense of Food. Problem is: I’m reading 3 books at once so I get too distracted. πŸ™‚ I don’t eat fish so I love that you found almond butter w/ some Omega 3’s.

  7. March 29, 2010 1:40 pm

    definitely a good read πŸ™‚ and what a great fish dish! i love that almond butter, too… unfrotunately i’ve already gone through 2 containers–eek!

    • March 29, 2010 9:18 pm

      I am trying my hardest not to eat the whole thing in one sitting. So difficult!

  8. March 29, 2010 3:34 pm

    Very nice recipe! Looks like a very light and refreshing meal. I don’t eat meat/fish, but I often cook fish in a healthier fish finger form for Josh (http://itzyskitchen.blogspot.com/2010/01/baked-sesame-and-bread-crumb-crusted.html). Hope you’re having a nice Monday

  9. March 29, 2010 4:32 pm

    I used to eat a lot of fish– but am very vegetarian-ish now and don’t so much. Do eat a lot of flax though… and avocados– I think those have omega 6…?

  10. March 29, 2010 4:50 pm

    I LOVE omega 3s πŸ™‚ But your flounder with chili looks so, so amazing! I’m actually making fish tacos with mahi mahi tonight and I’m so excited!

    • March 29, 2010 9:17 pm

      I hope you will post about those fish tacos, they sound amazing πŸ™‚

  11. March 29, 2010 4:57 pm

    Omega 3 also calms inflammation–I take lemon-flavored fish oil after dinner to help with Crohn’s Disease.

  12. March 29, 2010 6:52 pm

    I am reading In Defense of Food too and I am really enjoying it. In particular I think it’s interesting all the discussion about how the nutrients in food all work together to help our bodies- which is why you can’t have nutrients just by themselves. It seems so obvious and yet, we don’t seem to get it!

  13. March 29, 2010 7:16 pm

    What a tasty fish dish! I don’t eat enough fish. I had a bad experience a few months ago and haven’t touched it since. But I do love it. I have to find a new market to get it from. Especially with warm weather approaching. I have the book on my wish list. It sounds great.

    • March 29, 2010 9:17 pm

      I hate having a bad experience with a food. I hope you find a good, new market!

  14. March 30, 2010 9:17 am

    I think it’s safe to say I am a big fish fan πŸ™‚ I am really glad to know this worked well with sweet potatoes because ever since I made it, I’ve been trying to think of a spin-off/variation involving sweet potatoes! (ok, actually I already came up with one that has to be blogged, but it ended up being a lot more complicated than this somehow – I like yours!)

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