When life hands you lemons, make Salmon

salmonWhen life hands you lemons… It’s time to cook!

Ok, so I have always hated fish. I am a fish stick kind of chicka, I like tartar sauce. What is not to like about mayo and relish mixed?? But now that I am trying so very hard to eat healthy, I have finally found that yes, I can eat fish.

I started with flounder, the white fish, with absolutely no taste apart from the spices you smother said fish with. Of course, there is also crab (their cakes are the bomb.com), shrimp, clams, oysters, scallops, scungilli (conk, I mean large sea snail), and calamari (squid, weird freaky sea creatures), were all okay. I had a real issue with fish — the fins… the scales… the weird way they breathe…

I ate crab right out of the Hudson River growing up and I still have issues with fish. You know the kind; healthy, wild caught, the stuff people pay big money for (I have watched those crazy fishing shows). And sure tuna, in a can, strained and mixed with mayo, YUMMY! But fish…

After making fish for the family for years and just not eating it myself, I decided it was time. And you know what, Salmon isn’t all that fishy. I mean, it is fishier than flounder but not so bad. Wrap that sucker up with some garlic, sea salt, lemon juice and slices, cayenne and black pepper… And wowwy! That is some yummy stuff and it is good for me, go figure.

You see I am at day 8 without sweets and I have to find good healthy foods to train my brain. In my head, it is GOOD when it has buttercream flowers to decorate it. Who’d a thunk it would be so incredible with savory healthy, fresh meals? Sometimes I feel like I am finally an adult.

I guess raising 2 girls to adulthood (kind of) should have been my first clue but this whole eating right and working out regularly thing has eluded me my entire adult life. I have been chasing it, I have “tried” but now I have consistently achieved some very simple life changes and my diet should follow suit. I have moved on from just cooking well for my hubby and eating what I want, to eating what I have MADE for my hubby. In the process, I have found that fish is tasty and I am a darned good cook. (If I DO say so myself!) 

Now the rice thing is different. Brown rice and black rice are very healthy for you. They are very tasty but boring. Black rice has a very nutty flavor and by itself, is not our cup of tea.

When I make rice, I cook it with bone marrow stock and coconut oil. I throw herbs that make me happy in there as well. The bone marrow and coconut oil help both taste and digestion. If you like spice, add a jalapeno to the rice stock. Brown and black rice are very hardy. If you like soft, fluffy white rice, you need to cook the rice a bit longer than suggested. 

Let’s face it, any veggie will go well with this dish. Today, I chose peas. Steamed peas with coconut oil, sea salt and a bit of garlic (garlic goes with everything, except cupcakes!).

Now to the cooking:

Make a pouch out of tin foil for your fish, coat the foil lightly with coconut oil. Salmon is an oily fish; the coconut adds a bit of flavor and will keep the fish from sticking.

Layer fresh chopped garlic, oregano, basil, pepper and lemon slices, and top with a piece of salmon. Top with another layer of garlic, oregano, basil, pepper and lemon slices.  

Seal the pouch and place it in a COOL oven. Turn the oven on and set it at 350. Once the oven has reached 350, let the fish cook for about 5 minute, and then shut the oven off. Leave the pouch in the oven and let it rest until the rest of the meal is ready. If you prefer to cook the fish once the oven is already hot, it will take about 10 minutes, or until the fish flakes apart with fork.

The depth and density of the fish will have some effect on how long to cook. Check often, fish dries out easily — and no one likes dry fish.

As for the rice, follow package directions. Just substitute bone marrow soup stock for the water, and add herbs to taste. My favorite is garlic, onions and basil.

By the way, I don’t do china either. Less dishes are mommy’s wishes!

Enjoy and remember that tasty AND good for you can happen!!!

By: Sharon Pell

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