Thursday, September 12, 2013

Eating Fresh

In efforts to eating fresh and getting back into shape my sister came to me last week asking for some new recipes.  She wanted to be inspired to go out of her comfort zone in cooking and expand her (and her family's) palate.  While she is cooking for a family of five including her husband and three sons, ages 19 months, 6 and 8 years old, finding recipes to accommodate everyone is sometimes a challenge.  We needed fresh, delicious and simple recipes to fit into her busy schedule.  So we brainstormed, perused our Pinterest food boards, discussed which ingredients were in season and came up with a menu for the week.  Yes, we made the same recipes and compared.

Fish seemed to be our hero this week, which her kids love, so we built this recipe around it.  I had recently seen a salad on Twitter with some vibrant roasted spicy carrots in it.  It looked so delicious that I had to create my own thus creating this spicy carrot slaw over pan seared cod.  The mildness of the cod was a perfect pairing to the spiciness and acidity of the slaw.  

While my sister and I live 3,000 miles away from each other we are still cooking and sipping our wine together (thanks to FaceTime) and sharing our love for food. As we celebrate our upcoming birthdays this week and turn another year older, staying healthy by eating and cooking with fresh ingredients will continue to be part of our daily routine.  

I'm not a quote person but I found this and thought it was appropriate (since we're getting back into shape).

"You are what you eat so don't be Fast, Cheap, Easy or Fake."

Spicy Roasted Carrot Slaw with Pan Seared Cod

4 - 6 ounce cod fillets
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
Black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil and some to drizzle 
5-7 whole medium carrots, washed, trimmed and cut in half
1 lemon, cut in half
1 orange, cut in half
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cups shredded green cabbage

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Season the cod with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with olive oil and set aside.

In a small food processor combine the garlic, cumin, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, coriander and smoked paprika.  Grind until very fine.  Season with black pepper and pulse to combine.  Place the ground spices and garlic into a small bowl  Add the balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Stir to combine making a paste.

Place the carrots on a foil lined rimed baking sheet.  Spread the garlic spice mixture over the carrots.  Place the halved orange and lemon on top of the carrots.  Roast for 30 minutes

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and add the sliced onions.  Drizzle the onions with olive oil.  Continue to roast the carrots with the onions for another 20-25 minutes, until the carrots are tender and the onions are slightly caramelized, flipping the onions half way through.

Remove the carrots and onions from the oven and allow to cool.  Once cool enough to handle juice the orange and lemon halves into a small bowl.  Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and stir to combine.  Set aside.

Roughly chop the cooled roasted carrots and onions.  Place them into a medium mixing bowl and add the green cabbage.  Pour the orange and lemon juice dressing over top and toss to combine.  Set aside.

In a medium pan heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.  Carefully place the cod fillets in the pan and cook for 5 minutes.  Gently flip the fish and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Serve with the spicy roasted carrot slaw on top.  

Makes 4 servings.