Saturday, March 14, 2009

On a Health Kick

Ok, so you've not heard from me in a while because, to be honest, it took me three weeks to digest all the previous post's food. I've only just started to be hungry again...

Now there's a good excuse for not writing up your foodie frolics if ever I heard (/wrote) one.

And the truth of the matter is, well, I've been exploring an entirely different way of eating. The carb fest that was Italy in combination with months of eating and writing about whatever I wanted (with a frugal focus), not to mention the six months' travel eating the wackiest global foods on offer, I decided it was high time my poor bod/tum was given a bit of a holiday and some TLC. So together we set off on a little jolly jaunt into the world of really healthy eating.

And, I know this may be a little controversial, and I never thought I'd hear myself say this but - I'm actually enjoying it. I'm talking a real focus on eating light proteins (mainly fish), maximising my fruit and veg intake and, for the moment, cutting out all milk, wheat, caffeine and sugar. I know, sounds boring doesn't it.

But I'm here today to tell you that it doesn't need to be boring at all! Especially the fish side of things. Previously a bit naive about the potential of sea produce, I'm now starting to veer dangerously towards pescatarian-evangelism. I could rant and rave for hours about the merits of the fishy stuff, or Sea Bass-bash you. But I'll let my recipes speak for themselves as, over the next few weeks, I'm going to be exploring a few of the interesting options I'm starting to come up with, and demonstrate how healthy eating doesn't have to be all bland, boring dishes with no pizzazz. Quite the opposite!

As a result of my two weeks' healthier eating, I can honestly say I'm a changed woman - I've got energy that was seriously lacking before, I'm bouncing out of bed (actually, annoyingly early), enjoying my exercise, and there are the added benefits of skin, hair and nails which are starting to glow like a lavalamp. Though admittedly not quite so fluorescent.

But enough of my waffle, let's cut to my first fish dish.

Look at thaaaat. Shiny, glistening, silky, silvery. Fish that is so fresh it's still gleaming from the sea. Believe it or not, I'm finding that Waitrose, moreso even than some of the fish stalls, sells the most spankingly fresh fish of all varieties. Impressive every time.

Asian Baked Sea Bass with Stir Fried Garlicky greens & rice

First get the rice cooking, as the fish takes barely any time at all.
Once it's bubbling away, lay the prepared fish on a baking tray - stuff it with roughly chopped spring onions, sprinkling half over the top of the fish. Rub a bit of sea salt on the skin of the fish, and then sprinkle/stuff a mixture of chopped/sliced ginger, lemongrass and squeezed lime over the fish. If you'd like a bit more of an asian feel, add a splash of soy sauce (being careful not to oversalt, as you've already salted previously), and some chopped coriander. Pop the fish in the oven for about 15 minutes on high (245C). I'm still using an aga, so my temperatures are shady - keep an eye on whether the fish is cooked through or not.
Meanwhile, stir fry the garlic in some groundnut oil until golden, and add a generous handful of beansprouts, some of the chopped spring onions and some roughly chopped asparagus. This should not take long to wilt, til the asparagus is al dente.

Serve and enjoy, you healthy, healthy so-n-so.

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