Healthy Dinner Ideas
Here are some dinner dishes that are more complex than the ones previous in my blog. They may take a while to make, but trust me they are worth it!
Braised Red Cabbage with Citrus Grilled Fish
"This dish has so many healthy elements and is very satisfying at the same time. It also has a stunning presentation for a dinner party because of the intense purple hue of the cabbage."
For the braised Cabbage:
1 medium head of purple cabbage, cored and sliced
1/4 cup of red wine
1 Tbsp of butter (yes I know - butter!!! This helps to add a mild richness to the dish)
2 Tbsps of apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp of coconut sugar or a few small drops of agave syrup
1/3 cup of water
Pinch of caraway seeds or caraway seasoning
1. Melt the butter in the pan and then add the cabbage stirring until the cabbage begins to soften
2. Add a small amount of salt.
3. Add the other ingredients and continue to cook on medium until the cabbage is cooked al dente
For the Fish:
White fish such as Cod, Haddock or Sea Bass is preferred. I recommend wild caught fish that has already been filleted.
1 Tbsp of olive oil
Pinch of cumin
Pinch of pepper
Salt to taste
Lemon and oranges sliced into circular rounds
1. Clean the fish and pat dry with a paper towel
2. Coat the outside of the filet with a very thin layer of the olive oil
3. Apply the seasoning and rub all over the fish so that it is evenly coated
4. Put the fish on a baking sheet and lay all of the orange and lemon slices on top of the fish
5. Cook at 350 for about 10 minutes - but continue to check the fish throughout the cook. It is ready when you can flake the fish with a fork. It should be soft and tender
6. Finally, place the fish on top of the cabbage and enjoy!
Jessica's health tips: Cabbage is actually a cruciferous vegetable lumped into the category with kale, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. It is full of vitamin C and manganese which are powerful antioxidants. It is also filled with fiber which helps with digestion. White fish is also healthy as it is high in omega 3 fatty acids which may help reduce the speed of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease
Spinach and Feta Empanadas
"I love the smell of empanadas coming out of the oven. They are crunchy on the outside and tender and flavorful on the inside. I keep the extra empanadas in the freezer to heat up on a day that I don't have time to cook"
Empanada skins found in the frozen food section (I prefer the Goya brand)
1 Shallot finely diced
1 Tsp of olive oil
1 Tbsp of garlic
1 Tsp of red pepper flakes (if you like spice)
10 Cups of fresh spinach
1 Cup of vegetable stock
Pinch of salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of dried dill
Reduced fat feta cheese - I typically use about a 1/2 cup for this recipe but you could add more or less to taste. If you are a vegan, you can substitute a vegan nut cheese
1. Make sure that the empanada skins are defrosted. You do not want them to be too soft or they may break when stuffed.
2. In a large pan, on medium high heat, saute the shallots in the olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and the red pepper flakes and cook for an additional minute until the garlic starts to brown.
3. Add the cup of vegetable stock, the dill, the salt and pepper.
4. Add the spinach in handfuls, adding more as it starts to wither and cook down. You can add more if you feel that there is not enough spinach- it shrinks as you cook it!
5. Let the mixture cook until the spinach is soft and tender.
6. Let the spinach cool until room temperature and then add the feta cheese. Taste the mixture to make sure that it is seasoned to your liking.
7. Once the entire mixture is cooled you can start stuffing! Take out a rolling pin, lightly flour the empanada shell and roll until the shell is slightly thinner.
8. Add about 2 Tbsps of the mixture into the shell and fold the shell over so you have a semi circle. Crimp the ends of the shell with a fork.
9. Spray all of the empanadas with a non stick cooking spray and place onto a baking sheet. Put into an oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Once ready, the ends will be slightly browned and the empanadas should be crisp.
10. Let cool and enjoy!
Jessica's Health Tips: Spinach contains a compound known as alpha-lipoic acid. This has been shown to lower glucose levels in the bloodstream and increase insulin sensitivity in patients with diabetes. Spinach intake may help with leveling glucose levels. In addition, the high nitrate content in spinach may have health benefits for patients with hypertension.