baked haddock with crumbs

I don’t think this is quite normal, but as a kid I can remember always looking forward to eating a dinner of smelts at my grandparents’ house on Sunday night.  Memere would be fussing in the kitchen, standing watch over a pan of tiny fish that had been coated in white flour and then fried into thin, buttery bites.  If we were lucky, she’d pan fry some potatoes and onions on the side, too.

I was in love with the fish.  Or maybe I was in love with being served dinner by Memere on some Sunday evening.  Whatever the reason, I still find myself looking forward to any dinner that involves fish.  Be it trout, cod, tilapia, salmon or sardines.

I love fish.

Did you know that the new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating at least 8 oz. of fish a week?  This can come easily, in the form of a tuna fish sandwich.  Or, if you’re brave, a chopped sardine salad (it really is delicious, by the way.)

Of course, considering how quick and simple it is to make most fish in general anyways, you may find it to be the perfect weeknight dinner.

Baked Haddock with Crumbs + Steamed Asparagus with Lemon + Brown Rice

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A Healthy 30 Minute Dinner

This is one of my most favorite weeknight meals.  It’s not always easy to find simple dinners that are both healthy and delicious.  This one fits the bill just fine.

I love fish.

Baked Haddock with Crumbs

For the breadcrumbs, I usually just make my own with a loaf of Ezekiel sandwich bread.  About one medium slice of bread equals 1/4 cup of dry breadcrumbs, so this recipe would require you to pull out 4 slices.  Simply chop into small bits, toss on a baking sheet, and heat in a 350 degree oven.  Check it every 3 minutes or so, cooking until dry but not overdone.  Grind in a blender or food processor to the consistency of breadcrumbs (optional: add italian seasoning and freshly grated Parmesan.)

I highly recommend squeezing some fresh lemon juice on top of the fillets right before serving, as this really does enhance all the flavors.  ENJOY! 😀

  • 2 lb. haddock fillets
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp. sage or italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix bread crumbs and spices in a bowls.  Beat egg in small bowl; add milk in another small bowl.  Spray a square casserole dish well.
  3. Dip each piece of fish in milk, then egg, then coat well with bread crumbs.  Place breaded fish pieces in casserole dish; sprinkle with lemon juice and dot with butter if desired.  Bake 30 minutes or until fish flakes easily.  ENJOY! 😀

Question: Fish…yay or nay?  And what kinds do you prefer?  How do you usually prepare it?

running partner

I am not a night runner.

I get up early.  I wake up with the sun.  I run in the crisp morning air.  I indulge in the smells of coffee and bagels and fried eggs. 

At night, I am sleepy.  Ready to relax with a good magazine.  Or maybe fit in a quick yoga session.  Maybe.

I am not a night runner. 

Putting that all aside, tonight I ran my heart out.

Dad and I have made a mutual agreement to set aside both Tuesday and Thursday nights for running, as it fits nicely into both of our schedules.  And, really, I think having a runner partner is going to do me—and my motivation—a world of good.  There are definitely times when I’d rather not run (yes, especially at night!) and having someone who’s up and ready keeps me going.

My dad pushes me harder than I think I’m capable of.  He dashes up hills.  He pushes through moments of feeling tired.  Just after a week or so of running consistently with his pace, I feel like my endurance has already improved dramatically.

A breezy 3 miles felt absolutely invigorating! 😀

And then I came home to eat a gigantic sardine sandwich. :mrgreen:

Forget those thoughts of slimy, canned fish.

When sardines are heated in a pan, mashed together with dijon (or even honey mustard) and mixed with crunchy, diced celery, the results are pretty darn yummy.  Place in between two toasted slices of seedy bread, and serve with a mixture of your favorite veggies. 😀 

I am exhausted tonight.  My second day at the hospital left me with a huge workload, along with a mixture of fear and excitement.  Once I fell into the groove, however, I found myself really enjoying it.  Nutrition assessments.  Education (I love the elderly patients! 😀 ).  Nutrition screening.  I think I’ll learn a lot.  And very quickly. 😉

Tomorrow, I’ll be on my own for a couple of hours in the early morning.  Ready or not, here I come. 😀

Question: Do you have an exercise partner or do you prefer going solo? 

a very simple salmon

 Bulb by bulb, candy cane by candy cane.  The Christmas tree was deconstructed and taken down today.

I very easily become attached to things.  Mr. Jingles, my beta fish for 4 years.  Frenchie, my car. 

Carol, the Christmas tree.  I think I would keep it (her?) up all year if I had the choice. 

To avoid getting the Christmas time blues, I threw on my apron and set out to make a bright, flavorful lunch for the family.  Which, by the way, started with two very simple ingredients: Soy sauce and brown sugar.

And two pieces of wild caught salmon.

 Fast Forward 10 minutes.

Simple and perfect.  And that, my friends, is just one of the things that I love so much about salmon.  It doesn’t like to be messed around with too, too much, making things easier on the busy cook.

I still don’t like saying goodbye to things.  Dogs, fish, cars, or Christmas trees. 

I will say, however, that it’s kind of nice not crashing into Carol every time I do a downward dog or a sun salutation.

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Sweet ‘n’ Salty Grilled Salmon
Serves about 3

Although this recipe calls for the salmon to be grilled, you could easily cook it in your oven.  I normally use a temperature around 350 to cook my fish, testing so often to make sure that I don’t overcook it.  The fish is ready when it flakes easily. 😀

To keep the sides simple and easy, I roasted a few potatoes with garlic and olive oil; the broccoli was also roasted with a bit of olive oil.

  • 1 lb. wild caught salmon fillets
  • 1/2 T. lite soy sauce
  • 1/2 T. brown sugar
  • lemon pepper
  • garlic powder
  1. Preheat grill.
  2. Sprinkle salmon fillets with lemon pepper and garlic powder.  In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar and soy sauce.  Spoon over salmon fillets.
  3. When grill is ready, place salmon skin side down and cook for 4-6 minutes.  Flip.  Continue cooking for another 4-6 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
  4. Serve and ENJOY! 😀

Question: Have you taken down the holiday decorations yet?

(a cat’s) life lessons

As naughty as cats can be—like jumping on the counter when they know they shouldn’t be up there in the first place 😉 —there sure are a lot of life lessons to be learned from them as well.

Lesson #1: Take the time to look around you.  Enjoy those simple, every day things that make you smile.

Lesson #2: Give your body the rest that it needs. 

Lesson #3: Take time to be alone once in a while.  Find a comfy spot and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Lesson #4: Embrace those things that make you stand out.  Those things that make you unique.  Those things that make you you!

Lesson #5: Stretch often.

Lesson #6: Eat plenty of fatty fish.

I cracked open a can of sardines for the kitties tonight and decided to do the same for me. :mrgreen:

Keeping it simple with sauteed cabbage and mustard.

Sardines get such a bad rap for being stinky and slimy, but I seriously love them.  If you’re on the fence about cracking open a can, try adding some texture to the meal.  Sometimes I’ll dunk the little fish in whole wheat flour and toss them in a frying pan with a bit of butter, thereby creating a crispy coating.  OR, you could simply toast a slice of whole wheat bread, slather on some really good, spicy mustard and call it a meal. 

Question: What is it that makes you unique and different and how do you feel about it?  I have a red scar that I used to always feel super self conscious about!  I even had a doctor try to remove it when I was smaller.  But now I love it because it makes me different, and I’m not afraid to show it off.  😀

Quite Literally

This morning I headed outside and quite literally did some sun salutations.  It was way too gorgeous outside to not have a workout, but I wasn’t feeling like going for a bike ride or a walk.  I decided it had been too long since I last took out my yoga mat and weights. 

Everything around the yard served its purpose.  The picnic table became a place for me to perform chair lifts and pushups.  The front steps became a place for me to have a step workout (jumping up to the first step, jumping back down, repeat…really quickly).  The deck became my yoga studio. 

My outdoor workout was so. much. fun.  Can’t wait to do this again soon! 😀

I’ve been craving French toast for the past few days, so French toast was what I had.  Topped with chunky pb and homemade strawberry jam.

Somehow French toast always reminds me of the weekend.  It feels like such a special treat—reserved for special mornings.  And, might I add, it was quite literally the best breakfast of my entire week.

Morning Snack: 6-oz. plain yogurt, 2 T. Natures Path pumpkin flax granola, and a scoop of PB&company dark chocolate peanut butter

p.s. sorry for the blurry photo—I was quite literally running out the door while snapping the pic  :mrgreen:

This lunch was quite literally a hodge-podge assortment of various things from the fridge. 

  • A huge salad complete with avocado, mushrooms, green bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots and black olives
  • A ramekin filled with baked beans (which, by the way, taste even better today then when they were first made)
  • Kashi crackers

There was lots of crunchin’ action going on with this meal! 😀

+ some sweetness

My parents both had the day off, so we all ate out on the porch for a relaxing lunch…

My parents are quite literally two of the best lunch companions I’ve ever met (in addition to Jessica, a foodie friend of mine who is as excited about sweet potato sushi rolls as I am :mrgreen: )  They’re willing to try anything that I make at least once.  Honest over whether they like it or not. 😉  Appreciative of local, healthy produce and meats.  Foodies at heart.  😀

Somehow the rest of the afternoon whirled by in a blink.  One minute I was doing sun salutations on the deck, the next minute I was at the hospital with my memere, and the next minute I was home eating dinner on the deck.  Blink.  Where does time escape to?

This entire week has been so blissful though, despite all the rushing and time sweeping.  I think this has—at least in part—something to do with the fact that meal time has remained relaxed and laid back.  I’m not one for fast food, and I’m most definitely not one for eating food fast.  Of course, I’ve had moments where I need to quickly inhale a meal (life happens!), but I try to prevent it at all costs.  There’s something special about being able to sit down at the end of a long day and enjoy a home cooked meal, ya know?

Especially when it comes together in under 30 minutes. 😉

Baked Cod, sauteed asparagus (1 lb asparagus + 2 tsp olive oil + 1 tsp lemon juice, sauteed), and 1/2 a very large sweet potato.  Such a satisfying meal!

Oh, and 90% dark chocolate?   This is quite literally my favorite way to end a meal. :mrgreen:

Lately I’ve been falling asleep by 9:30.  It’s awful.  I’ll be in the middle of watching a movie and suddenly I’m asleep.  What can I say?  This girl likes her sleep.  I promised myself that I would at least stay up until 10 tonight, but we’ll see if that actually happens. 😉

Happy FRIDAY!

Question: Have you ever brought your strength training/yoga/cardio outdoors?   This was the first time I used some of the objects around the house to keep active, and I loved it!!  It was so much fun to transfrom the picnic table into a peice of gym equipment. :mrgreen: