Recovery Cod and nifty swifty Veggies
This is an easy fish dish that is super for after hard training sessions as the protein is light on the stomach, the veggies are quick to prepare, and the spices from ground turmeric and garam masala provide helpful anti-inflammatory oomph.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with Garam masala it is a spice blend with wonderful flavour and aroma. I love its sweet taste and it is often used in our kitchen in fish dishes, hummus or bean dips and curries.
According to Wikipedia:
Garam masala (from Hindi: गरम मसाला, garam (“hot”) and masala (a mixture of spices)) is a blend of ground spices common in North Indian and other South Asian cuisines. It is used alone or with other seasonings. The word garam refers to “heat” in the Ayurvedic sense of the word, meaning “to heat the body” as these spices, in the Ayurvedic system of medicine, elevate body temperature.
The composition of garam masala differs regionally, with many recipes across India according to regional and personal taste,  and none is considered more authentic than others. The components of the mix are toasted, then ground together.
A typical Indian version of garam masala contains:
- black and white peppercorns
- Cinnamon or cassia bark
- nutmeg and mace
- black and green cardamom pods
- Bay leaf
Some recipes call for spices to be blended with herbs, while others for the spices to be ground with water, vinegar, coconut milk, or other liquids, to make a paste. In some recipes nuts, onion, or garlic may be added. Some recipes also call for small quantities of star anise, asafoetida, stone flower or Dagadphool and Kababchini (Cubeb). The flavours may be carefully blended to achieve a balanced effect, or a single flavour may be emphasized. A masala may be toasted before use to release its flavours and aromas.
Cod is a fish that I hadn’t been a fan of for a while because I just found it flavourless and boring; however lately the quality of the cod in the local fishmongers seems very much improved with offerings of thick, moist, and juicy fillets.
Cod is very easy to cook and I recommend grilling, baking, poaching in foil or as a treat pan-frying in butter as super options. Cod takes on the flavour of spices, herbs, garlic, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon juice, lemongrass, seasoning mixes (avoid very strongly flavoured ones so as to not overpower the fish), pesto and plain old salt and pepper very well and is a very adaptable fish. It does not contain many bones and is not strong tasting and so a nice one to introduce to fish-phobes! It is dense enough to stand up to fish pies and curries but will require a certain amount of gentleness in preparation all the same.
Being a cold water white fish cod is a good source of lean protein, Vitamin B12, selenium, iodine and phosphorus. Cold water fish also provide important Omega 3 fatty acids although cod is not the highest on the list it does still provide some.
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Ingredients for Recovery Cod and nifty swifty Veggies
- Cod fillet – nice thick fillet patted dry with paper kitchen towel
- Garam masala
- Ground turmeric
- Irish pastured butter or coconut oil
- ½ lemon
Vegetables: wash all vegetables before slicing
- Courgettes – sliced vertically into 1-2 inch sections
- Cauliflower – sliced into large florets; if you prefer keep a few of the inner leaves intact
- Carrots – sliced into thick fingers
- Extra virgin olive oil and optional finely chopped fresh herbs such as thyme, lemon thyme, parsley or rosemary (I often mix them all up together)
- Sea salt and black pepper
If extra carbs are needed then add finely sliced sweet potatoes or baby summer potatoes into the mix.
- Preheat the oven to 200° C.
- Briefly steam the carrots and cauliflower over water in a saucepan for approximately 5 minutes or until starting to go soft on the outside but remaining al dente.
- Meanwhile put a few chunks of butter or coconut oil on the bottom of a glass Pyrex dish lid / shallow Pyrex dish or large piece of aluminium foil and then place your cod fillet on top. Shake a generous amount of ground turmeric and garam masala on the cod and squeeze the half lemon around the fish. Place covered in the oven (cover the glass dish with some foil and if using only foil then seal it up around your fish fillet) at 200 ° C.
- Transfer the carrots and cauliflower into a stainless steel roasting tray with the courgettes; drizzle with olive oil and throw your herbs and seasoning on top if using.
- Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes approximately depending on the thickness of the cod fillet. The aim is for it to be just cooked through as over-cooking will dry it out. Your veggies should be starting to toast. If one cook before the other (i.e. fish before the veggies) then simply remove and let the other dish complete in its own time.
- Enjoy; serve with some extra salad greens on the side if you have time.