Busy Days, Hungry Nights

Life has been a little nutty around here lately! 
For the last few weeks I have been spending a crazy amount of time and energy creating my daughter’s Senior Prom gown. Yes, you read that correctly. She had a very specific dress in mind and asked me to make it for her. When your 17 year old asks you to sew her gown, well by golly you sew her gown! Her Prom’s theme was Old Hollywood Glamour, and she wanted HSH Grace Kelly’s gown from Rear Window (go google that image if you don’t know what I’m referring to, I’ll wait…). Edith Head created that gown, and I’m no Edith Head. But I’m always up for a challenge. Many tears, late nights, pricked fingertips later she had her dream gown. I finished it at 7:30 pm the night before the Prom. No pressure. 

Needless to say, during all of that I wasn’t really doing much else. And to be honest, I didn’t cook much. Luckily the Mister is a competent cook who has learned how to accommodate my particular dietary preferences and needs, and my daughter is fairly easy going. She has also recently decided to adopt more of my low-carb style of eating, which made it even easier for D. to create meals that worked for all of us. We also ate a fair amount of Thai carry-out. Yes, even health coaches eat carry-out when we need a night (or 5) off. 

But now that the Prom has come and gone, and the gown is safely stowed until the next gown-worthy event, I can get back into the kitchen and back to my comfort zone. Last night was definitely a much needed cooking therapy session for me. 

Since Miss L. has joined me on the low-carb wagon I’m trying to get her to eat more protein. Calories have to come from somewhere, and we all should choose protein first. Tofu is great, as are eggs but you need a bit more variety in my opinion. Seafood to the rescue! We live on the coast and have some great local fishmongers, so I’ve been focusing on incorporating more seafood into our weekly menus. Ideally I’d like to serve fish/sea creatures 3 or 4 nights a week. But for now I’m shooting for twice a week. 

Our dinner last night was a Thai inspired poached fish served over shirataki noodles. If you haven’t tried shirataki, you should.  These zero calorie, vegan and gluten free  noodles are made from an indigestible starch derived from the konjac yam. Sound delicious right? But stay with me. If you are eating a low-carb diet, or need to be gluten free, these noodles are a freaking god-send! I love my zoodles, but I don’t always want the flavor of zucchini. These noodles (much like traditional pasta) don’t have a pronounced flavor of their own, but instead absorb the flavors in your dish. Perfect! 
I use them in place of pasta quite a lot, and even though they are traditionally an asian ingredient I find they work with all cuisines. My local stores carry both a thin spaghetti-cut version and a wider fettuccine-cut. You can find them dry in the specialty or international aisle, or ‘cooked’ in the refrigerated section near the tofu. I prefer the refrigerated style, and usually just drain and rinse before adding them into my recipe at the end to gently warm them. 

So, here’s what I made last night to celebrate the end of a very long, exciting week and the beginning of a new and hopefully calmer one. 

Coconut Poached Snapper over Shirataki Noodles
Serves 4

Ingredients
1.5 lb Red, Pink or Yellow Tail Snapper filets
1 can full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 lime, juiced
1 tangerine or orange sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 shallot diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 bunch broccoli separated into florets
2 Tbsp Tamari
1 Tbsp Fish Sauce (I like Red Boat)
3 pkgs Shirataki Noodles, drained and rinsed

Method
In a large, heavy bottomed skillet large enough to hold all the ingredients, combine the juices, sliced orange, Tamari, fish sauce, and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and add your ginger, garlic, shallot, bell pepper, and broccoli. Cover and simmer until the broccoli is bright green. Add your fish, cover, and allow to poach at a scant simmer for 6-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. You want the fish to be cooked through but not falling apart. When the fish is cooked divide among shallow bowls. Add the Shirataki to the cooking liquid and stir to warm and coat with the liquid. Divide among the bowls, along with the vegetables and the coconut broth. Serve along with extra Tamari and Fish Sauce if desired. 

That’s it. Aside from the 10 minutes of vegetable prep, this takes 10 minutes max to cook. To me, that’s a perfect weeknight/any night dinner that checks all the boxes…healthy, good protein, good fat, vegetables, quick prep, one pot, lots of flavor, and you can customize it to your flavor preferences. You can add in more/different veggies, you can use chicken or tofu—adjust your cooking time appropriately, you can add hot peppers, cilantro, whatever you want. 

If you have any leftovers, you can refrigerate them and reheat the next day for an easy lunch or dinner. Easy. Yummy. 

If you make this let me know how it turned out. 

Thanks for reading today!