Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nick Makes a (Sustainable) Seabass Dinner, with Three Pepper Relish

I told Nick that all I wanted for my birthday this year (the big 3-0) was for him to make me dinner.  I know he gets nervous making me dinner because a) I have a lot of dietary restrictions due to my low FODMAPs diet and b) I like to eat pretty healthy, even on my birthday.  So, right away he started researching and planning ahead (planning ahead is rare for him, so I was impressed).  

I got some heat from a not-so-happy reader recently when I posted a recipe using a fish that was on the "avoid list" on Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch Program.  To be fair, the recipe I posted was one that could be modified to fit just about any fish (especially the lighter white fish, which is what I mentioned in the blog post).  I wasn't promoting the fish, necessarily, but the recipe, and the fact that you don't need to eat salmon or tuna in order to reap the benefits of fish. That being said, I realize I am a health care professional and need to be careful about what I post, so when Nick picked up "Seabass" for my birthday dinner, I freaked!  Chilean Seabass?  That's a no no.  That's a fish that is certainly not sustainable, and I was shocked to hear that the seafood department where Nick purchased the fish (which is that uses very sustainable seafood policies) was even carrying it! 

If your supermarket is selling Chilean Sea Bass and abides by the Marine Stewardship Counsil (MSC) standards, it's a much better product.  If you don't know, ask!

But the good news is that it was not Chilean Sea Bass, but instead a Mero Hawaiian Seabass (which is actually a type of grouper, sold under the name "Mero Sea Bass".  Yeah, grouper and sea bass are in the same family...who knew?!).  The Mero Hawaiian Seabass is actually "caught using environmentally friendly methods to reduce habitat damage and bycatch".  Nice work Nick. High five!  So, I went ahead and gave Nick the "ok" for this one.

Nick had it planned out pretty well.  I worked until about 6:30pm, and he started making dinner right when I walked in the door (because he knows how I like to take my time and unwind after work).  I could smell the deliciousness of the sauteed vegetables, roasted potatoes, and the fresh fish wafting through our house.....

It was dark by the time we ate, so the color wasn't great, but the end product was amazing.  Once again I thought; "Nick needs to cook more often"!

As it turns out Nick had gone to the grocery store looking for halibut, because the recipe he had was for halibut.  Of course, halibut can't be found fresh here in Ohio until later in March (not late January/early February....come on Nick, didn't you know?!  haha, jk. I didn't know that either).  That being said, you could make this recipe with halibut, if you can find it fresh.

Grilled Mero Hawaiian Seabass (or Halibut) with Three Pepper Relish
Serves 8


yellow bell pepper, quartered
red bell pepper, quartered
orange bell pepper, quartered
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped capers
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
garlic clove, minced **
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
(6-ounce) skinless sea bass fillets (or halibut)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

**Note: If you are following a  low FODMAPs diet , omit the garlic and replace the olive oil with a  garlic-infused version.  And because Nick loves me so, he made sure to omit the garlic and use garlic-infused olive oil to make up for the garlic flavor, even though he loves garlic (I mean..who doesn't?!)!


1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

2. To prepare relish, coat bell pepper pieces with cooking spray. Place pepper pieces on a grill rack; grill 3 minutes on each side or until lightly charred. Remove from grill; cool slightly. Coarsely chop bell pepper pieces. Combine chopped bell peppers, parsley, and next 6 ingredients (through garlic); set aside.

3. To prepare fish, brush oil evenly over fish. Sprinkle fish evenly with thyme, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Place fish on grill rack; grill 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with relish.

Nutrition Facts for 1/8th of recipe, made with Mero Hawaiian Seabass
** If made with halibut the calories will be only slightly higher **
NOTE:  The cholesterol on this is not accurate.  This recipe would have about 70 mg cholesterol, all from the seabass.

Nutrition Highlights: Under 200 calories, about 700-1000mg combined EPA and DHA (not bad!).  Salmon has double that, but many types of fish have much less.

QUESTION:  What was the last great meal you had made for you, at home or in a restaurant??

Thanks for reading!

The Candid Rd

NOTE: I love comments!  But, be sure to come back to read any replies to questions or comments, as they do not go directly to your e-mail.


  1. I love that action shot of Nick! And he is hired...definitely needs to cook more for you, girl! And HAPPY RD DAY!!!!

  2. Happy Birthday! what a perfect way to celebrate!

  3. Oh I wish Chilean Sea Bass didn't taste so good. It's probably my favorite seafood (even above salmon!) but I never order it because it is so endangered. Regular sea bass can definitely do the trick though when you have a creative recipe. Props to Nick for pulling this one off!

    Happy Birthday Gina!!

  4. Great job, Nick! Sustainable fish AND a delicious meal! I thought your pictures turned out really well, actually - lots of color! It looks like you had a wonderful birthday meal :)

    Happy RD Day, Gina!

  5. Great job, Nick! I can't remember the last time Andy cooked a meal...

    Happy RD Day!

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