Friday, April 19, 2013

Baked Cod with Chorizo and White Beans

I like red meat, I like bacon, and I really love sausage.  Yes, I know they aren't necessarily healthy (especially those last two, which are often loaded with salt and nitrates/nitrites) but I figure if I use them as a garnish every once in a while, what's the harm?  It's sort of like cheese.  The Mediterranean diet includes lots of cheese, but as a garnish, not as a main part of a meal.  Here in the States we don't just eat cheese, we eat ounces and ounces at a time.  Perhaps if we start using cheeses and sausages as a garnish more often, we'd be better off.  What do you think?  

That brings me to today's recipe.  It's a flavorful dish with a great source of protein (cod) and lots of plant nutrients from beans, tomatoes and fresh herbs.  The chorizo acts as the salty component, making it almost unnecessary to add any extra salt to the dish.  It also adds a unique texture to the dish.  But, you'll notice, it's only a small part of the dish, and the stars are the cod and beans.

Baked Cod with Chorizo and White Beans
Source: EatingWell
Serves 4


1 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 shallot, finely chopped **
2 ounces Spanish chorizo or turkey kielbasa, diced **
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup dry wine, divided
1 15-ounce can great northern beans, rinsed **
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
1 1/4 pounds cod, cut into 4 pieces
Freshly ground pepper


1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Coat a 9-by-13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.  

2.  Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add shallot, chorizo (or kielbasa) and thyme and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add tomatoes and1/4 cup wine.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are broken down and the wine is almost evaporated, 2 to 4 minutes.  Stir in beans and 1/4th tsp. salt and remove from heat.

3.  Sprinkle fish with the remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper; place in the prepared baking dish.  Top each piece of fish with equal amounts of the tomato mixture (about 1/2 cup per fillet).  Pour the remaining 1/4 cup wine into the pan and cover the pan with foil.  Bake until fish is just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 145 degrees (in the thickest part of the fish).  Serve fish with tomatoes sauce spooned over top.

** NOTE:  If you are following a low FODMAPs diet omit the shallots.  Also, be sure to rinse the beans well and take a Beano enzyme tablet to help you break down the galactans.  If you're really sensitive to FOS, you may need to omit or significantly reduce your portion of beans (or perhaps used canned lentils instead?).  Also keep in mind the chorizo and/or kielbasa may have garlic and/or onions.  Look for one without either of those, or just limit your portion.

I used my Le Creuset dutch Oven as my "baking dish" and covered it with the thick lid, so it didn't take 20 minutes to cook, more like 12-15.

Estimated Nutrition Facts for 1/4th of recipe
**Using Turkey Kielbasa**

Nutrition Highlights:  Excellent source of iron and fiber, good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium.  Also, ~210 mg omega-3 from the 4-ounces of cod.  Not bad!

The aromas of this dish completely filled our house.. I'm so used to cooking fish and not enjoying the smell (especially an hour later), but with this recipe the smells were intoxicating, in a very good way.

QUESTION:  What is your favorite way to use cheese, bacon, or sausage as a garnish in a healthier dish?

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 comment :

  1. I absolutely agree with you, Gina. Using meat (even sausage, which is my fav meat of all time) as a garnish rather than the main event is a great way to enjoy your favorite foods without going overboard. It's a technique used in China all the time. Diners enjoy huge family-sized meals that are heavy on vegetables and low on meat and rice (if they even eat them at all). Works for me :)