With its heart-healthy benefits, the Mediterranean diet has long been touted as a smart and enjoyable way to eat. A typical meal is primarily made from vegetables, pulses (such as beans), whole grains, and either lean meat or fish with a liberal dose of olive oil. The cooking moves quickly in this dish so it’s best to prep all ingredients before starting.
2 tsp (10 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (or 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into large pieces)
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 head fennel, cored and thinly sliced
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp (10 mL) dried oregano leaves
3/4 cup (180 mL) freshly squeezed orange juice
2 cups (500 mL) canned lentils, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped fresh mint or basil (optional)
Heat oil in large, wide skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt (if using) and pepper. Add chicken to pan, then reduce heat to medium. Sear until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Remove and place on plate.
Return skillet to medium heat and don’t drain excess fat in pan. Add garlic and fennel. Stir often, just until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and sprinkle in oregano. Increase heat to high. Stir often, until tomatoes start to break down, about 5 minutes.
Pour in orange juice. Bring to a boil, then return chicken to pan. Stir in lentils. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 6 to 8 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in mint or basil (if using). Divide among bowls and drizzle with more olive oil, if using.
Each serving contains: 238 calories; 19 g protein; 5 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 32 g total carbohydrates (7 g sugars, 11 g fibre); 72 mg sodium
source: "30 Minute Meals", alive #371, September 2013
While sablefish’s texture and fat content stand up admirably to the heat of the grill, this firm fish is also delicious poached. For this recipe, sablefish’s luxurious taste is combined with a light fragrant broth of lemongrass and ginger punctuated with the heat of Thai chili. Sustainability status Sablefish, also known as butterfish or black cod, is a rich and satisfying fish, plentiful in omega-3s and sourced sustainably from the Pacific Northwest. Skin and bones Sablefish has large pin bones. Ideally, your fishmonger will remove them, but if not, before you begin, locate them along the fish’s centreline and, using a pair of needle nose pliers, grasp them firmly to remove. You can leave the skin on for this recipe, which may help the fish hold together a little better while cooking, but it can be tricky to peel the skin away from the cooked fish and discard before plating. I opted to remove the skin first and simply keep a close eye on the cooking time, being careful to remove the fish from the poaching liquid before it flakes apart.
These mildly spiced salmon tacos served with sweet and spicy pumpkin seeds will bring a party together. Make a small quantity of salmon go further when you pair it with a fresh red cabbage slaw featuring citrus and cilantro. Drizzled with some bright lime yogurt, the flavours come together perfectly. Sustainability status Wild salmon from the Pacific Northwest and Alaska are considered among the most sustainable, as the fishery is subject to limited harvests. With salmon stocks in decline, supporting managed fisheries such as these can help maintain populations into the future. That may also mean eating salmon less often than we do now. Salmon is a favourite Salmon is the most popular variety of fish in Canada and the second most popular in the US.
B12-rich mussels are a very good and economical source of protein and iron. Steamed mussels are a classic way to enjoy seafood—and so is this rich, aromatic broth of tomato, fennel, and saffron. Be sure to allow saffron to fully infuse to get the full flavour benefit, and finish off the dish with the fragrant fennel fronds. Sustainability status Farmed mussels are considered highly sustainable due to their low impacts on the environment. They are easy to harvest, require no fertilizer or fresh water, and don’t need to be fed externally, as they get all their nutritional requirements from their marine environment. Mussel prep Selection: Look for mussels with shiny, tightly closed shells that smell of the sea. If shells are slightly open, give them a tap. Live mussels will close immediately. Storage: Keep mussels in the fridge in a shallow pan laid on top of ice. Keep them out of water and cover with a damp cloth. Ideally, consume on the day you buy them, but within two days. They need to breathe, so never keep them in a sealed plastic bag. Cleanup: In addition to being sustainable, farmed mussels tend to require less cleaning than wild mussels. Most of the fibrous “beards” that mussels use to grip solid surfaces will have been removed before sale. But if a few remain, they’re easily dispatched: grasp the beard with your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward the hinge of the mussel and give it a tug. Afterward, give mussels a quick rinse and scrub away any areas of mud or seaweed, which, with farmed mussels, will require minimal work.
The delicate flavour of shrimp is highlighted with just a touch of lemon and a hint of mustard, while radish and celery give some fresh crunch to this dish. Eat it in lettuce cups, on top of greens, or served on whole grain bread for a filling snack. Sustainability status Both wild and farmed shrimp can be sustainable depending on where they’re caught and how they’re raised. See our article “Sea Change” for more information about choosing ethical shrimp.