September 27, 2011

Halibut in Green Tea Broth with Quinoa!

Sep 27
Seriously, this post title takes the cake (ironic, I know) for healthiest sounding recipe ever. And it’s good! It’s a win-win!
  • 4 wild Pacific halibut fillets (about 6 ounces each)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 head baby bok choy, trimmed and thinly sliced length wise
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup snow peas, strings removed and thinly sliced length wise
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 1 piece (about 2 inches) fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup brewed green tea
  • 2 tbs. oil (avocado, grape see, safflower)
  • 1 tbs. low sodium tamari soy sauce
  • 1 tbs. honey
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • basil leave, for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Season halibut fillet on both sides with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add quinoa and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until quinoa is tender and has absorbed all liquid (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Cook fillets until golden (about 2 to 3 minutes per side). Using a slotted spatula, transfer the fish to an ovenproof dish and bake until just opaque throughout (about 8 to 10 minutes).
  4. Add ginger, bok choy, edamame, shiitakes, and snow peas to the skillet. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the shiitakes begin to soften, stirring constantly (about 3 minutes). Add green tea, soy sauce, and honey. Cook until edamame are tender, stirring constantly (about 3 minutes more). Stir in the scallions and remove from heat.
  5. Divide broth and vegetables amongst four bowls. Top each with a fish fillet and garnish with basil leaves. Serve quinoa in separate bowls.
Now, just a bit of information on what this simple recipe entails!
  • Halibut is an amazingly nutrient-dense food! It is a great source of high quality protein and is rich in important nutrients including the minerals selenium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium; the B vitamins B12, niacin, and B6; and the beneficial omega-3 essential fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for a healthy cardiovascular system by helping to prevent erratic heart rhythms, making bloods less likely to clot inside the arteries, and improving the ratio of good/bad cholesterol. It also reduces inflammation, which plays an integral role in turning cholesterol into artery clogging plaque. Halibut is also a great source of magnesium which is crucial for our health. When we are sufficient in magnesium, it improves the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout our bodies. Research has shown that a deficiency in magnesium is also associated with heart attacks and promotes free radical injury to the heart. The selenium in halibut is an important component in one of our body’s most important antioxidants (glutathione peroxidase) which is crucial for a healthy liver and proper detoxifying of harmful compounds including pesticides, drugs, and heavy metals from our systems.
  • Green tea is made from unfermented leaves and contains the highest concentration of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols of all the teas out there. Antioxidants are necessary to fight back against free radicals in our bodies that tamper with our DNA, dangerously alter cells, and can even destroy beneficial cells. Studies suggest that the polyphenols can help kill cancerous cells and stop their progression in our systems. Research has shown that green tea reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering both cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It also raises the good cholesterol (HDL) in our bodies. Furthermore, green tea has been traditionally used to control blood sugar and appears to help regulate glucose in the body. Studies also indicate that green tea may benefit arthritis by reducing inflammation and slowing down cartilage breakdown. Lastly, for those of you hoping to lose some weight, you will be happy to know that green tea may boost metabolism and help burn fat. Researchers believe that polyphenols may be responsible for the fat burning effect of green tea.
  • Quinoa, as I’ve mentioned in other posts, is a complete protein which means that it contains all the amino acids necessary for our nutritional needs, including lysine. It is also a great source of iron, calcium, phosphorous, folate, and many of the B vitamins that our bodies need. It is also naturally gluten-free which makes it a great choice for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. Quinoa is rich in riboflavin and magnesium, which are known to help relax blood vessels. This reduction in constriction of the blood vessels helps to ease tension and aids in the reduction of headaches, including migraines. It can also help in the prevention of gallstones because it is a soluble fiber so it quickly moves through the intestines without the need for increased bile production. The abundance of potassium and magnesium in quinoa makes it a great food for those who suffer from high blood pressure as these nutrients are known to help decrease it. Because it is a good fat, quinoa is also low in cholesterol and helps prevent the clogging of arteries and veins.
Basically, you can’t really go wrong with this recipe. It’s filling, delicious, and good for you! Try it for dinner one day!