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Fish/Seafood Soups Uncategorized

Moqueca Baiana (Brazilian Fish Stew)

People often associate Brazilian food with big chunks of meat and steakhouses, but there’s so much more to Brazilian cuisine – like this beautifully rich fish stew. Moqueca Baiana originated in Bahia, Brazil and was influenced by both Portuguese and African cuisine. 

According to my own super-technical research, the native people of Brazil have been eating this stew for hundreds of years. When the Portuguese colonized Brazil, they discovered it and added coconut milk and new spices to the recipe. The soup changed again when slaves brought from Africa incorporated palm oil into the traditional recipe. This unique meal is a recipe created via a world collaboration, which is why it’s so complex in flavor. 

I hope you enjoy the unique blend of flavors in this stew as much as I do!

Fish:

1 lb. firm white fish, such as sea bass, cod or mahi mahi, cut into bite sized pieces

Juice from 1 lime

1 Tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper

Soup base:

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 carrot, sliced

1 red bell pepper,sliced

1 14 oz. can full-fat coconut milk

1 14 oz. can of crushed tomatoes

1 c. chicken broth

1 Tbsp. cumin

1 Tbsp. paprika 

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

Marinate fish in lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in the refrigerator for one hour.

When you’re ready to cook, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the fish and cook through until slightly browned. Set aside on a plate.

In the same skillet, heat a little more olive oil and cook onions and garlic for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. Then, add the carrots and red bell pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add coconut milk, tomatoes, broth, cumin, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Return the cooked fish to heat up. 

Serve with lime wedges and fresh cilantro. This stew is delicious alone, with a baguette, or over rice or mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

Categories
Fish/Seafood Uncategorized

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Bun Bowl with Shrimp

When you have the desire for a meal that is fresh, clean, and healthy, as well as one that is easy to make, this Vietnamese shrimp bun bowl is the perfect choice. This cold noodle salad was one of my go-to choices when eating out at Vietnamese restaurants until I realized how insanely easy it was to make at home. I have started ordering more complicated dishes at Vietnamese places now because it’s just so simple to whip up a bun bowl at home in about 15 minutes.Quite truthfully, it tastes every bit as good as the bun bowls in restaurants . . . and I can have seconds at home without paying for another meal. 

For the bowls:

8 oz. rice vermicelli noodles

1 English cucumber, sliced

4 cups mixed greens

½ c. Thai basil leaves

½ c. cilantro

½ c. mint leaves

½ c. peanuts

Sliced lime, for garnish

Sambal Oelek (chili paste), if desired

Shrimp ingredients:

16 large shrimp, deveined

1 Tbsp. cornstarch 

1 tsp. brown sugar

1 Tbsp. olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 green onions, sliced

Salt and pepper

Sauce ingredients: 

½ c. water, room temperature

3 Tbsp. honey or agave

¼ c. lime juice, fresh squeezed

2 jalapenos, finely diced

1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar

⅓ c. fish sauce

Cook vermicelli according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water until noodles are cold themselves.

In a small bowl, mix together the water, honey, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce and jalapenos. Stir thoroughly to ensure the honey or agave mixes in completely. Set aside for later.

On a plate, mix together the cornstarch, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Dredge the shrimp until it is coated on all sides. Then, heat up the oil and cook the shrimp on medium high heat until cooked through. Add the green onions and garlic and cook for about one more minute.

To assemble the bowls, place a large handful of greens, along with a generous amount of basil, cilantro, and mint leaves in each bowl. Then, add about ¼ of the noodles to each bowl. Place the cucumbers on top of the rice noodles. Place 4 shrimp on top of each bowl. Then, add peanuts to the top.

Serve the bowls with the sauce and if desired, additional lime and Sambal Oelek.

Categories
Fish/Seafood Uncategorized

Spicy Wasabi Salmon Bowl

These salmon bowls make me feel powerful. Seriously. They are so packed with superfoods and beautiful, healthy ingredients. Every time I eat these, I feel like a walking advertisement for nutrition. Not only that, I feel like I just enjoyed a delicious and satisfying meal that I could’ve paid a lot more for at a restaurant. These are a win, win. Try them and feel powerful. You can thank me later. 

Ingredients for the Salmon Bowl:

1 cucumber, thinly sliced

1 avocado, sliced

½ c. edamame

½ c. green onions, siced

½ c. microgreens, e.g. mustard, radish sprouts

1 fresh jalapeno, sliced (if desired) 

Toasted sesame seeds

1 ½  c. (uncooked) sushi rice

4 fillets of wild salmon

salt/pepper

olive oil

Dressing:

2 tsp. wasabi (I buy it in the tube)

1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil

2 Tbsp. mirin

2 Tbsp. rice vinegar

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 tsp. honey or agave

Red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prep all of the veggies and cook rice according to package directions.

Brush the salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 12-15 in the oven, testing for doneness by inserting a fork and gently twisting. If the salmon is finished, it will be opaque and flaky.

Divide the rice equally between four bowls and top with cucumber, avocado, edamame, green onions, microgreens, jalapenos and toasted sesame seeds. Place salmon in the center of each bowl. Pour equal amounts of dressing over each bowl and get ready to LOVE this healthy meal!

Categories
Fish/Seafood Uncategorized

Portuguese Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá

In 2019, I embarked upon an adventure of a lifetime: the Camino de Santiago, a 150-mile walk, that took me up the coast of Portugal into Spain. Armed with my backpack and (what turned out to be terrible) walking shoes, my friend, Debbie, and I walked over cobblestones, boardwalks, dirt trails, tree-lined fairy forests and alongside semi trucks rushing down the highway for 10 days. It was a truly magical experience that provided me with ample time to reflect, think about who I was and what I wanted to accomplish in this big, beautiful world.

Along the way, we enjoyed some of the best food I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. We ate seafood for nearly every meal, and the Portuguese certainly know what they’re doing in terms of cooking amazing fish. Bacalhau, or salted cod, is a very popular dish in Portugal and you can find it at nearly every restaurant near the coast. There are literally thousands of ways it can be prepared, and I haven’t yet met a bacalhau I don’t like.

One of my favorite ways to prepare bacalhau is in this style, enveloped in potatoes, onions, garlic, and olive oil, and covered in salty olives and hard boiled eggs. While salted cod is traditionally used, my recipe calls for plain-old cod because it’s not easy to find salted cod in my neck of the woods. I hope you enjoy this comforting dish as much as I do.

Ingredients:

2 lbs. cod
2 lbs. potatoes
3 yellow onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
4-5 hard boiled eggs
15-20 Kalamata olives
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
Salt/pepper

Preheat oven to 375.

Peel potatoes and boil for 25 minutes or until soft. Cook onions with olive oil over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.

Drain potatoes and let them cool. Cut potatoes 1/2 inch thick and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Evenly pour 1/4 cup of olive oil into the bottom of casserole dish. Add a layer of sliced potatoes, followed by a layer of cod pieces, onions and garlic. Repeat layering, ensuring a layer of potatoes ends up on the top. Pour the remaining quarter cup of olive oil on top evenly. Bake for 40 minutes.

Take out of the oven, place the halved hard-boiled eggs and olives on top. Bake for 10 more minutes. Allow the dish to cool for two minutes. Sprinkle generously with fresh parsley and enjoy!