Healthy dinner

From time to time I get cravings for fish. Monday I had a nice chirashi bowl, I made salmon cakes with lemon-dill Béchamel sauce last week, we had grilled tuna and cheese on sourdough sandwiches one night, and I still wanted more fish. Last night we had a trout.

Fish’n’chips or all of that sushi rice or fried fishcakes with creamy sauce or and grilled sandwiches or other fishy things I cook aren’t exactly healthy. Last night I made broiled trout (lemon slices, onion strips, dill, tarragon, and a little kosher salt in the cavity, outside rubbed with olive oil-based margarine and sprinkled with a little salt), fresh broccoli, and we split a roasted sweet potato. I got my fish fix, Mrs. L.A. cleaned her plate, and it was a healthy dinner to boot. This one is definitely going into the rotation.

When you want to make a tasty dinner that’s also healthy, what do you cook?

ETA: I cooked the head along with the rest of the fish, but we had leftovers as it was, so I didn’t try any fish cheek.)


If I feel like I deserve some expensive groceries, I hit Central Market and buy whatever looks good at the fish counter. My husband stuffs it with herbs and lemon slices and grills it. Something vegetal on the side.

I recently made Emeril’s bouillabaisse recipe, including the coulis. Super tasty, and healthy, if you don’t have too much coulis.

Pasta Primavera. I take whatever vegetable I have in the fridge (usually asparagus, scallions, mushroom, broccolini) and salute them in garlic and olive oil. Add a little white wine, and then add in the pre-cooked pasta. As a bow to the carbs = bad movement, I keep the pasta to a minimum so that it’s really more like Primavera Pasta. Nuke the pre-cooked pasta first so you don’t end up overcooking the veggies-- you want them al dente, like the pasta.

Takes less than 15 minute to make and is absolutely delicious. Especially if you use a variety of mushrooms. Sometimes I will add a few pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breast if I have some left over.

Season as you like it. Sometimes I’ll put a dash of soy sauce and sesame oil (to give it an Asian flair), or some white pepper to give it some bite, and almost always sprinkled with parmesan cheese at the end.

Wait a friggin’ minute! Last night we had pan-fried trout and broccoli, and a few nights ago had tuna with an almond crust.

::runs off to search for the spycam::


If I’m feeling low calorie and healthy, I basically just whip up a chicken or shrimp chop suey with lots of different veggies (usually peppers, carrots, onions, snap peas, bamboo shoots and/or water chestnuts, sprouts, etc.) chopped into half inch pieces and try to go easy on the rice. Pretty easy to get something delicious and healthy that way. Or a simple black-pepper-and-fennel-seed encrusted pork loin, served with a balsamic gravy and broccoli or whatever vegetables I happen to be in the mood for. Or shrimp boiled in a jerk spiced broth. That sort of thing. Back when I was trimming down, it was pretty easy to fix a tasty dinner under 500 or 600 calories by using lean meats, lots of vegetables, and being careful with the oil (but you want a reasonable amount of oil, or at least I do) and watching the rice portion. Or you can serve over shirataki or tofu shirataki noodles (practically no calories on the former, and just a handful on the latter) if you want to go seriously low-calorie.

But, normally, just vegetable-heavy stir fries with lean proteins.

Is plain boiled Dungeness crab healthy? I bought two live ones yesterday and boiled them last night. We’ll be eating them in a couple of hours with a salad made of cold fresh steamed asparagus (I found some colossal spears at the supermarket today) with lemon and olive oil dressing. I think we’ll skip any bread or carbs so that we’ll have more room for fresh crab. Can’t let any of that go to waste.

John Mace hit one of our favorites. We will also go meatless on days and just have a baked potato topped with leftovers.

I’m snickering right now, because the wife is about to drop a full English fry-up in front of me: eggs, bacon (Canadian), beans, chips, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms, all washed down with a Hawaiian Screwdriver and covered in HP sauce. About as unhealthy a meal as it gets!

Beans n’ greens.

Yeah, I just had a full corned beef hash brunch made from leftover corned beef from yesterday (home cured, too!) and a couple of over easy eggs and toast. Definitely not on the “healthy” side of the ledger. :slight_smile:

But definitely on the “why life is worth living” side.

When I was living in Scotland and working at a local restaurant there as basically a glorified clean-up boy (“kitchen porter” was the lovely term), for the first two weeks I had a full Scottish-style fry-up for breakfast which included all your items as well as black pudding and kippers. Fourteen or so straight days of this. After two weeks, I thought that perhaps that might have been a bit excessive and stopped, but, lordy, if those weren’t the two happiest weeks of my life. Or at least two weeks of happiest mornings, as the work itself was quite long and exhausting.

Hah! I decided it was a day to eat breakfast out (cold and rainy here in NorCal), and went to my favorite local joint and had eggs and bacon with a big heap of country potatoes and toast.

Not sure how healthy this is, but last night I made a green chile stew that was just wonderful. And very simple to make, too.

3 - 4 lbs pork shoulder (or boneless, country ribs)
2 onions
1 large can diced tomatoes (28 Oz)
1 large can roasted green chiles (28 Oz)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
Garlic (diced, as much as you like!!)
1/4 cup flour
1 cup Chicken stock*

Cut the pork into 1-2 inch cubes, trimming excess fat. Salt and pepper both sides. Brown both sides in olive oil (do batches, if needed). Add the onions, coarsely chopped, and cook, covered, for about 5 minutes. Add the flour, and stir until it’s evenly distributed. Add the tomatoes, with juice. Add the seasoning and the garlic. Drain the chiles, coarsely chop (I cut each one into 3 pcs) and add to the pot. Add the stock, and stir everything together. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve over whatever you like (I used rice). The tomatoes impart a gentle acidity that is very tasty. And although it takes awhile to complete, the prep time is not bad at all. Plus, lots of left-overs.

*after apportioning the left-overs, I had about 1 cup of sauce remaining, so you might be able to omit the stock, or adjust as the simmering takes place as needed.

Fresh scallops and asparagus, stir fried quickly in a little butter or olive oil, squeeze half a lemon over, serve. (can be tarted up with garlic, herbs, other seasonings). There is something so…spring-timey about this combination. I suppose serving over rice to bulk it up is a good idea, it’s healthy, but not too filling. One of those quick n’ healthy things, like a low-sugar scoop of ice cream for dessert and you feel virtuous, but you’re raiding the freezer or refrigerator a few hours later, starved.

Well it’s not something that I whip up at a moments notice, but our Mulligatawny is pretty darn healthy. And it is so, so good. I made it Sunday, and we will be having it for dinner until it’s gone.

You know who else made a so, so good Mulligatawny soup?

I like it super-simple. A quick trip to the produce section, some broccoli, some red and yellow bell peppers, a zucchini, a cucumber, a couple tomatoes, plus whatever other new fruit or veggie draws my attention. Steam it all except the cucumber which gets peeled and cut into spears, and the tomato which gets cut into wedges. Add a few slices or cubes of cheese for variety, salt and pepper the spears and wedges, do whatever is appropriate with the “new fruit/veggie item” of the moment and a small dish of olive oil for dipping. if I’m feeling extra fancy, I will have a glass of wine.