Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fish in a Pinch

So I'm in the process of making some serious life style changes.

I've cut back on alcohol significantly - much to the detriment of my mind's well being, I'm sure.

I'm eating less cheese. Again, how will my brain survive?!

I'm keeping serious track of what I'm eating, when I'm eating, and how I'm eating.

I'm moving. A lot. Thank YOU Jillian Michaels, strange yoga videos that I'm not quite sold on, and Gaiam TV.

For the past few years I've lived and breathed and ate local, small scale, organic, seasonal, pastured food. But I haven't been the least bit discriminating against calories or fat. This in combination with a sedentary student lifestyle = pants don't fit no more. Seriously. There's a collection of clothing (3/4ths of my closet) that is boxed up in the laundry room yearning for the day they can live again.

I'm by no means obese. Or unhealthy. I don't consider myself over weight. What I do consider myself, however, is blech. I feel lazy. I feel tired. I feel bored. I feel generally just plain shitty.

So what to do? Change some things. I'm not sayin' you won't find me mowin down on some of these or this or this - what I am saying, is I'm gonna eat less of those things, find more balance, and make a point of gearing toward a less ass-expanding life plan.

I want to be strong. I want to be active. I want to be powerful. I want to be nourished. I want to laugh more. I want more love. And more joy. I want to live smaller. I want to feel good. I want more of fish in a pinch.

Fish in a pinch was a quick but very healthy dish I threw together in about 30 minutes that utilized our CSA produce, fresh in season locally caught halibut, and a stellar powerhouse seed called quinoa (yup! it's a seed, not a grain). Good energy foods give me good energy..... at least until I cave and decide to whip up a batch of these it just me or did all those "this" references contain bacon? Mmmmm bacon...

Fish in a Pinch:
pan seared Pacific halibut with cumin scented red quinoa, 
oven roasted tomatoes 
& Saanich Organics braising greens


2 6oz Halibut Fillets, pat dried & seasoned well with salt and pepper.
1 C Red Quinoa, well rinsed.
6 C Braising Greens (raw), roughly chopped.
1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes, halved.
5 Garlic Cloves, peeled.
2 Shallots, peeled and halved if large.
1 Tbsp Capers, rinsed.
1/4 C Kalamata Olives, roughly chopped.
2 C Chicken Stock or Water.
Juice of 1 Lemon.
Pinch of Cumin. 
1 Tbsp Fresh or Dried Italian Herbs.
2 Tbsp Blanched Almonds, toasted.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.

What to Do:

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degree F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Place the tomatoes, garlic, and shallots on the paper, toss with a generous glug of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast in the oven for approx 30 minutes or until everything gets nice and tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring chicken stock or water to a boil in a medium sized sauce pan with the juice of half the lemon, 1/2 Tsp of olive oil and cumin. Once boiling, add the rinsed quinoa, stir, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from the heat and let sit about 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Once the quinoa is sitting, heat a non stick pan over medium heat with half a cup of water in it. Once the water is very hot, add the greens. Cover, stirring occasionally, until greens are wilted and tender - approx. 7 minutes or so. If the water evaporates before the greens are done cooking, simply add more water. Once they're tender, remove the lid and allow excess moisture to cook away. Remove greens from the pan and set aside.

Wipe out the pan and add a couple Tbsp of olive oil. Place back on the burner and allow to heat thoroughly but not smoke. Add the fish to the pan (skin side down if you've left the skin on) and let it crisp up for about 3-5 minutes. Gently flip the fish and continue cooking a further 3-4 minutes until fish flakes but is still moist. Remove from the heat and place the fish on a plate or wire rack to rest for a couple minutes. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

As it rests, throw the greens back in the pan along with the tomato mixture, olives, capers and a little lemon juice. Heat through for about a minute. Plate, drizzle with a little good quality olive oil if you have it, about a Tbsp of the balsamic reduction & serve.


What do you make for dinner in a pinch? Do you have go-to meals? What do you do that makes you feel good & healthy? What are your food weaknesses? What gives you strength?


This post is linked up with Whole Foods Wednesday; Cast Party Wednesday; Simple Lives Thursday; Full Plate Thursday; Tastetastic Thursday; Fight Back Friday; Foodie Friday; Slightly Indulgent Tuesday; The Hearth & Soul Blog Hop via The 21st Century Housewife; Tasty Tuesdays.


  1. Wow! That looks amazing! I love quinoa. I just recently discovered it and can't get enough of it!

    A few years ago I was tested for allergens and I discovered that I was allergic to eggs and dairy. Lately I had become lazy about not eating foods with eggs or dairy, so I decided to remove both from my diet completely to see if I felt any better. Before, I had been sick on and off constantly, and I just felt plain gross. It's helped tremendously and I'm sticking to it!

    Have a great day! (And hi from Seattle!)


    1. I've heard a lot of people are allergic to eggs and dairy! Wheat too. I can't imagine not eating cheese. or eggs. haha... but there are so many incredible foods out there to discover.

      Thanks for stopping by!


  2. Really want to promote the use of different grains... I love your addition of red quinoa. Please share this incredible healthy dish on my foodie friday linky today. I will pin it too.

  3. Hello!
    A lifestyle is always good for us, I always love the adventure of it all. You had asked me about Herbs and my Herb Garden. If you will go to the tab at the top of my blog that is The Garden Gate, you will find Herbs, Part One, Two and Three, hope these post will be very helpful for you, let me know.

    Now about your Fish in a Pinch, if I could have this awesome dish, who would need dessert!

    Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  4. This looks seriously good! I'd love it if you would share this post on my Southern Sundays linky party today.

    Hope to see you there!

  5. So colorful. I bet it tastes sooo good too!

  6. Your fish in a pinch looks so gorgeously healthy and delicious, it might even negate a bacon topped donut! I love all the healthy fresh ingredients and seasonings you have used. I must admit I've never used balsamic vinegar with fish, and I do think it's a wonderful idea!

  7. I am loving the healthy recipes! Such a colorful and flavorful combination!