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Eating Healthier: 5 Meals

Prepare this nutrition-laden breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks.

July 07, 2011  |  by Alicia Hilton - Also by this author

Photo: threelayercake.

Lunch: Cod filet sautéed with garlic, parsley, olive oil, brown rice and cucumber salad

5 ounce cod filet

3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves fresh garlic

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

⅛ teaspoon sea salt (optional)

1 mini (baby) cucumber, sliced thin

¾ cup cooked brown rice

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

Prepare brown rice according to directions on package. If you're in a hurry, try Lundberg's pre-cooked rice tubs (1 tub of the Lundberg organic short grain brown rice makes about 3 servings and takes 90 seconds to prepare).  Put two teaspoons of olive oil in a pan. Use a garlic press to crush garlic cloves. Put the pureed garlic that comes out of the press into the pan and blend with the oil. Discard the garlic skin that remains in the garlic press. Heat the pan over medium heat.

Place the cod fillet in the pan and sauté for 3 minutes. Turn the fish with a spatula and sauté for 3 more minutes. Fish should be light golden brown on the outside and cooked in the center. Timing will vary depending on the thickness of the filet. While fish is cooking, wash and chop parsley. Wash and slice cucumber. Baby cucumbers have thin skin that does not taste bitter, so they don't need to be peeled. If the store near you doesn't sell baby cucumbers, use half of a regular-sized cucumber (peel regular-sized cucumber before slicing).

Once the fish is cooked, sprinkle chopped parsley over it. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 1 more minute to heat the parsley and flavor the fish. Remove the seasoned cooked fish from pan and serve over rice. Garnish with cucumber slices. Drizzle the remaining teaspoon of olive oil over the cucumber slices. Season with the ground turmeric and sea salt (salt is optional). If you want to take this meal to work, prepare it the night before, refrigerate it, and bring it to work in a cooler. The fish is delicious when it is served hot, but it also tastes great served cold.

Vegetarian Variations made with mushrooms: Instead of cod filet, use 1½ cups of Asian mushrooms (shitake, oyster, alba clamshell, trumpet royale, brown clamshell, forest nameko, velvet pioppini, or maitake frondosa).  Wash the mushrooms thoroughly, then dry. If the mushrooms are large, slice them in halves or quarters before cooking. Mushrooms cook faster than fish. Depending on thickness, mushrooms need to be sautéed for only about 4 minutes. Stir the mushrooms occasionally while cooking. If you want extra protein, calcium and magnesium, add 2 tablespoons of slivered almonds to the seasoned mushrooms and sauté for 1 more minute before serving with the rice and seasoned cucumber.

Afternoon Snack:

½ fresh avocado, sliced. Serve with four walnuts.

Variations: Instead of walnuts, add almonds, cashews or pecans.

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