A sustainable, healthy meal in 30 minutes
Sure, you can go through the Captain D’s drive-thru and order lunch for the family in under 10 minutes. This saves time in the short-run, but how about the long-term consequences of doing this on a regular basis?
Cooking your own fish & chips from scratch takes about 30 minutes out of today, but it can add years to your family’s tomorrows.
Here’s a healthy and sustainable weekday meal for a busy family of four:
4 russet potatoes, scrubbed, peeled or unpeeled as preferred
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup), melted
Coarse salt to taste
Slice potatoes to desired thickness (a mandolin slicer will make this job quick and easy). Pat potatoes dry with paper towels and arrange pieces in a single layer on cookie sheets that have been prepared with non-stick spray. Brush potatoes with butter and bake at 500 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Sprinkle with salt.
4 frozen tilapia fillets (or other fish), uniform in thickness, thawed
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
3 TBS water
3/4 cup bread crumbs
Butter or canola oil for pan-frying
Pat fillets dry with paper towels, then sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Pour flour and breadcrumbs in two shallow bowls for dredging. In a third bowl, combine egg and water, mixing well. Dredge each fillet first in flour, then in egg wash, and finally in breadcrumbs, shaking excess. Pan fry in butter in a large skillet until both sides are golden brown. Remove and serve immediately.
Easy Tartar Sauce (Prepare Ahead)
2/3 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
2 tsp sweet pickle relish
2 tsp minced onion (optional)
1 TBS + 1 tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, sweet relish, and onions. Add lemon juice and mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Keep any leftovers refrigerated in a tightly sealed container for up to a week.
Strawberry, Feta & Walnut Side Salad
Variety of washed, shredded lettuce such as Romaine and green leaf
4 large strawberries, washed and sliced
2 oz feta, crumbled
1 oz walnuts, chopped
¼ red onion, sliced into rings (optional)
Combine all ingredients. Serve with slightly sweet dressing, like a light raspberry vinaigrette.
In order to prepare this meal in under 30 minutes, make the tartar sauce beforehand and keep handy in the fridge. Thaw fillets by taking them out of their sealed packaging, placing them in a zippered plastic bag, and putting them in a shallow pan of lukewarm water.
I never measure the salt, pepper, flour or breadcrumbs for the fish; I just eye it and make sure there’s enough with which to dredge four fillets.
“Sustainable” seafood comes from sources that can be maintained or increased over a long period of time without harming ecosystems. U.S.-farmed tilapia is sustainable and highly recommended as a source of healthy protein.