Fish is one of the healthiest proteins on the planet. It’s a nutrient-dense food packed with omega-3s, rich in iron, and a great source of vitamin B12. It also happens to be delicious—when done up right. I typically recommend that people eat fish a minimum of once a week; especially if you’re trying to lose weight and/or build muscle mass. One of my favourite things about cooking fish is that you don’t need to do much to it to make it taste great. In fact in most cases, the fewer ingredients the better.
The other night I was flipping through recipes in my Practical Paleo cookbook when I came across one for macadamia nut crusted cod. I don’t follow a paleo diet, (I love whole grains way to much) but like to cook meals that fall into the category from time-to-time; this macadamia nut crusted cod recipe being the perfect example.
If you like macadamia nuts as much as I do, you’ll go crazy for this meal. The crunch of the nuts adds a wonderful texture to the light butteriness of the cod, while the orange rind and coconut oil bring out the sweetness of the fish. Since stumbling upon this recipe I have made it twice. Once with cod and the macadamia nuts, the other with halibut and raw almonds—which I barbecued. Both versions were incredible, so don’t be afraid to be creative and add your own spin to the dish!
As an added bonus I also included the recipe for the cilantro pesto squash salad that I paired with my cod. A must try if you’re a pesto fan.
Macadamia Nut Crusted Cod
1/4 cup macadamia nuts, chopped *I used my food processor to give them a nice coarse chop
Zest of one orange
1 lb lemon sole, or another white fish
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of coconut oil, you can also use butter if you’d prefer
- Preheat your oven on a low broil setting.
- In a small bowl, combine your chopped macadamia nuts, orange zest and coconut oil then set aside.
- Place the sole on a baking sheet, season with sea salt and pepper to taste, then top evenly with your coconut oil, nut/zest topping.
- Place your fish in the broiler and cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until it is opaque white all the way through.
- Serve and enjoy!
Cilantro Pesto Squash Salad
1/2 cup macadamia nuts
1 bunch fresh cilantro, rinsed
1 clove of garlic, *If you like garlic, as I do, use two
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil or macadamia nut oil
Sea salt and fresh cracked black petter to taste
1 spaghetti squash
1 carrot, shredded
Fresh cilantro for garnish, if desired
For the pesto
- Combine your macadamia nuts, cilantro, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt and black pepper in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- It’s really that easy.
Note: this pesto will last for a couple of days in the fridge and is great topped on salmon or tossed with your favourite pasta.
For the salad
- Preheat your oven at 375.
- Wash the outside of your spaghetti squash, then cut in half, remove the seed and season with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.
- Melt 1 tsp of coconut oil on a baking sheet then place your spaghetti squash face-down on your baking sheet.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the outside of your squash is soft to the touch. It should leave a slight indent when you poke it.
- Once cooked, remove your squash from the oven and run a fork through it to shred your squash into spaghetti-like pieces.
- Place your shredded squash in a large bowl to cool.
- While your squash cools, shred your zucchini and carrot with a cheese grater or food processor.
- Add both to your squash mixture then pour your pesto over it. You can add as much or as little as you like.
- Toss together and voila! Your salad is ready to enjoy.
Both the cod and pesto recipe came from the incredible Practical Paleo cookbook. If you don’t own it, I highly recommend that you pick it up!