What can be more nutritious than combining fresh wild-caught fish with a side of lentils and a sauteed garlic spinach. With this combination, you are adding great sources of vitamins and essential minerals to your diet. Plus, anytime you opt for a fish dish, you are also adding valuable omega-3 fatty acids, while garlic contributes with its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties. This dish needs a little preparation time-about 40 to 50 minutes, but the side of lentils can be made ahead and also be used later for other dishes or salads.
- 4 fish filets (grouper, snapper or your favorite white fish)
- 1 cup of dried green, brown, or French lentils
- 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
- 3 medium mushrooms, sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 cups fresh or frozen spinach, chopped
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lime or lemon, squeezed into juice
1 teaspoon fresh oregano or cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Combine rinsed dried lentils and 3 cups of water in a medium saucepan and let sit overnight or for 6-8 hours. Then bring to boil and cook for about 10 minutes until soft. Drain remaining water. If cooking without soaking: combine rinsed dry lentils and 2 cups of water and bring to boil, then reduce heat and cook uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until soft. Since each type of lentils is a little different, keep tasting your lentils as they cook for the desired consistency.
- In a medium saucepan, combine a tablespoon of olive oil, onion, mushrooms and ground cumin and stir on medium heat until lightly golden. Add cooked lentils, a pinch of salt and pepper and mix together.
- In a medium saucepan, combine a tablespoon of olive oil and garlic and stir on medium heat until lightly golden. Add spinach, a pinch of salt and saute together for few minutes.
- Add remaining olive oil to a frying pan or a large saucepan over medium heat. Add fish fillets and pour lime/lemon juice over them. Fry gently on both sides until golden and meat starts breaking slightly.
- Serve fish on a plate with a side of lentils and spinach. Garnish with chopped oregano or cilantro, as desired.
Nutritional facts and health benefits of lentils:
Lentils contain high levels of vitamin B-1 (thiamin) and vitamin B-9 (folate) and good levels of magnesium, copper and iron. They are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber that also manages blood-sugar disorders by preventing blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. Lentils, like other beans, are rich in dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble. Lentils can increase your energy levels by replenishing iron stores, which is specially important for pregnant or lactating women and growing children and adolescents who have extra needs for iron. Lentils have virtually no fat and are great food for weight loss.