Poached Hake in Thai Coconut Sauce (Secret Recipe Club)

It’s that time again for another Secret Recipe Club reveal! I sat out last month with the start of our frozen yogurt store but I am excited to be back in full swing 🙂

I was given Dena’s blog Oh! You Cook! for this month’s assignment and couldn’t wait to start deciding which recipe I wanted to make. She has so many recipes that I kept drooling over but the one I kept going back to was her Broiled Haddock with Thai Coconut Sauce. I happen to love anything Thai and I’ve been searching for a savory dish that incorporates (one of the many cans of) coconut milk I purchased on sale recently – waalaa, this was the one!

This recipe was amazing, many thanks to Dena for posting this entree that inspired this oh-so-flavorful dinner! I made a few tweaks though to suit my needs and what I had on hand. I decided I didn’t want to dirty a second dish and heat up the oven so I poached the fish in the coconut sauce instead of broiling it first. I added mushrooms for more veggies, increased the amount of bell pepper, used Thai green curry paste in place of the Sambal Oelek, replaced brown sugar with coconut nectar, substituted hake (white fish) for the haddock, unrefined coconut oil in place of the sesame/olive oil to add to the coconut flare along with coconut aminos for the soy sauce and used fresh ginger for that extra ginger punch.

I had never eaten or heard of hake prior to my recent visit to Costco, but they were taste-testing these skinless, white fish fillets and I couldn’t pass them up! Skinless fillets are easier to deal with plus they were wild-caught and individually frozen for easy portioning 🙂 If you don’t have hake, feel free to substitute your favorite white fish – tilapia, haddock, halibut or cod.

I even had a bit of leftover sauce; it was delicious over steamed kale and cooked quinoa for a light vegetarian meal! I love dishes that are easily adaptable and this sauce is really versatile depending on your preferences — serve over baked tofu cubes, sauteed or poached chicken, or use as the cooking liquid for cubes of potatoes and vegetables.

Broiled Tilapia with Thai Coconut Sauce (adapted from Broiled Haddock with Thai Coconut Sauce)

Ingredients

2 tsp coconut oil (butter, ghee, oil can be subbed)
1 Tbsp fresh ginger (or 1 tsp. ground ginger)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup mushrooms, sliced (white or baby bella), optional
3 scallions, diced
1 tsp curry powder
2 tsp Thai green curry paste (or Sambal Oelek chili paste)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 Tbsp coconut aminos (or gluten free soy sauce, tamari or Bragg’s)
1 Tbsp coconut palm sugar
1 cup light coconut milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves (if you hate cilantro, you can leave this out but it adds brightness to the dish)
3 (6 oz) skinless hake fillets or other white fish such as tilapia, haddock or halibut
4 lime wedges

cooked grain of choice for serving (brown rice, quinoa, millet, etc)
Directions

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; stir for 30 seconds.  Lower heat if garlic starts to brown.
2. Add curry powder, curry paste and cumin; stir for 1 minute to bring out their flavor and aromas.
3. Add red pepper, mushrooms and scallions; stir for 1 minute then add coconut aminos, coconut sugar and coconut milk. Stir to completely mix and bring to a simmer (do not boil).
4. Add fish to the sauce, cover and simmer until cooked through, about 6 minutes (flesh is white and no longer transparent).
5. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro. Serve fish and sauce over a bed of rice or your favorite cooked grain. Serve with a lime wedge for added brightness (this adds a nice freshness, I wouldn’t skip this) and enjoy!

*For a grain-free dish, serve this over cooked potatoes and/or a bed of sauteed spinach to soak up the sauce.
*For a vegetarian friendly meal, substitute 1-inch cubed potatoes or tofu for the fish.



White Bean-Tuna Salad Melt

I finally feel that Spring has arrived! The days are getting longer and I am loving every additional minute of natural light and sunshine.

A few days, I ran home from work for a quick meal and was able to whip up this open faced white-bean tuna melt in about 10 minutes…plus I had 15 minutes to actually sit down and eat while soaking in fresh air on our front porch. I don’t remember the last time I sat down to eat lunch and it was a nice change of pace 🙂

This easy salad was not pre-meditated but I will be making it again soon. All I knew is that I wanted tuna salad yet celery and carrots were no where to be found. Instead, I had 1/2 cup of cooked white beans and several radishes in the fridge so into the mixing bowl they went! The cooked beans extended the mayo a smidge and complimented the tuna while the radishes added crunch and freshness. I tossed in hemp seeds because I was feeling adventurous and added fresh lemon juice for flavor and brightness.

I ate many large spoonfuls of this tuna salad by itself and halfway through decided I wanted a sandwich. Some days I can be indecisive 🙂 Either way it was delicious!

White Bean-Tuna Salad

Ingredients

1 6-oz can of no-salt-added tuna, drained (I used wild caught sustainable)
3-4 radishes, stems trimmed and diced
1/2 cup cooked white beans
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp Vegenaise, mayo or greek yogurt (or a combo) I used all Vegenaise since I love the flavor – more or less to taste
1 Tbsp hemp seeds, optional (1 1/2 Tbsp sunflower seeds, walnuts or almonds would also be delicious)
2-3 Tbsp radish greens, washed and chopped (optional for color – a handful of arugula would be great in this!)
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

For Sandwich Melt Option:
1 slice of gluten free bread for every 1/3 to 1/2 cup of tuna salad (I used frozen French Meadow’s honey multigrain)
1 slice of swiss cheese (I used Jarslburg) or provolone

Directions

1. To prepare the salad, combine the beans, mustard, mayo/yogurt and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl. Slightly mash a few beans if you want a creamier texture, completely optional.
2. Add in remaining salad ingredients (tuna, radishes, greens, hemp seeds) and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add in additional lemon, mustard or mayo to taste to your liking.*
For Melt:
3. Toast bread lightly if needed (mine was frozen) and remove from oven. Set toaster oven to broil while you assemble the sandwich. Place one slice of cheese on the bread and mound 1/3 to 1/2 cup of tuna salad on top. Place under the broiler for a few minutes until cheese begins to melt. Remove and enjoy immediately!

Recipe Note: After making the melt, I realized I should have put the cheese on top of the tuna salad…it’s up to you which way you prefer it!

*If you are staying away from grains or looking for low-carb options, omit the bread and the cheese and enjoy this tuna salad over a bed of lettuce or alongside veggie sticks.

**If using all greek yogurt, a bit more mustard and lemon juice may need to be added for added flavor

Mediterranean Salad with Grilled Salmon and Dijon-Dill Vinaigrette

There’s a little Mediterranean restaurant in Helena that Chris and I like to frequent called The Mediterranean Grill. The menu ranges from Italian cuisine to Turkish, Moroccan and Spanish offerings. Though I typically do not order salads at a restaurant, their Insalata D’Estate particularly stood out to me one evening so I took a chance and ordered it.

I was intrigued and captivated by the flavors and colors in this salad — juicy oranges, crisp bell peppers, crunchy cucumbers, fresh tomato AND sun-dried tomatoes all topped with a perfectly cooked piece of salmon and a garlic-y dijon-dill vinaigrette. It was filling while still relatively light and when I left that night, I was determined to recreate my version at home.

I am proud to announce this salad is delicious and refreshing! This dressing is a tad bit different than the original from what I can remember but it’s still yummmmmmy!

Mediterranean Salad with Grilled Salmon and Dijon-Dill Viniagrette

Ingredients

For fish
2 (6 oz) salmon fillets
salt and pepper
olive oil

For salad
6-8 cups fresh baby greens
1 small orange, peeled and sectioned
1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 small Roma tomato, diced
1/4 cup green or red bell pepper, diced
a few thick slices of red onion (I mimicked how the restaurant prepared it but next time I would dice the pieces smaller)
2-3 sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For viniagrette:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
juice from half of a lemon (about 1 Tbsp, or you could use more wine vinegar)
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 to 2 Tbsp freshly chopped dill (you could probably used dried, about 1 tsp)
1/4 tsp honey (can omit if you want a more tangy dressing)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
sprig of fresh dill for  garnish, optional
Directions
1. Brush salmon filets with olive oil and season salt and pepper and set aside for 15 minutes (it’s best to cook salmon when at room temperature).
2. Prepare vinaigrette, add all ingredients except for fresh dill into a blender cup and blend for 30 seconds or until emulsified. Add in dill and stir until well combined. Set aside and let flavors meld.
2. Brush a grill pan with olive oil and heat over medium-high. Place salmon in pan skin side down and let cook for 4 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully turn filets over and let cook another 3-4 minutes until cooked through (fish should feel firm and not mushy when done cooking, you can cut in the middle to see if it’s cooked through and no longer deep pink). Let rest for a few minutes while you assemble the salad.
2. Assemble salad by placing greens in the bowl, top with chopped vegetables and fan the orange sections. Top with cook salmon and sprinkle with a small pinch of salt (optional) and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with prepared viniagrette and enjoy!
Recipe Notes: Salad is also delicious cold if you prefer a chilled salad and fish. I’ve eaten it both ways!
I had leftover dressing but saved it and drizzle over cooked shrimp and feta cheese 🙂
Serves 2

Pan-Seared Cilantro-Soy Tuna

I came across a rockin’ deal the other day for ahi tuna and I jumped on it. I was in the mood for an Asian flare (I know, so typical for tuna…but still so delicious) and I whipped up an easy marinade.

We are fans of cilantro in this house…I know it’s a love it-or hate-it herb but it pairs well with this fish. If you can’t stand the thought of cilantro, finely chopped 2 green onions for a different flavor variation. I bet this marinade would also be delicious with steak, chicken or tofu as well 🙂

To complete our meal, I roasted winter root vegetables and sweet potatoes for an easy side dish. No real recipe to share since I eyeballed everything — simply cube your favorite vegetables and potatoes — such as parsnips, carrots, turnips, yams, onions– toss them in with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and cilantro (herb is optional). Spread onto a large baking sheet and roast them at 450 for about 45 minutes, stirring once while cooking. (FYI – I also tossed the potato-vegetable mixture with 1/3 cup of sauteed red bell pepper and zucchini I had in the fridge from the night before).

Dinner is served!

Pan-Seared Cilantro-Soy Tuna (adapted from Tyler Florence)

Ingredients

3 Tbsp reduced sodium gluten free soy sauce or Braggs liquid aminos
1 tsp freshly minced ginger or 1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice from 1/2 fresh lime (lemon could also work for a different flavor)
handful of cilantro leaves (about 1/4 cup), chopped
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil), divided
dash of crushed red pepper flakes
2 ahi tuna steaks (about 5-6 oz)

Directions

1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except for tuna. Stir to combine.
2. In a baking dish (I used a loaf pan), add tuna steaks and pour marinade over the fish. Flip over so both sides are coated. Let sit for 8-10 minutes (don’t let sit for too long or the acid will start cooking the fish)
3. Heat the remaining one teaspoon of oil over medium-high heat. Lay tuna in pan and sear for 1 minute to 90 secs on each side (depending on how pink you want it inside). Serve while warm and enjoy!

Serves 2 (can be doubled or tripled)