Last month I had a special guest over for dinner. His name is Dean Karnazes. He is a world famous ultra marathon runner and he has been on the top 100 Most Influential people's list by Time magazine. He follows a strict diet and I had to come up with a meal for him following his diet. After having so much meat during Eid, I thought this healthy meal could be a great option for everyone. This meal is easy, flavourful and healthy. Dean didn't have any dessert, but I thought of sharing a simple dessert recipe, to make this meal complete.
Garlic lemon baked fish
1 medium size sea fish (Snapper/Koral/Seabass or Trout)
1 medium size lemon
1 small bunch of fresh dill or cilantro
1 small bunch scallion
1 teaspoon paprika
1 bell pepper (Optional)
4 cloves of garlic chopped
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon vinegar
Salt to taste
Preheat your oven to 400F /200C.
Clean the fish well and score it on the both sides.
Slice the lemon and bell pepper (if using). Chop half of the dill or cilantro roughly and keep half whole. Chop the scallions.
Mix the scallion, paprika, garlic, olive oil, salt and the chopped dill. Place the fish on a piece of aluminum foil. Pour the spice mixture all over the fish. Insert sliced lemon, pepper and whole dill in the cavity. Insert some lemon slices where you have scored the fish.
Close the foil tightly and bake it for 20 to 25 minutes. Depending on the size of your fish, cooking time might vary. After 20 minutes check the thickest part of the fish by inserting a knife. If it slides easily from its bone, then it should be cooked through. If not, then bake few more minutes.
Serve it with your favorite sides.
The juice that is left from the fish in the foil can be used for the next dish.
Roasted vegetable couscous
1 cup couscous
1/4 cup raisins
1 chicken or vegetable bullion
Toasted almond or pine nut and dill for garnish. (optional)
Juices from the fish (If using)
To roast the vegetables:
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat your oven to 350F/ 175C.
Mix the ingredients for the roasted vegetables in a bowl. Cut the carrots into small cubes. Chop the peppers.
Pour the mixture over the carrot and pepper separately. Carrots takes longer to cook, so cooking time will be different.
Put the carrots on a baking sheet. Bake them for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes add the peppers and bake for further 7 to 8 minutes. The vegetables should be tender, not mushy.
To make the couscous, add water in a pot (quantity of water should be as per the instruction on the label of the couscous you are using.) Add the stock bullion and the liquid from the fish. Once it comes to a boil add the couscous and the raisins. Take it off the heat. Cover and let it sit until the couscous absorbs all the liquid. Once done, mix the carrot and pepper and fluff it up with a fork.
Garnish with the toasted nut and dill. Serve hot.
Chocolate dipped bananas
1 cup almond flakes
1/3 cup good quality bitter sweet chocolate (I used Ghiradeli 60% chocolate chips)
1/4 cup heavy cream or any cream you have
1 tablespoon butter
6 popsicles stick.
Peel the bananas and cut them each into three pieces. Insert the sticks in the banana.
Place a heatproof bowl over simmering water. Put the cream, chocolate and butter. Let it melt. If its too thick add little more cream until it reaches coating consistency.
Lightly toast the almonds. If the slices are too big, crush them lightly with your finger.
Dip the bananas in the chocolate and let the extra chocolate drip. Sprinkle the flacked almonds all over the banana.
Place them on a parchment paper and put them in the fridge for 30 minutes or more until the chocolate is set and firm.
Note: This can be made with peanuts as well. Roast the peanuts and crush them lightly before using.