Easy One Pan Mediterranean Cod

  May 20, 2020  |    Blog

If you’ve been looking for a simple, healthy fish recipe that can double as a satisfying weight loss recipe and are scared you’ll make the whole house stink, this Easy One Pan Mediterranean Cod has you covered! Our clients have been telling us that they’re afraid to make fish at home, so we’ve shared this new creation because it’s simple and difficult to mess up! And guess what? Our clients are loving it and it’s helping them in their weight loss efforts and they find it’s the perfect satisfying meal after their flat belly workout. This one pan meal is an anti-inflammatory recipe that leaves them feeling light and cuts their cravings for sweet foods. Halleluiah! Another bonus?  It’s also keto, Paleo and Whole 30 diet friendly. It’s also a gluten-free recipe and dairy free recipe, so if you’re avoiding either, you’ll love that you can make this 30-minute meal anytime that you don’t feel like slaving over the stove! And, there’s an easy secret to avoid stinking up the house!

As registered dietitian nutritionists and personal trainers, we’re all about healthy recipes that are easy one pan meals because our clients seamlessly slip them into their lives. Amen to that! If a recipe is too much work, it’s not realistic for their weeknight dinners and they’d turn to take out– and although we do help them to find healthy favorites that help them to lose weight when ordering in– sometimes there’s nothing better than a home cooked healthy meal. And we can truly say this even after having spent many years cooking in small New York City kitchens.

What makes this home cooked meal better than ordering in a healthy weight loss meal?

When you cook food for yourself you can control every ingredient in the entire recipe which can be especially beneficial for maximum health and weight loss results. That’s why the cooking method and the ingredients in any recipe we share are super important to us because we’re looking to pump up the flavor while including anti-inflammatory, anti-aging ingredients that also are good for the waistline so that our clients- and you- can live a long, healthy life while meeting weight loss goals.

Keep in mind, when you order in, although a meal may be low in calories and should help you to lose weight, often times the ingredients that are added (i.e. salt, certain preservatives and thickeners) can contribute to inflammation in your body and actually prevent your body from losing weight. We’ve seen this happen with our new clients who are exposed to obesogens. We’ll save that for another time—let’s dive into this easy one pan Mediterranean cod, why it’s so good for you and why it’s perfect if you’re worried about messing up fish or making the house stink!

Why is cod great for your health and for beginners?

Cod is mild and a fantastic source of lean protein.  It’s a white flakey fish that’s really easy to prepare.

 

A few of the Mediterranean Ingredients with big benefits 

As kids, we were the super pickiest eaters on the planet. Sorry mom! However, we had no problem eating our grandma’s cod because it was just so pleasing on the palate.  And who knew it was so good for us?! Our palates certainly didn’t know they were good for us or else we may not have eaten it! Ha!

Cod– Fish is an important part of the Mediterranean diet which has been shown to cause weight loss and help prevent heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes and premature death, so in this recipe, we focused on Mediterranean ingredients, which also happen to pack a lot of flavor with skin-beautifying benefits.

Here, we started with frozen Wild Alaskan Cod, but if you have fresh cod, that’s great too! We had received a generous sample from Sitka Salmon and we’re so excited to start creating.

 

If you start with frozen fish like we did, then simply take the cod out in the morning and place it in the fridge to defrost.  When you’re ready to make dinner, it will be just like as if you bought it fresh! We use this fabulous trick all of the time and it tastes incredible and we don’t have to run to the market at last minute or use up fish within a day of purchasing it. You can make this Mediterranean recipe from frozen fish (without defrosting it), you’d just need to adjust the cooking time.  We haven’t done that yet, but it’s definitely possible and will still be delicious and flakey!

Lemon:
We’ve taken a lover!  OK, well several—and that’s just when it comes to food alone! Ha! Lemons, like all citrus fruit, are packed with vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant. This popular ingredient in Mediterranean recipes helps to give your immune system a boost and helps to “mop up” free radicals (hello, natural detox!) caused by everyday living (think: stress, pollution, a poor diet, cigarette smoke, alcoholic beverages) and rid the body of toxins, while also keeping inflammation at bay.

Lemons help to promote the activity of a liver enzyme that converts toxic substances to less harsh chemicals. Thanks to its d-limonene, lemons helps the liver!  Their vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals.  Lemons are also helpful in keeping the skin youthful and elastic, thanks to their vitamin C, which helps boost collagen.

Olives:

Around the corner from our homes in New York City is a store called Zabar’s that’s known for its’ specialty olives.  Ask any foodie or tourist who comes to Manhattan’s Upper West Side and they’ll likely tell you that stopping in Zabar’s for some olives is on their itinerary.  Yes, people do travel for olives.

As dietitians, we’re huge fans of all types of olives from both a flavor perspective and a health perspective.

True or false? You should shy away from olives because of their fat content.

FALSE! What you may not realize is aside from being packed with phytonutrients, just like their oil, olives are a fabulous source of the heart healthy monounsaturated fats. Olives provide almost three-quarters of their fat as oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that actually lowers the risk of heart disease by decreasing blood pressure, blood cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and improving the ratio of LDL to HDL.

Think of olives helping your body to pump blood that delivers nutrients and oxygen throughout your body, benefitting your cardiovascular system—and helping you to get a speedy metabolism, gorgeous skin, hair and nails and a well -functioning digestive system. 

Are olives a nutrient booster?

Oleic acid packs a double punch in our digestive tract by increasing our absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like carotenoids. This means that when you add olives to a meal like this Mediterranean cod, they act as a “nutrient booster,” helping you to absorb a range of health-promoting fat soluble nutrients like vitamins A (carotenoids), E, D and K, from the other veggies in the salad meal, like the green beans, tomatoes and lemons in this one.  So, olives work in tandem with other foods in your salad to keep you healthy, boost your immunity, make your skin smooth and lift your mood.

Low on energy? Have weak bones? Read this:

Olives contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients that help almost all parts of the body.  Olive’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients benefit the respiratory system, and powerful lungs means you can exercise more efficiently and more easily achieve a fit, healthy body.  Olive’s benefits even extend to the nervous system, immune system, the digestive system (au revoir low-energy, constipation, and bloat) and the musculoskeletal system (hola toned muscles and strong bones).

New research shows that olives are great bone protectors.  Yes, olives contribute to that sexy long and strong spine, the one that helps you to stand up straight and exude confidence!  Thanks to hydroxytyrosol, an olive phytonutrient known to aid in cancer prevention, as well as oleuropein, the other key phytonutrient found in olives, olives are now recognized for helping to deposit calcium into the bone.  Who knew?  Avocado and Olive Pasta or Colorful Detox Salad, anyone?

Fun tip:  Do you suffer from allergies?  Olives may help!  Olive extracts have been shown to work as an anti-histamine.

If you’ve been afraid to eat olives because you think of them as a high-fat food, keep in mind it’s not artery-clogging saturated fat they are high in.  They’re high in monounsaturated fat, and it’s time to recognize all of the health benefits that these fats have to offer!  However, just like other high-fat plant foods that are high in monos (avocados, nuts and seeds, for example), eat moderate portions so that you don’t consume too many calories.  Too many calories, no matter where they come from, cause weight gain.)

How do olives help you to avoid inflammation-causing ingredients that make you gain weight?

Olives add zest to your meal.  If you crave a salty flavor, olives will quench your salt tooth, reducing the need for you to add a lot of extra salt or  any other source of sodium like bottled sauces and dressings.

How do you bake cod in the oven without stinking up the house?

The key to is to wrap the fish and veggies in parchment paper so you lock in the flavors…and the smell!  In this example below, I had just placed the 16 ounces of fish and all the veggies on a large sheet of parchment paper on the sheet pan. I took a separate piece of paper and placed it over the top and folded/crimped all the sides together to make the packet. This really creates  juicy and flavorful fish that is perfectly flaky.  If you want to make it easier, my guess is it’s probably easier to wrap each piece of fish with the veggies separately, in little packets—I describe how to do this in the directions.

Now that you’ve got a few of the super healthy keys to this recipe and the cooking secrets, let’s get cooking! This recipe is basically toss ingredients in a pan and cook! Ta da! 🙂

Easy One Pan Mediterranean Cod  

This simple, healthy fish recipe can double as a satisfying weight loss recipe that you won’t mess up—and it won’t stink up the house.  The secret to the salty flavor is the heart-healthy olives and lemon, which adds an acid flavor that mimics salt. The olive oil is delicious, and the help of the spritzer keeps the calories in check while pumping up the flavor.

*Note—No parchment paper? No problem! This recipe works wonderfully without it—you just won’t lock in the smell.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

4, 4-ounce cod fillets

Freshly ground pepper

1- 1/2 tbsp of EVOO, divided (plus EVOO in a spray jar for spritzing)

2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes

2 cup green beans

2/3 cup olives

1 lemon, sliced, and more for garnish

2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley

Salt, to taste, optional

*The final photo shows potatoes as well; they were added for my boyfriend. This is a great addition to the recipe if you’re not following a keto, paleo or whole30 diet. Research has shown that potatoes are one of the most satisfying foods per calorie. Eat a 3-ounce baked potato (90 calories) with this meal topped with ½ -2 cups broccoli for more fiber.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut 4 pieces of parchment paper, roughly 15 x 15 inches long.
  3. In a bowl mix tomatoes, green beans, olives, ½ tbsp olive oil. Mix thoroughly to allow the olive juices and brine to cover the veggies. Spritz several times with EVOO in jar to disperse flavor evenly while using few calories.
  4. Place lemons on each piece of the parchment paper on one side of the paper, leaving the other half empty so it can later fold over the top of the fish and make a packet. Place the veggie and olive mixture around the lemon, laying the mixture in a flat layer.
  5. Rinse cod filets and pat dry with a paper towel. Brush top with 1 tbsp EVOO. Season with pepper.
  6. Place the fish on the lemons. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp parsley.
  7. Spritz veggies and fish lightly with olive oil.
  8. Fold the other half of the parchment over the fish. To make the packet, start at one corner and start folding the paper tightly to crimp and seal it. Be sure that the parchment paper is tightly sealed so that no steam can get out during cooking.
  9. Place the parchment packets on a baking sheet
  10. Bake until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork, about 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.
  11. Sprinkle with salt to taste, if desired. (The lemon and olives provide a salty flavor and most people feel they don’t need more.
  12. Remove from pan, serve garnished with remaining parsley, more lemon juice, and pan sauce.

Nutrition facts (without potato and broccoli): 227 calories, 12 grams fat, 2 saturated fat, 398 mg sodium, Carbohydrate 8 g, 2 g fiber, 2 gram sugar, 22 gram protein

For a full super satisfying meal, we suggest microwaving a 3-ounce baked potato and some frozen broccoli, while the dish cooks for 350 calories.

To get our FREE Guide To Get The Body You Want Even While Eating Pasta click here!

Easy One Pan Mediterranean Cod
 
This simple, healthy fish recipe can double as a satisfying weight loss recipe that you won’t mess up—and it won’t stink up the house. The secret to the salty flavor is the heart-healthy olives and lemon, which adds an acid flavor that mimics salt. The olive oil is delicious, and the help of the spritzer keeps the calories in check while pumping up the flavor. *Note—No parchment paper? No problem! This recipe works wonderfully without it—you just won’t lock in the smell.
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Makes 4 servings
  • Ingredients:
  • 4, 4-ounce cod fillets
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1- ½ tbsp of EVOO, divided (plus EVOO in a spray jar for spritzing)
  • 2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2 cup green beans
  • ⅔ cup olives
  • 1 lemon, sliced, and more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
  • Salt, to taste, optional
  • *The final photo shows potatoes as well; they were added for my boyfriend. This is a great addition to the recipe if you’re not following a keto, paleo or whole30 diet. Research has shown that potatoes are one of the most satisfying foods per calorie. Eat a 3-ounce baked potato (90 calories) with this meal topped with ½ -2 cups broccoli for more fiber.
Instructions
  1. Directions:
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Cut 4 pieces of parchment paper, roughly 15 x 15 inches long.
  4. In a bowl mix tomatoes, green beans, olives, ½ tbsp olive oil. Mix thoroughly to allow the olive juices and brine to cover the veggies. Spritz several times with EVOO in jar to disperse flavor evenly while using few calories.
  5. Place lemons on each piece of the parchment paper on one side of the paper, leaving the other half empty so it can later fold over the top of the fish and make a packet. Place the veggie and olive mixture around the lemon, laying the mixture in a flat layer.
  6. Rinse cod filets and pat dry with a paper towel. Brush top with 1 tbsp EVOO. Season with pepper.
  7. Place the fish on the lemons. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp parsley.
  8. Spritz veggies and fish lightly with olive oil.
  9. Fold the other half of the parchment over the fish. To make the packet, start at one corner and start folding the paper tightly to crimp and seal it. Be sure that the parchment paper is tightly sealed so that no steam can get out during cooking.
  10. Place the parchment packets on a baking sheet
  11. Bake until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork, about 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.
  12. Sprinkle with salt to taste, if desired. (The lemon and olives provide a salty flavor and most people feel they don’t need more.
  13. Remove from pan, serve garnished with remaining parsley, more lemon juice, and pan sauce.
Notes
*Note—No parchment paper? No problem! This recipe works wonderfully without it—you just won’t lock in the smell.

*The final photo shows potatoes as well; they were added for my boyfriend. This is a great addition to the recipe if you’re not following a keto, paleo or whole30 diet. Research has shown that potatoes are one of the most satisfying foods per calorie. Eat a 3-ounce baked potato (90 calories) with this meal topped with ½ -2 cups broccoli for more fiber.

For a full super satisfying meal, we suggest microwaving a 3-ounce baked potato and some frozen broccoli, while the dish cooks for 350 calories.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 serving Calories: 227 Fat: 12 g Saturated fat: 2 g Carbohydrates: 8 g Sugar: 2 g Sodium: 398 Fiber: 2 g Protein: 22 g

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