Coconut Crusted Cod with Asparagus Quinoa

Coconut Crusted Cod with Asparagus Quinoa

From the time my husband and I moved in together, we’ve eaten a very similar diet. It just makes sense from an economics standpoint as well as making our lives easier when deciding on dinner. I think most families function this way. Growing up I ate whatever my parents put on the table and never considered that I may need different foods from my brothers. Well now I’m learning this is false. Men and women require different diets.

I shared this with a friend the other day and she was surprised to hear it. Then I explained why and it totally made sense.

Women need more carbohydrates than men in order to support their reproductive systems. We women need carbs for three reasons:

1. To get the “fed” signal to our reproductive systems

2. Provide enough energy to potential offspring

3. Support healthy thyroid function

Carbohydrates play a vital role in telling the body that is has been fed. Fat does the same thing. These two have to play together in order to prevent our bodies from going into starvation mode. In starvation mode the body shuts down the reproductive system first, since it would not be possible to provide for an offspring with the current amount of nutrition. For me, this led to losing my period for months at a time. No bueno.

We cannot fight biology. Men are at no risk on a low-carb diet. They can go as low as 4% body fat and still be healthy. Women require a minimum of 15-20% in order for optimal health. Women’s bodies may go into starvation mode if they do not receive around 100 grams of carbohydrates. Most of the studies done on the success of low carb diets were performed with men only. Women can have success on low-carb as well, just not as low as men.

Of course, it is important to remember that every body is different. My nutrition needs vary not only from my husband’s but also my sister’s, my mom’s and my girlfriend’s. My hormones are constantly changing too, so my diet will alter as these rise and fall throughout the month. I’ve tried various forms of low-carb diets over the years and once years ago I even passed out at work from not eating enough. Yet, it’s taken me until now to learn the reason behind it. I’m happy that quinoa, white rice, potatoes and oats have a vital place in my diet.

*Nutrition facts referenced from Stephani Ruper’s Sexy by Nature.

Asparagus Quinoa

Makes 2 serving.

Asparagus Quinoa:
2 tbsp butter
1/2 sweet onion -chopped
4 cloves garlic -minced
1 bunch asparagus -chopped
1 cup quinoa -cooked
1 1/2 cups beef bone broth
tsp salt
tsp pepper

2 pieces cod
2 tbsp melted butter
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 425.

►Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Then add the garlic, asparagus, salt and pepper. Cook for three minutes then add the quinoa and broth. Lower the heat to low and cover for ten minutes. The quinoa should absorb all the broth.

►Grease a baking dish with a small amount of butter. Mix together melted butter, cayenne, salt and coconut in a bowl large enough to fit your pieces of fish. Coat each piece of fish individually and place in the prepared dish. Bake for 15 minutes or until fish begins to flake.

►Serve with a fresh squeeze of lemon.

Flounder Filet Foil Packs

Flounder Filet Foil Pack

I am fortunate to live on the coast with access to super fresh seafood. My local Saturday farmers market has a diverse assortment and I like to mix it up each week. The booth is notorious for selling out by late morning. You have to be quick in Brooklyn! Especially when it comes to good food. The week I chose fresh flounder and also treated myself to a piece of smoked swordfish. Deliciousness!

Foil packs perfectly cook fish for an even flakiness. It’s so easy to just throw the fish and vegetables together. This would be a good party idea. Put out all your ingredients in cute separate bowls, pre-form the foil wrappers for your guests and let everyone create their own meals. Now I’m getting flash backs to childhood Taco Nights fighting over the last tortilla!

One suggestion to keep in mind,  if you like your vegetables more done than steamed, sauté them before adding to the packs. I just added everything at once and the onions would have been better with a nice caramelization.

Flounder Filet Foil Pack

Serves 3

1 pound Flounder Filets

1 tsp Sea Salt

1 tsp Pepper

1 tbsp melted Pork Lard

1 head of Broccoli Chopped

1 Yellow Onion Chopped

2 cloves Garlic Minced

1 tbsp Fresh Cilantro Chopped

1 tsp Fresh Ginger Minced

6 pieces of Aluminum Foil

►Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

►Take three pieces of aluminum foil and fold up the edges all round. Creating three individual packs.

►Place two fish filets in each. Rub some of the melted lard on the fish with salt and pepper. I use my hands for this.

►Add in your vegetables, dividing them equally among each pack.

►Use the remaining foil to seal in each pack so that you make something resembling a pouch.

►Place your three packs in a glass baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for ten minutes.

►When done, remove from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before opening. The fish will continue to cook a bit.

►Drizzle fresh lime juice over fish and vegetable before serving.

►For an easy sauce, make a quick cilantro pesto in your food processor. 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tbsp Cold Pressed Olive Oil, 1 garlic clove, 3 tbsp pine nuts. Pulse until it forms a paste. Easy on the garlic here. I added an extra clove and it about took my breath away!