Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cajun Basa and Swiss Chard

Go Fish!

This post represents Whats for Eats on Day 2 of Fish Challenge 2010, which fulfills this week's quota of vegetarian or pescetarian meals. Superstah! It's also a two-fer-one, fish and a side!

This was the yummiest meal! I crispy-coated the basa (you might recognize this technique from my crispy-coated chicken thighs post, works just as good here) using lots of spicy goodness and an egg-white wash for extra crispiness. This was the first time I've had swiss chard, and I was slightly underwhelmed. Not sure what I was expecting...I had just tried kale for the first time a few years ago and loved it, and two years ago discovered the AMAZING deliciousness of cabbage sprouts (they are only available for a few weeks in the spring - almost time!!) so I guess I was expecting to be blown away. It's so pretty, but turns out pretty does not mean yummy. Don't get me wrong, it was tasty and I felt very virtuous eating something so healthy, but to be honest the best part was the feta cheese. Heh. Anyway the fish was the real star of this meal. My portion was about double what's in the picture, and still came in under 300 cals including the breading. Cool eh! And it's just so yummy I could eat it every day, really makes me wonder why I haven't been eating more fish! The recipe below is for one person, so just multiply by however many people you are cooking for.

Cajun Basa and Swiss Chard

For the fish:
200g (one fillet) basa
splash of milk
1 Tbsp flour
1 tsp hot sauce (any kind)
1 Tbsp egg white
1/2C mesa sunrise cereal flakes
1/4 tsp each cayenne, oregano, paprika, cracked black pepper
dash sea salt
olive oil cooking spray
lemon wedges

Cut the fish into four peices and dunk them in the milk. Let them soak while you prepare the crumbs: Combine cereal, 1/2 Tbsp flour, and spices in blender and pulse until desired crumby consistency is reached. Dump crumbs onto a plate. Then prepare your egg wash: combine egg white and hot sauce in a bowl and whisk. Pat your fish dry - not totally dry just not dripping wet. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 Tbsp flour. Dunk each peice in the egg wash, then roll in crumbs. Spray a baking tray (or cookie sheet) with olive oil, and place fish pieces on it not touching. Spray the tops of the fish pieces lightly with olive oil and bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes, depending on thickness of fish.

While fish is cooking prepare Swiss Chard:

1/2 bunch swiss chard (about 4 leaves, stems intact)
1 clove garlic, sliced
1/2 tsp olive oil
20g low-fat feta (about 1" square), crumbled
1 Tbsp currants
cracked pepper and sea salt

Wash and cut swiss chard into 1/2" slices. Heat oil in a wok on med-high heat and add garlic. When it begins to brown a little, add the chard and toss around to get the garlic on top. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add in the currants and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes more. The chard should be wilted and the stems cooked through but not browned. Add the feta and pepper, and maybe a tiny bit of salt but check it first because the feta is quite salty so you may not need it. Remove from heat and squeeze a bit of lemon over top.

Serve the fish and swiss chard with lemon wedges. Feel ever-so-healthy for eating both fish and dark leafy greens in same meal.

Nutritional values: Fish: 294 calories, 9g fat, 29.4g protein, 23.6g carbs, 2.3g fibre, 270mg sodium. Swiss chard: 138 calories, 8g fat, 8g protein, 11g carbs, 3g fibre, 272mg sodium.


  1. Swiss chard tip: Cut off the stems and just cook the leaves in small pieces. You can saute the stems afterwards but since they take longer to cook than the leaves, it should be done separately.

    My favourite way to eat Swiss Chard:

    It also works really well added to a tomato sauce. It wilts & blends in really well without adding too much flavour but it does add all those green nutrients.

  2. I haven't been brave enough to try kale or swiss chard yet, but hopefully I'll get there. I'm glad spring is almost here so I can start working on adding veggies to my meals while they are in season. It really helped me start liking tomatoes this year. Now I'm kind of a tomato snob when they are out of season. ha.

  3. Thanks Heather, I will check out that link! Good tip too...the stems are definately in need of a little more cooking time.

    Robbyn, I know what you mean, I am waiting with baited breath for the cabbage sprouts season to start!