Michael Pollan gave a lecture on campus, and he came on stage with bags full of groceries that he picked up at Meijer (he got extra points in my book for making fun of Meijer!). He had boxes of sugary cereal claiming to be health food, fat free yogurt with more sugar than the full fat counterpart, and splenda with fiber. But the one that caught my attention was the Tropicana Healthy Heart orange juice. Sounds innocent enough, right? Well, it contains tilapia, anchovies, and sardines. I almost gagged. Guess who will not be drinking store bought orange juice for a long time.
I would rather drink juice that I've squeezed myself (or at the very least has no sea creatures in it). And I'll eat my fish with a fork, thank you very much. Here's a great recipe in case you need ideas for ways to eat fish in its solid form. I did have trouble finding a firm white fish that's sustainable but still affordable, but I finally came across cod from the U.S. Pacific, which is at least a "good alternative" according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium's standards. The flavors in this dish were mellow - I suggest adding a minced jalapeno if you're looking for something more dramatic - but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The crunch of the water chestnuts was the perfect contrast for the flaky fish, and I wouldn't recommend making this without them. It doesn't necessarily live up to "real" Thai food, but considering that it took about 10 minutes to make, it was a great substitute.
Thai fish curry with brown rice (adapted from Whole Grains for Busy People)
1 can (13.5 oz.) light coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp green Thai curry paste
pinch of sugar
1 cup corn kernels (frozen are fine)
1 can (8 oz.) water chestnuts, drained and sliced
1 lb. firm white fish (I used cod, but halibut also works), cut into bite-sized chunks
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
zest of one lime
3 cups cooked brown rice
Combine coconut milk, water, fish sauce, curry paste, and sugar in a large saute pan, and bring to a boil. Then stir in the corn, water chestnuts, and fish, making sure that the fish pieces are almost completely submerged in the sauce. Cover the pan, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the fish is cooked through (about 4 min), stirring occasionally. Stir in the cilantro and lime zest, and serve over rice. Serves 4.