Saturday, September 21, 2013

How to Cook Healthy Food for Kids : Make Pecan Encrusted Fish Recipe

What is the best meal you ever had?  Food is a sensory experience.  I have distinct memories of amazing meals based on what sensory notes they hit.  In Barcelona, I enjoyed a sumptuous meal at a stand while listening to the lively buzz of La Boqueria, the local open air market.  In Montreal, I inhaled the fragrant aroma of garlic and herbs emanating from a warm bowl of bouillabaisse.  In Greece, I enjoyed the feel of the pleasant night air while eating a savory and delicately cooked fish al fresco.  In Japan, I was visually delighted by a beautiful and inventive meal served omakase style while sitting at the chef's table.  And at Nougatine in New York, I tasted the most deliciously chickeny piece of chicken I have ever had in my life.

What do all of these meals have in common?  They were expensive.  But aside from the dent in my wallet that these meals left me with, they also left me with an unforgettable impression that I will cherish for the rest of my life.  I have had many meals that I enjoyed eating but I don't recall exactly what I ate.  Good food prepared well is a good experience.  But good food enjoyed with a loved one is simply unforgettable.  I can distinctly remember each of these meals not only because they were sensory delights, but because they were special occasions I experienced with Cassie, the love of my life.

One of Cassie's favorite meals was a simply prepared but delicious pecan encrusted trout, which she had on one of our dates when we lived in Atlanta.  I remember that night vividly because after dinner, we went to a drive-in movie theater and watched Kill Bill Volume 1.  Very romantic.  That meal was also associated with another type of dent--a dent in my car.  But despite that dent, I still remember that evening with great fondness.

Sadly, the restaurant that served up that nice piece of trout has since closed.  Nonetheless, that meal inspired me to use nuts as a coating for a fish dish.  Many dishes that coat fish or chicken call for breadcrumbs.  However, as discussed in my previous post, most processed breads are high in glycemic index and therefore unhealthy:

You can achieve the same effect by smashing up nuts like pecans or walnuts and using that to coat your fish or chicken.  Nuts are high in protein, good fats, and fiber.  They are low in glycemic index and very satisfying.  One study found that women who ate nuts at least twice weekly had less weight gain than those who rarely ate nuts.  Studies have actually demonstrated that nut consumption increases fat burning!  Therefore, replacing nuts for breadcrumbs is a great way of replacing a bad carb with a good carb.  In the following video, I show you a simple and tasty method of making pecan encrusted fish and introduce you to a very nutty dance craze that you and your kids are sure to go nuts over. 

The recipe for pecan encrusted fish that I used in the above video can be found at the following link:

What is the best meal you ever had?  Feel free to post in the comments section.


Cassady BA et al.  Mastication of almonds: effects of lipid bioaccessibility, appetite, and hormone response.  Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89:794–800

Tey SL et al.  Nuts improve diet quality compared to other energy-dense snacks while maintaining body weight. J Nutr Metab;2011:1-11

Sabate J.  Nut consumption and body weight.  Am J Clin Nutr 2003;78(suppl):647S-50S.

Bes-Rastrollo M et al.  Prospective study of nut consumption, long-term weight change, and obesity in women.  Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89;1913-9.

Claesson AL et al. Two weeks of overfeeding with candy, but not peanuts, increases insulin levels and body weight.  Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 2009;69(5):598-605.

Mattes RD et al.  Impact of Peanuts and Tree Nuts on Body Weight and Healthy Weight Loss in Adults. J Nutr 2008 ;138(9):1741S-1745S

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