Healthy Ingredient of the Week – Lemons

When life gives you lemons, you can make lemonade, but that can be pretty high in added sugar.  Instead, I’d encourage you to use any lemons that come your way to make one of the following dishes, which don’t allow lemons’ nutritional assets to be overshadowed by too much sugar.  Lemons are an excellent source of Vitamin C, an important immunity-booster that’s critical during cold and flu season.  Lemons are also a great low-calorie, low-sodium way to add flavor to a dish – they can be used in place of calorie-laden salad dressings or sauces and make a great alternative to salt when seasoning a dish.

 

Almond- and Lemon-Crusted Fish with Spinach

Ingredients
Zest and juice of 1 lemon, divided
½ cup sliced almonds, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 ¼ pounds cod or halibut, cut into 4 portions
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, slivered
1 pound baby spinach
Lemon wedges for garnish

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Combine lemon zest, almonds, dill, 1 tablespoon oil, and pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Place fish on the prepared baking sheet and spread each portion with 1 teaspoon mustard. Divide the almond mixture among the portions, pressing it onto the mustard.
  4. Bake the fish until opaque in the center, about 7 to 9 minutes, depending on thickness.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not brown, about 30 seconds.
  6. Stir in spinach and lemon juice and season with pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the spinach is just wilted, 2 to 4 minutes.
  7. Cover to keep warm. Serve the fish with the spinach and lemon wedges, if desired.

 

Recipe from EatingWell magazine, January/February 2011 

Lemon Rice Pudding

Ingredients
1 lemon
¼ cup brown rice
2 cups 1% milk or unsweetened almondmilk
1 ½ tablespoons sugar

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F.
  2. Peel the lemon with a vegetable peeler and cut the peel into fine strips.
  3. Mix the peel, rice, sugar, and milk in a small ovenproof dish.
  4. Put in the oven and cook uncovered for about 2 ½ hours, stirring every 45 minutes or so. Serve warm out of the oven, or refrigerate and serve cold.  Serves 2-4.

Recipe adapted from The Kitchn

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