Crunchy, Asian Inspired Oven Baked Fish

 

fish picDisclosure: I was compensated by The General Mills Bell Institute of Health & Nutrition for my time to write this post. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

This fun, Asian-influenced play on fish sticks was inspired by my humble box of cereal. Little did I know that it would become the secret ingredient for creating my next kitchen masterpiece. As a mom of two little ones, finding healthy and clever ways to make food taste great is a challenge I love.

When it comes to the creatures of the the sea, fish is a source of omega-3’s, an essential fat thought to reduce the risk of heart disease. Its mild flavor makes it a versatile lean protein that pairs well with a wide range of flavors from savory to sweet.

If you’re working with picky palates a good place to start is with a familiar food, like cereal and pair it with something less familiar and ta-da, you instantly have a new household favorite like homemade fish sticks that you can feel great about serving to your family.fish pic2

With a few extra ingredients and a think-outside-the-bowl mentality, you’ll find your
go-to cereal has far more range than you thought. This baked homemade fish stick recipe is made with whole grain cereal, making it a tasty addition to dishes where you’d never expect it.

Crunchy Asian Oven Baked Fish with Dipping Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • For the fish
  • 5 cups Golden Grahams cereal
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 1⁄2 lbs cod filets, cut into about ¾-inch strips (can use talapia or other firm white fish)
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley or 1 tablespoon fresh, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Seasoning salt and black pepper to taste
  • For the dipping sauce
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice or rice vinegar
  • ⅛ teaspoon chili powder or Sirracha sauce
Instructions
  1. Set oven to 475°F (set oven rack to second-lowest position, or the middle rack).
  2. Process the Golden Graham cereal with a pinch of seasoning salt and black pepper in the processor until coarse crumbs form (avoid grinding into a fine texture). Transfer the crumbs to a large bowl. Mix in lemon peel, parsley, and chili powder.
  3. In a smaller bowl mix together the melted butter with 2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. Stir until well combined.
  4. Season the fish with salt and pepper on both sides, then brush the fish on all sides with the lemon butter to coat.
  5. Dip the fish into the cereal mixture, coating completely on all sides.
  6. Arrange the fish on a lightly greased baking sheet, about ½ inch apart to all fish to crisp up on all sides.
  7. Sprinkle any remaining cereal mixture and place on middle oven rack.
  8. Bake fish for 7-10 minutes. Fish sticks should be firm to touch when fully cooked.
  9. While the fish is baking prepare dipping sauce by combining all ingredients in a small bowl and mixing until combine.

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Disclosure: I was compensated by The General Mills Bell Institute of Health & Nutrition for my time to write this post. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

#MindfulMarch Book Club: The Upside of Stress by Dr. Kelly McGonigal

upside-of-stress
For my #MindfulMarch challenge, I’m asking everyone to read Upside of Stress by Dr. Kelly McGonigal

Read more about this book and check out Amazon reviews.

Why This Book

Stress is one of the main reasons we feel negative emotions that can lead to overeating, skipping workouts, and trashing our bodies rather than take care of them. (not Body Kindness)

The truth is, we misunderstand stress, and this books helps you see an upside.

  • You’ll learn how you can use mindfulness as a way to identify stress when it’s happening
  • How to reframe stress as energy for something you care about, and
  • How to set yourself up for thriving through stress and bouncing back from bad things when they happen

How Book Club Works

Get the book and read it at your own pace. Post questions and comments on my Facebook page throughout the month. I’ll share insights on the book in my weekly emails during the #MindfulMarch challenge.

Listen to Dr. McGonigal on TED

With over 10 million views, she must be saying something right!

Like Podcasts?

Body Kindness with Rebecca Scritchfield, RDNListen to Episode 5 of Body Kindness, where we discuss mindfulness and how it can help you take better care of yourself. A positive antidote to the diet obsessed world, Body Kindness is grounded in the “radical” idea that health begins by being good to yourself and changing your habits is about love, not hate.

Speaking of love. I’d love if you’d consider spreading the word about my new show Body Kindness by subscribing and leaving a rating on iTunes. Here’s a direct link to the show or you can cut and paste this into your browser: http://getpodcast.reviews/id/1073275062.

Grow Better Health Through Mindfulness #MindfulMarch Challenge

I’m hosting 30-Day Challenges Every Month for FREEEEEE!

Hooray for March! A new month and a new challenge for anyone who is looking to better themselves. Body Kindness is all about being good to yourself. I can’t think of a more important improvement to your well-being than practicing mindFULLness. (as opposed to what we normally do, mindEMPTYness) Learn why I love mindfulness (and how you can sign up for free) below.

Mindful March Challenge mindfulness

You Got to Start Somewhere, Start Where You Are

If you have health concerns, weight concerns, and you want to make changes in your life you need mindfulness in order to succeed in the long run. Mindfulness is presence, being in the here and now, and asking one very important question…

What the heck is going on?

That tiny little useful piece of information is there to guide your next choice – the choice that can shape up the goals you want for yourself (or the choice that can sabotage your best intentions and deepest desires for improving your health and well-being.)

When you practice mindfulness, you have self-awareness. You know where you are and you can figure out what you need to next that serves your goals that matter, instead of doing what you usually do and feel bad about it later. (Turns out you don’t need diets or someone else’s “foolproof guaranteed plan”. You need to stop, think, and act if you want to change.)

Mindfulness is the starting point for any long-term behavior change.

How To Sign Up and Participate

It’s as easy as one, two, three…

  1. Join the challenge by signing up for my e-mail list. (This is the list I use to send the weekly challenges and motivations)
  2. Invite your friends to the challenge. (OK, this is totally unnecessary, but you’ll have more fun if you have someone you know taking the challenge on. All you need to do is share this post.)
  3. Post your updates and questions on my Facebook page. (I will be there every day just waiting for your questions and brags about how AWESOME you are doing. You’ll get encouragement from me and others. What a wonderful way to get support and make new like-minded friends. You can also message me privately on Facebook.)

The more you put in to these challenges, the more you will get out.

How to Be More Mindful

Just start “noticing” things. It’s that simple. You can notice anything you want to – anything that’s important to you. For health and well-being here are some of my favorites:

  • Thoughts and feelings – Probably the most important in my book because “bad” thought and emotions usually result in “bad choices”. Humans really, really don’t like feeling bad. (“I’m tired” or “This is hard” leads to skipping a workout. “I’m too busy” leads to not planning meals, skipping meals, and eventually poor eating choices.)
  • HALT – I’m sure you’ve heard of this before…  hungry, angry, lonely, tired. It’s another way to “check in” on feelings, just simpler and more focused. If this speaks to you, go for it. (If you are hungry, of course you eat.)
  • Your “hunger number” – See below! (This helps you figure out when to eat and how much.) Read more about this simple mindfulness exercise.
mindfulness, hunger number

Check in on your numbers to determine if your body thinks you should eat.

  • Notice what makes you “happy”. While it’s a futile attempt to expect you will be happy all the time, choices that bring YOU joy (that’s YOU, not others)… Choices that bring you joy flood you with positive emotions and “feel good” neurochemicals that boost your mood.
  • Experiment and notice differences. What’s the difference in your day when you sleep enough and when you don’t? What’s the difference in your mood when you make time for yourself and when you feel time starved and deprived of fun in your life?
  • Try meditation. (More on that below)

Make The Time

Practice. Practice. Practice. Commit to a daily mindfulness practice to get better at it and see all the wonderful ways it enhances your life.

How much time do you have to give? 15 minutes? 5? 1? Just be willing to start and continue all of March and be sure to share how you’re being mindful with the hash tag #MindfulMarch

Get Over Your Meditation “Mental Block”

Many people use the terms “mindfulness” and “meditation” interchangeably. They aren’t the same thing. Remember mindfulness is awareness. Meditation is “quiet time” and it can help you be more mindful throughout your days.

You don’t have to buy a meditation pillow or a statue of Buddha to start practicing meditation. Maybe #MindfulMarch is a good time for you to dabble in meditation as part of your mindfulness goals.

You’ll love the resources on the website Mindful.org. (I looooove their tagline: Take time for what matters. YES! YES! YES!) Start at the “start here” meditation section. Come on, they can’t make it any easier.

Hearing Negative Voices?

Yay! If you notice you’re thinking “nah…” about meditation then you’re already practicing mindfulness. Just let that thought tell you “no” and keep reading. Is there anything in the meditation excuses / benefits chart below that changes your mind?

Meditation, mindfulness

Ready? Set. Let’s Go!

I’m sharing many more ideas, tips, and motivations in my weekly challenge e-mails. Be sure to sign up today (it’s FREE!).

Remember… the more you put in to these challenges, the more you will get out. Take action if you want change to happen.

  1. Join the challenge by signing up for my e-mail list. (This is the list I use to send the weekly challenges and motivations)
  2. Invite your friends to the challenge. (OK, this is totally unnecessary, but you’ll have more fun if you have someone you know taking the challenge on. All you need to do is share this post.)
  3. Post your updates and questions on my Facebook page. (Spread your inspiration by showing off how awesome you’re rockin’ the mindfulness! This is also a great place to post any questions you have for me or other new like-minded friends. You can also message me privately on Facebook.)

Tell Me, How Do You Do Mindfulness?

What works for you? What would you like to try this month?

Like Podcasts?

Body Kindness with Rebecca Scritchfield, RDNHave you heard that I’ve launched a brand new podcast called Body Kindness? A positive antidote to the diet obsessed world, Body Kindness is grounded in the “radical” idea that health begins by being good to yourself and changing your habits is about love, not hate.

Speaking of love. I’d love if you’d consider spreading the word about my new show Body Kindness by subscribing and leaving a rating on iTunes. Here’s a direct link to the show or you can cut and paste this into your browser: http://getpodcast.reviews/id/1073275062.

Eat the “Bugs” Do-It-Yourself Probiotic Pickles

Fermented-Pickles-5

You might wonder “Why would anyone want to eat bacteria?” If you have ever had yogurt, kefir, or kimchee you’ve had fermented foods. Fermentation is a process by which bacteria chemically break down parts of the food. Then, you eat it.

Fermented foods are great for your health because they are believed to help support a healthy gut microbiome. There are billions of “good” bacteria living in our digestive tract helping us create vitamins, digest food, and prevent infection from viruses and bad bacteria.

Doing your own food fermentation can be easy, fun, and delicious. Start with everyone’s favorite – the pickle. While grocery store pickles get their flavor from vinegar, these pickles get their flavor from the bacteria’s handiwork.

 

Do-It-Yourself “Probiotic” Pickles
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 quart sized jar
  • 3 pounds Cucumbers (Pickling or mini cucumbers work best because they have fewer seeds.)
  • Seasonings:
  • 3 sprigs of dill
  • 2 gloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice (or combination of mustard seeds, coriander, bay leaf, and black peppercorn)
  • Optional: hot pepper or red chili flake for spicy pickles
  • Brine:
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • Onion bulb to keep pickles submerged.
Instructions
  1. Soak cucumbers in cold water. This helps keep them crunchy while they ferment.
  2. Clean cucumbers well and cut ends off.
  3. Cut cucumbers to desired size. Keep in mind that smaller slices will ferment faster.
  4. Pack cucumbers tightly into the jar.
  5. Add dill, garlic, and pickling spices.
  6. Prepare brine by combining salt and water and mixing to dissolve salt.
  7. Make sure to leave about an inch of room in the top of the jar. This is necessary for fermentation to take place.
  8. Cover jar and place on countertop for 3 days.
  9. Taste a pickle. If you like it, put the jar in the refrigerator to stop the fermenting process. If not, re-cover and taste each day until they are ready.
  10. Once in the refrigerator, don’t worry about keeping them submerged. Enjoy your “probiotic” pickles for up to 6 months.

Don’t just stop at cucumbers. Any vegetable can be “pickled” this way. Try green beans, peppers, zucchini, or asparagus for a new twist!

Want More Like This?

Sign up for my e-mail list and get my FREE Feel Great Guide and get a handy health and happiness journal and more.

Nutty Chocolate Cherry Trail Mix: A Whole Grain Treat for Any Valentine

Valentines Trail Mix pic_1Disclosure: I was compensated by The General Mills Bell Institute of Health & Nutrition for my time to write this post. Recommendations and opinion are my own.

I’m always happy when Valentine’s Day rolls around. It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to express gratitude for special people in my life and get some time in the kitchen doing what I love — preparing food with my kids. This year, I enlisted help from my 3-year-old to make these “Be Mine Valentine” snack packs filled with chocolate, cherries, nuts, and whole grain cereal.

Celebrate with the Goodness of Whole Grains

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines encourage us to make half our servings of grains whole. However, ninety-five percent of us fall short of the recommended 48 grams of whole grain per day. On average, adults consume 1 serving, while most kids consume less than a serving of whole grains each day.

The Benefit of Whole

Whole grains, like whole grain oats, corn, whole wheat, rice and quinoa can provide your body with good-for-you nutrients like folate, iron, and B vitamins to help it function. By focusing on eating a variety of whole grains, you’re getting fiber, a healthy plant-based vitamins, minerals, and a variety of phytochemicals that are beneficial to your health.

Celebrate the “Day of Love” All Year Long

There are easy ways to give whole grains some “love” all year long. Try one new whole grain each month. Ever wondered what millet or quinoa tasted like? Prepare whole-wheat pastas and pizza doughs. Add rolled oats when baking or stir in a handful to your favorite yogurt. Enjoy whole grain salads like tabbouleh or toss your favorite grains with greens for a custom grain bowl.

Fill Your Bowl With Love

A bowl of whole grain cereal can get your day off to a great start giving you a balanced blend of nutrients. When choosing ready to eat cereal, look for whole grain listed as the first ingredient.

What about a warm bowl of mixed grains, topped with berries and crunchy almonds? Or a quick omelet filled with last night’s quinoa? Transform your leftover rice into a breakfast burrito with eggs, beans and cheese. Whatever your morning routine looks like, there’s a whole grain breakfast option that can work for you.Trail Mix bowl pic

Made With Love

Edible gifts are a great way to show you care without spending a lot of money and have some fun making memories with the ones you love. This tasty little gesture of dark chocolate and peanut butter chips, dried cherries and raisins, almonds and walnuts combined with whole grain Cheerios™ or Chex™ makes a great-tasting gift you can feel great about giving.

Make any adjustments to the recipe for your food preferences or food allergies.

Be-Mine Valentine’s Trail Mix
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: Snack Mix
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Chex™ or Cheerios® Cereal
  • ½ cup roasted salted almonds
  • ¼ cup dried cherries (can use any dried fruit)
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup peanut butter chips
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients
  2. Bundle this Be-Mine mix in decorative goodie bags or small canning jars with a homemade card and festive ribbon. Too cute!

Hear From You

What’s your favorite way to give sweets to the sweeties in your life? Share a link to your favorite Valentine’s recipe in the comments below.


 

Disclosure: I was compensated by The General Mills Bell Institute of Health & Nutrition for my time to write this post. Recommendations and opinion are my own.