With its generous servings of fruits, vegetables, non-animal fats and fish, the Mediterranean Diet has proven health benefits. This is particularly the case for runners, who need healthy fats to lubricate their joints and generous amounts of vitamins and minerals to replenish their bodies after long workouts.
The fish in this recipe will give you a solid dose of protein and healthy fats without the saturated fat found in meat and poultry. The fiber- and vitamin-rich combination of vegetables, fruits and herbs will help you feel full and satisfied. In addition, there are also three healthful spices: saffron, sweet paprika and hot paprika. Studies suggest that saffron may support eyesight, improve cognitive processing and memory, and could also help alleviate depression. Paprika is loaded with vitamin C, anti-inflammatory capsaicin and enzymes that aid with digestion.
If you can't find the recommended sea bass, you can also use halibut, snapper or cod. We recommend serving the dish with whole wheat couscous.
Moroccan Seafood Stew
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cored and cut into ½ inch strips
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper cored and cut into half inch strips
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp saffron threads, crushed in the palm of your hand
- 1½ tsp sweet paprika
- ¼ teaspoon hot paprika (optional)
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- One 14.5- to 15-oz/415- to 430-g can chopped tomatoes, with their juice
- ¼ cup/60 ml fresh orange juice
- 2 lb/910 g sea bass fillets
- ¼ cup/15g finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- ¼ cup/15 g finely chopped fresh cilantro
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 naval orange, thinly sliced, for garnish
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, and sauté the onion, bell peppers, garlic, saffron, sweet paprika, hot paprika (if using) and ginger for three minutes, or until the onion begins to soften. Add the tomatoes and sauté for another two minutes, to blend the flavors. Transfer the mixture to the insert of a 5- to 7-quart/4.5- to 6.5-liter slow cooker and stir in the orange juice. Place the sea bass on top of the tomato mixture, and spoon some of the mixture over the fish. Cover and cook for two hours on high, or 3 to 4 hours on low. At the end of the cooking time, the sea bass should be opaque in the center.
Using a fish spatula, carefully lift the fish out of the slow cooker, transfer to a serving platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Skim off any excess fat from the sauce, stir in the parsley and cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Spoon some of the sauce over the fish, and garnish the platter with the orange slices. Serve immediately, passing the remaining sauce on the side.
This recipe is courtesy of The Mediterranean Slow Cooker by Diane Phillips.