I finally embrace the ocean state I live in...

I've never been the biggest fan of seafood. Growing up in MN, you can't get it fresh, because no matter what ocean it comes from, it'll have to be shipped to our landlocked state. And when it comes off the ice from the packaging, it gets that gross fishy smell. That's what I've always associated with seafood. "Gross fishy smell." It's as ingrained in my head as "knee high by the 4th of July" for a good corn crop. Just something that's always been true in my world. [And no, I never lived on a farm, I grew up in the suburbs... but that little rhyme is something every MN child grows up knowing. Go figure.]

So, when I moved to Boston 4+ years ago, that idea of seafood still resided in my brain. I couldn't do the seafood thing. Even when it's fresh, to me it still smells fishy because of that lifelong association. Funny, that I should denounce an entire world of regional food here just because of something I never liked as a child - food associations are strong and run deep.

Once I went on this diet, however, meat suddenly had to be really lean. And [newsflash Nina!], fish is a very lean meat. And full of nutritional value. And every site I hit upon on the internet that touts low fat recipes and lean meals always has a bunch of fish recipes.

About a week and a half ago, I finally decided to embrace the seafood side of Boston's cuisine. (Well, at least, the fish part. I'm still not all that keen on other seafood...) I found a recipe for baked white fish with a sauce I can actually eat, and bought myself a cod fillet at Whole Foods - fresh (the frozen stuff is too close to the stuff I'm not too keen on).

And I baked it. [Haha, using a frying pan in the oven - I think I giggled every time I opened the oven - it just looked so odd!]

And it was delicious!!! Satisfying, filling but not stuffing, tasted good. Yum! Apparently I've been missing quite a bit by not partaking in this whole fresh fish part of my wonderful Boston...

The fish recipe (with sauce) came from Dr. Gourmet's website, which is a great resource for recipes that work well for low fat diets and GERD (acid reflux) diets (as well as a bunch of other diets that I miraculously am not on). It calls for halibut, but Whole Foods didn't have any fresh, so I just used another white fish instead.

2 4 oz fillets of cod (or 1 7-8 oz fillet, cut in half - you can save the other one for a different night!)
1/4 tsp salt
spray olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 deg. Place a medium-sized skillet in the oven. [snicker]

While oven heats, rinse fillets in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Place on cutting board skin side up. Cut shallow slits in skin, approx 1/4 inch apart. Sprinkle salt over top.

When oven is hot, spray pan lightly with oil. Place fish in the pan skin side down. Return to oven and cook for about 10-12 minutes.

Serve skin side up with 1.5 teaspoons of basil oil sauce.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

Place olive oil and basil leaves in a food processor (or blender) and process until smooth.

I also roasted up some tri-color carrots and butternut squash that I got at the Copley Farmer's Market in some olive oil and seasoned it all with a touch of salt and thyme, and also used some of my ever-present stash of "Grandma's Grains" with a bit of sugar to round out the meal. Delicious.

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