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Lentil me tell you something…

by fancypants, April 5, 2011

I am a huge fan of nutritionalist Christine Avanti, and for this week’s meal plan, I used several of her recipes. I had never made this one before and definitely had to tweak it to suit my palate. Also, I’ve never made lentils before, and there might be a good reason why since they were completely tasteless to me, even though really easy to make. Alas the kids didn’t fall for me telling them that the lentils were actually “Camouflage Rice”. Go figure.

Let’s be honest here: I don’t really have the time to be wrapping things in banana leaves and making string out of said leaves, so I just skipped that part entirely. I’m sure it gets some great “oohs and aahs” from the crowd, but for my purposes, simplicity is far more impressive. I scattered the leeks on top of and around the fish, and they actually gave it a lovely flavor, although I did have to watch that they didn’t burn.

My biggest issue with the recipe is that the “curry” sauce was incredibly sweet. Also, I’m not too sure that Miss Christine and I have the same idea of what a curry is, because to me, plain old Cumin doth not a curry make. So, I added a good dash of lemon and some salt which tempered it nicely. And to stay true to it being a curry, I added curry powder. Genius, right? Also, I topped the lentils with the curry sauce because they were so tasteless, instead of topping it on the fish, and that turned out to be delicious. Another slight deviation was that I had no ground Cumin so decided to add Cumin seeds into the coconut mixture to roll the fish in – turned out to be texturally great. Darian and our Au Pair Lucie (who, I am proud to say, has shocked her mother back in France by the amount of fish she is happily eating here), both cleaned their plate. And I made two extra pieces for Darian and I to have for lunch tomorrow. Ta da!

Coconut Curry Sea Bass over Red Lentils
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Recipe By: Christine Avanti
Serving Size: 5
Ingredients:

5 3oz sea bass
5 banana leaves or string
1 leek
1/4 teaspoon cumin, ground
1/4 cup coconut flakes
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon agave
1 lb. lentils, dried

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400. Cover a medium size baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray
2. Cut off the edges of the banana leaves so you have long strips to use as ties, otherwise use string.
3. Slice the leeks. In a shallow bowl, combine the cumin and coconut. Roll all sides of the fish in the coconut mixture to lightly coat.
4. Place one piece of fish, some of the leek slices, in a banana leaf. Put 1 tablespoon of coconut milk and a drop of agave on each piece of fish and roll up each fillet.
5. Tie two banana leaf strips or string around each fish fillet, place onto the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes.
6. While the fish is baking, prepare the lentils according to package. While the lentils are cooking, place any extra vegetables, coconut milk, and 1 teaspoon of agave in a medium saucepan, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
7. When the fish flakes easily, place each fillet on top of  1 cup of cooked lentils and top with the coconut curry veggie sauce.

Nutritional Information:
344 calories, 25 grams protein, 42 grams carbs, 9 grams fat