Saturday, February 25, 2012

Recipe: Cod En Cartoccio

There are moments in life when you take a closer look at those around you and decide to do whatever it is to stay in the game of life.

With three children under the age of eight and inching ever so closer towards my 50th birthday (48 and counting), today that moment arrived!

Recently diagnosed with high blood pressure, a genetic predisposition towards heart disease and a professional lifestyle that does not favor the ole ticker, I am placing greater emphasis on decreasing my sodium intake. Lord knows I already get plenty of exercise chasing the kiddos around!

We have been informed by the medical world for years that excess salt raises blood pressure and is a major contributor to heart disease. No secret here! But do you know the numbers?

It has been determined that 500mg/day of sodium (not to exceed 2300 mg.) is sufficient for our bodies to properly function. If you are 40 yrs. or older however, with high blood pressure, than the magical number is reduced to 1500 mg. Oh, lucky me!

In the crazy fast paced world we live in, grabbing a burger on the run or eating a lunch meat sandwich at work, accounts for 75% of our sodium intake. Processed foods increases our sodium intake by as much as 10x the daily suggested recommendation. Ramen noodle soup for example weighs in at a whopping 1800mg. No wonder the kids gain weight when they leave home!

 Cook This NOT That, by David Zinczenco and  Matt Goulding, offers up hundreds of recipes that not only effect your waistline but your pocketbook as well. Today's featured recipe of Halibut in A Bag (en cartoccio) is one such recipe. Saving calories, fat and money has never been easier! Check out their Eat This, Not That! series at

The only down side to the meal was the paltry 300 calories. The flavors were amazing and very Mediterranean but I was left hungering for more.

To fill the void, I polished off the opened bottle of Zin and microwaved a bag of movie theatre popcorn with extra butter.

Oh well...It's a start!

Ingredients: 4 - 5oz. fillets of cod*, 1 - 8oz. jar artichoke hearts (drained), 2 C. cherry tomatoes, 4 T. kalamata olives (halved), 1 Medium fennel bulb (quartered)*, 2 lemons (thinly sliced), 1T. EVOO, 1/2 C. dry white wine*, ground black pepper to taste.

*I substituted cod "just for the halibut". I also subbed the dry white wine with a 2010 Mondavi White Zin. The fennel bulbs were subbed with onions as suggested. Complimenting the dish, I served a side of roasted asparagus spears.


(1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

(2) Take 4 large sheets of parchment paper, place a fillet of cod in the center of each and top with the artichokes, tomatoes, olives, onions, and lemon slices. Drizzle with EVOO and wine. Season with pepper. Fold paper tighly to create a secure pouch.

(3) Place the pouches on a large baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Remove and serve immediately with a side of roasted asparagus.

**Visit my magazine blog for another GREAT fish dish at...

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