In like a Lion, Out like a Fishstick

That's what they say. In like a lion, out like a fishstick. Oh, wait. No, that's not the saying. In like a lion, out like a lamb. Oh well, I made fishsticks instead of lambsticks to ring in the month of March. Fish stick and brussels sprouts, naturally.

Many of my friends hate me during the Lenten season, as I tend to get a bit extreme. Three years ago, I gave up meat. That lasted for two years instead of 40 days. You see, a bit extreme. This year, my sis and I gave up bread and pasta. This truly is a sacrifice for me. I could eat a whole baguette in one sitting... with a bowl of pasta and a glass of wine. But my friends start to hate me when I ask to go to restaurants that don't focus on bread or pasta. Do those even exist?! Well, I'm managing just fine. Even noticing that little pooch on my stomach melting away. 

Let's look at the bright side of things. This gives me a new challenge in the kitchen. Focusing on filling up without loading up on carbs. It's a bit easier than I thought it would be. Making lean proteins, whole grains, veggies and nuts the center of the meal is the approach I'm taking. The first runner up, fish sticks and roasted garlic brussels sprouts. Yea yea, I know the fish is "breaded" but I'm making my own rules. The way I look at it, I'm not eating that whole loaf of bread I usually do. Wish me luck. I haven't cheated yet!

Fish Sticks with Lemon Caper Dipping Sauce
(makes 1-2 servings)

1/2 pound cod (fileted and skin removed)
2 cups breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1 tsp hot smoky paprika
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp dried dill
salt and pepper
olive oil

For the dipping sauce:
3 tbsp mayo
1 tbsp capers with brine
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp shallots (minced)
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Start by prepping your assembly line for breading the fish. One bowl with the cracked egg and a bit of water, scrambled around. One plate with the breadcrumbs, paprika, dill, coriander and salt and pepper combined. Clean your fish up and give each side of the fish a dusting of salt and pepper. Slice the fish up into "fishsticks". 

Move the pieces of fish through the assembly line, coat in egg wash. Coat in bread crumbs. Shake off excess. Set on a foil lined baking sheet until ready to cook. Put in the oven cook for 10 minutes. While the fish is in the oven, heat a large pan with some olive oil, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan, over medium high heat. Remove from oven and finish off in a pan with olive oil to crisp up the crust. Each side only takes about 1 minute. Remove from the pan and set on a paper towel to soak up excess oil. Cooking it this way allows the fish to cook through evenly, and you still get a crispy crust!

For the dipping sauce, mix together mayo, capers, lemon juice, shallots and salt and pepper. Serve with the piping hot fish sticks!

Roasted Garlic Brussels Sprouts

1 lb brussels sprouts (trimmed and quartered)
3 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic (peeled and crushed)
1 tbsp honey
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Make sure to coat everything in olive oil. Dump the brussels sprouts onto a foil lined baking sheet and put in the oven to bake.

Let cook for about 20 minutes, moving the sprouts around a couple of times to make sure nothing is burning. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 seconds and then shove them in your mouth as fast as possible. You can make these and eat by themselves, or you could add them to any veggie dish. We made them twice this weekend. Once alone with fishsticks, and then another time we added them to a veggie couscous dish. Delicious no matter how they are enjoyed.

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