Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Pan-Roasted Cod with Bell Pepper, Artichokes, and Tomato and a Sun Basket #Giveaway

When the folks at Sun Basket contacted me and asked if I wanted to try their healthy meal kit service, I said "sure." Right now, I'm only cooking sporadically, so I figured that having pre-measured and pre-planned meals showing up at my door would be a good idea.

All the meals at Sun Basket are categorized for different types of diets - vegetarian, paleo, gluten free, diary free, and soy free. Each week has different selections.

I chose pan-roasted Pacific cod with bell pepper, artichokes, and tomato, which was gluten-free and paleo; turkey burgers with apple-date chutney and spiced rice which was gluten free; and roasted cauliflower gratin with tomato, goat cheese, and arugula, which was vegetarian and gluten free.

My favorite of the three was the cod, and I'm including the recipe here. The turkey burger was interesting. It included grated zucchini in the burger to make it more moist - I thought that was a great idea, and I'll probably do that in the future if I make my own turkey burgers. The apple-date chutney was the perfect companion for it

Cod dinner ingredients
While I liked the flavor of the rice combo, my one quibble was that I thought it would have looked better on the plate if it had been more colorful instead of having three brownish items on the plate. I added some cherry tomatoes to brighten mine up - a pretty easy fix that anyone could do.

The cauliflower gratin was good, but I probably wouldn't make it the same way a second time. There was nothing wrong with it, but just not my favorite way of preparing cauliflower. I'm sure others would love it.

Cauliflower dinner ingredients.
But here's the thing. You can always change the recipes around, if you don't like some part of it. For example, the cauliflower recipe came with arugula to be made into a salad. I'm not fond of arugula, so I gave it to a friend, used some red leaf lettuce to make a salad, and made the dressing from the kit for my salad. Easy peasy.

The meal kits come with a UPS return label so you can return the box and freezer packs to be re-used, so you don't have to worry about properly recycling everything. I really liked that. I'm fine with recycling cardboard, but there's no good way to recycle freezer packs.

Sun Basket box.
If you're looking for healthy and special-diet meal kit options, take a look at Sun Basket. All the ingredients were high quality, they were packed well, and the instructions were good. There are lots of different meal options to choose from each week, so you should be able to find something you like!

If you want to give Sun Basket a try, you can get $30 off your first order just for my readers. See, I like you!

And, one lucky winner can try Sun Basket for FREE. The giveaway widget is after the recipe.

Pan-Roasted Pacific Cod with Bell Pepper, Artichokes, and Tomato
Recipe courtesy of Sun Basket

Since the ingredients were pre-measured, there aren't amounts for all items in the recipe; I estimated the amounts (in parenthesis) or just use your own judgement about how much you like)

2 Pacific cod filets (2 servings)
1 large or 2 small shallots
2 garlic cloves
Red chard (1 bunch)
1 red bell pepper
Artichoke hearts (These weren't fresh; use canned or frozen/thawed. About 1/3 cup, but I'd use more next time since I like artichokes.)
1/4 teaspoon aleppo pepper, optional
Fresh oregano (one sprig is enough)
Diced San Marzano tomatoes (I'd guess about a cup)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Heat the oven to 200 degrees.

Pat the cod filets dry and season on both sides with salt and pepper.

In a nonstick frying pan on medium heat, warm 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil until hot but not smoking. Cook the cod until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the cod to a sheet pan and keep it warm in the oven while you prepare the rest.

While the cod is cooking, you can prep the vegetables.

Peel and chop the shallots. Chop the garlic. Strip the chard leaves off the stems. Rinse and chop the leaves and stems, keeping them separate. Cut the bell pepper into 1-inch pieces. Discard the seeds and stem.

Rinse the artichoke hearts. Chop the oregano leaves.

In the same pan used to cook the fish, add more oil if the pan seems dry. Warm over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the shallots, garlic, chard stems, bell pepper, and aleppo pepper, if you're using it.

Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots and chard are just tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste and cook until slightly caramelized, about 1 minute. Add the artichoke hearts, tomatoes, oregano, and chard leaves. Season with salt and pepper.

Add 1/2 cup water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has been reduced by half, about 5 minutes longer.

Transfer the braised vegetables to individual bowl. Top with the fish and serve.

Sun Basket provided the meal kits to me at no cost; they also are providing the product to the winner and they also supplied the giveaway widget. Giveaway is now over.