Colorful, tasty and good for your heart

Aug 30 2010 - 4:10pm

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Roasted fish with vegetables
Roasted fish with vegetables

The average recipe in a cookbook or magazine is scaled to serve six.

That's fine for a family of four to six people. But if your household is just one or two, that means you're either wasting food or eating the same meal several nights in a week.

This recipe for Roasted Fish With Vegetables can be easily adjusted up or down. A lean white fish like orange roughly, snapper or cod is recommended. If the fresh fish doesn't fit your budget, choose frozen fish fillets, which provide the same nutrition.

White fish is mild-flavored, and when paired with a variety of roasted vegetables it offers plenty of nutrition -- including fiber, vitamins and disease-fighting phytochemicals.

For instance, tomatoes contain lycopene, which may be a stronger antioxidant than even beta carotene. The red peppers add lutein and zeaxanthin to the diet, both antioxidants that may prevent cancer, heart disease, macular degeneration and possibly cataracts. Asparagus contains fiber as well as vitamin B6, which is thought to boost the immune system.

The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two fish meals per week to ward off heart disease. A recent study found that eating fish may lower the incidence of irregular heart rhythm in elderly men and women.

Shopping tip: We tested the recipe with orange roughy, but any firm white fish that appeals to you will work.

Cooking tip: To remove tough ends of asparagus, simply bend the stalks until they snap and discard the woody ends.

Roasted Fish With Vegetables

1/2 small onion, cut into quarters

1/2 red pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces

4 small, new potatoes, scrubbed and halved

4 asparagus spears, tough stem ends removed

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, divided

2 (4-ounce) fish fillets, such as orange roughy, snapper or cod

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained

1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place onion, red pepper, zucchini, potatoes and asparagus in resealable zip-top plastic bag. Drizzle 2 tablespoons oil over vegetables and sprinkle with salt, pepper and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder; seal bag and shake to coat vegetables evenly. Arrange onion, red pepper, zucchini and potatoes in 9-by-13-inch baking dish. (Reserve asparagus). Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Brush fish with remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil. Stir vegetables, and move to sides of dish. Place fish fillets in center of dish. Blend tomatoes, remaining garlic powder and basil; pour tomatoes over fish. Arrange asparagus on top of tomatoes. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork and vegetables are crisp-tender. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 344 calories (5 percent from fat), 2 grams total fat (trace saturated fat), 23 milligrams cholesterol, 60 grams carbohydrates, 25 grams protein, 373 milligrams sodium, 5 grams dietary fiber.

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