There was a time when I couldn’t bear the thought of eating one more piece of white fish. I’d come several weeks of contest prep and cod had been a big (and unpleasant) part of my diet. The very thought of eating it voluntarily during the off-season gave me full-body shudders.
But I actually like white fish, especially cod. So after a few months of therapeutic chicken and turkey meals, I started to overcome my codfish PTSD and think about eating it again. And then, after a weekend of vacation eating and drinking following my last show (the 2016 NPC USAs), I was ready for a little leanness.
Cod is terrific because it’s cheap, wild-caught (unlike tilapia, which is mostly farmed), and the flavor is extremely mild. Cod is a terrific “gateway” fish for those who don’t like strongly flavored fish. You can serve this to your whole family and most likely, they’ll eat it (a bonus during contest prep). The recipe below makes 3 servings, but this is super scalable–make fewer or more servings depending on how many you’re feeding or how many meals you’re prepping. I prep up to 3 meals at a time.
Cod with Tomatoes, Artichoke Hearts, and Olives
Yield: 3 servings
I serve this with jasmine rice (because, macros). It’s also great served over polenta or pasta or with crusty Italian bread.
- 3 (four-ounce) cod filets
- Seasoning blend of choice
- 3 Campari tomatoes (225 g), diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons white wine (optional)
- 6 Queen olives, sliced
- 6 artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (I use oil-packed)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick pan spray. Place cod (thawed or frozen) on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with seasoning of your choice (I like this one by Flavor God) or plain kosher salt and black pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes (bake 5 minutes longer if using frozen fish), or until fish flakes easily with a fork. (Pro tip: Don’t overcook your fish, especially if you’re prepping meals in advance and will be reheating that fish.)
- While the fish is baking, heat a large skillet over medium heat and spray with nonstick pan spray. Add tomatoes and fresh garlic, season to taste with salt and pepper. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add wine, stir, and return to simmer.
- When wine has almost evaporated (about 5 minutes), add sliced olives and chopped artichoke hearts. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Remove from heat and keep warm.
- When fish is cooked, place on plate (or in meal-prep containers) and divide tomato mixture evenly between the three portions of fish, spooning overtop.
- Serve with rice, pasta, or polenta.
Macros per serving (rice not included): 21g protein/3g fat/6g carbs/155 cals.