CATHI LITZENBERGER: Get your five a day


I was perusing through the Mayo Clinic cookbook the other day and although I thought I’ve been eating well I  realized that I certainly do not get five servings of fruit on a daily basis, nor do I eat the minimum of two servings of fish per week, things which are highly recommended by this institute.

One fruit serving is measured at a half cup (half an apple for instance) and I realized that even though we live in an area abundant with fruit, I probably have only been eating one or two servings a day, at most.

There are many ways to increase fruits into our diets; we can make fruit shakes for breakfast or snacks, use fruits in our entrées, for both colour and taste, and we can eat fruits fresh anytime during the day, and especially for desserts.

For me, eating more fish or seafood is a challenge, because I’m the only one who eats it here. Well OK, that’s my excuse, but of course I can add it to my lunches or make two entrées (one fish, for myself) at suppertime and I’m going to make a concerted effort to improve my consumption of fish because I really enjoy it and it’s so good for the body.

Today I’ve included two recipes from the Mayo Clinic cookbook. The first is a mixture of fresh berries (or fruit) with a wonderful ginger sauce. The second recipe is a favourite for everyone who has tasted this Mahi Mahi with its macadamia crust. Enjoy.

Mixed Fresh Berries with Ginger Sauce

For the Sauce:

4 cups strawberries, hulled and halved

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

3 tbsp. chopped crystallized ginger

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups blackberries

1 cup raspberries

1 cup fresh red currants

Fresh mint leaves for garnish

To make the sauce, in a blender or food processor, combine the strawberries, orange juice, ginger and vanilla. Process just until blended. Pass the purée through a fine-mesh sieve placed over a small bowl, pressing on the solids with a spatula or the back of a wooden spoon to extract all the juice.

In a large bowl, toss together the blackberries, raspberries and currants, mixing well. Transfer to a serving bowl or individual bowls. Spoon the ginger sauce over the berries and garnish with the mint. Serve immediately. Serves six.

Note: The blackberry and raspberry amounts are interchangeable. This sauce is also nice spooned onto angel food cake or fresh melon. Also note, that if you can’t find red currants, use peach slices or strawberries.

Mahi Mahi with Macadamia Nut Crust

1/4 cup fresh whole-grain bread crumbs

3 tbsp. macadamia nuts, finely chopped

1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup nonfat milk

4 Mahi Mahi fillets, each 5 oz. and about 1-inch thick

1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 450 F (230 C). Place a small wire rack in a shallow nonstick baking pan. On a plate, stir together the bread crumbs, nuts, parsley, lemon zest and 1/4 tsp. of the salt.

Pour the milk into a shallow dish. Dip each fillet in the milk and then dredge in the nut mixture, coating completely and pressing lightly so the mixture adheres well. Place the fillets on the baking rack in the nonstick pan, making sure they do not touch. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining salt and the pepper.

Bake until the fish is opaque when tested with the tip of a knife and the crust is a golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer to warmed individual plates and serve immediately. Serves four.

Cathi Litzenberger has been The Morning Star’s food columnist for more than 10 years.