Summer is in full swing. We want to be outdoors enjoying the sun, not slaving over a hot stove. I get it. But salads every night can get boring. That’s why I love this Lemony Baked Cod with Zucchini & Mini Potatoes. Just pop everything into a baking dish and it practically cooks itself. And it’s a delicious way to enjoy summer’s bounty of locally grown zucchini.
This recipe is easy enough for a simple weeknight dinner. You can use lemon juice only (as per the recipe, and I admit one of my time-savers is to use organic lemon juice from a bottle, like this Sicilian one). But when I want a more rustic, colourful presentation, I’ll add in some thin slices of whole lemon before baking. In fact, if I want a really quick meal, I’ll often do just that and skip the capers and dill altogether (as shown in the photo here).
But when you prepare the recipe as written, it is sophisticated enough to serve to guests, especially if you use a mix of colours of mini potatoes, include yellow zucchini (or a mix of yellow and green) and bake it in an attractive casserole dish that you can bring right to your (preferably al fresco) dining table. The combination of olive oil, fish, herbs, capers and zucchini has a sunny Mediterranean vibe and would pair beautifully with a crisp, cool sauvignon blanc or Chablis. 😉
Sign up to my newsletter today to receive the recipe for Lemony Baked Cod with Zucchini & Mini Potatoes. And read on for more about the health benefits of zucchini as well as for a simply refreshing (yet refreshingly simple) dessert suggestion!
Z is for Zucchini
One of the things I encourage my clients to do is increase the diversity of vegetables and fruits in their diet. It’s a great way to cover all the macronutrient bases and enrich your gut microbiome. It also makes your meals more varied and interesting. So I often assign what I call the Eat The Alphabet Challenge. I ask my client to focus on one letter of the alphabet each day and vow to eat 1 fruit or vegetable that begins with that letter. The goal is to cover all 26 letters of the alphabet within one month. By the end of the alphabet, zucchini is definitely on everyone’s menu!
For a low calorie veggie, zucchini (at 17 calories per 1 cup, cooked) is quite nutritious. Particularly so when it comes to vitamin A, where this one cup provides 40% of the reference daily intake (RDI). They are also a good source of vitamin C (although more so when served raw, since cooking zucchini degrades the vitamin C content somewhat). As the highest levels of healthy antioxidant compounds are found in the skin of zucchini, always eat the peel.
Zucchini is water-rich. This helps with hydration on hot summer days. It also helps you feel full, making zucchini a good choice for weight loss. And if you wish to reduce your intake of starchy carbs, you can spiralize them into noodles for a lighter take on pasta. Here is a simple summer dish I like to make with “zoodles”. Toss zucchini noodles (either raw or just lightly sautéed for a few minutes to warm and soften them) with some tuna canned in olive oil, arugula, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil. Sometimes I’ll add a few black olives and/or hot chilis to pump up the flavours further.
Zucchinis abound in summer and there are lots of ways to use them. Try them roasted, grilled, in soups, salads, wraps, ratatouille, in quiches or frittatas. And, yes, even baked into desserts. Zucchini bread, anyone? So enjoy our locally-grown bounty. And remember to incorporate veggies and fruits from A to Y in your diet as well.
Refreshing Peach Sorbet
Like you, I also enjoy the outdoors during summer. And so, as I do each year, I’m taking a holiday from the blog in August. Since there will be no recipe next month, I’m including an extra one this month. This Peach Sorbet is very refreshing, a cinch to make, and a perfect ending after the lemony baked cod.
It has only 3 ingredients: frozen peach slices, water and a little bit of maple syrup (you could also use honey). If you want something a little fancier, a flurry of fresh mint, thyme, tarragon or basil over top takes it to another level.
I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do and I’ll be back on the blog in September!