Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Seared Mahi-Mahi with Edamame Succotash

Lent is seriously flying by, and it's only another two weeks until Easter. For the past two years, about this time, I have some decisions to make. Am I really going to go back to eating meat as cavalierly as I was before Lent? After educating myself by reading books and watching movies like Food, Inc. can I really pretend like my diet doesn't affect other creatures? But could I really never eat prosciutto or chicken enchiladas or a steak ever again? And then I read this great article in the April 2010 issue of Cooking Light called "Rethinking Protein" (which doesn't appear to be available online), and it cemented the direction in which I was leaning.

After Easter, the plan is to continue to eat similarly to the way I have been eating, getting my protein predominantly from plant and sustainable fish sources. We will only buy enough meat to afford to be able to buy sustainable and ethical meat. At this point, I've done too much theological reading and thinking to pretend that God is not present in all of God's creation, including the animals that we eat, and our household needs to do a better job of recognizing that. I want to move towards a more American Indian model where I am cognizant and thankful of an animal that has given its life for me to eat it. But as someone who enjoys food, eating at restaurants, and entertaining friends, I cannot, at this time, imagine a life without the flavor that meat gives. So this is our middle-ground for the time-being.

And honestly, if I have to keep eating meals like this delicious seared mahi-mahi, I am not going to complain very much at all. The part that took the longest was roasting the red pepper, which you could do over the weekend and throw this together in about 15 minutes. The smoky, sweet flavor of the red pepper and the sweetness of the corn was delicious with the acid of the lime juice. I had seen this recipe a while ago and just never had all of the ingredients on hand, but I am so glad I finally made it!

Seared Mahi-Mahi with Edamame Succotash
source: Cooking Light via Erin's Food Files


1 medium red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (I used about 1/2 tsp dried)
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice (about 1/2 a lime)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/3 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame, thawed

1 teaspoon olive oil
Cooking spray
4 (6 oz) mahi-mahi fillets, or other firm white fish
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat broiler

To prepare succotash, cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin side up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel & finely chop. Combine pepper, onions, and next 7 ingredients (through garlic), tossing to combine.

Combine corn and beans in a small microwave-safe bowl; cover with water. Microwave on HIGH 2 minutes; drain. Add corn mixture to bell pepper mixture; toss to combine.

To prepare mahi-mahi, heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large nonstick skilled coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Sprinkle both sides of fish with the salt and black pepper. Add fish to pan. Cook 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with fork. Serve with succotash.

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 379
Fat: 9.4 g (sat 1.5 g, mono 5.5 g, poly 1.6 g)
Protein: 35.8 g
Carbohydrate: 41.2 g
Fiber: 8 g


ashupe said...

I really appreciate this post. I'm curious, though, about the fish, since they are also living things. I'm sure we've talked about how fish give me the creeps (they're so old!), but do you think of them differently from animals? I'm not arguing one way or the other, I'm just interested in your opinion.

KMAYS said...

I guess it's not that I don't view fish as living things (though sea creatures like mussels are getting close to vegetable status in my mind), but that fish (and especially sustainably-sourced fish) already have a built-in price cap. That stuff isn't cheap the way chicken or ground beef is. And for me at this point, it's not about not ever eating meat because I'm eating an animal but making sure that that creature had a life and ethical death.

On a practical level, it would be extremely difficult to eat at many restaurants here if I wasn't at least flexible with regard to fish.

Kelsey said...

This recipe looks really tasty. Thank you, also, for sharing your thoughts about theology and diet. I'm finding it a very interesting line of thinking.

ErinsFoodFiles said...

Very thoughtful and informative post.

And as for the food... I was actually just thinking of this dish the other day, and how I needed to make it again. YUM!

Evelyn said...

I became a vegetarian in college for what I now view as somewhat simplistic environmental reasons. If I were just now thinking about the ethical implications of my diet, I would probably take the path you are taking. I have thought about reintroducing a small amount of meat into my diet, especially at restaurants, but I am so happy with my overall health and well-being, which I attribute in part to my diet, that I am reluctant to change.

Interestingly, I started out eating a lot of fish and have gradually transitioned to a nearly fish-free lifestyle, in part because I am confused and skeptical about what kinds of fish are sustainably raised and whether farmed or wild fish are really better. I think it takes more effort to do the research to figure out what meat and seafood is ethical and sustainable than just eliminate it, so kudos to you for doing the work while I take the easy way out!

Thank you for a thought-provoking post and for letting me hijack your comments section with my own personal ramblings.

Colleen said...

I don't have any wise words in regards to fish/meat, etc. but this looks delicious and I can't wait to make it this summer :)