Healthy Codfish (or Bacalhau Cozido) Dish

by Head Health Nutter on March 4, 2012

In November I blogged about Being Respected vs. Being Liked and I mentioned (at the end) my new part-time job at a local Portuguese Restaurant & Bar, Parada. What I didn’t mention was how delicious and nutritious many of the menu items are – and today I’m sharing one of them with you! 

If you haven’t read 4 Essential Vitamins for Health and Routine by guest blogger, Sandra Goldstein, she lists Omega 3 first. It’s a vital nutrient to maintain health, as well as lower the risk of heart disease and heart attacks. And I’m here to tell you there’s a much tastier way of ingesting it than taking vitamins!

Fish, especially cold water fish like cod, has a good source of blood-thinning omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins B12, B6 and niacin (another B vitamin). These B vitamins are not only great for improving moods but also assists in the synthesis of fatty acids, keeps homocysteine (a dangerous molecule that promotes heart attacks, strokes and osteoporosis) levels low AND lowers cholesterol.

It’s one of the cleanest sources of protein, easily digestible, white and flaky for those who value texture, mild-flavoured AND amazingly low in calories! A 3-oz portion of codfish is only 89 calories compared to white meat chicken at 135 calories of the same size.

Boiled Codfish, or in Portuguese, Bacalhau Cozido, is my new favourite fish! And after interviewing the owner and chef of Parada Restaurant, Jorge Ramos, I found out that it’s a very easy, healthy dish to prepare at home.

About My Codfish Dinner from Parada

As you can see from the picture, you get value for your money at Parada! This is a full portion from the menu (although Jorge substituted the boiled potato with chickpeas and added the boiled egg). I ate half (which was still a big portion for a lady of my size) and saved the other half for the next day.

Jorge tells me that codfish is only available from Canada and Norway in the Northern Atlantic waters. He sources his from Canada’s east coast, where they filet (cut down the middle and gutted) and cure it with sea salt (the old way of preservation before we had fridges and freezers) to prepare it for shipping.

By the way, as a side note, we’re located in Mississauga, Ontario (part of the Greater Toronto Area).

Once Parada receives the cured codfish, which reminded me of a manta ray because of how they filleted it and how the salt dries it up), it takes 48 hours to prep it for cooking. First the sides (or the belly part) are cut off and the rest of the fish is cut into Parada-portion-sized fillets (see above picture).

All the pieces are then thrown into water, which is refreshed on a daily basis, for two days so that most of the salt is washed off and the meat re-hydrated.

How to Prepare My Bacalhau Cozido Dinner

After sourcing your codfish fillets, the most cost-effective for us regular consumers would be to buy it frozen at the supermarket, the rest is easy:

Thaw out your fish; rinse your canned chickpeas (or soaked dried chickpeas); cut up some broccoli and rapini; and throw it all (including the egg but except the onions and olive oil) in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes.

Plate the food, add the onions on top of the codfish and drizzle olive oil over the fish. I like to drizzle the olive oil on the veggies, too, as well as some balsamic vinegar! Add sea salt and pepper to taste.

A special thanks goes out to Jorge Ramos of Parada Restaurant. Firstly for preparing me such a delicious, nutritious meal and, secondly, for taking the time to show and tell me about this dish so all of you can benefit from a Parada meal without leaving the comfort of your homes! 

How do you like this dish for a super easy, one-pot meal that has the added benefits of being tasty AND healthy? 

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