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Spicy Mexican Fish Fillets with Rice and Beans

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Some friends recently visited and not only graced us with their brilliant company but made fish tacos and sides that sent us over the moon! It inspired me to replicate the meal but with precious little time on a weeknight, I decided to make some short cuts and also adapt the meal into a gluten-free and diabetes friendly version. The dinner was well received – my family says that this should become a once-a-week staple. That’s high praise!

Note: If you’re trying to limit your rice intake, try Maria Ruiz’s recipe for Cauliflower “Rice,” with beans for a lower-carb but high protein option.

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

Rice and beans, when eaten in moderation and as part of a meal with the fish and a salad, can be diabetes friendly. With fiber as part of the total carbohydrate content, the average diabetic adhering to the usual recommendation of 45-60 grams carbohydrate per meal will be well within the parameters.

If you eat meat, it’s important to have variety and include fish in your repertoire of entrees. It is generally lower in fats, calories and cholesterol than beef or chicken, and is a good source of protein, selenium, vitamin D and B-12. Fattier fish like salmon and mackerel are loaded with good for you Omega-3s. As with all foods, moderation is key as fish can also harbor higher concentrations of mercury and arsenic than land-based animals. Sourcing fish from responsible sources is one way to minimize this issue.

By Karen Tayeh, Nutritionist
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Spicy Mexican Fish Fillets with Rice and Beans

  • Prep Time:12 mins
  • Cook Time:30 mins
  • Servings: 4

Ingredients

1 cup cooked brown rice

1 ¼ pounds bass (can also use other white fish like cod or flounder, filleted)

good quality olive oil spray

Spice mixture of:

  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ medium onion (chopped)

1 15-ounce can black beans (drained and rinsed well)

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon coriander

½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (chopped, optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook rice according to package directions (leftover rice works just as well), set one cup aside and let cool slightly.
  2. While rice is cooking, preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Rinse and pat fish fillets dry, place on a lined baking sheet.
  4. Lightly spray fish with olive oil and cover with all of the spice mixture.
  5. Bake for approximately 11 minutes, then broil on high for an additional 1-2 minutes to lightly brown the top of the fish. Keep an eye on fish as some broilers may be hotter than others.
  6. While fish is in the oven, heat olive oil in a large pan on medium.
  7. Add onions and saute for 3-5 minutes.
  8. Add cooked rice and heat through, 2-3 minutes.
  9. Add beans, cumin, coriander and Worcestershire sauce and continue to cook for another 5-8 minutes, mixing all ingredients well.
  10. Sprinkle fish and rice with juice from lime and top with cilantro.

 

Suggested pairings:

If time allows, serve with a quick homemade guacamole by mashing avocado, adding a pinch of salt and pepper and lots of lime juice.

**What are your favorite pairings for fish? Share in the comment section below!**

Cook rice according to package directions (leftover rice works just as well), set one cup aside and let cool slightly. While rice is cooking, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Rinse and pat fish fillets dry, place on a lined baking sheet. Lightly spray fish with olive oil and cover with all of the spice mixture. Bake for approximately 11 minutes, then broil on high for an additional 1-2 minutes to lightly brown the top of the fish. Keep an eye on fish as some broilers may be hotter than others. While fish is in the oven, heat olive oil in a large pan on medium. Add onions and saute for 3-5 minutes. Add cooked rice and heat through, 2-3 minutes. Add beans, cumin, coriander and Worcestershire sauce and continue to cook for another 5-8 minutes, mixing all ingredients well. Sprinkle fish and rice with juice from lime and top with cilantro.   Suggested pairings: If time allows, serve with a quick homemade guacamole by mashing avocado, adding a pinch of salt and pepper and lots of lime juice. **What are your favorite pairings for fish? Share in the comment section below!**

Nutrition Information

For the Fish, Per Serving:  Calories: 189; Total Fat: 9g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 99mg; Sodium: 243mg; Potassium: 23mg; Carbohydrate: 1g; Fiber: 0g; Sugar: 0g; Protein: 28g

 

For the Rice and Beans, Per Serving:  Calories: 173; Total Fat: 4g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 415mg; Potassium: 48mg; Carbohydrate: 30g; Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 8g

Nutrition Bonus:   Iron: 12%

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Karen Tayeh Health Expert
Growing up, my mom or dad made breakfast everyday for my three siblings and me, which usually consisted of rice, eggs and meat. Dinner was usually something simple but yummy like chicken adobo, a side of vegetables and of course more rice. Everything they made was so fragrant, tempting and delicious! When I had my own family, it came naturally that I would cook most meals and introduce them to rice as a staple. I have tweaked some things though, like substituting brown rice for white, using organic and humanely produced meats as opposed to highly processed varieties (and eating meat less often), and incorporating vegetables, beans and fruit into the breakfast rotation.

I have had the good fortune of being able to stay at home while raising my kids but since they weren’t going to stay young forever, I decided to do something with my lifelong interest in food and wellness. Through Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City, I will shortly be earning a Master’s in Nutrition and Public Health as well as qualify to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Very shortly! Of interest to me is helping others maximize personal health and make smart AND satisfying food choices.

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