Light and Lemony 10-Minute Flounder

The following recipe is just for readers of “In Step With Jonny”—it’s an advance preview of our forthcoming book, “The 150 Healthiest 15-Minute Recipes on Earth”by myself and my co-author, chef extraordinaire Jeannette Bessinger. Enjoy!

From Dr. Jonny:

Founder without butter is like a day without sunshine. Okay, maybe I exaggerate. But I’m kind of sick of hearing butter trashed as a “cooking oil”. It’s a perfectly good food, especially when it comes from grass-fed cows and is organic. It’s also a perfectly healthy fat, and cooking with it may even have some advantages over vegetable oil. (I say “may” because I’m being polite and cautious; in my opinion, it has a ton of advantages over vegetable oil, but explaining why would take more pages than you’re likely to want to read in a recipe introduction!) Anyway. Add the rich taste of butter to the light, incredibly low-calorie white fish, season with almonds and lemon, and you’ve got the core of a perfect light, high-protein meal that works in any season.

Tip from Jonny: Chef Jeannette takes no responsibility for the cooking opinions expressed by the resident nutritionist in this duo (me) but for what it’s worth, I think this dish works equally well when cooked in high-quality organic coconut oil (such as Barlean’s brand) or even with a mix of half butter, half coconut oil. And as long as I’m putting my two cents in, why not try sprinkling a few coconut flakes on top of this dish as well? I’m just saying.

Ingredients:

¼ cup fresh basil leaves

4 fresh flounder fillets (4-6 ounces each)

salt and fresh ground black pepper

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup slivered almonds

Stack the basil leaves on top of each other and roll them up together like a cigar. Slice or snip widthwise into thin strips. Set aside.

Lightly season the fillets all over with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat the butter in a Dutch oven or large skillet over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the lemon juice and add the fish and almonds. Cook the fish for 2-3 minutes per side or until just cooked through (flakes with a fork). Sprinkle the basil over all to serve.

Yield: 4 servings

Per serving: 248 calories; 11g fat;  34g protein; 2g carbs; 1g fiber; 196mg sodium

From Chef Jeannette:

To Complete the Meal: Serve with chopped Swiss chard and yellow onion with a teaspoon of lemon zest and a few pinches of salt, steam-sauteed until tender in olive oil.

Variation Tip: For an unusual, folate-rich option, try substituting 3 tablespoons of fresh-squeezed orange juice for the lemon.

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