Simply cook and enjoy!

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FOODWISE BY Anne Marie Armstrong

Miso-Glazed Cod with Brown Rice Edamame Pilaf

Every March in Canada is Nutrition Month, and March 19 marks Dietitian Day. It is a time to focus on the eating habits of Canadians and to highlight how registered dietitians can assist individuals and families in their pursuit of better health. This year the theme of Nutrition Month is Simply Cook and Enjoy!The intent is to inspire Canadians to get back in to the kitchen and cook their own food from fresh ingredients. 

There is some concern that cooking skills amongst Canadians are getting lost and that, as a result, many people are relying more on prepared foods and take-out meals. Cooking skills involve such things as the ability to plan meals, follow a recipe and make substitutions as necessary, chopping food, and planning for the use of leftovers. It is well known that a diet high in processed food and restaurant meals can cause health consequences. Having basic cooking skills translates into confidence to prepare meals at home. Cooking meals from “scratch” can lead to a higher intake of fruit, vegetables and whole grains. 

Of special interest are the cooking skills of the next generation. Children and young adults require someone to teach them basic cooking skills so they can be successful in the kitchen. If you already cook and consume most of your meals at home, I applaud you!  Share these skills! You may already understand that cooking skills come with practice. 

You don’t have to be a chef to prepare good, healthy food. For those of you who may need some further inspiration, consider these tips from registered dietitians:

– Be prepared! Read the recipe and prepare ingredients beforeyou start cooking.

– Cooking dinner is easy with satisfying one-pot meals such as skillet fajitas or a slow cooker chili. One pot also means less clean-up!

– When you are crunched for time, keep it simple. Healthy meals can take less time than takeout. Some examples are sandwiches made with whole grain bread and served with a side of salad or raw vegetables; stir fries with shrimp or tofu (or leftover chicken or meat); quesadillas made with black beans, peppers, salsa and cheese; or omelets.

– Take a kitchen shortcut with healthier convenience foods, such as pre-cut or frozen vegetables or frozen fish fillets.

– A few basic kitchen tools can make cooking at home easier. Some basic tools to consider are sharp knives including a paring knife, a grater, a hand-held immersion blender (great for making pureed soups and smoothies), a steamer basket, and a food thermometer.

– Make your food dollars go further by using more plant-based protein in your diet. Mix beans with ground beef for tacos or pasta sauce. Use chickpeas to make a delicious curry.

– Use your kitchen as a classroom! If you have young children in your household get them to help. They can measure ingredients and stir, set the table or help clean up.

– If you are eating alone, consider breakfast for supper. French toast with yogurt and fruit salad or an egg burrito are simple and satisfying meals.

– Don’t like salad? Get the benefits of vegetables in other ways. Blend a handful of kale or spinach into a fruit smoothie, mash cooked cauliflower into mashed potatoes, or shred carrots or zucchini into pasta sauce.


The recipe for this week is a miso-glazed cod. It uses frozen fish and frozen vegetables, two shortcuts to a healthy meal!  Consider omitting the ¼ tsp. of salt (indicated to add to the water when cooking the rice) to lower the sodium of this dish. Happy cooking!

Miso-Glazed Cod with Brown Rice Edamame Pilaf


1/2 cup (125 mL)  Seasoned Rice Vinegar

1/4 cup (50 mL)  granulated sugar

1  clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup (50 mL)  white miso paste

1 pkg (280 g)  PC Sustainably Sourced Wild Black Cod, thawed

1/2 cup (125 mL)  PC Organics Long Grain Brown Rice

1/4 tsp (1 mL)  salt

1/4 cup (50 mL) PC Edamame

1 tsp (5 mL) PC Pure Sesame Oil

2 tsp (10 mL)  toasted sesame seeds (optional)

1 tbsp (15 mL)  canola oil


In small saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar and garlic. Bring to a boil. Whisk in miso paste. Return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer uncovered for 10 minutes or until mixture coats back of spoon thickly. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Set aside 2 tbsp (25 mL) of cooled miso mixture; cover but do not refrigerate. Place cod in shallow glass baking dish and pour remaining miso mixture over it. Cover dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Rinse rice with cold water. In small saucepan, bring rice, salt and 1 cup (250 mL) water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for approximately 30 - 40 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Add edamame. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes without removing lid. Stir in sesame oil and 1 tsp (5 mL) of the sesame seeds (if using). In nonstick frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. Remove cod from marinade, discarding marinade left in dish. Brush off excess marinade. Place fillets in pan, skin side up; cook for 3 minutes. Turn fillets; cook another 4 to 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily when prodded with a fork. Place half of brown rice edamame pilaf on each of two plates and top with a cod fillet. Drizzle each plate with half of the reserved marinade. Sprinkle with remaining sesame seeds, infusing. Serve immediately.

Serves 2

Nutrition information per serving: 560 calories, fat 21 g, sodium 970 mg, carbohydrate 59 g, fibre 5 g, protein 25 g 

Recipe source:


Anne Marie Armstrong, BscAHN, PDt is a registered dietitian with Atlantic Superstores in Nova Scotia. Have a nutrition question?  Contact me by calling 1-888-225-5295 ext. 632157 or through email at

Organizations: PC Pure Sesame Oil

Geographic location: Canada, Nova Scotia

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