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Matthew Mead FR170582 AP
Baked haddock with pineapple mint salsa. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Healthy haddock that doesn’t taste healthy


We all know that baked white fish is a fast and healthy way to get dinner on the table, particular during this annual time of dietary vow renewal.

What isn’t always quite so clear is how to prepare that white fish without adding tons of fat and calories or rendering it a tasteless hunk of protein. But it’s actually not all that hard.

It’s all in how you dress it. For me, that means a flavorful, fresh salsa. For this recipe, I created a pineapple-mint salsa that gets tons of flavor from not only its namesake ingredients, but also cilantro, jalapeno, onion and garlic. But if pineapple and mint don’t work for you, this versatile recipe works great with plenty of alternatives.

Substitute an equal amount of just about any fresh fruit — diced apples, mangos, orange segments, plums, even grapes would be delicious. And if you don’t have time to make fresh salsa? Most jarred salsas are a fast and healthy choice (just read the labels and watch for added sugar).

BAKED HADDOCK WITH PINEAPPLE-MINT SALSA

Just in case it isn’t obvious, this kick-butt salsa also is great accompanied by nothing more than a bowl of baked tortilla chips. Or spooned over a baked sweet potato.

Start to finish: 30 minutes. Servings: 4.

1¼ pounds haddock fillets

Olive oil

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

1 pound fresh pineapple flesh, cut into chunks

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

1 medium red onion, quartered

¼ cup fresh mint

¼ cup fresh cilantro

Juice of 1 lime

Hot sauce, to taste

Heat the oven to 400 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then coat it with cooking spray.

Arrange the haddock fillets on the baking sheet, then brush them with a bit of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, then bake for 12 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the pineapple, jalapeno, onion, mint, cilantro and lime juice. Pulse until roughly chopped. Transfer to a bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Adjust heat by adding hot sauce, if desired. Serve the salsa over the haddock.

Nutrition information per serving: 230 calories; 40 calories from fat (17 percent of total calories); 4.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 80 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 13 g sugar; 28 g protein; 340 mg sodium.

J.M. Hirsch is the food editor for The Associated Press. He blogs at www.LunchBoxBlues.com and tweets at www.twitter.com/JM—Hirsch . Email him at jhirsch@ap.org.



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