Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Check Up and Pan Fried Trout

I had a check up today with my cardiologist.

No, I have never had a heart attack. Or a stroke. And my heart is healthy and happy residing in my chest.

Four years ago my family physician became concerned about a slight elevation in my blood pressure and an audible 'extra beat' in my heart. Because of a family history (my dad and his dad before him) of heart disease she sent me to a heart specialist for a check up.

Dr. F, my cardiologist, is a very thorough doctor. He ordered a stress test and echo and blood tests and ultrasound of my heart. He poked and probed and asked many, many questions. He had me meet with his in house dietitian and also enrolled me in a long term study of people who:
1. have a family history of heart disease
2. do not currently have heart disease
3. are genetically predisposed for heart disease (yes, there is a blood test that can determine your genetic predisposition to heart disease and stroke)

The purpose of the group study is to determine if early intervention through diet and exercise and screening can prevent heart disease and/or stroke.

I had a stress / echogram this morning as part of my yearly exam and am happy to report that after four years, I am STILL healthy and showing no signs of heart problems. In fact, my heart is HEALTHIER today than it appeared to be on the echo four years ago. My blood pressure is excellent - in fact, just a tad low which we will discuss during my next visit.

I believe, truly believe, that adapting a local, seasonal, organic (where possible) diet rich in fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, omega rich fish and grass-fed, free range animal products has contributed to a clean bill of health.

What do you think? What do you do to contribute to your overall wellness on a daily basis?

Pan Fried Brook Trout: (2 servings)

Sustainable, economical and locally caught rainbow brook trout, what could be better?

2 fresh trout fillets
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup corn meal
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
olive oil spray (or other spray type oil)*
1 lemon, quartered

Rinse and pat dry your trout fillets. Lay fillets out on your work surface, skin side down. Run your finger down each side of the fillets feeling for any bones. Using a needle nose pliers (I keep one in my kitchen drawer just for fish) pull out any bones you may feel.

Mix flour, cornmeal, dill and a sprinkle of salt and pepper in a shallow pan. Spray MEAT side of fish (not skin side) with olive oil. Lay meat side down in flour/cornmeal mixture, pressing down to adhere flour to meat.

This is what your fillets will look like once you have them coated (meat side only)

Heat butter and olive oil in a pan, preferably cast iron until very hot, add trout coating side down and cook over medium high heat for about 4 to 5 minutes or until fish releases easily and coating is crisp.

Turn and continue to cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Serve meat side up with lots of fresh lemon wedges. The tender fish meat will pull right off the skin.

A Cook's Notes: I served the trout fillets with a simple salad of ripe tomatoes, basil, olives and fresh mozzarella cheese with a splash of balsamic vinegar.

*I bought a sprayer (called a Misto) and fill it with whatever type of oil I want to use. A few pumps and voila! no more store bought cans of spray oil. Economical, reusable and able to use a variety of oils.


  1. I must say that your photography makes me want things I thought I didn't care much for. I know I should eat more seafood and have been trying to eat more healthy. Thanks for the suggestion.

  2. Odie - thank you for the photography complement. Now go eat some fish!

  3. I love trout, and would eat more seafood in a "heartbeat"... :)

  4. I absolutely believe that a an organic, sustainable diet increases you chance for a healthy life. I love how you do it with so much panache.

  5. Glad that you got a good check up. And that trout and salad look fab! I love seafood, salads, veggies, and fruits and eat all of these everyday. And I'm a firm believer in exercise, to maintain one's health, too.

  6. Good food definitely leads to a healthy heart :0)

  7. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have always been afraid to cook fish, as my two tries earlier in life resulted in complete failures. Your detailed descriptions and photos are exactly what I need!!!!!

    I have no idea why my heart is completely healthy - heart disease runs in my family, almost everyone in my family has high blood pressure, even my 110 pound father. Yet my heart, at 53, is in seemingly perfect shape. I can't say the same for the rest of me, but my heart - yes. Maybe it's because I've always believed in the OLD food pyramid balanced diet - meat, two veggies, and a starch for dinner.

    Just how low is your pressure? Mine has finally gotten to normal - 110/70, where it was LOWWWWW for years - I have to take a diuretic, because I retain water so fiercely, but my blood pressure was consistently 90/60 or much lower. Once, during a five-day stint in the hospital following surgery, it was registering 50/something, and the docs refused to give me my diuretic - in spite of eating nothing but ice chips, I gained 10 pounds in those 5 days!

    Thanks again for the delicious recipe!


Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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