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Almond & Lemon-Crusted Fish with Spinach

1 lemon (zest). use juice below
1/2 cup sliced almonds, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 1/4 pounds fish, cut into 4 portions
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Maple syrup to taste

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, slivered

1 pound baby spinach
1 lemon (juice)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Coating fish with nuts and baking it is an easy, foolproof way to cook it elegantly. And it is especially nice with a mild white fish like cod or halibut. The spinach turns a little yellowy because it’s cooked with the acidic lemon juice, but what you lose in green color is more than made up for in great flavor.
Serves 4 

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine lemon zest, almonds, thyme, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Place fish on the prepared baking sheet and spread each portion with 1 teaspoon mustard mixed with maple syrup. Divide the almond mixture among the portions, pressing it onto the mustard.

Bake the fish until opaque in the center, about 7 to 9 minutes, depending on thickness.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not brown, about 30 seconds.

Stir in spinach, lemon juice and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; season with pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the spinach is just wilted, 2 to 4 minutes. Cover to keep warm.

Serve the fish with the spinach and lemon wedges, if desired.

Veggie option: instead of fish, use the Quinua recipe plus a can of garbonzo beans. Season with parmesan cheese.