Classic holiday dishes usually are fattier, sweeter and heavier than our normal fare, so when a traditional dish actually is healthy without any tweaks, that's something to celebrate.
If cioppino isn't somewhere on your holiday menu, let's change that. Cioppino is a tomato-based fish stew that relies on simple (and healthy!) ingredients for flavor. Plus, it's the ultimate guilt-free comfort food.
Cioppino is incredibly versatile. You can make it as simple or fancy as you'd like, depending on the seafood you use. Anything from the fishmonger's best catch to frozen seafood mixes will work. And a mix of fish and seafood each week is one of the best health moves we can make for our brain and heart health.
My cioppino version is super quick. The result is a light and lovely tomato broth that satisfies without weighing you down, the perfect foil for those belt-loosening meals that dot the holiday landscape.
The recipe takes just minutes to prepare, making it perfect for entertaining (spend more time with your guests!) and weeknight post-work dining alike. You even could make the broth the night before, then simply heat it up and add the seafood moments before serving. That means you get a company-worthy dinner on the table in under 15 minutes.
Fresh fennel and orange zest are the secrets to great flavor. That hint of licorice plus that slightly sweet aromatic orange zest work magic together in the acidic tomato sauce. And remember, any cioppino recipe really is a template, ready for you to personalize and make your own. Once you make one cioppino this holiday season, I'll bet you will be enjoying fish stews throughout the year.
Food Network star Melissa d'Arabian is an expert on healthy eating on a budget and the author of "Supermarket Healthy."