A Toronto chef, Rodney Bowers has owned a number of prestigious restaurants in the city, including Rosebud, Citizen and Hey Meatball! The resident guest chef for both The Marilyn Denis Show and Canada AM recently sold his dining establishments to concentrate on full-time on his health.
I’ve been one for over 20 years. In that time, I’ve owned, consulted for and opened and closed restaurants. I’ve cooked for prime ministers and presidents, Hollywood A-listers, rock stars and dissidents. I’m a legitimate food addict and tip the scales at over 350lb. I’ve eaten everything: No, not literally, but if you name it I’ve probably cooked it or at least ate it.
Here’s the thing, I’m also an athlete. Well, at least a recovering one. In my teens and early 20s I played professional squash. I was a provincial and national junior champion. I toured, played, and beat the worlds best. I also ran cross country for several years with a best 5km time of 16:30.
Basically, I was a lean-mean machine, which brings me to now. I’m six months into a life rewrite. I’ve dropped over 70lbs from a heavy of 430lb in the last 5 months. I’ve gone from not being able to tie my own shoe to lacing up sneakers everyday and making exercise and sweating a healthy part of my life again So, if there’s one guy who knows what it’s like to be hungry after a monster workout it’s this guy.
This is a recipe I’ve made a hundred times a hundred different ways. I change it ever so slightly depending on my mood–spicy, olives or more of a spoon versus fork meal. No matter what, this recipe is a great guideline to get you to incorporate fish into your post-workout meal.
Easy-Going Cod Stew
Line caught codfish is not only sustainable but it’s also an excellent source of protein, relatively inexpensive and most important really hard for even the most beginner of fish cooks to muck up. This is your go-to dish, on killer leg days, like when you’ve crushed 20km because you’ll get maximum satisfaction with minimal effort. Plus with no cream, butter or flour, your hard work on the road, track or at the gyms, won’t go to waist.
Serves: 4 to 6
1/4lb double smoked bacon
1 large sweet onion, finely diced
2-3 stalks of celery, diced
1 large carrot peeled and diced
7-8 button mushrooms sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1 lb. new or fingerling potato, cut into small cubes
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
3/4 vegetable stock
2 lb. cod fillet, seasoned with salt and pepper
4 tbsp fresh chopped herbs (chives parsley, basil)
ONE: Heat large skillet or cast-iron pan over medium heat on stove and render bacon (drain off 3/4 fat and discard).
TWO: Add onion,celery,carrot, mushrooms and garlic to pan with bacon fat and sauté for 5-10 minutes, or until vegetables start to soften. Try not to colour (aka burn) vegetables.
THREE: Add white wine, potatoes, thyme and bay leaf and simmer reducing by half.
FOUR: Add the vegetable stock and cod and cover with lid. (Turn up heat slightly if liquid isn’t reducing fast enough.)
FIVE: Cook until cod starts to flake apart slightly, about 10-15 minutes.
SIX: Remove lid and check for seasoning. Gently stir in fresh herbs and serve.