I work crazy hours and can’t focus on losing weight (Plus one of my favorite weeknight recipes)


Nagina Abdullah


June 30, 2014

Cumin Coriander Fish

Last week, I worked from home. My days were still filled with conference calls and web meetings, with barely a chance to go to the kitchen and make a quick lunch. When the meetings finally subsided one early evening, I sat back on my couch and took a deep breath. I savored the quiet of my home.

And then my kids ran through the door, with my husband following behind. I was so happy to see them, but suddenly all the “to-dos” started running through my mind. I needed to unpack their backpacks, give them a bath, get them ready for bed — oh, and then of course make dinner appear — for all of us.

And though I wanted to eat a HEALTHY dinner — cooking ANYTHING would have been a miracle. It was literally the last thing I felt like doing.

I managed to put something together quickly for my kids, but for me, I just ate a bite of some peanut butter and kept thinking about what I should make. Before I knew it, I had eaten a little of about 5 different random snacks. It was past 10pm and I knew I blew my plan to be healthy. I felt guilty and like I had wasted the night.

The key to being healthy during weeknights is to:

  • Have dinner prepared before you come home OR
  • Have a plan of exactly what to cook and the ingredients at home (and preferably chopped and prepped)

When you don’t have dinner prepared or a clear plan of what to eat, there’s a much higher chance that you will eat something convenient and unhealthy, a surefire way to detract from your weight loss goals.

A favorite weeknight recipe: Cumin Coriander Fish

Today, I’m sharing one of my most favorite dishes which is perfect for busy people like you and me. You can prepare it on the weekend or later one night, let the spices and flavors marinate overnight, and then come home the next evening and heat it up. It’s also incredibly low in sugar and tastes so amazing — and it’s a key dish that helps me keep my weight down while having a full-time job and a life.

Usually people associate sugar with cakes, cookies, and pastries — but sugar can also be very high in sauces we make and add to our food. Food with sugar converts to fat quickly. It’s key to avoid it as much as you can to experience weight loss. In this dish, I use flavors like cumin and coriander to provide flavor WITHOUT the added sugar.

I even put together a special cooking video for you because this recipe is so easy and perfect for keeping my weight down through busy weeks. I love eating it with my Eggplant Bell Pepper Recipe I shared a couple posts ago, which I would also cook on the weekend or one late night, so it’s ready when I come home from work

Let me know what you think of my video recipe – I always love hearing your thoughts. I also share which spice provides benefits for glowing, youthful skin.


Cumin Coriander Fish

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 6 servings


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2.5 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1.5 teaspoons garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 1.5 teaspoons ginger (about 1 inch)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder (quantity based on level of spice desired)
  • 1.5 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 pounds catfish or tilapia, cubed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped (optional)


  • Blend 2 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, garlic, ginger, red chili powder, salt, coriander, and cumin in a mini-food processor, blender or by hand until it is a thick paste.
  • Place the cubed fish in a shallow baking dish and brush with the mixture to coat evenly. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
  • Preheat the oven broiler.
  • Place the baking dish with marinated fish under the broiler on the oven's center rack for 10 minutes. Turn the fish and continue cooking until the fish flakes easily, about 7 more minutes. Serve immediately or to seal in the flavor, see Step 5 (recommended).
  • Add 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet and sauté until the fish is darker brown and hot. Top with optional cilantro if you have it available. Enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Avatar photo

Nagina Sethi Abdullah, BA, MBA

Nagina Abdullah is a health coach for middle-aged women and professionals. She coaches women to boost their metabolism naturally, shed pounds and keep them off. Her work with weight loss clients led to the creation of Masala Body, an online weight loss platform that provides an easy and accessible system that helps women sustainably lose weight. She has helped over 1200 women successfully lose from 10-80 lbs and create a sustainable lifestyle change. Nagina earned her degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley.

Reader Interactions


  1. Neelam says

    OMG! It is so easy & full of flavor! I loved it!
    Thank you for the recipe!

  2. Inga Smet says

    I am allergic to fish. Can I substitute chicken? if I cube the chicken will the cooking times stay the same?

    • Avatar photoNagina says

      Hi Inga – Yes, you can substitute chicken and you can add 5 min. to the cooking time and test if it is cooked then.

  3. Safaa Alkhatib says

    I am on a diet and I am prevented from adding oil to any cook unless it is after the chicken is cooked. Will it fit with this?

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