Somewhere along the way it seems that seafood has become “third fiddle” to both beef and chicken! The USDA recommends adding seafood to your weekly diet – eating two meals that include fish. Just like beef and chicken, you can grill your seafood outside – either directly on the grill or as part of a foil-packet recipe. Or, consider broiling, roasting or baking fish in your oven for a flaky feast. Using spices/herbs, lemon/lime juice and just a tad of margarine makes the preparation quick and simple, and keeps the fish “at center stage” rather than being over-powered (and over-caloried!) by breading or heavy sauces.
Here’s a simple recipe for fish. Please note, if you purchase frozen seafood, use the cooking directions (temperature, time) on the package instead.
Lemon Garlic Tilapia (from allrecipes.com)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 4 tilapia fillets (or other similar fish)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray
- Rinse tilapia fillets under cool water, then pat dry with paper towels
- Place fillets in baking dish. Cover with other ingredients – pour on lemon juice, drizzle on butter, then sprinkle with garlic, parsley and pepper
- Bake in preheated oven until white and flakey – about 30 minutes.
In the spice section of your grocery store, you’ll also find spices that can be used for quick fish recipes, and that are salt-free. Mrs. Dash has flavors such as Lemon Pepper, Onion Herb, and Tomato Basil Garlic; and, McCormick’s “Perfect Pinch” spice line has salt-free flavors such as Fiesta Citrus, Garlic and Herb, and Southwest Sweet and Smoky. Use any of these with a bit of lemon/lime juice, and a tad of margarine and you’ll have a simple yet flavorful meal. As you can see, it doesn’t take much to include seafood as part of your lunch or dinner routine!
HAVING FISH ON HAND
Having fish on-hand eliminates extra trips to the grocery store – keeping your cooking momentum going and saving on gas! Here are some ideas for having seafood on hand:
IN YOUR PANTRY – canned seafood*
Canned seafood can be easily added to a pasta dish or a salad, to create a meal.
- Canned salmon, 14.75 ounces, Double “Q” — $2.58
- Sardines in pouches, 3.53 ounces, Crown Prince — $0.82
- Canned tuna (in water), 5 ounces, Chicken of the Sea — $0.88
IN YOUR FREEZER – frozen seafood*
Frozen seafood can be used in simple recipes, and frequently the pieces in packages are individually vacuum-sealed – so you take out only what you need for a single meal! Here are some affordable choices (typically 4 pieces of fish/package):
- Cod, 16 ounce package — $4.48
- Flounder, 16 ounce package — $4.48
- Haddock, 16 ounce package — $3.98
- Swai, 16 ounce package — $4.48
- Tilapia, 16 ounce package — $4.48
With just $16/month** in SNAP benefits you could easily eat seafood twice a week without spending a dime of your own!
* Prices are from Walmart on 6/6/12 (frozen fish is “Great Value” store-brand); ** $16/month is the minimum SNAP benefit amount for households with one or two people