Eating seafood twice a week is easier and more flavorful than you think!
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