When it comes to packing a nutritional punch, seafood is a knockout. The ocean’s offerings are a favorite of nutritionists and doctors because there’s so much goodness in every ounce. For instance, one serving of wild-caught salmon is an excellent source of vitamin B12, potassium, iron, and vitamin D. This tasty main dish is low in saturated fat and a great source of essential fatty acids, which protect you against cardiovascular disease, dementia, and some types of cancer.
Some people are intimidated by the thought of cooking seafood. If you grew up eating frozen fish sticks and called them seafood, you might not know what to do with a fresh salmon steak or the bounty from a recent fishing trip. Fortunately, it’s not that complicated. There’s no need to be fancy. Just make sure your fresh seafood is cooked to a temperature of 140°F-145°F. You’ll know it’s done when the color changes from translucent to opaque.
Bake. Bake seafood at 450°F, uncovered, for 10 minutes per inch of thickness.
Sauté or pan fry. Heat a little oil or butter in a frying pan and cook 4-5 minutes per side.
Broil. Thicker cuts should be broiled about 8 minutes per side.
Poach. Add enough water to the pan to cover the fish. Cook, covered, just below the boiling point for 8-10 minutes for filets and 15-20 minutes for a whole fish.
Grill. Brush your grill liberally with oil and cook 4″ to 6″ from the heat source.
Watch out for mercury rising
Certain types of seafood have high mercury levels, which can be dangerous to children, pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, and others. Seafood that’s high in mercury includes shark, big-eye tuna, swordfish, and mackerel. Eat these types sparingly and choose other seafood options for your regular meal rotation.
Seafood recipes virtually swim around the Internet, ready for you to fish one out and try it for a weeknight dinner. We particularly like the Honey Teriyaki Salmon from Skinnytaste.com. The Asian honey glaze adds a tasty touch to the salmon, which is seared in the frying pan and then cooked for a few more minutes; it rivals anything you might find at your favorite restaurant.
Are you wondering what to do with the trout from your recent fishing trip? How about WebMD’s Pan-Fried Trout With Red Chile Sauce? With chile sauce and roasted pine nuts, this recipe is sure to make you leave frozen fish sticks in the dust.
How about making something fancy for a romantic dinner? This Lemon Butter Baked Cod by Justapinch.com is deliciously simple. The cod is drenched in a lemon and butter mixture before being coated with flour and baked, rather than fried.
With its healthy combination of low saturated fat, high protein, and nutrients like omega-3 acids, seafood is a delicious and healthy addition to any diet. If you’ve been thinking about eating more seafood, make this the year you get creative in the kitchen and add these and other healthy dishes to your regular diet.
If you’d like some expert advice on how to eat a healthier diet, we can help. Just contact us at our medical fitness center, Healthway Park, and schedule an appointment with one of our nutritionists.