Health experts the world over have been touting the benefits of eating fish for ages. Seafood is full of protein, healthy fats, and nutrients that promote optimal brain health, like vitamin D, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids—all reasons why fish is a mainstay of the Mediterranean diet.
Despite knowing that fish is pretty damn good for you, research shows that Americans still aren’t eating very much of it. According to a new study, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, U.S. adults consume an estimated 284 grams of red meat and 303 grams of poultry each week, but a paltry 115 grams of fish and seafood. Less than 15 percent of Americans are eating enough seafood per week, a press release for the study adds—meaning that 85 percent of us have some catching up to do.
For the record, you should be eating about 8 ounces (227 grams) of seafood per week, which is basically just two servings of fish. That’s not such a big ask, no? Yet the study suggests there are a few barriers to seafood intake, including balking at the high price of seafood as well as concerns about mercury levels in fish. But another very real possibility, says this food editor: Not really knowing what to do with fish once you buy it. Sure, you could easily bake some salmon with olive oil and a sprinkling of dried herbs (never a bad thing!), but beyond that, what do you do with the stuff? These healthy fish recipes will give you some inspiration.
5 healthy fish recipes that easily take the place of your favorite meats
1. Instead of tacos al pastor… Grilled Fish Tacos with Strawberry Avocado Salsa and Lime Crema
Ground beef and pulled pork are taco filling staples, but I promise you’ll change your tune by swapping in grilled fish à la Hummusapien. Plus you’ll make the most out of summer produce with the strawberry avocado salsa.
2. Instead of oven-fried chicken… Crispy Baked Fish and Chips
Healthy chicken tenders are life—but you can give fish a similar treatment with this DIY fish and chips recipe from Well+Good council member McKel Kooienga, RD. Much easier than wrangling with a deep-fat fryer in my tiny kitchen, IMO.
3. Instead of garlic chicken… Garlicky Baked Shrimp
Okay, okay, this is technically a crustacean, not fish. BUT: On a recent vacation to Hawaii, I paid a visit to Giovanni’s shrimp truck and ate the best, garlickiest shrimp that changed my life. I’ve been dreaming of it ever since—and thanks to Gimme Some Oven, we can all save on airfare and cook this close replica instead.
4. Instead of grilled chicken salad… Salmon, Avocado, and Arugula Salad
Anyone who’s eaten the Fish Taco salad from Sweetgreen (me, every day last week) knows that salmon is as good a protein for salad as basic chicken. And the fresh avocado provides texture and healthy fats. This simple recipe from The Iron You is a great option for a busy workweek lunch.
5. Instead of a chicken club… Tuna Melt
The diner classic gets a healthier upgrade in Lee From America’s recipe, which uses vegan mayo, sustainably-caught canned tuna, and vegan cheese that still delivers a deliciously-melty finish.
This recipe will have you looking at canned salmon in a new light. And here’s what a healthy plate on the aforementioned Mediterranean diet looks like.
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