Awhile back, I bought several cans of healthy wild Alaskan salmon at Costco. Yesterday, I finally decided to use it and made a salmon salad. Instead of using regular bread, I chose brioche toasts, which has fewer calories than bread. I reduced the amount of calories by substituting half the mayonnaise with plain nonfat Greek yogurt. Crunchy sliced cucumber took the place of lettuce. This is a delicious and light meal to whip up during the busy work week. For those who follow my blog, you know that my husband is a finicky eater and he gave me a thumbs up!
- 1 (6 ounce) can wild Alaskan salmon
- 2 tablespoons organic mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons organic plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 5 slices of Trader Joe’s Organic Sweet Bread and Butter Pickles, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 6 Trader Jacques’ Brioche Toasts
- 24 sliced cucumbers (enough to cover the brioche toast)
- Parsley for garnish
- In a medium bowl, break-up salmon with a fork. Add mayonnaise, yogurt, pickles and onion and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Place 4 cucumber slices on top of the brioche, add enough salmon salad to cover the toast. Garnish with parsley. Repeat 5 more times. Makes 6 open face sandwiches.
I have to admit that this topic makes my head spin. This is such a controversial subject that every individual needs to make his or her own decision. Do the benefits outweigh the risks of eating canned fish? I am just sharing some information with you to consider. When in doubt, you should seek the advice of your physician.
First, I want to address a group of people, who are at a higher risk for health issues associated with mercury. In a brochure published by the U.S.D.A., “What You Need to Know About Mercury in Fish and Shellfish,”* women who are or may become pregnant, nursing mothers and young children should follow these guidelines to avoid their exposure to the harmful effects of mercury:
- Fish to avoid entirely are shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish, because they have high levels of mercury.
- Eat no more than 12 ounces (2 meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish. Fish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, wild Alaskan salmon, pollock, and catfish. Albacore tuna should be limited to one 6 ounce serving a week.
- “Check local advisories about the safety of fish caught by family and friends in your local lakes, rivers, and coastal areas.”
When researching canned salmon, the following things were always mentioned:
- Canned salmon is an excellent or good choice.
- It is less expensive than fresh or frozen.
- All canned salmon is wild, but check label for place or origin. Fish from Alaska is recommended.
This is what I found out about canned tuna:
- “Light” tuna (skipjack), which contains lower levels of mercury, is the one that was recommended.
- If you are going to purchase albacore, make sure “it’s caught in the U.S. or British Columbia. This tuna is caught when it’s younger and therefore has less time to build up high levels of mercury, but albacore imported from other countries is caught when it’s older and thus contains more mercury.” This is according to a Rodale internet article, “How to Know Which Tuna is Most Toxic,” by Emily Main.
Other things to consider:
- Whenever possible buy fish in containers that are BPA-free. Fish can be purchased in BPA-free pouches.
- Buy tuna and salmon packed in water instead of oil. You lose some omega-3 fatty acids when you drain the liquid.
- Look for troll caught or pole caught fish. The fishing methods are considered environment friendly.
The benefits of omega-3 fats found in fish according to the Harvard School of Health:
- Protect the heart against the development of erratic and potentially deadly cardiac rhythm disturbances.
- Lower blood pressure and the heart rate.
- Improve blood vessel function.
- Lower triglycerides at higher doses.
After doing this research, I believe there are more positives than negatives to eating canned fish. I will make a conscious effort to eat a variety of fish in small portions twice a week, but you do what is right for you. Hope you find this blog article helpful and good luck with your choices.
For further information, read the following links:
*The brochure, “What You Need to Know About Mercury in Fish and Shellfish” is in the process of being revised by the U.S.D.A. and the link above contains the updated draft.
This recipe is based on the wonderful Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution–Salmon Fish Cakes. I modified it slightly and used Trader Joe’s Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon, instead of fresh salmon. It is an easy, delicious and inexpensive way to incorporate fish into our diets.
- I large (approx. 10 oz.) organic gold potato, peeled and cut into pieces
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 can ( 6 oz.) Trader Joe’s Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon (no salt added)
- 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
- l large organic egg, lightly beatened
- 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
In a medium saucepan, add a pinch of salt to boiling water. Add potato and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes, until potato is cooked. Drain the potato.
Mash the potato and place the cooled potato into a bowl. Drain the water from the canned salmon and add it the potato. Add the lightly beatened egg, chopped parsley and zest of one lemon. Then add salt and pepper to taste. Mix ingredients well.
Dust a cutting board with flour. Divide the fish mixture into 4 portions. Shape into patties with 3/4 inch thickness, dusting with flour as you go. Place patties on wax paper and refrigerate for about a half hour to firm them up.
Over medium heat, add olive oil to large nonstick frying pan. When oil is hot, add the patties and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Serve with the second lemon, cut into quarters. Makes 4 patties.