Open Face Salmon Salad Sandwich

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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!

Ingredients:

  • 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

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Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, break-up salmon with a fork. Add mayonnaise, yogurt, pickles and onion and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.
  2. 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.

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Tilapia with Black Beans and Salsa

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This is a very easy and delicious way to make fish during the busy work week. You can use healthy salmon with its Omega 3s, if you prefer!

Ingredients:

  • 4 (6 ounces) pieces of tilapia (or fish of your choice)
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 teaspoon sunflower oil
  • 1 cup organic black beans
  • 1 cup pico de gallo salsa
  • 2 scallion greens, sliced on the diagonal
  • 4 12″ x 15″ pieces of parchment paper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place each piece of fish in the center of the parchment paper. Add salt and pepper. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of sunflower oil on fish. Sprinkle with ¼ of the black beans, salsa and scallion greens. Fold the side and ends of parchment paper 2 to 3 times, making a packet. Repeat until you have 4 packets.
  3. Place packets on a baking sheet. Bake in oven about 10 minutes, until fish is opaque. Baking time will vary depending upon the thickness of the fish you use.
  4. Place each individual fish on a plate and cut the paper carefully in the center, making a “cross.” Serves 4.

Blogger’s note: You may want to add salsa and scallions after fish is baked (makes for a prettier presentation), but I prefer it baking with the salsa juices. I also prefer using a hot salsa.

Which Shrimp Should I Buy?

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This morning when I was researching which shrimp should I buy, I came across this article on the internet by Paul Greenberg, “How to Choose Sustainable Shrimp, The Not-So-Simple Life of a Shrimp,” Prevention.com, published July 2012 and updated July 2014. The article is well-written and full of information. When buying shrimp or any other fish, the most important considerations are health, taste, and sustainability.

The following are “Best Choice” by Seafood Watch, the country’s most well-known sustainable seafood ratings program:

  • Prawn, Freshwater−Giant River Prawn, Malaysian Prawn−U.S./Farmed
  • Prawn, Spot−Prawn, Spot Shrimp, Amaebi−British Columbia/Wild-caught
  • Shrimp−Pacific White Shrimp, West Coast White Shrimp, Ebi−U.S./Farmed in Fully Recirculating Systems or Inland Ponds
  • Shrimp, Pink−Bay Shrimp, Cocktail Shrimp, Ocean Shrimp, Salad Shrimp, Ebi−Oregon/Wild-caught

The following are “Good Alternative” by Seafood Watch:

  • Prawn, Spot−Prawn, Spot Shrimp, Amaebi−U.S. Pacific/Wild-caught
  • Shrimp−Brown Shrimp, Pink Shrimp, Rock Shrimp, White Shrimp, Ebi−U.S. Gulf of Mexico, U.S. South Atlantic/Wild-caught
  • Shrimp−Pacific White Shrimp, West Coast White Shrimp, Ebi−U.S./Farmed in Open Systems
  • Shrimp−Pacific White Shrimp, West Coast White Shrimp, Ebi−Thailand/Farmed in Fully Recirculating Systems
  • Shrimp, Northern−Bay Shrimp, Cocktail Shrimp, Salad Shrimp, Ebi−U.S., Canadian Atlantic/Wild-caught
  • Shrimp, Rock−Rock Shrimp−U.S./Wild-caught

So where should I buy my fish? According to Greenpeace’s “2013 Seaford Retailers Scorecard,” the top six retailers are the following:

  1. Whole Foods
  2. Safeway
  3. Trader Joe’s
  4. Wegmans
  5. Harris Teeter
  6. Target

For the complete list, click on the link below:

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/Global/usa/planet3/PDFs/oceans/CATO7-scorecard.pdf

 

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I downloaded this handy app from the Seafood Watch organization. It has very helpful and informative guides, “Sustainable Seafood Guides,” “Sushi Guide,” and “Super Green List.” You can get this app at http://www.seafoodwatch.org.

http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/how-choose-sustainable-shrimp

Should I Eat Canned Fish?

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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.