Lean Up Challenge Week 2: Fish

Fish…

salmon

An amazing addition to the diet. It is full of a healthy balance of fats and protein. Any kind will do, but wild caught fatty fish, which includes salmon, steelhead (trout), tuna, and mackerel, are going to be the most nutritionally dense. Aim for 1-4 servings of wild caught fish a week to reap the most benefit from this food source.

For more details on the health benefits and how to pick the best tasting and healthiest fish options, read The Wonder of Wild Salmon.

Here are a few fish recipes if you are at a loss of how to cook this amazing sea animal:

Fish Strips:

  1. Cut skinless fish fillet (pink fish work better than white fish for this, or any more “hardy” fish that won’t flake easily) into inch thick strips.

  2. Place ½ cup flour (any type will do, can use cornmeal as well), 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder and 1 tsp pepper into a plastic bag, set aside.

  3. Place 2 eggs into a shallow glass dish and lightly scramble.

  4. Heat flat skillet with 1-2 Tbs coconut oil on medium heat. Dip each fish piece into egg, letting any excess drip off, then place into bag with flour mix. Once all fish pieces are in the plastic bag, seal it and use hands to mix the fish with the flour mix until all pieces are coated lightly. Take out one piece at a time and place onto hot skillet.

  5. Cover and let cook 3 minutes, flip pieces over once, drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and/or hot sauce, if desired. Let cook another 3-5 minutes until golden brown and flaky.

Baked Fish:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Place fillet of fish skin down on a piece of aluminum foil with about 4-6 inches extra on all sides (enough to cover it).

  2. Grind or sprinkle pepper, salt, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper (if you like it spicy) on the fish. Squeeze 1-2 tsp ground mustard onto fish and use back of fork or spoon to spread it evenly. If the fish is fresh from the water, mustard may be too strong a flavor and may want to leave this out.

  3. Drizzle lemon juice and/or place thinly sliced lemon over the top. Can add sliced onion, fresh garlic and/or springs of fresh herbs if you have them as well.

  4. Cover fish in the foil so that it does not touch the top of the fish leaving a small gap at the top to let air in. Place fish in foil directly on oven rack. Cook for 20-30 minutes depending on how thick the fish is. Check for doneness by holding the fish in the foil in your hand with a hot pad, open foil slightly and press up from the bottom. If the fish flakes open in the middle it is done, if it sticks together it needs a few more minutes. It is better practice to pull it out a little early, keep it covered and let it sit at room temperature to cook a little more in its own juices (over cooked fish is not as tasty).

  5. Eat whole, or, use in tacos, salads, soups, sandwiches, or for one of the following recipes.

Salmon or tuna salad:

Mash together in small bowl 3 oz pre-cooked or canned fish, 1/3 avocado, 2 Tbs hummus and 1 tsp mustard; paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste. Can do just avocado or just hummus as well, or mash leftover baked sweet potato into these. Cut up pickles and tomatoes are also a fun addition. Use as a dip with raw veggies or spread on toast or tortilla.

Salmon Cakes:

  1. Break cooked/leftover salmon into small pieces in mixing bowl, removing any bones as you go.

  2. Add 2 chopped green onions, 2 chopped cloves of garlic, 1 egg, 1/2 chopped or mashed sweet potato OR ½ cup rolled oats, 1 large chopped celery stocks or pickle and a little ground mustard, plus cayenne to taste. Can add any fresh or dried herb you like here as well!

  3. Mix thoroughly with hands to combine. Using hands, mold into small patties.

  4. Cook in melted butter over medium heat, 3-5 minutes each side, or until golden brown.
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