Eat

Weekend PicTORIal: Fish is the New Chicken!

This weekend, my family went to a fresh fish market. After the market, we cooked a delicious dinner, and the next day we crafted with clamshells. There are a gazillion ways to cook fish, but here I’m sharing a little bit of info about why fish is so healthy, along with two fun summer fish dishes and a fish dish for kids, plus the craft I did with Liam and Stella. Enjoy!

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We know that fish is healthy, and we’ve probably all heard that there are some kinds you should avoid, but it can be annoying to sift through all the information out there. So, here’s the skinny on which kinds of fish are healthiest and why fish is great for you, the hubby and your kids!
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For Women

Fish is a low fat source of protein, and the fats it does contain are the good kind! We’re talking Omega-3’s, the stuff that lowers blood pressure and prevents inflammation. Omega-3’s are especially important during pregnancy – they aid in infants’ nerve, brain, and vision development.
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For Men

As for women, omega-3’s help lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease. Some studies also show that Omega-3’s decrease the risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, diabetes, and even depression. Couldn’t hurt to swap out a couple of those hamburgers for fish tacos each week.
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For Kids

As with infants, omega-3 fatty acids aid brain development in young children. Nursing babies also get the benefits from the omega-3’s their mamas eat. But be careful in your selection of fish – larger predatory fish like salmon, swordfish, and some kinds of our beloved tuna fish can be high in mercury, a substance we do NOT want to put in our kids’ bodies, or our own. It’s ok to eat them in small quantities, but if you’re preggo, you might want to avoid altogether.

This is a list of healthy, low-mercury fish and seafood:

  • Shrimp
  • Crab
  • Pollock
  • Catfish
  • Cod
  • Tilapia
  • Canned light tuna (avoid or limit chunk, white, and albacore)

 

Here’s a delicious, California classic to start your seafood adventure:

Fish Tacos with Creamy Lime Guacamole, Dragon Fruit Salsa, and Cabbage Slaw
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Ingredients

  • 2 Hass avocados–halved, pitted and peeled
  • 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small head of Napa cabbage, shredded (4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
  • 2 pounds thick red snapper fillets
  • Ten 7-inch flour tortillas, warmed
  • Hot sauce, for serving
  • Lime wedges, for serving

 

Instructions

Light a grill
In a medium bowl, mash the avocados, sour cream/or Greek yogurt, jalapeño, red onion, cilantro and 3 tablespoons of the lime juice
Season the guacamole with salt and pepper and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the guacamole
In a large bowl, toss the cabbage with the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and the remaining 2 tablespoons of lime juice

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Season with salt and pepper
Brush the fish with oil and season with salt and pepper
Grill over moderately high heat until lightly charred and cooked through, about 10 minutes
When done break the fish into approx 2 inch pieces

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Transfer the fish to a platter

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To assemble each taco, spread a dollop of guacamole on a tortilla

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Top with a piece of fish, a large spoonful of the cabbage slaw and the dragon fruit salsa (see below)

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Serve with the hot sauce and lime wedges

Dragon Fruit Salsa

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Ingredients

  • 1 dragon fruit
  • 1/4 of an onion
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño, minced
  • 1/4 of a tomato, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Lime (a few squeezes)

 

Instructions

Cut dragon fruit in half and scoop out flesh using a spoon

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Chop up and combine in a bowl with rest of ingredients and mix

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You might want to double this recipe to have extra to eat with tortilla chips!

And For the Kids!

Fish sticks are a traditional way to introduce young children to seafood. This recipe tastes much better than the frozen kind – and since the fish is baked instead of deep-fried, it’s healthier too.

Baked Fish Sticks

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup corn or canola oil
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder, black pepper, and paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 pound white fish fillets such as cod or tilapia, cut into “fish-stick-size” strips (about 3 inches by 1 inch)
  • Lemon wedges or tartar sauce (optional)

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Instructions

Heat oven to 450
Spread oil on a rimmed baking sheet
Toss crumbs, grated cheese, and seasonings together in a shallow dish until blended
Put flour into another shallow dish and beaten eggs into a third shallow bowl

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Coat each piece of fish evenly with flour
Then dip each floured piece into beaten eggs
Last of all, turn each piece around in crumb mixture until evenly coated
Place each coated piece of fish onto the oiled sheet, then turn pieces over so both sides are oiled

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Bake until golden brown, about 10 to 14 minutes

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Sometimes it’s hard to get kids to eat a well-balanced meal, so I made it fun and interactive. I made an apple picking experience. The fish sticks are the tree and I blended green peas and mashed potatoes to make the treetop. So they get their veggies (don’t tell them :)) too. Then, real fruit gummies in the trees as the apples. Next I took angel hair pasta and boiled it and then fried it in agave to make it sweet and crispy. That’s the basket for the apples.

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When dinner is served, they get to pick the apples and place in the basket. Once they eat a good meal (the tree) they get to eat the apples from the basket! And the sweet noodles if they want. It’s a fun game that I found very successful!

This last recipe is delicious, and comes with the bonus of crafting supplies! See what I mean below:

Linguini with Clams and Garlic Butter Sauce
Recipe courtesy Anthony Revello

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Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 14 ounces dried linguine
  • 12 littleneck clams, steamed
  • 2 ounces crushed garlic
  • 6 ounces garlic butter plus extra for bread (see recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 lemon wedges, juiced, plus 1 wedge, for garnish
  • 1/2 ciabatta bread, toasted
  • 1-ounce shredded Parmesan
  • Pinch fresh parsley leaves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

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Directions

  • Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente
  • Steam 12 littleneck clams and set aside
  • In a sauté pan over medium heat, add crushed garlic and then add the garlic butter and wine

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  • When butter starts to bubble, add clams and mix around until clams are coated Add lemon juice, and toss to coat
  • Place pasta in a serving bowl, and top with the clam mixture

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  • Cut toasted bread into slices and brush with garlic butter
  • Garnish with Parmesan, parsley and crushed red pepper
  • Serve with a lemon wedge

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For garlic butter:

  • Melted unsalted butter
  • Lemon juice
  • Minced fresh garlic
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Crushed red pepper
  • White wine
  • Parsley

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients, to taste.

Crafting With Clams

Clams aren’t just for eating! We saved the shells and crafted with them.
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Empty clamshells

Reserve your empty clamshells for crafting. Be sure to boil them to thoroughly clean them before craft time!

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We also made butterflies out of the clamshells. We opened the shells and put them in cups filled with white vinegar and food coloring to dye them. Then, when dry, we added felt antennas and a coat of glitter. They are super cute displayed with a tiny colored clothespin on a houseplant!

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Ta-da! As you can see, fish is fun and healthy for the whole family. What’s your favorite fish dish?

  • Christen Jacobsen

    My husband and I are of norweigen descent and absolutely love fish. We started my son when he was 3 on tilapia and shrimp and now he absolutely loves fish too. I grew up in a fish-free household and didn’t realize what I missing. My son’s favorite dish is Cioppino (and he is only 8 now). Thanks for sharing your trip to the fish market!

  • Kap1289

    I can’t wait to leave work and go home and start cooking!

  • victoria silva

    Tori…Yummy recipes that I will try…and so cute to recycle the shells and make into kid art….love this post…

    Hugs,

    Victoria Silva

  • Brandon Gruzen

    I don’t understand how the food that you take pictures of looks like the greatest, freshest, most amazing food of all time! I get so hungry everytime I come on this site!

  • Debra Whitaker

    Would be awesome to see Dean get a Food Network show. He seems to love to cook (safer hobby then motorcycle racing hahaha) and his food always looks good. Would be cool for it to be similar like Debi Masur (spelling?) show she has with her husband who cooks. The whole family could be in it. I would totally watch it!!

  • Debra Whitaker

    OOps, that should read, Would be awesome to see YOU and DEAN have a show

  • Suzanne Brown

    I am obsessed with this!! My husband calls your pictures food porn bc when I am looking at your pictures on the computer I am umming and ahhing, he’s like “WHAT are you doing!?” I think this time I even let out an OMG ;) AH Mazing!

  • Jen Leitner

    i grew up in a fish free household and we ate very plain basic food. All the food looks so gross to me. I wish it looked yummier.

  • Lisa Black-Etcheverry

    Tori you are so cute it drives me crazy! We had Mahi fish tacos for dinner last night and yours look way better. Love the kids idea for food. I love your ideas and wish your show would be on soon I miss my Tori and Dean fix which I have gotten my husband to watch with me. I have a boy and girl as well and Liam and my son could be brothers. Love all you do! Keep it up miss your tweeting but Iam sure you are super busy and ready to pop!

  • Lemon Meringue

    This is quite coincidental! Last saturday was the last weekend of our summerholiday (well, of me and hubbydearest, our 3 kids are still free as a bee until the end of this month) so we decided to do something together. For the first time in weeks the sun decided to join us instead of our usual companion lately, the rain so we decided to go to a place where we could catch best of everything: outdoors, on the seaside, familyfriendly and discovering something new. We ended up at: THE FRESH FISHMARKET! Just a 20 minutes drive and we loved it up there. Kids were thrilled about the fishes especially the bigger ‘scary’ ones, and I as a selfproclaimed foodie, went out of my head. We ended up with loads of crabclaws and Northe Sea-shrimps for our end-of-holiday-feast that night and devoured some delish smoked gurnard right there in the harbour, our feet dangling over the quay. The funny thing is, at that moment I felt rather TORIlike: enjoying familytime, good food, great surroundings and a new discovery (to add to the feeling and I hope this doesn’t sound too creepy: I wore a flowing, floral maxidress and oversized sunglasses! Get the picture?)

    To my amazement I found this topic in my mailbox this morning! Tori, you truly inspire me! Thanks!

    ps: Learnt a valuable other lesson: never buy a whole kilo of cooked North Seashrimps. They are exquisite, but it took TWO HOURS for hubby AND me of nonstop peeling!!! We felt like we were 15 again and peeling tulipbulbs for a summerjob. But hey, looking at the bright side: we spent some genuine quality-time ;)

  • Melissa @Momma Running in Heels

    Tori, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the baked fish sticks and the way you set it up for the kids! Definitely going to add this one to my recipe box for my lil girl (when she’s big enough).

  • Sheri Daniels

    Tori is just OOOOZING great Ideas…..seriously I so Lack for Ideas….. Thank you for letting me be a tiny part of this site! love you Girl!!! Cant wait to see the new baby!

  • SARA AUSTRALIA

    Oh those tacos look so delish… and the pasta…. yum- and you are sooo right, fish is very very good for wellbeing.smiley-smile.gif

    We have a friend who loves to go out fishing in his boat and at times he will drop some by our house. We usually marinate the fillets in Olive Oil, Garlic, Lemon Rind/Juice, as many fresh herbs as we can get our hands on, pepper and salt and grill them on the BBQ. With some plain rice with butter or parmesan cheese stirred through or grilled veg or a tomato salad it is really satisfying and soo yummy.

  • carla C

    What a great idea for the kiddies food. My daughter Zora is such a difficult eater. She’s always asking for pasta but o lordilord if I put in veggies she doesn’t like that

    Tori thanks for the great ideas Im going to try the fish tree hope it will work out.
    I agree that fish is very healthy and I eat that 3 or 4 times a week. But kids, well my kids, don’t always agree with me when I put fish on their plate. My son has taken over my sushi addiction but thats as far as he wants to go.