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!
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!
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.
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.
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:
- 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
- 2 Hass avocados–halved, pitted and peeled
- 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 1 small jalapeÃ±o, 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
Light a grill
In a medium bowl, mash the avocados, sour cream/or Greek yogurt, jalapeÃ±o, 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
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
Transfer the fish to a platter
To assemble each taco, spread a dollop of guacamole on a tortilla
Top with a piece of fish, a large spoonful of the cabbage slaw and the dragon fruit salsa (see below)
Serve with the hot sauce and lime wedges
Dragon Fruit Salsa
- 1 dragon fruit
- 1/4 of an onion
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 1 small jalapeÃ±o, minced
- 1/4 of a tomato, chopped
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Lime (a few squeezes)
Cut dragon fruit in half and scoop out flesh using a spoon
Chop up and combine in a bowl with rest of ingredients and mix
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
- 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)
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
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
Bake until golden brown, about 10 to 14 minutes
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.
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
- 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
- Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente
- Steam 12 littleneck clams and set aside
- In a sautÃ© pan over medium heat, add crushed garlic and then add the garlic butter and wine
- 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
- Cut toasted bread into slices and brush with garlic butter
- Garnish with Parmesan, parsley and crushed red pepper
- Serve with a lemon wedge
For garlic butter:
- Melted unsalted butter
- Lemon juice
- Minced fresh garlic
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Crushed red pepper
- White wine
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.
Reserve your empty clamshells for crafting. Be sure to boil them to thoroughly clean them before craft time!
With markers, felt, glue, and googly eyes, we crafted clam characters that the kids put on a puppet show for us with. Be creative with your kids and use beads, glitter, rhinestones, yarn, etc…
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!
Ta-da! As you can see, fish is fun and healthy for the whole family. What’s your favorite fish dish?