When we traveled to Italy, we enjoyed an abundance of fish and seafood—calamari, mussels, sea bass and more—whether we were in Rome, Venice or on the sun-drenched Isle of Capri. Surrounded by water, Italy is the perfect location to enjoy a variety of fresh seafood.
Seafood is also an important part of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. Research has shown that we need to eat at least two servings of fish per week for heart health, especially types that are high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel, albacore tuna and sardines.
As an added bonus, fish and seafood cook quickly, so it’s easy to prepare these dishes on a busy weeknight.
Quick Fish Options
Here are a few ways to incorporate more fish into your routine:
- Can’t make it to the fish market? Stock your freezer with frozen fish. Experts say that fish that is flash-frozen while still on the fishing boat retains its quality and nutritional value. The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers the following guidelines for purchasing fish and seafood: https://www.fda.gov/food/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm077331.htm
- When you’re looking for an especially speedy option, keep in mind that shellfish such as shrimp and scallops cook very quickly.
- Keep canned tuna, salmon and sardines on hand to add to salads or create an antipasto bento box lunch, adding an assortment of sliced vegetables, reduced-fat cheese, chickpeas or other legumes, hard-boiled eggs, whole-grain crackers and other favorites.
- Fish isn’t just for lunch or dinner. Try adding smoked salmon to a veggie omelet.
- Use quick-cooking methods such as grilling, broiling, sauteing or poaching or make a packet meal, including fish, vegetables and seasonings in a foil or parchment package that is baked in the oven. Here is an example from Epicurious: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/fillet-of-fish-in-parchment-363397
- If you’re cooking for non-seafood lovers, incorporate mildly flavored fish in dishes they already enjoy, such as tacos or a pasta dish.
When you explore the possibilities, it’s easy to have fish and seafood make regular appearances on your plate.