The medical community recommends eating two servings of fish per week (e.g., salmon, trout, cod, etc.). Are you able to do this? Barring any food allergies to fish, the amount of Omega-3s, protein, etc. are very, very good for you.
We do not have any fish allergies in our home and we like fish. I asked our allergist recently if I should be concerned with my son developing a shellfish/fish allergy. She had no concerns and recommended that we consume it on a regular basis for our body not to “reject” it and turn it into an allergy. Unfortunately, we do not get fish near enough. Why is this the case when we enjoy it and it’s healthy?
The cost! A good quality fish is so expensive! (And the fact that it’s not the favorite dish on our kids dinner list. They’re coming around though, since they don’t have a choice.)
So how are we able to incorporate fish into our diet more often without breaking the budget?
- Watch the sale ads and buy fish when it goes on sale. Shrimp is usually a great price around Christmas. If you buy frozen, stock up.
- Instead of going out to a restaurant once per week (if you do), buy a nice piece of fish and cook it at home. It will cost less than going to a restaurant, and probably will be healthier for you (especially if you have food allergies).
- Try to squeeze a little bit extra out of your budget to fit fish in at least every couple of weeks. Put the bag of chips or Twinkies back on the shelf and grab a nice Salmon fillet instead.
- You don’t have to have a huge portion of fish to gain the health benefits from it. Eat only a small piece (4-6oz.) to gain the benefits out of it and add on some nutritious side dishes to fill up the plate (and your stomach).
- You don’t have to buy the most expensive fish in the display case. Of course, if you’re in the mood for a flavorful grilled Salmon or Sea Bass, then you will need to budget for the better piece. However, you can get fresh whitefish, haddock or cod and fry it. Fry it? Yes, I said “fry it.” (Recipe below.)
We have sort of gotten into a routine with our Sunday afternoon Meijer run to check the discount produce to also pick up a few pieces of fresh mild fish (sometimes Salmon). We can usually get something that has just flown in that morning for less than $5-6/lb. and we only buy about 1.5lbs. That’s a pretty inexpensive and very healthy lunch for a family of five.
You can find wonderful recipes online for preparing fish, whether grilling, broiling, frying or whatever. My husband made up his own gluten-free recipe (as well as dairy and egg free) for frying fish and honestly, we like it better than any fried fish at a restaurant, or any wheat-flour or corn meal breaded fish. It is always crunchy, not too heavy on the breading or oil, and very flavorful.
We bought a Fry Daddy (yes! we did!) a few years ago, mainly for this reason. You will be surprised at the amount of oil that doesn’t soak into the food. I never feel like I’ve just eaten at a “greasy spoon” diner.
gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, corn-free, soy-free (contains fish/shellfish)
Fried Fish (gluten-free)
Gluten-Free Breading can be used on many types of fish, chicken or raw vegetables.
- 1/2 cups white rice
- 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 pounds white fish
- canola oil
Slightly grind rice (white or brown rice) in coffee grinder, into a powder but not a fine powder (it will stay gritty by nature). Add garlic salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper to rice flour and grind a bit more (adjust spices as desire). Pour into shallow dish.
Rinse fish and cut into single serving pieces, if needed. Roll fish into breading until covered on all sides.
Heat oil in fryer, according to manufacturer instructions.
Once heated, place fish in fryer and cook until golden, about 3-4 minutes. Drain on paper towel. (Follow similar instructions if using frying pan or oven, flipping fish over once during cooking.)
This recipe also works well in a very hot skillet with canola oil. We actually pan-fried Haddock this past Sunday and our son (the pickiest) exclaimed, “mmm, this is good!”. The key to pan-frying fish in order for it to come out crispy is to have the pan/oil very hot and Do Not Overcook! Fish mush is not good.
Try it out the next time you’re in the mood for fish or need to increase your Omega-3s and let me know how you liked it. (This breading also works wonderfully on chicken tenders, fried zucchini, even as a little crunchy coating on fresh-cut french fries.)