Monday, February 27, 2012

More and more Americans are seeking ways to create more healthful meals. Fish is a low-fat, high quality protein. It is filled with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as D and B2 (riboflavin). Fish is also rich in calcium and a wonderful source of minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium and potassium.

According to the Washington State Department of Health, fish supplies our bodies with essential nutrients to keep our heart and brain healthy. Two omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are EPA and DHA. Our bodies don’t produce enough omega-3 fatty acids, which is in all kinds of fish, so we need to get them through the foods we consume.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

— Help maintain a healthy heart by lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of sudden death, heart attack, abnormal heart rhythms and stroke.

— Aid healthy brain function and infant development of vision and nerves during pregnancy.

— May decrease the risk of depression, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and diabetes.

— May prevent inflammation and reduce the risk of arthritis.
This week, plan a healthful fish dinner you and your family will enjoy.

Buttery Baked Fish

When I was young, this was the only kind of fish I would eat besides fried fish. My mom made this for dinner fairly often using orange roughy. It is extremely quick to prepare, our 4-year-old son, Kellan, loves it, and it gives me 30 minutes to get the rest of dinner ready.

4 tilapia or orange roughy fillets
4 tablespoons butter, melted
16 Club crackers, crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour 2 tablespoons of melted butter into 9x13 glass casserole dish. Pat dry fish fillets with paper towel and place in casserole dish and coat with butter on both sides. Sprinkle cracker crumbs over top of each fillet, dividing evenly. Spoon remaining melted butter atop cracker crumbs. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes.

Cranberry-Glazed Salmon
Salmon can be jazzed up in many ways. This simple sauce is sweet, savory, and simple.

1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
1/4 cup honey
¼ cup soy sauce
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
¼ teaspoon pepper
3 skinless salmon fillets (about 1 ½ pounds)

In medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients except salmon until thoroughly blended. Place salmon in lightly greased baking pan. Spoon cranberry mixture evenly over fillets. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until salmon is cooked through and just flakes when tested with a fork.
Makes 4 servings.

Fish Baked in Sour Cream

When my family traveled west on a family vacation in the early ’80s, we stayed with the Wunschel family of Carroll at their summer home in Carmel, Calif. One evening, Lois prepared this dish for us, and my mom was wise to ask for the recipe. Since the Wunschel family has five children, this recipe serves 7-8 people easily.

8 fish fillets
salt, pepper, lemon juice, and paprika
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 pint sour cream
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 large onion

Dip fish in cold water and pat dry. Season with salt, pepper, a little lemon juice, and a dash of paprika. Place in a 9x12 inch oiled glass baking dish. Thinly slice onion and scatter over the fish. Heat butter in small saucepan and whisk in flour. Allow to cook for a few minutes. Add sour cream, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until blended and heated through, but do not boil. Spread over fish and onion. Bake covered in 425 degree oven for 25 minutes.

Parmesan Orange Roughy

Fish takes less time than meat to prepare and the broiler speeds up the cooking time even more. Parmesan cheese gives the fish a savory, tangy topping.

2 pounds orange roughy fillets
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons chopped green onions
¼ teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
dash of Tabasco sauce

In buttered baking dish, place fillets in a single layer. Brush with lemon juice. Let stand 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine cheese, butter, mayonnaise, green onions, salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce. Broil fillets 3-4 inches under preheated broiler for 5 minutes or until done. Spread with cheese mixture and broil for an additional 2-3 minutes. Watch closely.
Makes 4 servings.

Pesto Tuna Melt

Growing up, I remember my mom fixing tuna melts for dinner. This is an updated version that would work well for lunch with friends.

4 slices Italian bread (cut 1 inch thick)
½ cup pesto sauce
2 tomatoes , thinly sliced
12 oz canned tuna packed in olive oil, drained and flaked
4 slices mozzarella cheese, cut diagonally in half
freshly ground pepper

Set oven to broil. Place the bread on a cookie sheet. Broil with tops about 4 inches from heat until golden brown. Flip and broil again until golden brown. Spread bread slices with pesto. Top with tomato slices, tuna and cheese slices. Broil for 1 minute or until cheese starts to melt. Sprinkle with pepper.