Lighten your spring meals with fish. If you are tired of heavy winter dishes and aren’t sure how to make the transition to lighter spring meals, take advantage of fresh seasonal fish. Including fish in your diet will meet the heart-healthy recommendation of consuming two servings of fish per week and give you a tasty array of lighter dishes perfect for spring. Here are some tips on choosing fresh fish plus three fish recipes to get you started.
Tips for choosing fish
Fish tip #1: Look for origin
Technically, because of the growing number of fish farms, no fish is really in or out of season anymore. Some fish are just considered fresher and more local then others. Most markets and fishmongers will list where fish is from (i.e. country and if it is farmed or wild).
Fish tip #2: Opt for wild
Whenever possible, choose wild fish over farmed fish, unless you can be certain it was farmed in an eco-friendly manner and is disease-free. Visit The Environmental Defense Fund for a list of the best and worst fish to consume. Also, opt for fish that are lower in mercury.
Fish tip #3: Eat local
Choose local fish over fish shipped in from far away. Locally caught or farmed fish will keep the carbon footprint low and it will usually be fresher tasting. If you’re lucky enough to live near a coast, take advantage of the fresh fish caught daily.
Fish tip #4: Spring means lighter fish
Just as you tend to eat certain meat dishes more in the winter versus the summer, certain fish dishes are also better eaten in the warmer months versus colder months. Dishes made with catfish, salmon, tilapia and trout are ideal for the transition from winter to spring. They are still heavy enough to get you through those remaining cold days, but light enough to help you look forward to summer.
Fish tip #5: Keep preparation simple
Preparing your choice of fish is a simple deal. Simply grilling and dressing with a light butter lemon sauce is a delicious and light option as is lightly battering and frying fish (especially catfish or trout). The fresher your fish, the less you want to bog it down with sauces and spices. You want to taste that freshness.
Fish tip #6: Use fresh herbs
Fresh herbs will enhance the flavor of your fish. Rosemary, cilantro, basil, sage and parsley are great options. Baking fish en croute (wrapped up in a puff pastry, for example) topped with fresh herbs will keep fish moist and flavorful.
Fish tip #7: Finish with citrus
A little bit of citrus is the perfect final addition to your fish dish. When ready to serve, simply squeeze a fresh lemon or lime over top and serve with extra wedges.