Friday, October 24, 2014

Wild-caught. {A Fish Recipes Collection}

Fish. It's what's for dinner. 


I wish I could share with you a story and images of our family fishing for our own fresh, wild-caught marine staples, but, I haven't gone fishing since I was a kid! In my youth, I enjoyed spending some peaceful quality time with my parents when I went fishing with them. In high school, I did learn how to crab but you know what, I may have enjoyed both experiences more if I had enjoyed eating fish. It wasn't until much later that I even tried fish. 

At one time, I thought fish sticks were real fish (some may be but most are probably filled with junk). But when you don't know, you don't know! I never liked fish sticks (filled with junk kind). While we were visiting Dublin, Ireland in 2007, we had the BEST fish and chips and from there I was hooked (no pun intended!). 

Then fast forward some more time. It wasn't until I studied to become a certified health coach did I learn the difference and the importance of eating low-mercury fish (medium is okay but in-moderation is essential) and wild-caught over farm raised. I used to eat tilapia but all of it is farm-raised (and it's low-mercury as seen in the chart below but I no longer choose / buy it). That's why it's so cheap! There are plenty of articles (like this one from The New York Times) that addresses tilapia being farm raised and what they eat! It's not even food that fish naturally eat; it is soy and corn (both genetically modified (the top two crops of highly GMd)! When you know better, you do better! 

So, before I share a collection of fish recipes and education about fish (importance of Omega 3s), I'm going to share a resource from Nordic Naturals on the mercury levels of fish. If you're looking for a quality fish oil to bridge the (Omega 3) gap, you may be interested in Nordic Naturals. If you'd like wild-caught as fresh as you can get without fishing fish, you may be interested in Vital Choice. The information to research and order is here on my Products page. 

Nordic Naturals has a handy pocket guide on mercury levels based on information from Natural Resources Defense Council (nrdc.org). I reproduced the information below, but you can also find more materials pinned here



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What?! More fish? YES!!

From my first post in October, I addressed the common complaint I hear among clients (and friends) is that they want to eat fish but they don't know how to prepare it so I shared a recipe for cod with veggies! Today I'm sharing a quick post on a salmon recipe. Later in the month, I hope to share a collection of fish recipes from real food bloggers. Stay tuned! 



This recipe is gluten-free but not dairy-free because I used butter and parmesan cheese but you can sub out butter for a vegan (non-GMO spread) and omit the cheese. There is also dairy in the Lundberg Risotto (but it is gluten-free) so opt for a jasmine rice if you're avoiding dairy as well. 

You'll need 1/2 to 1 stick of butter depending on how much fish and asparagus you have. I used 1/2 stick for the amount of fish in my recipe. Use more or less (to your liking). 

Ingredients:
6-8 ounces wild caught salmon 
1/2 stick softened butter 
2 cloves garlic mashed (or 2 tsp of minced garlic)
1 tbs fresh parsley
Slices of lemon for cooking and garnish
1/2 pound asparagus 
Risotto (or rice of your choice). I used this brand.
salt to taste 
Optional: Top cooked asparagus with Parmesan cheese.

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 375*. 

2. While oven is warming up, make risotto according to package instructions. 

3. Wash asparagus and trim to 1" pieces and discard fibrous ends (or compost!).

4. Prepare butter mixture for fish (and asparagus). A half stick of butter is enough for 6-8 ounces of fish (or 2-3 filets). Mix the garlic, parsley, and optional salt to taste with the butter. If the butter is too soft after mixing, put it in the freezer for a few minutes to let it harden (just a bit) so that it will cook on top of the fish.

5. Salt the fish (just a sprinkle). Then spread a dollop of the butter mixture on top; it should be a thick coating on top of the fish. Add a slice of lemon to each fish filet and cover.

6. In a separate bowl, toss the asparagus with the remaining butter mixture and sprinkle some salt. Cook uncovered. 

7. Cook the fish and asparagus for 17-22 minutes. Fish will flake with a fork and asparagus will be al dente. Toss the asparagus half way through. 

8. Watch your risotto while the fish and asparagus are cooking. You want everything to be done about the same time. =)

9. Optional: Sprinkle the finished asparagus with Parmesan cheese. Add a lemon garnish to each fish filet before serving. 

9. Buon Appetito!! =) 

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Choose, eat, and live well! =)

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

31 Days of ABCs: F is for Fish


This week's post is focusing on the letter F and will not only include a nutrient dense recipe but also fun activities you can do with your small children before, during, and while you're waiting for your dinner to cook.  

I bet you've read over a dozen articles about eating more healthy fats and then wondering how you'll incorporate them along with more vegetables (balanced nutrition). Are you at a loss where to start? I once knew that feeling! It seems like a huge undertaking when you're wanting to start new in your wellness journey. You've heard it before: Take baby steps and my advice: Start where you are! 

Where do you fall short when making healthy meals for your family? Is it the confusing food labels? (I can help with that in one of my classes or consultations.) Uncertain about which fish is the healthiest? (Source and quality matter!) Green veggies aren't appealing? (They can become a norm in your home.) Unsure about which fats are the best? (I use two of the healthy fats in this recipe.) You like fish but aren't sure how to prepare it so that it will be appetizing? (This recipe is simple, flavorful, and nutritious!)


This post is part of an ABC Collection for the month of October. My friend, Jennifer, of The Good Long Road (here's her post from last year), asked me to do letter F and I kindly accepted! What an honor. So this post, will be to share all about the letter F which will include a recipe and activities for children / families. Let's start with the activities and then the recipe will follow. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fighting Hunger for Hunger Action Month: My Thoughts

Fighting Hunger

Did you know that September is the official “Hunger Action Month?” Even though September is the official month, we can always find ways to fight hunger. What can you do? Every day children go hungry. National Geographic states that 1/6th of the American population doesn't get enough to eat (more on this here). How is this so in the world's richest country? Do you think it doesn't happen in your community? It does. Probably more than we care to acknowledge. Most of us are blessed beyond comprehension in having food in our fridge and pantry whereas others are barely getting by. We hope to change that! 


With regards to my community: There are many resources in Ridgecrest that offer what I’d like to call a “fighting hunger” service. Having lived in Ridgecrest for two years and an advocate for families to eat more whole foods namely fruits and vegetables, I have done some research to learn which locations in our community offer these services.

First: I have compiled a "Meals & Resources" PDF that I can email you with the various locations around the community who offer affordable (and sometimes free) meals. Send me an email if you’d like a copy. If you live out of my area, you can still have a copy as this may help you fine tune your search in your own community. 

Second: A California grocer, Albertson’s, has coupons for children to receive a free apple or banana. Ask customer service the next time you go in there. The dates may be expired but as of July they were still honoring them. Just ask!

Third: Did you know that Ridgecrest has a community garden? Yes! It is located behind the police department and it is run by volunteers. The visionary behind this resource is Dr. Iresha Goonesinghe of Compassionate Doctors. The garden services single parent homes and low income families. If you’d like to volunteer your time (we need you!) or know of a family in need, please get in contact via Facebook. “Like” the We Love Ridgecrest page then send them a message. Please let them know Jessica David sent you. I am a volunteer there. If you have a brown thumb, please don’t let that stop you from volunteering your time. I have one too!



In the beginning of this article, I asked, “What can you do to fight hunger?” Did you think of anything? You can do one of the above, but I've got some more ideas for you. Take one of these ideas and run with it and get others involved too!

From The Good Long Road: Hunger Action Month, 11 Simple Ways. This is a short list from Jennifer Fischer’s post:  

+ Collect Spare Change and donate to a local cause or nonprofit.
+ Donate (and volunteer) at our local food pantry. Ridgecrest has two that I know of: St Ann’s Church (SARP) and the Salvation Army.
+ Garden.
+ Eat a meal with gratitude.
+ Support a neighbor in need.
+ Organize a food drive.
+ Learn about hunger / talk about it.

I know one of these ideas inspired you to get involved. Still want more ideas? Great! Go to the Moms Fighting Hunger blog hop here to grab more resources.

If your plate is already full, you can “eat a meal with gratitude.” You can ‘like’ the Facebook page: “We Love Ridgecrest.” You can tell people about these resources. We all have something wonderful to give. That’s what we were created for anyway! Learn, grow, and share!! Be well.

P.S. Last year I partnered with The Good Long Road and we both shared a post on "Moms Fighting Hunger" for Hunger Action Month by taking the #SNAP challenge. Find our posts here and here

P.P.S. Contact me on my blog if you'd like a copy of the "Meals & Resources" PDF. 

Like what you have read here? Follow me on my social media sites. Scroll up to find the buttons on the top right side of the blog. 

Choose, eat, and live well! =)


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