All posts by NFI Nutrition

salmon pasta w/ olives and kale

A little bit summer, a little bit fall. That’s the season that last night’s Salmon Pasta w/ Olives and Kale evoked.

After seeing a recipe for Seared Salmon with Olives, Rosemary and Potatoes in the September issue of Real Simple, I was inspired to make salmon with black olives and the oil-vinegar-rosemary drizzle. But, it’s still so warm here that the grill was calling. So, I grilled the salmon, sauteed some kale and cooked a pot of veggie-infused bowtie pasta. I heated some olive oil, dried rosemary and red wine vinegar until it was warm. Then, I threw some black olives into the pan.

I layered the pasta on the bottom of the bowl, then some kale topped with a piece salmon. I then drizzled the oil-olive dressing on top of the salmon, topped with a little feta cheese. Two pans and 20 minutes later, dinner was served. It was super-quick and oh-so-tasty.

Oh, and I’ll try the real Real Simple recipe soon.

TELL US: What is your favorite pasta and fish dish? Please share with us. We’d love to hear from you!

Posted by Rima Kleiner, MS, RD

grouper w/ peach-mango salsa

Peach. Mango. Salsa. Three of my favorite summer foods.

My family and I snuck in one last trip to the beach this weekend. Nestled along the North Carolina coast, Beaufort is a quaint little fishing town with lots of restaurants. Looking for good seafood and a great view, we ate an early Saturday dinner on the porch of The Spouter Inn, watching the boats, including a “pirate” boat that kept the kids entertained for most of the meal.

My husband and I both ordered the local grouper, topped with some of summer’s finest foods… peach and mango. Thick and sweet, the fruit salsa paired beautifully with the mild grouper. The fish was served with sticky jasmine rice and sauteed veggies. The dish was delicious and colorful, just like the evening sunset and mild breeze.

TELL US: What are you favorite summer fish dishes? Please share. We’d love to hear from you!

Posted by Rima Kleiner, MS, RD

lemon-dill salmon cakes

Left-over salmon makes a perfect protein-rich addition to salad, pasta or even mixed with avocado or light mayo for a salmon-salad sandwich. But, I was craving comfort food lunch earlier this week.

Inspired by this @FoodNetworkrecipe for salmon burgers by @ChefMcCargo, I flaked the leftover salmon and mixed with 2 egg whites, panko bread crumbs, lemon juice, dillweed, cayenne pepper, parsley and a little salt and pepper. I cooked the patties over medium-high heat until cooked through and served on top of mixed greens with a dollop of light mayo.

From fridge to table, these cakes took about 20 minutes to make. They would also be delicious served on whole wheat buns with sauteed dark greens.And thanks to the salmon, this dish is rich in protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fats.

TELL US: What are you favorite ways to use leftover fish? Please tell us. We’d love to hear from you!

Posted by Rima Kleiner, MS, RD

Brown Rice Seafood Risotto

My family and I spent last week in a small beach town in South Carolina called Edisto Island. Days were filled with splashing, watching dolphins and day-tripping in Charleston. The evenings, of course, were filled with good food.

And, what beach trip would be complete without good seafood?

We bought fresh-caught shrimp and tilapia at a seafood market called Flowers Seafood Company, an Edisto institution. The shop is family-owned, and about as fresh and local as you can get.

In the mood for a comfort seafood dish, my husband and Icooked a pot of seafood risotto. Since there was no arborio rice to be found in the small beach town, I cooked brown rice (higher in fiber anyway!) slowly in lots of low-sodium chicken broth with a little butter and white wine. He sauteed the shrimp, tilapia and turkey kielbasawith an onion and mixed it all together with freshly-shaved Parmesan cheese. Dashes of white wine, salt, pepper and other seasonings later, we had a delicious and simple seafood risotto and salad for dinner.

TELL US: What is your favorite recipe for seafood risotto? Please share us. We’d love to hear from you!

Posted by Rima Kleiner, MS, RD

tilapia w/ black bean-corn relish

For some reason, I was craving black beans, corn and avocado this weekend.

And at the supermarket on Saturday, I noticed tilapia was on sale. With fish in hand, I picked up the ingredients for the salsa and headed home to fulfill my craving.

I didn’t have a recipe in hand and was too lazy to look for one, so I made it up. I mixed up acan of low-sodium black beans, some diced cherry tomatoes, half of a chopped avocado and some lime juice, and let it sit while my husband grilled the fish and corn on the cobs. When the corn was cooked, I cut the corn off the cob and mixed it with the black bean-avocado mixture.

The verdict? Relish-topped tilapia + a big salad = a TASTYand SATISFYING hot summer day dinner.

TELL US: What are you favorite summer seafood salsas and relishes? Please share. We’d love to hear from you!

Posted by Rima Kleiner, MS, RD

mahi with pineapple salsa

The USDA MyPlate recommends that we fill half our plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with lean protein and a quarter with whole grains or starchy vegetables. When your protein is fish, it’s so easy to fill that half of a plate with colorful produce.

It’s no secret that fish pairs wonderfully with grilled and roasted veggies or a leafy greens salad (or both!). But, don’t forget fruit. Fruit–especially spring and summer fruit–makes a great addition to seafood.

Craving a pineapple-based relish, I mixed canned diced pineapple, chopped red bell pepper, seasonings, olive oil and lime juice. Served on top of grilled mahi, the light fruit salsa complemented the delicate taste of mahi.A simple, quick and tasty way to boost my seafood, fruit and vegetable intake, and get me closer to MyPlate recommendations.

TELL US: What are your favorite quick fruit-based relishes or salsa for seafood? Please share. We’d love to hear from you!

Posted by Rima Kleiner, MS, RD

New Seafood Advice for Moms-To-Be and Breastfeeding Moms in the Works

Sometimes it takes nutrition policy a little while to catch up to the science. Today we are happy to report that decade-old seafood advice for pregnant and breastfeeding moms from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is on its way to getting a much-needed update.

The 2004 version of the draft advice was widely misinterpreted as a warning—not good because fish is so rich in powerhouse pregnancy nutrients, including omega-3s! Now, FDA is working to clear the waters with newly-released draft seafood advice that clearly encourages expectant and new moms to eat 2-3 servings of fish each week for optimal baby brain development.

This draft advice is based on more than 110 studies that look at what happens when pregnant women eat fish—including both the good stuff like omega-3s and concerns about mercury. At the end of the day, it’s clear that pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat a variety of seafood 2-3 times a week, to help mom and baby meet needs for essential omega-3s without introducing concerns. For more information, check out  these reviews: WHO/FAO Joint Expert Consultation on the Risks and Benefits of Fish Consumption; USDA/DHHS 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans; Draft Report: A Quantitative Assessment of the Net Effects on Fetal Neurodevelopment from Eating Commercial Fish (As Measured by IQ and also by Early Age Verbal Development in Children).

While fish is packed with a number of good things for moms and babies like protein, iron, and B vitamins, seafood is really one of the only naturally-rich sources of omega-3s called DHA. DHA is a building block for baby’s developing brain—the omega-3s found primarily in seafood comprise more than half of a newborn baby’s brain. And, the amount of omega-3 DHA in a baby’s brain triples during the first three months of life.

For most pregnant women–who eat on average about half a serving of seafood a week–this advice means it’s time to quadruple the amount of fish they eat. That’s right, most pregnant and nursing women need to eat four times the amount of seafood they currently eat to meet nutrient needs.

So, how can moms-to-be fit plenty of fish in their diets? Try these easy tips:

  • Try frozen, canned or pouch fish, convenient options that are just as healthful as fresh seafood.
  • Take recipes you already know and replace the usual protein with fish. It’s as simple as turning beef burgers into salmon burgers, chicken tacos into tilapia tacos and cheese quesadillas into canned tuna quesadillas.
  • Try eating tuna or crab salad on whole wheat bread, pita or whole grain crackers with some of these creative and craveable mix-ins like:
    • Avocados
    • Nonfat plain Greek yogurt
    • Diced apples, grapes, celery, carrots or jalapeno
    • Balsamic vinegar
    • Dried fruit, like cherries or cranberries

For more easy and tasty seafood recipes, check out this meal planner and these sample menus.

salmon salad from @PescetarianPlan

Jennifer wrote about The Pescetarian Plan book by fellow registered dietitian @JanisJibrin recently. This is a fun book, and the recipes by @SidraForman don’t disappoint. Here is my take on their Salmon Salad.

This salmon salad is super-easy, so easy I whipped this salad up for lunch last week in a matter of minutes. I didn’t have parsley on hand, so I quickly diced up celery and avocado and opened a pouch of salmon. It was literally that simple. The combination of salmon and avocados is so satisfying, you’ll never miss the mayonnaise in this seafood-based salad.

I enjoyed the salad with raw peppers and celery, but it would pair nicely with whole grain crackers or bread or on top of a bed of mixed greens. With all the protein and heart-healthy fats in this lunch, this dish tied me over until dinner. No afternoon snack needed!

To learn more about The Pescetarian Plan–including a weight loss program and sample recipes–click here.

TELL US:What are some of your favorite seafood lunches? We’d love to hear from you.

Posted by Rima Kleiner, MS, RD

tilapia summer spaghetti

I love spaghetti with fish and vegetables, dressed in white wine, olive oil and lemon. This dish did not disappoint.

Since I don’t have a go-to recipe for an olive oil, lemon and white wine sauce, I always do a quick online search to see what recipes call for ingredients similar to what I have in the fridge and pantry. I found this Fish en Papillote recipe from @MelissadArabian at @FoodNetwork.

Melissa’s recipe calls for garlic, carrot and lemon, which I did not have. So, I improvised… I cooked tilapia, zucchini, red bell pepper, mushrooms and onions covered with an olive oil, white wine, lemon juice and touch of butter sauce in parchment paper. Then, I sprinkled with fresh basil and served on a bed of whole wheat spaghetti. It was delicious!

TELL US: What are your favorite summer seafood pasta dishes? Please share. We’d love to hear from you!

Posted by Rima Kleiner, MS, RD

shrimp grilled with barbecue peach chutney from @PescetarianPlan

I was sent a copy of a new book about eating healthfully by focusing on fish called The Pescetarian Plan by the books author and fellow registered dietitian, Janis Jibrin, MS, RD. Janis lays out an eating plan rich in 1) fruits and veggies, 2) healthful fats like olive oil and nuts, and 3) plenty of protein from fish and shellfish as well as meatless sources like beans and eggs. Most of the delicious-sounding recipes in the book for example, salmon with tahini and toasted nuts or clams with tomatoes and garlic on whole- grain pasta include at least a couple of these categories. I am always on the hunt for recipes that knock out a couple healthful food groups in one swoop, so Ill be trying several from this book. I started with the shrimp grilled with barbecue peach chutney, which contains seafood alongside fruit and veggies. We liked the combination of ingredients a lot tart and sweet. For more about this book, including sample meal plans and recipes, click here.

Posted by Jennifer McGuire, MS, RD