Snapper salad… Houston-style

Jennifer and Iwere in Houston for the Academy of Nutrition &Dietetics Food &Nutrition Conference &Expo (FNCE) this past weekend. If you know any dietitians, you know we love food.

After a long day of eating random airport and reception food on Saturday,I was ready for some nutritious and protein-rich food on Sunday. And between sitting at our booth surrounded by tuna and salmon samples and attending several sessions on eating well, Iwas craving a mixed greens salad with fish for dinner.

Luckily, the hotel had a Make-Your-Own Salad with a couple of seafood choices for the protein. I chose the local grilled blackened snapper on top of a bed of local mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, tofu strips and blackened corn with a vinaigrette. A little southwest, a little Houston. It hit the right spot and was a gentle reminder that it’s easy to eat healthfully while traveling… you just have to make the right choices.

Here are some helpful tips for choosing on-the-go foods:

  • Include protein or fat at every meal. Try to include heart-healthy protein or fat at every meal or snack. The protein and fat help to slow digestion of the meal and keep blood sugar levels stable. All seafood contains protein, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna provide heart-healthy omega-3 fats. The snapper, tofu and avocado in this salad provided an ample dose of heart-healthy fat and protein.
  • Choose high-fiber carbohydrates. Fiber-rich carbohydrates help keep us feeling fuller longer, which can be important if you’re stuck on an airplane for hours (like Iwas!) or in meetings all day. Plus, crabohydrates rich in fiber–like vegetables, fruits and whole grains–tend to be more nutritious and less caloric than processed carbohydrate-rich foods. The mixed greens, cucumbers, corn and tomatoes all added fiber to my salad.
  • Ask for sauces and dressings on the side. Sauces and salad dressings can be heavy in calories, fat and sodium. While we can’t control how much fat, calories and sodium are in these tasty additions, we can control how much we add if we ask for them on the side. I requested the vinaigrette on the side and drizzled less than half of the portion on top of the fish and salad. While I don’t know how many calories were in this particular dressing, this simple act likely saved me at least 200 calories.

Here’s a picture of Jennifer and me at the NFI booth.

If you didn’t attend FNCE or missed our booth, check out our super-handy menu planners. It’s an easy way to plan out the week’s meals, complete with a space to jot down the groceries you need.

TELL US: How do you eat healthfully on the road? Do you think it’s easy to find nutritious seafood dishes on-the-go? We’d love to hear from you!

Written by Rima Kleiner, MS,RD