If you’re looking for another lean protein to add to your meal rotation, fish is it!

The current recommendation, set forth by the American Heart Association, is to consume a 3.5-ounce serving of cooked fish- particularly fatty fish– at least 2 times per week. Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines and albacore tuna, are all good source of omega-3 fatty acids. But, all fish, even the white varieties, offer some benefit.

Despite that recommendation, it is estimated that only 1 in 10 Americans actually eat the suggested 2 servings per week. That statistic is so hard for me to believe! I love fish; I want to help you love it too!

I’ve heard a variety of reasons for avoiding fish. For this post, I talk about the two I hear the most.  Then, I share a recipe for a simple white fish that is both mild, and easy to prepare- I promise!

Reason #1: Taste

Food likes and dislikes often stem from childhood. Adults and children alike tend to migrate toward things that are familiar. So, if you were not raised eating fish, maybe you assume you do not like it.  Or, maybe you tried it and really did dislike it; perhaps you avoid it because you dislike the smell; or, maybe you fear it will taste “fishy.” Whatever your reason, I to encourage you to try again. Avoiding fish based on one experience or perceived experience is limiting yourself tremendously.

Reason #2: Fear of Cooking Fish

Clients and consumers have also shared their fear of cooking fish. They admit they don’t know how. Believe it or not, I get it.  Cooking any protein can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never done it. Fish is actually very easy to prepare. The key is to make sure it is completely cooked. When fish reaches the proper internal temperature (145° Fahrenheit), it becomes opaque in color and it flakes. I always recommend using a food thermometer; but, you can also put your fish through the fork test. Insert a fork at a 45° angle and twist the fork gently. If it is done, it will flake easily. If it is undercooked, the fish will resist flaking and be translucent; just continue cooking and test again until it is done.

To build your fish cooking confidence, I’m sharing a simple recipe to get your started. Tilapia is a mild- flavored white fish, which makes it a great option for those new to eating and cooking fish. This Tilapia Almondine recipe is a simple and delicious; it’s kid tested and mother-approved! So, forget your fears and get busy in the kitchen!

Tilapia Almondine

Author: Heather Mangieri, RDN

Ingredients

  • 20 ounces Tilapia (raw)
  • 2 tbsp Sliced Almonds
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/8 tsp Salt

Instructions

  • • Pour 1 Tbsp. oil into sauté pan and warm over medium heat
    • Place thawed tilapia in pan and sprinkle with slivered almonds, black pepper and salt. Sear both sides, ~ 5-6 minutes on each side. Add water to cover the bottom of the pan and continue to cook on medium heat or until water is absorbed into the fish (water prevents the fish from sticking and having to use more oil). Make sure internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
    • Remove and serve

Notes

Recipe Makes: 4 Servings                   Serving Size: ~4-ounce piece
Pairing Recommendation: serve with a starchy carbohydrate such as these twice-baked potatoes and a non-starchy vegetable like these greenbean bacon-bundles
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 180 Calories, 1 Carbohydrates, 0 Fiber, 29 Protein, 7 Total Fat, 1 Saturated Fat, 150 Sodium, 20% Vitamin D, 6% Daily Iron, 2% Daily Calcium, 10% Daily Potassium

If you try this recipe, let us know what you think. Leave a comment below, or share a picture of your finished product with me on social media by tagging #HeatherMangieri or @heathermangieri

Nutrition CheckUp Meal Planning Serving:  = 0 CHO; 4 PRO; 1.5 FAT

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