Seafood Swap

Have you considered a Seafood Swap on some of your favorite foods? Summer is a great time to use seafood swaps in burgers, tacos, pizzas, pastas, skewers, salads and more! Bonus: It’s good for our health and the planet’s health.

The Seafood Nutrition Partnership staff have always liked to experiment in the kitchen and try out new recipes, and we’re here to share some of our learnings. This is a great time to learn how to swap different ingredients into favorite dishes or even try a new recipe. Below, we’ll talk about ideas for swapping seafood into your family’s favorite foods, talk about how different species of seafood can be swapped into dishes, and also share some tips on how we are creatively using items from our pantry to make recipes work when we don’t have all the correct ingredients on hand.

Also, check out our blog post about using canned or frozen seafood and another about our favorite comfort foods with seafood.

Seafood Swaps

Seafood works for all of your family’s favorite foods – even comfort foods! Think fish and shellfish when making burgers, tacos, pizza, salad, sandwiches, and more!

Tacos: This is arguably the easiest place to add seafood. Any fish as well as shrimp, lobster and scallops are all perfect vehicles for taco seasoning. Here are a couple of our favorite recipes (and we have dozens of variations):

 

Burgers: There are several types of seafood-based burgers available at grocery stores across the country, including salmon, Alaska pollock, shrimp and mahi mahi. But, you can also make them at home! Any “cake” recipe – think crab cakes – can be sized up for a full-size burger or just make mini sliders!

 

 

Pizza: Though we’re a nutrition organization, we strongly believe there is a place in everyone’s diet for pizza! Seafood makes for a great pizza topper. Try some of our favorite combos:

 

What Seafood Should I Buy?

In our Ultimate Guide to Buying Seafood and Ultimate Guide to Cooking Seafood, we share a lot of information about utilizing different species of seafood, as well as offer tips to make the most of what you can find at the grocery store. This includes lists of fish that have similar qualities such as taste profiles and cooking techniques.

If you’re looking for:

  • A light, delicate fish. Choose a lean fish, such as barramundi, sea bass, cod, flounder, grouper, haddock, halibut, mahi mahi, perch, pollock, red snapper, rockfish, sole or yellowfin tuna. For shellfish, shrimp, crab and lobster are light and lean.
  • For a richer taste. Choose a fattier fish usually with darker flesh, such as herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, swordfish, trout or albacore tuna. Several shellfish varieties fit in this rich category and offer delicious briny flavor, such as clams, mussels and oysters.

In terms of cooking style, if you want to:

  • Grill: Many fish stand up to the heat, and it can bring out a delicious smoky flavor. Pick a variety that is firmer in texture, such as catfish, mahi mahi, salmon, scallops, shrimp, snapper, swordfish or tuna. Many fish also are great on grilled skewers!
  • Steam or poach: Try lean fish – mild-flavored with tender, white or pale flesh – such as sea bass, cod, flounder, grouper, haddock, halibut or pollock.
  • Broil or bake: Try a medium-fat fish, such as bluefish, catfish, salmon or swordfish.
  • Eat it without having to cook it: Choose a precooked fish that’s frozen (so you just have to warm it up), or opt for canned tuna, salmon, sardines or crab.

White fish is generally the best example of these “species swaps.” White fish is simply a mild-flavored, often slightly-sweet fish, which can be interchangeable in recipes. These include wild Alaska pollock, bass, cod, grouper, haddock and halibut. There are also some thinner fillets of white fish, which can be used in these recipes but keep in mind they cook much faster, including flounder, perch and sole. Learn all about these white fish options in this blog post.

To sum it up: Let availability and freshness be your guides. It’s easy to substitute one fish for another in a recipe. Also, keep in mind the frozen and canned sections offer the same health benefits and often a wider variety to choose from.

Recipe Ingredients on Hand

If you’re not be able to find all the ingredients to try out a specific recipe and we’re here to offer some easy swaps for some popular ingredients. Some general tips:

  • Fruits and vegetables can swap in recipes. For example, if you want to make this Smoked Salmon and Kale Frittata recipe that calls for kale, try spinach or even frozen spinach, just make sure you wring out excess liquid. Keep in mind for baking, the liquid in a recipe can throw off the end texture or the baking time.
  • Acidic liquid ingredients such as lemon juice and vinegar can be swapped, just keep in mind the end flavor profile. It’s a great time to use those random bottles of vinegar at the back of your pantry!
  • We always recommend using a lot of herbs and spices for flavoring, and only add salt if needed. Experiment with different flavor combos using those dried herbs you bought for a specific recipe months ago. We’ve been playing around with different spices in our tuna and salmon salads and found curry is amazing paired in this staple! (Try this recipe.)

Here are some tips to use ingredients you have on hand for cooking fish dishes:

Recipe calls for: Try swapping:
Buttermilk Yogurt, or milk with a small amount of lemon juice or vinegar added
Bread crumbs Rolled oats, crushed cereal, or crushed crackers
Cream (half and half) For one cup, 7/8 cup milk plus 1 Tbsp. butter
Cream (heavy) For one cup, 3/4 cup milk plus 1/3 cup butter
Cream cheese pureed cottage cheese
Garlic (clove) One clove of garlic = 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
Herbs (fresh) 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh = 1 tsp. dried herbs
Lemon zest Approximately double the quantity of lemon juice
Mayonnaise Avocado, plain Greek yogurt, sour cream
Sour cream plain Greek yogurt
Wine Broth, fruit juice mixed with a splash of vinegar

Tips For Grilling Seafood

The month of June heralds the full return of my favorite culinary tool: the outdoor grill. The smoky charm of being cooked over a live fires flatters skin-on trout fillets; super fresh sides of bluefish; and whole, oily, omega-3 rich mackerel alike.

But the fragile texture of fish fillets and the misconception that fish skin sticks to the grates, make the prospect of grilling fish intimidating. But I’ve got an easy answer to both concerns:  use the indirect grilling method for cooking all types of seafood. This technique employs two different cooking areas on the grill; one directly above the high heat of hot coals and the other sitting opposite the coals, where indirect heat gently cooks the fish to completion.

To set up a charcoal grill for indirect grilling, use a coal chimney to light the charcoal and when hot coals are ready, place all of them on one side of the kettle. Arrange well-seasoned fish fillets, skin-side down on the grill directly over these hot coals so they lay, head-to-tail, parallel to the grates.

Sear the fillets over the high heat for two minutes. Then rotate the grill grate 180 degrees, so the fish sits on the side of the grill away from the hot coals. Cover the grill, and finish cooking the fillets via indirect heat, which will take another 8-10 minutes (the general rule being 10 minutes total cooking time per inch of thickness.)

For gas grills, simply preheat both sides of the grill on high. Lay the fish on the grates on one side of the grill and cook for two minutes. Turn off the burner under the fish, but keep the burners opposite the fish fired up, cover the grill, and finish cooking.

This method also works well for smaller, whole fish. You do need to flip the fish over before rotating the grill grate away from the hots coals and cover the grill to cook it completely.

This technique helps cooks get more healthy seafood on the table more often. Please take the Seafood Nutrition Partnership’s Pledge to Eat #Seafood2xWk as a positive commitment to eat the USDA’s recommendation of eating two servings of seafood per week. To take the pledge, go to www.seafoodnutrition.org/pledge.

Grilled Skin-on Fish Fillets with Marinated Citrus Salad
This recipe works well with all types of fish fillets including Alaskan pollock, barramundi, John Dory, red snapper, salmon and trout.

Ingredients

  • 2 oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 1 lemon, peeled and segmented
  • 1 serrano chile, very thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, very thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • 4 skin-on fish fillets
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons good red wine vinegar

Directions

  • Combine orange and lemon segments, chile, shallot, and salt to taste in a colander. Let mixture sit while you cook the fish.
  • Prepare a charcoal grill, concentrating the hot coals onto one side of the kettle. Season fillets with salt. Place the fish, skin-side down, over the hottest part of the fire, leaving them there until the edges begin to crisp, about 2 minutes. To finish cooking, rotate the grill grate so the fish sits opposite the hot coals. Cover the grill and continue to cook for another 8-10 minutes, until fish is cooked through.
  • Transfer the draining citrus mixture into a bowl and gently stir in vinegar and olive oil.
  • Use a fish spatula to remove the fish from the grill and place them on a warm plate. Serve the fillets immediately with the marinated citrus salad

Tips For Little Seafoodies (And Their Caregivers)

HEALTH GOODIES FOR LITTLE SEAFOODIES

When kids eat at least two servings of seafood each week, the benefits are big. Fish and shellfish supply the nutrients, vitamins and omega-3s essential for strong bones, brain development, and a healthy heart and immune system.

  • Big Yums + Big Brains
    Fish makes your brain bigger, literallyYour brain is nearly 60% fat, and omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood are among the most crucial molecules that determine your brain’s ability to perform.
  • New Faves + Better Grades
    Kids who eat fish at least once per week may do better in school. Seafood’s omega-3s help kids’ brains develop, leading to higher IQs and improved reading and spelling skills. Plus, children who consume more seafood have less anxiety and better focus.
  • Clean Plates + Healthy Eyes
    Nearly half of our eyes’ light-detecting cell structure is made up of omega-3s.
fish

SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD IS A WIN-WIN:
HEALTHY FOR YOUR KIDS, HEALTHY FOR THE PLANET.

You have two basic choices for sustainable seafood: wild-caught from well-managed fisheries or raised from farms that adhere to responsible practices. Today, it’s easier than ever to find either option.

  • Buy certified.
    Several certification programs work with fisheries, farms and companies to ensure sustainability.
    Look for logos such as these:
  • Shop at a reputable store.
    100 percent of Hy-Vee’s fresh and frozen seafood comes from responsible sources.
  • Ask questions.
    Your store can tell you where it gets its seafood and if it was responsibly raised or caught. Just ask your Hy-Vee seafood department for more information.
  • Use the web.
    Consult sites like SeafoodWatch.org and FishWatch.gov to find great sustainable seafood choices.
  • Choose American.
    The U.S. is the global leader in sustainable seafood.

Little Seafoodies

The benefits of seafood for kids are big! Fish and shellfish supply the nutrients, vitamins and omega-3s essential for strong bones, brain development, and healthy heart and immune system. So how do moms get their kids to eat more of this delicious, nutritious food?

Seafood Nutrition Partnership talked to hundreds of moms and asked top nutrition experts and chefs for their input — all parents with tested-true tips.

Live Smarter And Heathier With Seafood

Fish provides essential health for everyone in the family.

Here are some excellent reasons to celebrate National Seafood Month:

  1. LIVE (HEALTHIER) LONGER: Fish literally saves lives. Eating seafood two to three times per week reduces the risk of death from any health-related cause by 17 percent. Seven out of 10 deaths in the U.S. are preventable through nutrition and lifestyle changes, like adding omega-3s to your diet. Low seafood intake contributes to 55,000 deaths each year, making seafood deficiency a leading dietary contributor to preventable death in the U.S. Older adults with highest fish consumption lived an average of 2.2 years longer.
  2. SEAFOOD IS A “PROTEIN WITH BENEFITS:” Seafood sits among the highest-quality proteins (like eggs, meats, poultry and dairy) and offers additional health benefits. It can reduce your risk of heart disease, improve how you feel during pregnancy and help your child develop a healthy brain and eyes, and improve memory and sharpness. As a “protein with benefits,” leading health organizations recommend Americans eat seafood at least twice a week.
  1. SEAFOOD IS BRAIN FOOD: “As calcium is to the bones, DHA is to the brain,” says Dr. Tom Brenna, member of the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Seafood provides docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of omega-3 essential for brain development and function, helping neurons trigger and cells regenerate. It is such an important building block that people with low levels of it have measurably smaller brains! The FDA and EPA agree seafood consumption is especially important for pregnant or nursing women because eating fish regularly helps with the growth and development of children’s brains and even helps boost IQ. Babies from moms who ate seafood twice a week had a higher IQ averaging 5.8 points. People who regularly eat fish are 20% less likely than their peers to have depression.7 In fact, the American Psychiatric Association has endorsed the fatty acids in fish as an effective part of depression treatment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources cited at seafoodnutrition.org

Top 6 Secrets For Getting Kids To Eat More Seafood

 

 

 

 

 

 

The benefits of seafood for kids are big! Fish and shellfish supply the nutrients, vitamins and omega-3s essential for strong bones, brain development, and healthy heart and immune system. So how do moms get their kids to eat more of this delicious, nutritious food? Seafood Nutrition Partnership talked to hundreds of moms and asked top nutrition experts and chefs for their input — all parents with tested-true tips. Here are the ones that, when put into action with real moms as part of SNP’s Little Seafoodies program, seemed to work best.

Here are the top six secrets to getting your kids to eat more seafood:

  1. HAVE FIN FUN! WHEN SEAFOOD LOOKS FUN, IT’S “YUM!” For younger kids, this can simply be visually appealing, like a sandwich shaped like a fish. The heart of this concept is for there to be an exciting component. Maybe it’s interactive and they can “play” with their food or make a taco or bowl with their favorite flavor combos.
  1. DIPPING MEANS YUMMING! Seafood, the perfect ketchup delivery device! More than three-quarters of respondents in our mom survey said dipping sauces would be a good way to get their kids to try seafood. Ketchup, ranch dressing and barbecue sauce are kids’ faves.
  1. DO THE SEAFOOD SWAP! “Kids love chicken fingers, breaded fish or shrimp is really not that different than chicken,” said Nelson. “Kids love burgers, patty up some shrimp or fish and make burgers.”

“Our kids love tacos and spaghetti…whose kids don’t love those? So sometimes I just substitute beef with shrimp or fish in my tacos and spaghetti sauce,” said Indianapolis mom of two Stephanie Hart. “I find that if you introduce seafood with familiar flavors your kids already love, they’ll eat it with few or no questions. Once they get used to it, then they’re willing to expand and try new things.”

  1. TOP IT. KIDS LOVE IT! Kids love fruit? Pile it on! Try making an avocado and fruit salsa with mango, pineapple or even strawberries to top a fillet. “Serve fish with sauces and toppings that are flavorful and preferred by kids,” suggested Jessica Levinson, mom of twin girls, dietitian and author of 52-Week Meal Planner. “For example, my Orange Maple Salmon goes over swimmingly with kids because of the sweet flavor of maple syrup.”
  1. ADD IT TO A FAVE, WATCH ’EM RAVE! Crab in mac & cheese, please! Tuna on pasta makes it go fasta! “I got my daughter back on the shrimp lover’s wagon by adding it to her favorite foods like cheese quesadillas and as a topping on homemade pizza (which she makes herself),” said mom, dietitian and co-founder of Teaspoon of Spice, Deanna Segrave-Daly.
  1. OUR BEST ADVICE IS TO KEEP TRYING. “Seafood on the menu doesn’t happen overnight— it’s a series of trial and error. Being willing to ‘try and error’ is what landed a variety of seafood on my kids plate today,” said dietitian and mom Robin Plotkin.

For more ways to increase your seafood intake, visit seafoodnutrition.org/seafoodsmarts