Food Articles


Doable Challenge: Go for Healthy Grilled Fish and Seafood

May 20, 2013

This month's Doable Challenge is geared toward healthy grilling using the principles of the Mediterranean diet, so this week I'm challenging you to fire up your barbecue for at least one serving of fish or seafood. You'll get heart-healthy omega-3s, high-quality, low-fat protein, and a delicious dinner that might just make you feel as if you've been transported to a sunny shore. Here are four tips to get you going: 1. Choose sturdy fish: If you're planning to cook right on the grates, choose sturdy fish and seafood like mahi-mahi, tuna, salmon, large shrimp, or whole squid that won't stick to or fall through the grates. A metal spatula comes in handy for turning fish steaks, and skewers are your friend for smaller pieces of fish, squid, and scallops. 2. Or use a fish basket or foil: A fish basket makes for much easier turning of fish, and works for whole fish, as well as thick and thin fillets. Also, as I noted in my post titled The Secret to Easy, Healthy Grilled Fish, one of the easiest ways to cook thin and delicate fillets like flounder or tilapia is in foil. For the fish pictured with this post, I brushed double-layered foil rectangles with olive oil, added a fillet to each, and topped them with finely chopped vegetables and olives mixed with olive oil, lemon juice, and a bit of salt, then sealed the foil packets (leaving room for steam), and cooked them on the grill over medium heat without turning for about seven minutes. I make a variation on this fish recipe often in the summer, using whatever vegetables look good--zucchini, corn, tomatoes, green beans, peppers, etc. 3. Remember the oil: Make sure your grill and your fish or seafood has a coating of oil to prevent sticking (and as with meat, don't move fish steaks around until they've had a chance to sear). A marinade made with oil, an acid such as vinegar or citrus juice, and herbs works well on fish, but don't leave it on too long or your fish will get mushy (30 minutes or less should do it). 4. Keep an eye on it: As Mediterranean diet authority Nancy Harmon Jenkins noted when I interviewed her for our grilling article, the key thing to remember when grilling fish is to keep an eye on it because it cooks quickly! You'll find plenty of healthy grilled fish and seafood recipes here on Epi, including the ones featured with the Doable Challenge article mentioned above. For ideas on topping your fish, see my post on healthy sauces. What are you grilling this week? Photo: Megan O. Steintrager

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