Monday, January 9, 2012

Superfoods Challenge: Week 2

So how did you do last week with our first Superfood, broccoli? Hopefully you enjoyed it or some of its sidekicks and your body was very glad you did. I enjoyed reading about your ideas and the recipes you shared in my BlogFrog forum; we will continue sharing on a new thread there as we go through all of the Superfoods. This is week 2 of the Superfoods Challenge, and this week's Superfood is: wild salmon! Don't fret if you are not a fan of salmon; we will discuss many ways to prepare it, and if you just plain don't like it regardless or if you are already eating plenty of salmon, you can try its sidekicks this week instead!

Wild salmon is one of the world's healthiest foods. It is rich in nutrients that contribute to heart health, joint protection, decreased cancer risk, and brain function, including improved moods. A four ounce serving of salmon will give you 128% RDA of vitamin D, 95% RDA of B12, 53% of the daily recommendations of omega-3's, 27 grams of high quality protein, and NO carbs... all for just 158 calories! This Superfood really packs a nutritional punch!

I already eat salmon frequently because, living in the Pacific Northwest, I am fortunate to be able to get fresh wild salmon at a very reasonable price. I also am blessed to have a teenage son who fishes for salmon and brings home big, fresh, delicious fillets every so often. Sometimes a friend cans the salmon in jars for us and we can use it year-round. If you can't get fresh or frozen salmon for a reasonable price, do try canned. And watch the sales... you can stock up when it goes on sale and salmon keeps in the freezer for at least a couple of months.

I like to simply bake my salmon fillets with a brushing of olive oil and a sprinkle of seasoning such as Mrs. Dash or just salt and pepper. When cooked right, it is moist and delicious without much else added. When you bake or saute or poach your salmon, you'll know it is done when you poke a fork into the thickest part and the meat flakes up easily. I also love to do salmon on the grill in the summertime; my favorite recipe is Cedar Planked Salmon. My kids enjoy brown rice with their salmon, but my favorite side dish is vegetable based: Low Carb Fettuccine Alfredo. You can use canned salmon to make salmon salad (just like tuna salad, with mayo and seasonings over a bed of lettuce or stuffed in tomatoes) or salmon cakes like these.

Salmon has several sidekicks you can try this week as well: Alaskan halibut, canned albacore tuna, sardines, herring, trout, sea bass, oysters, clams. I have a shellfish allergy that extends to clams (and possibly oysters, I am not risking it) so I am not trying those, but feel free to share if you do! I have no real experience with herring or sardines, either, but many people seem to enjoy sardines right from the tin. I will be checking at the grocery store this week for halibut (which I have baked before), trout (which my son catches once in awhile and is yummy) and sea bass (NOT the same as Chilean sea bass, which is in danger of being depleted and has a consumption advisory because of very high mercury levels). I already eat tuna frequently, and it's most likely the sidekick you have the most experience with. You can read about the *amazing* health benefits of tuna here; try to limit yourself to 6 ounces per week because of the mercury issue. I like plain tuna salad over a bed of angel hair cabbage (raw); yesterday I had this tuna melt for lunch. SuperFoods Rx recommends eating fish 2 to 4 times per week, so that's what I am aiming for.

Don't forget to continue on with your first Superfood, broccoli. You can make your changes cumulative; try making a list to go on the fridge to remind you to get your Superfoods in. Your list so far should be:

Broccoli (Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, turnips, cauliflower, collards, bok choy, mustard greens, Swiss chard) 1/2 to 1 cup per day
Wild Salmon (Alaskan halibut, canned albacore tuna, sardines, herring, trout, sea bass, oysters, clams) 2 to 4 times per week

Easy! Right? Please come back and share what you ate this week and how you prepared it, either here or on my BlogFrog forum. I would love it if you'd add your ideas and recipes to the Superfood threads there so we can all keep expanding our menus as we go along.


Bobbie said...

This will be a more difficult one for me as I am not a seafood lover. I live in Arkansas so we don't get great fish and seafood here. I would someday love to try fresh salmon somewhere on the coast and see if I might enjoy that. But I will give it a try, I do tuna occasionally. But will force salmon down at least once. They say if you try something 11 times you will probably like it.

Lethal Astronaut said...

Hi - I'm new to your blog :-)

I love love LOVE broccoli! I think I might have been a rabbit in a previously life, actually, except that I was the chocolate eating variety.

Re: the fish though, I don't eat it. I guess I'm one of those weirdo hippie types, and we don't eat meat or fish bought commercially, only our own farmed animals (lamb and chicken mostly: we own a small organic farm).

Occasionally, a neighbour or friend will go out fishing though, and bring back some lovely fish or lobster for us, and that's nice - one of the benefits of living in New Zealand :-)

Good to meet you.

Anonymous said...

Oh I MUST get over to the forum and do my gushing there. I am very excited about salmon because I have been wanting to tramp around the fish department.

Nmmumaw said...

I'm an avid reader of your blog, though I've never had weight issues myself. I think this super foods challenge is AWESOME for the health benefits it brings and conscientious consumption it encourages!

But I have to ask. What if someone who wants to participate is vegan?

Lyn said...


Thanks! Most of the Superfoods in the Challenge will be fine for vegans. But maybe you can help me? Can you share some vegan sources of Omega-3's? Then perhaps those could be the focus for our vegan readers :)

Thank you for bringing that up!

spunkysuzi said...

Due to early heart disease I take 2 tsp of an Omega 3 supplement but I will be sure to have some seafood as well this week!

Anonymous said...

flax is a very good source of veg omega 3s, and i believe walnuts are too:)

Nmmumaw said...

Upon consulting the intarwebz, it seems that there are three varieties of omega-3 fatty acids: ALA, DHA, and EPA. Of the three, the latter two are the most important, and I believe the body can synthesize both ALA and EPA from DHA. So I guess focusing on DHA is key.

Some vegan sources of DHA appear to be: Algae and seaweed (from which the salmon get it), English (not black) walnuts, flax seeds/oil, and other nuts/seeds.

Also apparently coconut oil really helps the conversion of short-chain to long-chain omega-3s in the body. Good thing I consume a boatload of coconut =D

lisa~sunshine said...

I absolutley HATE fish.. I know its good for me.. I do take fish oils and plenty of them because I know I don't get it.. I also hate avocado.. my healthy fats come from almonds.. and coconut oil.. This is a area I REALLY need to work on.. My husband likes salmon.. my kids aren't fish eaters because we don't have it much.. Making it a point to each fish once a week is a good start for us.. I will be doing the salmon this week sometime and i"ll be hunting of recipes because I'm lost..

I will eat tuna a bit.. but even that is like once every 6 months.. and I gave up pasta.. so now even tuna mac is out.. HAHA

Tiffany said...

Red cabbage sauteed up in a little coconut oil... throw a couple fried eggs on top, PURE DELICIOUSNESS!!! Plus it holds you for a longggg time. Yum. Salmon and roasted brussel sprouts are going on the menu plan for the week too.

Anonymous said...

Does smoked salmon count? I had that yesterday and thought of the challenge. I want to purchase a salmon steak for tomorrow night's din din.

Lyn said...


I don't know the official answer to that (will look in the book) but I would think so. Smoked salmon still retains the health benefits of the fish. I know it is quite salty though so watch your sodium :)

Melisa said...

Thanks to your Week 1 challenge I tried Kale for the first time (kale chips and massaged kale salad). I made a blog post about it today if you're interested!