Better Frozen Fish

This article originally appeared in Optimum Wellness, Winter 2018, page 11.

Did you know that the American Heart Association recommends eating fish twice a week? The goal is to increase Americans’ intake of nutritious omega fatty acids which promote heart health. Fish is also a good source of protein and low carb. What’s keeps us from our two servings a week, just seven ounces in all? Mostly easy access.

 That’s changing thanks to an exciting trend in seafood meals and snacks. If you haven’t peeked at the frozen fish section lately, you may not have noticed the influx of new packaged fish fillets and fish-based meals. Out are breaded and fried fish and in are on-trend crusts made from nuts, spices and herbs; parchment paper or foil wrappers for oven roasting; and ready-to-heat sauces.

Love the Wild offers sustainably sourced farmed fish with adorable heart-shaped sauce cubes to accompany barramundi or red trout fillets ready to wrap in parchment and pop in the oven; sauce flavors include Salsa Verde and Mango Sriracha Chutney. Sea Cuisine has a range of fish—rock fish, salmon, cod—ready to cook with crusts of potato, tortilla chips and seasoned panko. Larger meal kits by Contessa Cutting Board feature Cuban rockfish and street taco meals. Burgers made from salmon and tuna provide terrific easy-to-access fish choices.

Prepared frozen meals featuring fish are another up-to-date selection. Saffron Road Thai Red Curry includes chunks of Wild Alaskan Pollock, a sustainable mild white fish which is also the base of Lean Cuisine Marketplace’s Tortilla-Crusted Fish on rice with jalapeños, corn and sour cream sauce. Gorton’s Shrimp Bowl comes on a bed of Japanese soba noodles. Pre-cut tuna for homemade poke bowls is another discovery, although ready-to-eat bowls from Blue Hill Bay with smoked ahi or salmon provide an immediate poke fix.

If cooking isn’t an option, then seafood snacks may be the answer. Patagonia Provisions, a food line from the clothing company, has packaged seafood for campers or anyone seeking portable protein. Tins of flavored mussels and pouches of seasoned salmon bites raise the bar for trail snacks. More accessible still is salmon jerky seasoned with black pepper, herbs or citrus. On the horizon are crunchy snack chips made from salmon skin, a resourceful and nutritious application for that part of the fish.

 For desk lunch enhancement, StarKist and Bumble Bee have seasoned tuna pouch meals. StarKist Charlie’s Snack Kit has all the components needed to mix a fresh batch of tuna salad, including a cup, spoon, reduced fat mayo, relish and crackers. At 19g protein, it’s a full meal. For flavor lovers, StarKist Creations new BOLD line pouched tuna features crowd-favorite Tapatio and Sriracha. Altogether, it seems easier than ever to hit—or even surpass—our fish Rx for the week!

Kara Nielsen