“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)
The past 4 posts have been laying out the case about why Omega 3 fats are especially essential to fight diabetes and the accompanying physical issues which diabetics often wrestle with. Here’s some more about Omega 3 fish sources as well as recipes to use as basics, in your kitchen!
For cold-water fish sources of Omega 3s, it’s important to know the “provenance” of the fish (i.e. what exact species and where they were fished).
Most lists just say Omega 3 sources are ‘cold water fish’. Sometimes they mention species (like “cod”, “salmon” etc.), but this is NOT good enough!
If we are to protect the oceans and ourselves, we must know more and then act to “preserve the natural fishery” and eat clean, pristine fish!
Here’s some more complete information about these “cold-water” fish and keep yourself updated at the Environmental Defense Fund site and Monterey Bay Aquarium “Seafood Watch” site!
Cold-water Omega-3 species to be AVOIDED are:
___ Atlantic cod – due to overfishing
___ Pacific cod (from imported sources) – poor product, bad environment
___ farmed salmon, from anywhere! same as above for cod
Cold-water Omega-3 species – Best Choices are:
___ Arctic Char – farmed in fast, natural streams, in America and Norway and in cleaned recirculating closed systems. Also called Iwana and Alpine Char
___ Pacific cod – farmed US west coast – fished using bottom long-line technique or trap or hook-and-line, only
___ Pacific halibut, caught US waters
___ Sablefish / Black cod – wild, Alaska and British Columbia; California, Oregon and Washington have an Acceptable rating for the sustenance of the fishery. They are second choice. Sablefish should also be used to substitute for “Unagi”, freshwater eel, in sushi and other Japanese recipes, as Unagi is in jeopardy. Season: fresh is May – October. Frozen, all year.
___ Salmon – wild, Alaska
___ Pacific sardines, US waters only
___ Rainbow trout – farmed in US, only
Acceptable for the moment:
___ Alaska pollock as fish, not when processed as fake krab, surimi etc.
___ Salmon, wild – from north of Cape Falcon, Oregon (but Washington catch is high in mercury – so don’t eat often — none of this Washington state catch is for kids or if pregnant).
Here are a few special recipes from Monterey Bay Aquarium species which are sustainable and responsibly produced and harvested.
Find out about the status of the fisheries in your nation. The statements above are from the US, but highlight that there definitely are problems in parts of the world, especially where fish are being farmed or where there are little or no laws about pollution.
Arctic Char, like Trout, is a cousin of Salmon. As such all sub-species have great Omega-3 profiles. Feel free to use them all year. Whole Foods and good health stores will carry it. Ask the fishmonger in your regular supermarket if they can order it, too.
ARCTIC CHAR WITH FENNEL AND ORANGE
4 med fennel bulbs, trimmed, cut lengthwise into 1-inch wide wedges, some fronds minced and reserved for garnish
2 lg red onions, peeled, cut through the stem end into 1-inch wide wedges
2 T olive oil, plus more as needed
4 t grated orange zest (from about 3 oranges), divided
1¾ t fennel seeds, crushed coarsely in mortar with pestle if desired, divided
coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 Arctic char fillets, 5-6 ounces each
1/4 C balsamic vinegar
1/4 C fresh orange juice
2 t firmly packed brown sugar
Arrange one rack in the upper third of your oven and one rack in the lower third of the oven, then preheat to 450º F.
Combine the fennel wedges and onions in a large bowl, and then add the 2 tablespoons of the oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the orange zest, and 1 teaspoon of the fennel seeds. Toss to coat the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss again.
Arrange vegetables in a single layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet, then place on the upper oven rack. Roast for 15 minutes.
Stir the vegetables and continue roasting until tender and beginning to brown, which will be about 15 minutes longer.
In the meantime, brush a small, rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Also brush the skin of the fish with olive oil. Place skin side down on the prepared baking sheet. Brush on more olive oil to the top of the fish and sprinkle with salt, pepper, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the orange zest and remaining ¾ teaspoon of fennel seeds.
After the vegetables have roasted for 20 minutes, place the pan with the fish on the lower oven rack and cook the fish until it feels springy when pressed in the center. This will take about 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.
Another test of doneness: make a small incision in the thickest part of the fish. The flesh should be just opaque in the center. If it’s still translucent, then cook it a few minutes longer.
While the fish is cooking, mix the vinegar, orange juice, brown sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon grated orange zest in a large skillet. Stir until the sugar dissolves, and then simmer over medium heat until thickened to a syrupy texture. Stir it frequently, for about 3 minutes, then remove from the heat.
Divide the vegetables and fish among 4 pre-warmed plates, saving the juices from the fish pan. Next, stir 3-4 teaspoons of the fish juices into the balsamic sauce. Spoon all of the sauce over the fish and vegetables. Sprinkle lightly with chopped fennel fronds and serve immediately.
PACIFIC COD CHOWDER
4 slices applewood-smoked “bacon” (1/4 pound), chopped (optional)*
1 lg onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 t minced fresh thyme
1/4 t paprika
(3) 8-ounce bottles clam juice OR fish broth
1/2 C spring or filtered water
1 pound organic Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces **
1/2 C organic whipping cream **
coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds Pacific cod, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 med bunch organic kale finely chopped (about 2 cups) **
If using, cook the “bacon” in a heavy large pot over medium heat until brown and crisp, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel and drain.
Add the onion, bay leaves and thyme to the pot. Sauté over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the paprika. Add the clam juice or broth, 1/2 cup water and then the potatoes. Bring the mixture to a low boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, about 8 minutes.
Next, add the cream and bacon to the chowder. Sprinkle the cod pieces with salt and pepper then add the cod and kale to the soup. Simmer until the fish is opaque in the center (to check, cut into a piece of fish with a small knife or break apart with a spoon), stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Only after you are sure that the fish IS cooked, then taste and adjust the seasonings. Ladle the chowder into warmed bowls and serve.
* It’s optional to use “bacon” of any sort. Frankly, it just overwhelms the taste of the fish! But, if you want a vegetarian version, then use a soy “bacon” substitute. It gives a little flavor without being overwhelming, and it keeps the dish kosher, too.
** These 2 vegetables and the cream MUST BE ORGANIC! Why?
Regular potatoes are covered in fungicides.
Regular kale is often grown in polluted fields to draw-out the pollutants!
All fatty dairy products harbor environmental toxins unless they are organically-produced, with care.
PACIFIC COD TACOS
I personally feel that the Fish Taco is Mexico’s greatest contribution to world-cuisine. I know there are other great Mexican meals, like adobos etc., but this is MY favorite! Taco del Mar, si!
1/4 C T olive oil
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
1 t ground achiote* (ground annatto seed) (optional)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 1/4-1 1/2 pounds Pacific cod
1/2 C organic mayonnaise
2 T cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
1 T fresh lime juice
1/2 t ground cumin
1/4 t ground coriander
1/4 t cayenne pepper
pinch of white pepper or freshly ground black pepper
coarse Celtic sea salt
Pico de Gallo
2 med. organic red tomatoes seeded, diced
1 med. organic yellow tomato, diced
1 sm. red onion, finely chopped
1/3 C chopped fresh cilantro
2 T fresh lime juice
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 T cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 jalapeño chile, minced
4 shakes hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
1/2 sm. head organic red cabbage
8-12 organic corn tortillas
olive oil (for frying)
Cooking the Marinated Cod
Combine the oil, cilantro, lemon juice, (achiote) and garlic in a medium bowl. Cut the cod lengthwise into 3 x ¾- inch strips. Add to the marinade and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours.
Making the Aioli
Combine the mayonnaise, oil, garlic, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin, coriander, cayenne and pepper in a medium bowl and mix to blend. Season to taste with salt. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead; cover and refrigerate.)
For the Pico de Gallo
Combine the red and yellow tomatoes, onion, cilantro, lime juice, lemon juice, olive oil, jalapeno and hot pepper sauce in a medium bowl. Mix to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cut the cabbage half in thirds through the core. Slice very thinly or shred on a v-slicer or a mandolin.
Warm the tortillas in the oven or on top of the stove.
To warm in the oven, preheat to 250º F. Wrap the tortillas in foil and heat in the oven while cooking the cod.
To heat on top of the stove, working with one tortilla at a time, place directly on a gas burner or hot, dry skillet and cook until beginning to brown in spots, about 20 seconds on each side. Wrap in foil to keep warm.
To Cook the Cod:
Cover the bottom of a heavy large skillet generously with olive oil and warm over medium-high heat.
Place some flour on a medium plate. Working in batches, remove the cod from the marinade, turn in the flour to coat, and add to the skillet (do not crowd).
Cook the cod until crisp, beginning to flake, and opaque in the center, about 3 minutes on each side. (The fish will start to separate into opaque flakes when it’s cooked through.)
Transfer to paper towels and drain. If the browned bits in the skillet become dark brown, pour off the oil, wipe out the skillet and add fresh oil. Sprinkle the cooked cod with salt and pepper.
Arrange 2 or 3 warm tortillas on each plate. Spread each with a little aioli and arrange fish strips in the center. Using a slotted spoon, dress with pico de gallo and top with shredded cabbage. Serve immediately.
*Ground achiote, also called ground annatto seed, is a deep red powder that gives the cod a rich, warm color. It can be found in Latin American, Indian and specialty food stores. Turmeric could also be used and it has real nutritional value as an anti-inflammatory.
SABLEFISH – GENMAI CHA TEA SOUP
Makes 4 servings
Total Time: 65 minutes
2 C short-grain organic brown rice
1 t Celtic sea salt, divided
1 package (about 0.8 oz.) toasted, seasoned nori seaweed*
2 green onions
2 t organic oil
1 pound black cod (about 2 fillets) **
8 tea bags of genmaicha ***
4 C filtered water or spring water
8 more Cups – filtered water
1 t black sesame seeds (white are 2nd choice)
tamari (a rich, traditionally-made Japanese soy sauce)(optional)
toasted sesame oil
In a medium saucepan, bring rice, 1/2 tsp. salt and 4 cups water to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until rice is tender to the bite, about 50 minutes — or use a rice cooker using their proportions for the amount of water needed for 2C rice (dry). Remove rice from heat, uncover, and fluff with a fork.
Meanwhile, cut nori into 1/4-inch strips and set aside. Slice green onions crosswise (including green parts) and set aside.
Rub a baking sheet with oil.
Put fish on sheet and turn over to oil both sides. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Broil 3 to 4 inches away from broiler until cooked through (flesh flakes easily and is opaque in the center), about 5 minutes. Transfer fish to a plate and set aside.
When rice is cooked, bring 8 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. In a large teapot, measuring cup, or pitcher, pour the boiling water over tea bags. Let steep 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, put 1 cup rice in each of 4 large soup bowls. Place 1/2 fish fillet on each bed of rice. Pour 2 cups hot tea over each. Sprinkle with green onion and black sesame seeds. Serve immediately, with bowls of nori, tamari, and sesame oil on the side.
* Nori is the green-black seaweed used to wrap sushi rolls. It is easy to cut into strips with kitchen shears. Nori, tamari and sesame oil will all be available in a good health store.
** try to choose fillets of even thickness.
*** Genmai Cha comes in boxes in Asian (especially Japanese) markets. It is a green tea paired with roasted rice grains. It has a delicate, nutty flavor.
REFERENCE WITH RECIPES:
Omega 3 for Diabetics – Part 1
Omega 3 Foods for Diabetics – Part 2
Diabetics Need Omega 3 – Part 3
Omega 3 Helps Diabetes – Part 4
Please also read the 4 years of still current articles in my archive. See the tab on the upper navigation bar. The extra page links are at the bottom of the first page.
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