The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that we all consume at least two seafood meals a week. For pregnant and nursing women, that recommendation is even higher: two to three seafood meals a week. Seafood contains a powerhouse of nutrients including lean protein, antioxidants like selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids, which play a positive role in keeping our hearts, eyes and brains healthy.
If achieving that twice-a-week seafood goal is a challenge or you’re at a loss for fish-friendly meal ideas, look no further than breakfast. Seafood in the morning is doable and delicious when you swap familiar morning favorites like oatmeal, toast and scrambled eggs for similar (well, sort of similar) seafood creations.
Seafood at breakfast may sound unconventional at first, but convenient, versatile, and nutritious farm-raised fish makes it easy. Use frozen shrimp for shrimp and grits; add leftover baked tilapia to a cheesy omelet; or assemble a trendy avocado toast and top with farm-raised smoked salmon. It’s that simple!
If you crave oatmeal at breakfast, make the switch to shrimp and grits.
Cook grits according to package directions. When done, stir in milk until you reach desired consistency along with a handful or two of shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. In the meantime, thaw 4 ounces of frozen, uncooked farm-raised shrimp. Sauté in a skillet for 3 to 4 minutes with olive oil, 1 small garlic clove, minced, and one sliced green onion. Top the grits with the cooked shrimp and garnish with fresh parsley.
If you love scrambled eggs in the morning, make the switch to a cheese omelet made with mild-flavored tilapia.
Got leftover baked tilapia from last night’s dinner? Use it in this cheesy omelet. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together 2 large eggs with a teaspoon of water. Pour the mixture into the skillet. Once the edges have set (about 30 seconds), pull back each corner with a spatula and tilt the pan so the uncooked egg falls to the edges. Let set, 30 seconds. Arrange crumbled goat cheese, sautéed baby spinach, diced avocado, and baked and flaked tilapia on the top. Fold in half, cook for one more minute, and sprinkle with chopped chives if you have them on hand.
If you’ve jumped on the avocado toast bandwagon, top it with farm-raised smoked salmon.
I could eat avocado toast every morning for the rest of my life. That’s how much I love avocados, but I also love when it’s made with a hearty, whole grain bread and topped with other goodies like thin slices of tomato, capers, fresh herbs, green onion, and smoked salmon. The creamy avocado pairs up perfectly with the salty smoked salmon, and I can’t imagine a tasty, more nutritious way to start my day.
If you have other ideas for incorporating seafood into a healthy breakfast, we’d love to hear from you.
By Liz Weiss, MS, RDN, Host of the Liz’s Healthy Table podcast and blog
More about Liz: Liz Weiss, MS, RDN, is a mom of two with a specialty in family nutrition. She’s the voice behind the family food podcast Liz’s Healthy Table, and the blog and website by the same name. Liz has written several cookbooks including No Whine with Dinner: 150 Healthy Kid-Tested Recipes From the Meal Makeover Moms, The Moms’ Guide to Meal Makeovers: Improving the Way Your Family Eats, One Meal at a Time!, and the playful new coloring book series Color, Cook, Eat!. Liz hosts the Meal Makeovers video series for CNN Accent Health, which runs in doctor’s offices nationwide.