One half of the dynamic blogging duo at “Teaspoon of Spice,” Deanna Seagrave-Daly, RD, spends her days creating delicious, nutritious recipes. Her passion: finding healthy kitchen hacks while co-running a nutrition communications group with her business partner, Serena Ball, MS, RD. (Inside scoop: We’re dishing with Serena in June.)
We’re loving Deanna’s list of meals she likes to make at home, and what dishes she likes to order when dining out. In our Q&A exchange below, she’s also serving up some great tips and tricks for getting picky eaters to try seafood!
Tell us about your blog.
I blog at Teaspoon of Spice with my business partner, Serena Ball, under the tagline of “two dietitians who love food as much as you do.” Our blog focuses on family-friendly, healthy recipes, where taste is king. We also feature a “Healthy Kitchen Hacks” video series – which shows our favorite shortcuts to living more healthfully and deliciously. Some other fun elements on our blog are the Ingredient Index, where you can search recipes according to any food or ingredient they include, “Cooking with Kids” posts, and a lot of nutrient information and healthy eating advice.
Why do you love seafood?
I love seafood first and foremost for its flavor and variety. I became a shellfish lover at an early age and now, as an adult, I pretty much love it all – from raw to smoked. I’ve always said shrimp would be part of my last meal! The bonus is all the wellness benefits seafood provides – from being a terrific source of important nutrients such as omega-3s, protein and Vitamin D to its ties to better brain and heart health.
What is your favorite seafood dish to make at home and/or order at a restaurant?
My favorite seafood dishes to make at home are something easy and fast. At a restaurant, I almost always order a seafood cioppino or pasta dish – something with a lot of different fish and shellfish that would be much more work to make at home.
What’s next on your “must make” or “must order” seafood list?
I can’t wait to get back to my favorite Chinatown restaurant in Philadelphia, so I can order their salt-baked shrimp – I have to figure out how to make it myself one of these days.
What are your tips for people who might be intimidated by the thought of preparing seafood at home?
I try to take the stigma out of it by mentioning that fish is very often quicker to cook than meat or chicken! I usually encourage people to start with a basic whitefish, season it with your favorite spices and either oven-bake or sauté it in a pan. Add it to what your family usually likes to eat – like tacos, pasta, or rice – or enjoy it in a hamburger bun.
Also, take advantage of the convenience of frozen fish. I recently learned a tip where you don’t even have to defrost it ahead of time, but just cook it a few minutes longer. It works!
Any words of wisdom for parents who have picky eaters at home? How did you get your kid to eat seafood?
I have a few go-to tips I think are helpful for both children and adults who don’t like seafood – or, as I say, who think they don’t like it! First, turn it into cakes or patties, like crab cakes, tuna burgers, or salmon cakes. You can also bread it: create a crust using crushed cereal, whole-wheat breadcrumbs, or cornmeal. This helps people who might not like the texture of seafood. Lastly, use it in some basic recipes – mash it into tomato sauce for pasta or pizza, use it as a filling for omelets or burritos, or mix it into a stir-fry.
That said, my daughter loves shrimp and fish sticks, but that’s about as far as she’ll go, for now. I continue to expose her to a variety of seafood and am taking comfort in the fact that I didn’t love all types of seafood when I was her age, either.
Here are a few of our favorites from Deanna’s recipes on “Teaspoon of Spice”:
Crunchy Baked Fish Sticks
Up the ante on this kid favorite by serving them on Popsicle sticks, for fun dipping!
Get the recipe here.
Potato Chip Shrimp Cakes
Everything you love about fish and chips in one cake!
Get the recipe here.
Easy Seafood Paella
This traditional rice dish from Spain couldn’t be easier to pull together at home.
Get the recipe here.