We enjoyed our recent across-the-pond chat with the UK’s Nichola “Nic” Ludlam-Raine. When she isn’t creating delicious and nutritious fish recipes for all to enjoy, she’s busy penning her blog, Nic’s Nutrition. A registered dietitian, Nic shared her favorite fish and shellfish recipes to order when dining out or to make at home, and explained why everyone could use an extra serving (or two) of seafood in their diet.
Tell us about your blog.
Nic’s Nutrition reflects who I am both personally and professionally. I started blogging in 2012 as a way of promoting healthy eating messages in a readable and accessible manner. My aim is to motivate and inspire others to lead a healthier and subsequently happier life, one step at a time, through my nutrition- and fitness-related blog posts and healthy recipes.
I promote all foods to be eaten in moderation, as a part of a healthy, balanced diet, and I believe that variety is the spice of life. In my opinion, there is no such thing as “good” food or “bad” food, just good and bad diets. I promote healthy eating – not fads or short-term diets – as a way of life, and I live by the 80:20 rule: If you are eating 80% healthy, nutrient-dense foods, it’s OK to indulge for the other 20% of the time.
Why do you love seafood?
I love seafood not only because of its taste and versatility, but also because of the nutritional aspect. For example, shrimp and white fish are great sources of low-calorie protein, and oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, pilchards* and sardines are brimming with heart-healthy, essential omega-3s, which are great for our skin. We should ideally eat 2-to-3 portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily.
*Editor’s Note: Pilchards are small, oily fish in the same family as herring, only they have a smaller, more round shape.
What is your favorite seafood dish to order at a restaurant?
My favorite fish to eat are salmon, fresh tuna and sea bass, so I love to order any dish featuring these species. One of my all-time favorite dishes to order, though – mainly because I don’t usually make it at home – is a mixed seafood paella. Yum! I’m also quite fond of a tagliatelle dish.
What are your tips for people who might be intimidated by preparing seafood at home?
I would say start simple. One of my favorite recipes is Crushed Ryvita & Greek Yogurt Topped Salmon baked in the oven. I serve it with sweet potato wedges and any vegetables that I have in my fridge or freezer. Another tip is to buy canned fish that is ready to eat!
What’s next on your “must make” or “must order” seafood list?
I just came back from my honeymoon in California. We stayed in Santa Barbara, where we ate at Brophy Brothers seafood restaurant. I fell in love with their tuna salad and would love to re-create it at home. The tuna seemed to be cured, similar to what you get when you order sushi. It was so delicious!