We are so excited about this month’s “Dishing with” guest, Sarah Koszyk, of the blog Family.Food.Fiesta. We appreciate that she took time out of her busy schedule to sit down with us and dish on all things seafood and nutrition. A true jack-of-all-trades, Sarah is a registered dietitian-nutritionist (RDN), sports nutritionist and a San Francisco-based foodie. Her passion for both food and sports inspired her to provide adults and youth with delicious and nutritious recipes and tips that will help empower them to reach their fitness and health-and-wellness goals.
Like us, Sarah is a total seafoodie. Today she shares her story of how growing up in Hawaii started her love affair with fresh, whole seafood that comes straight from the source. Of course, we asked her to also share some of her favorite seafood recipes with us.
Without further ado, it’s time to fiesta with Sarah!
Tell us about your blog.
I’m passionate about bringing back the basics of home-cooked, family friendly meals – the ones where people sit together eating and sharing their day’s events. My blog is called Family.Food.Fiesta. and it emphasizes healthy comfort food for the soul, using many different ethnic cuisines and a lot of family recipes.
Why do you love seafood?
I grew up in Hawaii and we ate seafood weekly because it was a lot cheaper than beef, which had to be imported. We also went fishing quite often, so we were able to enjoy a lot of same-day seafood, which is absolutely divine because it is so fresh.
What is your favorite seafood dish to make at home or order at a restaurant?
Sashimi is my absolute favorite. It really doesn’t take much to make it. You just have to use super-fresh, high-quality seafood and cut it at the right angle and the right width. That’s when you get to truly taste the fish in its finest form.
I love making Ceviche because it’s another easy recipe that is quick, fresh and delicious. I like ordering this dish at restaurants, too, because it’s healthy and flavorful.
Living in San Francisco, we love our crab during crab season and we make a lot of Crab Louie Salads and incorporate the fresh, San Francisco sourdough bread into the meal. When it’s not crab season, we’ll use shrimp to make the salad.
My standard go-to seafood dish to order at a restaurant is cioppino. You get to enjoy so many different types of shellfish and fish in one dish, such as clams, mussels, squid, crab, shrimp, whitefish and more. Pair the seafood with a tomato-based broth and you have a match made in heaven!
What’s next on your “must-make” or “must-order” seafood list?
I still want to make homemade grilled octopus. I order this a lot at restaurants but feel slightly intimidated when it comes to trying to make it at home, since I don’t want it to be over or undercooked, which can result in rubbery or slimy octopus. I’m going to face my fear and make this dish this year. By the way, did you know the Spanish word for octopus is “pulpo”?
As long as we’re on the subject, what are your tips for people who might be intimidated by the thought of preparing seafood at home?
Like learning how to do anything for the very first time, pick an easy recipe to start. My Baked Fish in Tinfoil Packets with Spinach and Roasted Sweet Potatoes is a complete meal in one recipe and there is minimal cleanup, because you cook everything in tinfoil. It doesn’t get much simpler than this. Put the fish in a foil packet. Put it in the oven. Take it out and enjoy.
Another easy recipe is Marinated Salmon in Soy Sauce with Sautéed Spinach. There are just five ingredients and it takes only eight minutes to cook on the stove top. Simple recipes can help people gain confidence in their cooking abilities.
Any words of wisdom for parents who have picky eaters? How did you get your kid to eat seafood?
We got our child to eat seafood by introducing it to him when he was an infant. Trout was the tenth food he tried as a baby. Next came tuna and salmon. As he grew up, we just fed him the same food we were eating, and we didn’t make a big deal out of it if he didn’t eat something one day – he would simply end up trying that food on another day. Taking away the pressure of being forced to eat the food reduced his stress and ours, and it made mealtime a lot more pleasant. Also, when he saw us enjoying our seafood, he would try it to see what it was all about.
What are your tips for people looking to improve their health by including seafood in their diet?
An easy way to start is by making at least one seafood dish a week. I have a lot of easy seafood recipes that can be used for lunch, dinner or snacks! Some of my favorites include Baked Salmon Burgers, which use canned salmon; Panko-Crusted Baked Mackerel Cakes, which use canned mackerel; and Grilled Pevre Fish Tacos.
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