Happy February, Seafoodies!
It’s American Heart Month, which is a great opportunity to focus on wellness! Exercise and heart-healthy meal plans have long been associated with keeping the ticker in top shape. Today we are talking about the DASH diet and how it delishly incorporates seafood into your weekly menus to support the all-important heart muscle but also lowers blood pressure to reduce the risk of strokes. In honor of Heart Month’s #TastyTuesday, we wanted to devote our latest Meal Plan to DASH-friendly recipes to whip up in your own kitchen.
But first, what is the DASH diet? DASH stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.” Much like the Mediterranean Diet, DASH emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean protein—such as seafood! It limits sodium and saturated fat, as well as added sugar. In addition to helping you lower your blood pressure, you may even see your waistline shrink just from eating more healthfully on the DASH diet.
And when you build your meal around seafood, you’re already off to a fantastic start! In addition to providing significant protein, seafood is a rich source of omega-3s and contains other important micronutrients—specifically potassium, calcium and magnesium—that regulate heartbeat and manage blood pressure. Adding ingredients such as avocado and leafy greens amps up the nutritional value even more. Combined with a lower sodium intake, enjoying seafood regularly can help reduce hypertension, which is one of the reasons the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating two to three servings of seafood every week.
This month, we’re focusing on food that will help keep both your heart and taste buds happy! Centered around healthy seafood like sardines, salmon, halibut, tuna and shellfish, these recipes are designed to delight even the most finicky palates. And in following the DASH diet pattern, all are low in sodium and sugar, but they compensate with bold spice blends, bright citrus notes, aromatic depth and interesting texture contrasts to tantalize your tongue.
Where to start? For a hearty breakfast, we highly recommend the Egg Stacks! These protein-packed power towers are built with crisp crab-zucchini cakes, poached eggs, a creamy avocado chutney and fresh cilantro. If you’re looking for a nourishing midday meal, perfectly seared Peppered Tuna Kabobs with jalapeño corn salsa does not disappoint! Once dinner comes around, we’re torn between a steaming hot bowl of Seafood-Corn Chowder and the lush, Horseradish-Pistachio Salmon. Decisions, decisions… but there’s no wrong choice here! All of this month’s recipes weave in so many extra layers of flavor that you’ll never miss the extra salt and sugar.
Sound good, Seafoodies? Great, let’s DASH right into the recipes!
An excellent source of calcium, sardines make this oven-baked, no-potato “hash” a tasty and keto-friendly way to start the day!
Salad for breakfast? You bet! Especially when it’s powered by flaky trout, steamed quinoa, crisp cucumber and Little Gem lettuce and a calcium-rich dollop of Greek yogurt for good measure.
These panko-crisp lump crab cakes are lightened up with zucchini, egg whites and Greek yogurt. Topped with a tangy avocado chutney, they make for a nutrient-rich meal to keep your heart beating strong.
Smoked salmon, sourdough, asparagus and a fried egg add up to a highly craveable avocado toast that makes a super-satisfying brunch or lunch.
Fire up the grill (or broiler!) for these low-sodium, potassium-rich tuna skewers with sweet bell pepper, tropical mango and jalapeño-lime corn salsa.
Now, this is how DASH is done! Baking mahi mahi with a tempting trio of Southwestern spices, swapping in low-sodium and lower-fat ingredients and topping it all with heart-healthy avocado for extra nutrients. Olé!
This one’s a keeper: Lean white fish, basil-tomato sauce and an effortless oven bake. Capers and olives lend a pleasing briny note, but you can omit them if you’re keeping sodium to a minimum.
This high-fiber chowder is chock-full of heart-healthy nutrients, with a seafood trio of halibut, scallops and clams infused with cumin, fresh cilantro and an array of aromatic vegetables.
Take advantage of fresh, pre-seeded pomegranate arils while they’re still in stores this month. They’re just the right accompaniment to this spice-rubbed white fish, made even more DASH-friendly when you add a side of potassium-rich dark leafy greens.
There’s plenty to chew on here: splendid salmon topped with a shallot-nut crust with a dash of lemon and dill. You can double up on the horseradish for a bit more bite!