Pescatarian 101: Everything You Always Wanted to Know | Dish on Fish
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Pescatarian 101: Everything You Always Wanted to Know

Hi Seafoodies!

Our celebration of National Pescatarian Month is now in full swing! We hope many of you are taking the challenge to “Go Pescatarian” in October and that our pescatarian diet recommendations and delicious seafood recipes are making this a fun adventure! And if you haven’t started the challenge yet, no worries… you can Go Pescatarian anytime!

We also know some of you may be new to pescatarian eating or searching for some basic information to answer pesc-y questions from friends and family. For instance, what the heck is a pescatarian diet, anyway? What are the benefits? And, how can you get started? We’ve got lots of info to share, so let’s dive right in!

What is a pescatarian?

The term “pescatarian” has been around for about 30 years, but use it in a sentence, and you still might get a puzzled look and a “wait, what?” So let’s break it down, “Pesca” (from the Italian pesce) means fish. The “-arian” suffix means someone who believes in something. Put it all together, and you get pescatarians, awesomely cool people who eat a seafood- and plant-based diet.

What this means in the real world is that pescatarians eat a wide range of foods—including seafood, legumes, fruits and vegetables, dairy and eggs, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Much like the Mediterranean Diet recommended by doctors and dietitians, the pescatarian diet emphasizes eating seafood at least twice a week. A growing number of Americans are giving this lifestyle a try. 

The benefits

Experts say going pescatarian can provide the essential nutrients we need from infancy through adulthood. For one thing, seafood is rich in protein, B vitamins, antioxidants like selenium and vitamins A and D. It’s also one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce chronic inflammation, promote heart and brain health and help protect us against major diseases, such as cancer and diabetes.

Simply put, going pescatarian can help us live well!

Getting started

As with any lifestyle change, eating pescatarian is easy with a  roadmap. Dish on Fish is your go-to source for tempting recipes and meal ideas. Make a list of recipes you would like to try this month, then develop a weekly meal plan and make a shopping  list. (Include some shelf-stable seafood so you always have a pescatarian protein option.) We’ll be sharing more tips throughout the month to help you keep going pescatarian and enjoying seafood two to three times a week!

Here are a few recipes to get you started!

Mussels with White Wine Sauce 

Here’s a helpful pescatarian tip: Find a few can’t-fail recipes that can be incorporated into any meal. Low-fat, nutrient-rich mussels are a cinch to make at home, and so versatile, too! Try these mouthwatering mollusks with linguine, as a salad topper or in soups.

Wild Alaska Pollock en Papillote with Chimichurri Sauce 

Foil packets keep seafood moist while it cooks and the flavors meld (cleanup’s a breeze, too!). Once you master this basic technique, you can apply it to any fish, veggie and seasoning combo—although it would be tough to beat this zesty and colorful all-in-one dish!

Crab-Stuffed Acorn Squash 

Delicate crab and acorn squash are a dynamic dinner duo, especially when baked with creamy cheese, veggies and panko crumbs. This gluten-free dish is fancy enough for a date night or holiday dinner and simple enough to whip up for a harvest-inspired weeknight meal.

Cast-Iron Smoked Salmon Hash

Another Seafoodie skill that should be in every pescatarian’s repertoire–cooking the cast iron way! These handy skillets really deliver the heat (for that flawless crust) while providing stove-to-table convenience. This healthful hash features silky smoked salmon, crisp potatoes and aromatic vegetables tossed in a tangy, lemon-Dijon yogurt for a whole lotta yum!

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