It’s July, prime grilling season! Take advantage of this perfect cooking technique to grill up some low calorie fish and you will be taking one small step towards a healthier heart. The American Heart Association recommends that we all consume a minimum of two fish meals per week to keep our ticker in shape (heart disease is the number one killer of American men and women). Pair your grilled fish with grilled veggies, and a whole grain such as quinoa and you have a superbly healthy summer meal. Not quite sure how to grill that fish up?
Here are four tips to help you prepare delicious summer seafood:
Cedar Planking your fish (such as salmon or halibut). Nothing like the taste of grilling food on a plank for adding a delicious smoky flavor. The key to plank grilling is to first soak the plank in water for an hour. Then be sure to preheat the grill to a high temperature then add the fish. Close the lid and cook for 15 minutes on medium until internal temperature reaches 130 degrees (you can check this by inserting a thermometer into the meatiest part of the fillet).
Grilling the whole fish in foil (such as trout, bronzino or snapper). A great way to cook up you fish quickly and mess-free is to simply season and wrap in a foil tent. Pre-heat grill to a high temperature. Place fish in a foil package and season with herbs and spices, olive oil and lemon juice. Cover the fish, crimp the edges and create a foil packet. Grill on medium heat, lid closed, for about 15 minutes until internal temperature reaches 130 degrees.
“Steaky” fish grill tips (such as tuna, swordfish or halibut). Coat grill with a spray vegetable oil. Pre-heat grill on high for 10 minutes. Add fish steak to grill and cook for about 3 minutes. Flip fish and brush cooked side with basting oil. Cook another three minutes or so until internal temperature reaches 130 degrees.
“Flaky” fish grill tips (such as flounder, cod or tilapia). Preheat your grill on high for 10 minutes. Place your seasoned flaky fish in an aluminum foil “boat.” Place foil on grill and reduce heat to medium. Grill for three minutes. Turn fish over and baste with seasoned olive oil. Cook another two minutes until internal temperature reaches 130 degrees.
July is a great month to think about taking responsibility for your own heart health. One simple step to take for a healthier heart is to eat more fish. Did you know that seafood is also known as “brain food?” That’s because fish, especially the oily fish that swim in the deep, cold waters of the sea (salmon, halibut, tuna…) contain lots of the unique fish fats called omega-3 DHA and EPA. DHA has been proven to foster brain health.
Dr. Janet’s Grilled Halibut with Mediterranean Salsa
Yield: 4 servings
1 pound plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chopped arugula
1 large shallot, finely chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice from 1 medium lemon
1 can (15 ounces) Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 small jar capers (approximately 3 ounces), drained
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 (6-ounce) halibut steaks
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste, optional
Fresh lemon slices, for garnish
Combine all the salsa ingredients together in a bowl and mix. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Brush fish with olive oil (both sides); sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill over medium high heat for 4 minutes per side or until fish flakes easily. Serve topped with salsa and garnished with fresh lemon slices.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (1 halibut steak plus approximately ¾ cup salsa): Calories: 412, Fat: 11 g, Cholesterol: 54 mg, Sodium: 292 mg, Carbohydrate: 16 g, Dietary Fiber: 5 g, Sugars: 3 g, Protein: 40 g