For many people, seafood is a restaurant food. Few people know how to prepare it at home, hands up if thats you! As for me, I used to be one of them. But I promise you- with an open mind, you too can create restaurant quality seafood meals in the comfort of your own home. It won’t cost you an arm and a leg, and if you have a good connection to your local fish monger, you can capitalize on the freshest ocean catch available.
You really can’t beat the light oceanic flavours of top quality, fresh seafood. The warmer weather beckons for feasts of seafood with friends and family. It’s also a guilt free celebratory food- it’s seriously nutrient dense, and the perfect light meal option during periods of intermittent fasting. This gorgeous and light recipe is from my new book Fast Your Way to Wellness.
Seafood is the ultimate health food. Dr Weston A Price, a dentist and researcher who travelled the globe studying traditional and native diets in the 1930’s and 40’s, discovered that those who ate seafood had thriving health and wellbeing; thicker bones and better skeletal structure than traditional groups who just ate red meat.
It’s hardly surprising that seafood is one of my top supercharged ingredients. There are plenty of studies that link fish consumption, particularly oily fish to a reduction in cardiovascular disease. Foods from the ocean are wonderful sources of macro and trace minerals, and especially high in fat soluble vitamins A & D.
A good habit to instill in your family, or in your personal weekly routine is to enjoy a home cooked seafood meal once a week. This will provide you with some of the unique wholefood based nutrients that creatures of the ocean provide, such as omega 3 fatty acids for optimum brain function and lowering inflammation, as well as iodine for thyroid health. These are incredibly important nutrients for preventing disease and enjoying a long and healthy life that you won’t find as abundantly in other foods.
If you’re new to seafood, I suggest beginning with light white fish such as snapper or flathead fillets, calamari or scallops. Many people have been turned off seafood simply as a result of being served fish past its fresh point. When choosing seafood from your fishmonger, look carefully at the eyes and gills; the eyes should be clear, not glazed, and the gills should be red. Ask your fishmonger when the fish came in, and if it’s been sitting in the display for more than a day, don’t purchase it. Seafood shouldn’t smell overly fishy, but have the fresh scent of salty, oceanic aromas.
These scallops are an absolutely delightful way to enjoy shellfish. Did you know that scallops are more than eighty percent protein? They make an excellent food during fasting as they are low in calories, but have the bulk of protein and nutrient density to keep your body humming along with contentment. Similarly to oysters and clams, scallops are also great sources of magnesium and potassium. Magnesium is the nutrient that relaxes muscles and prevents cramps. Brilliant for calming the body during periods of stress or physical demand.
This is a simple, elemental dish celebrating the light flavours of the ocean, contrasted with earthy flavours of the land; with woody herbs and savoury mushrooms, and a fruity zing of lemon to bring it to life. It's a dish best enjoyed on the same day of cooking, and an ideal meal choice for a warm evening.
Sautéed Scallops with Mushrooms and Spinach
179 calories per serve (749kJ)
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 200 g (7 oz/10 small) scallops, rinsed and patted dry
- Celtic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 140 g (5 oz) mixed mushrooms, whole or sliced
- 1 teaspoon fresh or dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 200 g (7 oz) baby English spinach leaves
- splash of apple cider vinegar
- chopped parsley or rosemary sprigs, to serve
- lemon wedges, to serve
- Heat the oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Season the scallops with salt and pepper, sear in the pan for 1–2 minutes on each side, until golden brown, then remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the garlic, mushrooms, rosemary, thyme and oregano to the pan, then cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
- Add the spinach and apple cider vinegar, then cook for 1–2 minutes, until the spinach just begins to wilt.
- Return the scallops to the pan and cook for 1 minute to heat through. Serve topped with the parsley or rosemary and with lemon wedges on the side.
Shellfish such as scallops are a beautiful source of fat-soluble vitamins, especially vitamin D. Always buy shellfish extremely fresh from your local fishmonger and eat as soon as possible.