Are your menus stuck in a rut -- with meat or poultry on the plate every night? Break the monotony with seafood, a healthful alternative that's typically low in fat and high in protein, vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, iron, zinc, selenium and copper. Some seafood also contain omega-3 fatty acids that may lower risk of heart disease and some cancers.

Even within the realm of seafood, nutritional variety is available. Lean fish, such as cod, flounder, haddock or sole can be alternated with fattier fish, like mackerel and salmon. Shrimp also contains considerably more cholesterol than other types of seafood.

Seafood is a versatile food that can be prepared in many wholesome ways, so you don't have to stick to broiling or baking to maintain its nutritional goodness. Try poaching to keep seafood moist and tender. Use low sodium chicken broth for the poaching liquid, and add vegetables (onions, carrots and celery) and herbs and spices (basil, thyme and oregano) to the broth. Simmer the liquid for 15 minutes before adding the seafood.

When steaming, baking or broiling seafood, sprinkle with one or more of the following herbs and spices before cooking: basil, curry powder, dill weed, garlic, marjoram, onion, oregano, parsley, rosemary, tarragon or thyme. Or, you can marinate seafood in lemon juice or wine to add extra flavor and to firm up the flesh of the fish when it is cooked.

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If you're thinking about a topping for seafood, consider whether you like the flavor of the topping on chicken. If you like a flavored vinaigrette or an Oriental sauce on chicken, you'll probably enjoy it on fish as well. A squeeze of lemon or lime juice over cooked seafood adds zest without fat or calories.

It's best to avoid fried fish or seafood prepared with high-fat cream or cheese sauces. This recipe for Lemon Garlic Alaska Salmon is simple to make and makes for a healthful, tasty dish.

Lemon Garlic Alaska Salmon

Servings: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. lemon pepper
  • 2 (4 to 6 oz. each) Alaska salmon fillets or steaks, thawed if necessary
  • Lemon wedges

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    Directions

    1. Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic. Season salmon fillets or steaks on both sides with lemon pepper.

    2. Place fillets/steaks in pan and cook for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, measured at thickest part, or until fish flakes when tested with a fork. Flip fillets/steaks halfway through cooking to brown on both sides.

    3. Sprinkle with lemon juice before serving. Recipe may be doubled.

    Article: AICR; Recipe: Alaskan Seafood Marketing Institute