I’m thinking of naming this week of posts “Confession Week.” After the name-changing fears and discussion earlier this week (thanks for all your awesome responses – it’s amazing to hear everyone’s experiences), it’s time to talk about my eating habits.
When I first went vegetarian, the thing I anticipated missing the most was fish. I could live without chicken, pork and beef without batting an eye, but fish, on the other hand, was another story. During the first six months of going veg, I cut out all meat, including seafood. Since I felt great and wasn’t craving meat in the least bit, I felt confident my protein intake was sufficient to sustain my active lifestyle. That said, I would be lying if I claimed I didn’t miss a salmon fillet every now and again.
As a bit of a back-story, I didn’t go vegetarian for ethical reasons. Growing up in the heart of farm country, I don’t believe eating meat is wrong (although I do see some serious issues in the way meat is raised in some commercial situations). I chose to go vegetarian out of curiosity, and stuck with being veg because of how much science there is backing the benefits of eating a plant-based whole foods diet.
About a year ago, I decided to experiment with adding a bit of fish into my diet. Since I struggled for so long to get my family to understand my vegetarianism, I didn’t want to let others in on my decision. It seemed very personal and something I didn’t have figured out yet. What does this mean? Am I going to eat fish frequently? How am I supposed to describe my choice to others?
But after a year of thinking it through, I am more comfortable in my choice. I believe that my diet can be even healthier with the addition of a small piece of fish every now and again. I found this article about Omega-3 in fish extremely helpful in guiding my decision. That said, there are a few rules I try to stick to when eating fish:
1. Eating wild fish that was harvested using sustainable fishing practices. This means the fish we buy is pretty expensive, but since we only eat it once or twice a month, it works. (the Monterey Bay Aquarium has awesome downloadable guides by geographic area on what types of fish to buy and what types to steer clear of.)
2. Limiting my fish intake to 1 or 2 times a month. I know that plenty of research suggests eating fish more often than that, but a couple times feels right for my body.
Although I know I don’t owe anyone an explanation, I felt like I wanted to keep you in the loop. Since we try to find unique ways to eat our fish, like this Honey Graham Salmon, I wanted to be able to share recipes and my tasting notes along the way.
This recipe, in particular, was a real winner. I’m not sure how something as childish as Honey Grahams cereal can take a beautiful piece of salmon and make it rich and complex, but it does! Joey and I were both shocked at how great the flavor was and how kid-friendly it would be for little eaters. And if you’re still skeptical, I would highly recommend giving it a try!
Honey Graham Salmon
*1/2 teaspoon olive oil
*3/4 cup Honey Grahams cereal, finely crushed
*Scant pinch of ground ginger
*1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
*1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
*3 or 4 skinless salmon filets (5 ounces each)
*Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a large baking pan with foil. Grease the foil with the olive oil.
*In a large shallow bowl, combine the crushed cereal, ginger, sea salt and black pepper. Dip salmon filets in the honey graham mixture to coat on all sides. Transfer to prepared baking pan.
*Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve atop lettuce or with steamed green beans.