Category Archives: Fish

healthy+fats, ketogenic+diet

Can Fats be Healthy? Yes!

Times Have Changed!

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It wasn’t that long ago that fat was a dirty word. I recall attending a gym class where the teacher advised choosing all-sugar treats (such as Starburst or Skittles) over treats with any fat at all.  Many were excited to see no-fat products on the market — cookies and cakes made without fat. It was easy to get caught up in the no-fat craze.

But just a few days of unnaturally cutting fats completely out of your diet leaves you feeling hungry, tired, and grumpy and, frankly, unhealthy.  The fats in those products were generally replaced with a real dietary villain — sugar — as well as other refined carbohydrates. So you ended up with the spikes and dips in energy that come with a high sugar diet. Not a happy place to be.

And it’s true, there are unhealthy fats — Transfats (fats that have been hydrogenated) can increase the risk of several chronic diseases (heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, among others.) We want to avoid those, such as refined fats and oils (think margarine and corn oil).

There are also very serious possible effects of eating no fat. This article from Dr. Axe mentions poor brain function, compromised heart health, hormone imbalances (including fertility issues), overeating and weight gain, among other problems. I knew a young woman who desperately wanted to get pregnant, but had stopped menstruating when she turned to a practically no-fat diet in order to control her weight. Yes, things went this extreme.

Fortunately, the pendulum has swung away from that craziness, and we are in a much healthier place as it relates to dietary fat. In 2015 the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee sent recommendations to the Government that advised against restricting dietary fat, and had no upper limit on total fat intake.

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And that’s good news, because including healthy fats in your diet will help reduce hunger and cravings, help you feel satiated (satisfied), as well as help with energy and brain function. The supplements that you take will be better absorbed, as well as the nutrients in the food that you eat — all fat-soluble vitamin as well as calcium. Your liver will be protected from damage. Your “good” cholesterol will go up and your “bad” cholesterol will go down. You will even burn fat more efficiently! These reason and more are why the ketogenic diet has become so popular lately.

But we all have to careful about which fats to choose. The fats from raw dairy products, coconut oil, grass-fed beef, nuts, avocados, and much more are beneficial to our health. Here are some healthy fats to choose.

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Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Butter (especially raw, but from grass-fed cows as well), Ghee (clarified butter), and Coconut Oil. The Danes have been right all along. Butter and Ghee contain healthy Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are essential, and our bodies don’t produce them; we have to get them from our diets. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, high in antioxidants, is great for brain and cognitive function, and even lowering blood pressure. Make sure you choose Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, since processing can eliminate many of the healthy benefits.

Avocados, Full-fat Dairy, and Eggs. One of my favorite lunch go-tos is a half of an avocado, chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, topped with a squeeze of lime and Mexican spices. If I’m extra hungry I’ll add some full-fat cottage cheese. If you prefer, add a hard-boiled free-range organic egg for even more protein! This lunch will keep me satisfied for the whole afternoon. An avocado has the advantage of being high in protein, as well as vitamin E, folate, and of course healthy monosaturated fat.

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Nuts, Seeds, and Dark Chocolate. A handful of nuts is full of super nutrients, including healthy fats. Add a chunk of dark chocolate — at least 70% cacao (to reduce the amount of sugar) and you have an energy-boosting snack.

Omega-3s from Seafood, and Grass-fed Beef. Make sure you choose wild-caught, sustainable varieties, and Grass-fed, Organic beef for the best nutritional punch. Both are higher in Omega-3 fatty acids, and high in protein as well.

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Lassen’s carries many healthy fats in many forms and varieties — including brands such as Bulletproof, which are formulated to take advantage of the nutritional strengths of these fats. This is not a new bandwagon for us — Lassen’s has carried these nutritious and healthy (as well as delicious!) products since day one in 1971!  Come see our selection!

Love,

Lassen’s

Baobab & Pistachio Crusted Halibut

Baobab & Pistachio Crusted Halibut

Written by Denae – Graphic Design & Social Media Manager
Recipe & Picture by MRM Superfoods

MRM Superfoods can make up some AMAZING recipes, implementing their pure nutrient rich products. So we decided to start sharing some with you lovely readers, because hey, everybody eats! And even if you’re just looking for a Halibut recipe you can leave out the Eggplant and Zucchini and still have a delicious dish! It’s versatile and definitely ready for you to try it out!

Round of applause for MRM and their tasty recipe mastery! Keep your eyes out for more of them to come. Yuuummmmy!

Love,

Lassens

Print Recipe
Baobab & Pistachio Crusted Halibut
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 20 minutes (for zucchini marinade)
Servings
people
Ingredients
Pistachio & Baobab Crust
Spiced Eggplant Puree
Zucchini Tagliatelle
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 20 minutes (for zucchini marinade)
Servings
people
Ingredients
Pistachio & Baobab Crust
Spiced Eggplant Puree
Zucchini Tagliatelle
Instructions
Pistachio & Baobab Crust
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
Spiced Eggplant Puree
  1. In a small pan, lightly cook the shallots in the olive oil along with the spices for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent over cooking and burning.
  2. Take the cooked eggplant and remove the stalk like head, placing the rest in a blender. Add the cooked shallots and blend on high for 2-3 minutes to create a very smooth puree, adding salt slowly to your preferred taste.
Zucchini Tagliatelle
  1. Slice the zucchini length ways 1/2 cm thick and lay flat on the board.
  2. Cut out the center seeded part of the zucchini leaving the colored outside trimming, tagliatelle (wide ribbon) like.
  3. Place in a bowl and add the olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt.
  4. Mix together and leave to marinate for 20 minutes, toss every 5 minutes or so. Set aside.
  5. To cook the halibut, pre-heat the broiler to high and heat a frying pan on the stove top to high.
  6. When the pan is hot add a splash of olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt on the fish.
  7. Place fish in the pan and leave to cook for 2-2 1/2 minutes until you get a nice golden color. Flip the fish over and sprinkle with the baobab crust.
  8. When the crust is on, place the pan under the broiler for 1 minute or so.
  9. The fish should be in the pan no longer than 5 minutes total.
  10. Place the Halibut, Zucchini Tagliatelle, and Eggplant Puree together in a dish and enjoy!
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Fish is Fish, Right?

Actually, No.  

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When we go to the store to buy fish, we think we are making a healthy choice.  And eating fish does have a lot of great benefits.  See this article from the Mayo Clinic for more information on how eating fish can help keep our hearts healthy. Fish, along with other healthy foods, can provide us with healthy Omega 3s. This article From Health Ambition will open your eyes to the Omega 3 possibilities!

Wild vs Farmed

But there is a big issue we face when we pick up that package of salmon.  We have two choices–Farmed Raised fish (sometimes called Ocean Raised, but just the name is different, the process is the same), or Wild-Caught Fish.  (“Natural” on the label doesn’t mean anything either.) 

 

This is a fish farm.  Thousands of salmon are raised in these pens, fed “salmon chow,” which is concentrated mixture of ground up fish and fish oil, which is high is fat.  The fish are also fed antibiotics to try to cut down on diseases, and colorings to make their flesh a brighter red color.  They are packed tightly into the pens, never swimming in the open ocean, unable to swim freely.  Weak or sick fish just stay in the pools, infecting the rest of the fish with their illnesses (and spreading the bacteria or viruses to the surrounding waters and the fish that may swim by.)

Look at these beautiful and wild Sockeye Salmon, heading upstream to spawn!

Wild fish are, well, wild.  After they hatch in rivers and streams, they head out to sea where they live for 1-8 years at sea, eating and growning and avoiding predators.  Wild fish have a highly diversified diet as they swim freely and over a large range.  They eventually make their way back to the rivers and streams where they hatched, often jumping rapids and waterfalls to reach their spawning grounds.

 

Why Should we Choose Wild Salmon?  

Wild salmon spend all of their time swimming (duh!) and that muscle development means great Omega-3 growth in their bodies.  They eat a variety of foods, which help them to maintain strength and health.
 
Wild Salmon also swim in dangerous waters–seals, whales, and other predators provide a natural culling process to weed out any weak or sick fish.  
 
 
And of course the bears!  Only the healthy and strong fish are able to make it back to the spawning grounds, where the salmon are caught for market.  
 
So when we make a choice to buy only Wild Caught Salmon at the market, we are voting with our dollars–our consumer power–and sending a message that wild salmon is what we want in our markets, our restaurants, and on our dinner plates.  
 
This study  from the University of Albany exposes some worrying concerns about eating farmed salmon.  And this documentary about Canadian policies is an eye-opener that made me determined to avoid farmed fish.

 

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So when you make this delicious salmon recipe, make sure you choose Wild Caught Salmon! 

love,
 
Lassen’s
 
 
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A Fish Dish Story

Fish Even Kids Will Love

 
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Maybe I’m just a mean mom, but however it happened, my kids grew up eating–and enjoying–fish.  I think one of the reasons is this recipe.
 
Years ago we went to a show in LA.  It was a dinner and comedy show with Danish comedians.  My Danish in-laws and several other family members were excited for the comedy.  I had no idea that I would come away with a favorite family recipe.
 
It was fish — salmon, to be exact — on a bed of multi-colored peppers.  There was lime juice, I could tell, and a green herb that I had never tasted before.  Delicious!
 
Several years later, when I tasted cilantro for the first time, it sparked my taste memory.  That was the unknown green herb in the salmon entree!  So I was able to more accurately recreate this delicious fish dish for my family!  It is simple and fast, and very nutritious.  

 

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Wild-Caught Salmon on a Rainbow Pepper Bed

 

You’ll Need:

  • Wild-caught Salmon steaks or filets–as many as will feed your crowd
  • Organic Peppers of various colors–right now you can find red, orange, yellow and green–about 1/2 cup per person, chopped
  • Organic Cilantro, chopped–about 1 TBSP per person
  • Fresh organic lime juice–1/2 tsp per person
  • 1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
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Chop the peppers into 1/2 to 1-inch chunks
 
Chop the cilantro

 

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Place about 1/2 inch of lightly salted water in a flat skillet, then gently lower the salmon into the water to poach.  Cover and bring to a gentle simmer.  Depending on the thickness of the salmon, it will need only about 10 minutes to cook through.  

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Heat the olive oil in another skillet, and then saute the peppers just until tender. Add salt to taste. 

Check the salmon.  Use a fork to gently open up the thickest part of the fish.  When it is light salmon-colored, not deep red, it is done.  
 
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Stir the cilantro into the peppers…

 

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…and add a squeeze of lime juice.

Then you are ready to serve!  Place the peppers on a platter, and then top with the poached salmon.
 
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This is a great recipe for hot spring or summer days when you don’t want to heat the kitchen.  I served it with roasted asparagus and an easy arugula, tomato, feta cheese salad.

You might try grilling your salmon instead of poaching, for a real summer-style dish!

Want to know some health benefits of eating salmon?  Try these on for size: Reduction of inflammation, improved cognitive function, cancer prevention, and improved eye, cardiovascular, skin and eye health!  Click here for the details!

love,
 
Lassen’s