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Apr 8, 2013 08:13 AM

Healthy Fish Salad

I stepped on the scale a few weeks ago and realized how much weight I've put on. Started working on losing that weight again by replacing my normal meals with healthier versions. One of the biggest tricks I use is turning things into salads. Some things are easy (Cheeseburger salad is surprisingly delicious) but I'm having troubles with a few of the things in the freezer. Namely we have quite a bit of frozen pollock and tilapia. I was thinking of trying to go for something with an oriental twist but I'm having troubles pulling it all together.

Do you have any ideas for ways to make an actual salad (lettuce, etc, with a dressing) out of lower quality fish?

Also, do you have any ideas for interesting and unique salads overall?

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  1. Be careful, salads are not as low calorie as you may think. In fact, they can be more caloric than a balanced meal (protein and veg).

    7 Replies
    1. re: treb

      I agree. Salads are not necessarily low calorie.

      1. re: treb


        Do you mean because of the salad dressing? I measure mine to 1 tablespoon and don't add any extra mayonaise-y type food in it. I mostly use red leaf lettuce, tomato, cukes, sliced fresh pears, 1/2 avocado and toss in some roasted broccoli or cauliflower.

        I hope it's low cal, because it tastes it. :)

        1. re: mcel215

          Creamy dressings or vinaigrettes that are oil-laden can take a salad's calorie count off the charts. Add to that cheese, oily croutons, olives, bacon, fried fish, chicken, seafood or other meat, nuts, seeds, eggs, avocado, fried noodles and the like and a salad can become the worst choice on a menu. Granted, some calorie and fat-rich items are very healthy. Those should be included in small quantities (i.e. nuts, seeds, avocado, fish high in omega-3's, egg, olives).

          To the original poster, I'd recommend an Asian-inspired dressing made with miso paste, grated ginger, rice vinegar, lemon, orange or lime juice and zest, garlic or green onions (or both!), a bit of roasted sesame oil (a little goes a long way) and cayenne or other hot pepper (helps boost the metabolism). This is a tasty dressing that doesn't need a lot of oil. Tilapia and pollock are very mild. A punchy dressing will help liven them up. How you cook the fish is up to you. You can bake, grill, poach, steam, whatever. Lightly steam some snow or snap peas, asparagus and other spring vegetables. Include sprouts if you have some. Consider adding a single tangle of cellophane noodles (very low in calories) that you've soaked, cut into short lengths and cooked for a minute in boiling water and drained. The rest of your salad should be a mix of any raw or lightly steamed veggies, plus greens. Top with a few roasted nuts, seeds or chickpeas and you have a very tasty salad that is a balanced and nutritious meal.

          mcel, your salad sounds fine.

          1. re: 1sweetpea

            Restaurant salads are usually drenched in dressing and are made even worse with croutons, fried noodles and breaded chicken.

            If measured properly dressing shouldn't be a problem at home. Also, some vitamins are only fat soluble so some oil is good anyway.

            1. re: 1sweetpea

              Thanks sweetpea,

              You've got some great ideas here. :)


            2. re: mcel215

              Certain salad dressings can be a disaster, also croutons, bacon bits, added protein like grilled chic, shrimp and beef. Looks like you're very conservative.

          2. Soup is easier than salad with less expensive fish, for me. I can make a good fish chowder from commercial packs of cod, although I don't like the fish at all when cooked other ways. Your pollock would work as well.

            For salad, salade Ni├žoise is always a good choice. Usually it is made with tuna, but lately I have been making a variation with smoked sockeye salmon. I wouldn't use pollock or tilapia for this.

            1. I make squid salad, which I'm sure you could do with poached or grilled fish. Dressing: lime juice or rice vinegar, ginger, soy sauce or fish sauce, safflower oil, toasted sesame seeds or a little sesame oil. Vegetables: thinly sliced red onion, carrot, celery, radish and some kind of leaf - watercress is my favorite. Plus chopped cilantro and/or mint if you have it.

              1. I absolutely love this salad:
                Although it, made with shrimp, I'm sure you could just saute and chunk one of your tilapia filets and top the salad part with that.

                1. Why not just cook the fish, and serve a side salad (or other vegetables)? Is there a reason why it must be a "fish salad?"