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Heart and sole: Try these savory fish recipes for a healthier heart

Finally, a food we should eat more of rather than less. High in protein, low in fat and a key source of heart-protecting fatty acids, seafood enjoys a unique place on a healthy menu. It’s the omega-3 fatty acids that make fish heart smart because these components have been shown to lower triglyceride levels; slow the growth of plaque in the arteries; and decrease the risk of blood clots, sudden death and arrhythmia. They also lower blood pressure.

All seafood, including shellfish and crustaceans, contains omega-3s, but oily or fatty fish, such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon, are particularly good sources. To enjoy the protective effect of omega-3s, the American Heart Association urges people to eat at least two servings of fish a week. With more than 200 species to choose from, adding seafood to your diet is easy, not to mention delicious. Here are some flavorful ways to enjoy this bounty of the sea.

Grilled salmon oriental

  • 1 1/2 lbs. fresh salmon steaks or fillets

MARINADE

  • 6 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp. grated lime zest
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (1–2 medium limes)
  • 1 Tbsp. grated fresh gingerroot
  • 1 Tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced, or 1 tsp. bottled minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. hot-pepper oil (optional)
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • Vegetable oil spray

Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels. Put fish in an airtight plastic bag. Combine marinade ingredients and pour over fish, turning to coat fish evenly. Seal and refrigerate for 15 minutes to 1 hour, turning bag occasionally. Preheat grill to medium-high or preheat broiler. Lightly spray grill or broiler pan and rack with vegetable oil spray. Remove fish from marinade. Grill fish or broil it 4 to 5 inches from heat. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, turn, and cook another 5 to 7 minutes, or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Serves 6. Per serving: 169 calories, 21 g protein, 0 g carbohydrates, 68 mg cholesterol, 9 g total fat (2 g saturated, 2 g polyunsaturated, 4 g monounsaturated), 0 g fiber, 137 mg sodium

Scallops and asparagus in wine sauce

  • 1 lb. fresh or frozen scallops, thawed
  • 8-oz. bottle clam juice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, (regular or nonalcoholic)
  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 6 oz. fresh asparagus, trimmed, or 4 oz. frozen asparagus, thawed
  • 1 tsp. light margarine
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots (about 4 large)
  • 3 Tbsp. finely snipped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Rinse scallops and pat dry with paper towels. Cut in quarters if large. Set aside. In large saucepan, whisk together clam juice, wine, flour and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; boil for 4 to 5 minutes or until mixture is thickened, stirring occasionally. Set aside. Cut asparagus diagonally into 1-inch pieces. Steam fresh asparagus about 2 minutes or until tender-crisp, and set aside (don’t cook frozen asparagus). In a small nonstick skillet, heat margarine over medium-high heat, swirling to coat bottom. Sauté shallots until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir shallots and scallops into clam sauce. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Don’t let the mixture come to a boil. Add asparagus, parsley and lemon juice. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until scallops are opaque and mixture is heated. Be careful not to overcook.

Serves 4. Per serving: 121 calories, 11 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 18 mg cholesterol, 2 g total fat (0 g saturated, 1 g polyunsaturated, 1 g monounsaturated), 1 g fiber, 367 mg sodium

Broiled marinated fish steaks

  • 11/2 lbs. fish steaks, such as orange roughy, swordfish, or Atlantic or Pacific halibut, about 1 inch thick
  • 1/3 cup tarragon vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. snipped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp. pepper, or to taste
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. very-low-sodium or low-sodium Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Vegetable oil spray

Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels. In an airtight plastic bag, combine remaining ingredients except vegetable oil spray. Add fish steaks, turning bag to coat fish. Seal and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, turning occasionally. Preheat broiler. Lightly spray a broiler pan and rack with vegetable oil spray. Remove steaks from marinade and arrange on rack. Broil about 3 inches from heat for about 5 minutes. Turn carefully and broil for about 5 minutes, or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Serves 6. Per serving: 81 calories, 17 g protein, 0 g carbohydrates, 24 mg cholesterol, 1 g total fat (0 g saturated, 0 g polyunsaturated, 1 g monounsaturated), 0 g fiber, 76 mg sodium

Baked catfish

  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 6 catfish fillets (about 4 oz. each)
  • 3/4 cup nonfat or low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. red hot-pepper sauce
  • 3 oz. fat-free, low-sodium whole-wheat crackers, crushed (about 30)
  • 1 Tbsp. light margarine, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. snipped fresh parsley
  • 6 lemon wedges (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish with vegetable oil spray. Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels. Combine buttermilk, salt and hot-pepper sauce in a small shallow dish. Put cracker crumbs on a plate. Dip fillets in buttermilk mixture, then in crumbs, coating fish evenly. Put fillets in baking dish. Drizzle with margarine and lightly spray with vegetable oil spray. Bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. To serve, sprinkle fish with parsley and garnish with lemon wedges.

Serves 6. Per serving: 215 calories, 19 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates, 59 mg cholesterol, 9 g total fat (2 g saturated, 2 g polyunsaturated,4 g monounsaturated), 1 g fiber, 379 mg sodium

Recipes reprinted with permission from The New American Heart Association Cookbook, 25th Anniversary Edition, ©2001 Clarkson Potter/Publishers.