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MyPlate on My Budget, Fish Issues

Can I follow the USDA thrifty food plan and feed my family the Choose MyPlate advised daily nutrients?  That’s the question I’m asking this March with MyPlate on My Budget.

Rose McAvoy from Our Lady of Second Helpings is providing support, guidance and yummy recipes.

This post is about my fish problem.

The USDA recommends that people eat seafood twice a week. 

Problem #1: My kids hate fish!

Problem #2: We follow the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guidelines, and sustainably caught fish is often expensive.

Why would I want to waste money on food my kids won’t eat, or else purchase something that is going to hurt Puget Sound?  I also don’t want my family eating fish that has been frozen, sent to China to be processed, and then mailed back to Edmonds.

But maybe my kids would like fish more if I pulled out all the stops…

So I tried pan-frying Tilapia.  Eating fried food is a special treat at my house, so I thought maybe this would work.

Instead, it was a fish flop.

Not only that, but it was a lot of work.  First I dredged the fillets through flour.  Next they went through a mixture of egg, lemon juice, and parsley.  Finally I rolled them in breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper.  I pan-fried the fish in about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, and let it drain on paper towels.

My husband and I thought the fish turned out delicious; the kids, not so much.  My three year old ran screaming from the table.  My seven year old toughed things out under duress.

What is a mom to do?  Serve fish again in a few days?

USDA Requirements, you are driving me crazy!

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1 Comment

  1. Cynthia says:

    You asked for fish ideas a while ago, but I couldn’t manage to get my ideas to post correctly. So, this looks like a good place to post them. I can’t remember when my sons learned to love fish. Maybe if you keep trying it different ways they’ll develop a palate for it. (Our memories grow fuzzy as we pass up stages in our children’s lives. Maybe 3 was a little young to love fish.)
    My sons always loved fish tacos/fajitas. 3 oz. of the cheapest fish I could find divided between 2 soft tacos, with either lots of stir fried onions and peppers or good quality coleslaw, aren’t probably too expensive. (But I have to admit that I was so relieved when our income rose enough to be able to switch from cod to tilapia.) A side of refried beans and rice with a tiny sprinkle of feta cheese to imitate Mexican cheese worked to round out the meal. I’d usually serve the leftover peppers, onions, rice and beans with cheese a second night with a big salad.
    Growing up in the 60’s with 4 kids in our family, my thrifty mom cooked wonderful food. I loved everything she cooked except 2 items. One was Spanish Rice (stringy tomatoes) and the other her salmon loaf leftover from Sunday’s whole poached salmon (too dry). I imagine you could work with a recipe to make a moister salmon loaf or salmon burgers. I’d save some of the raw salmon instead of using leftover poached salmon. Also, I’m pretty sure my sons loved chef salads that included leftover salmon from a pretty early age. They liked lots of fun tidbits to explore hidden among the greens.
    Living in the Northwest, I’m trying to remember when all of the different salmon runs are. I know seafood sustainability is also an issue you’ve looked at. I don’t know if there is a run of Alaskan or Copper River salmon right now. I would see when it comes on sale this month and have the butcher fillet a whole fish. They’ll charge for the whole fish pre fillet weight and then you can take the bones with you to make fish stock. Poached salmon is always tasty. Maybe tartar sauce would help your kiddos!
    Another hit with my sons was fish chowder with pieces of fish and a few prawns. It doesn’t take a lot of seafood to make it taste great. You can use the fish broth from the salmon bones.
    Probably the government is picturing people making tuna noodle or rice casseroles. That dish of my youth tasted great. But those little cans of tuna have gotten smaller and smaller and mushier and mushier. My family will not touch tuna rice casserole, but they will eat seared Mahi Mahi!
    Hope some of these ideas pass the taste test for maybe, at least, your 7 year old.

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