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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sardines, a super food

Craving sardines tonight. Random, yes. Weird.. well, for most Americans under 50.  But not so weird, if you ever try them.  If you like tuna fish, this is an amazing alternative.  A powerhouse food, sardines are one of the most concentrated sources of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, excellent source of vitamin B12 and rich source of vitamin D, phosphorus and protein.  Bone building and cancer fighting.. what's not to love or at least learn to. 

But like I said, I love them.   This salad gets to the table in under 10 minutes, start to finish.  And that is if you are slow. Pantry staple, easy on the budget.. a sustainable fish.  C'mon.. give it a try.  With a nutrition profile like this, aiming for 3 times a week is a good thing.  Soon, you'll be smearing them on crackers or flatbread or any bread you have on hand.. a touch of mustard makes this heaven for me.  Linguini tossed with sardines, olive oil, garlic and olives.. you can't go wrong.  This salad is a good beginner way to enjoy them.  And all the other ingredients are excellent health boosting. You have to feel good eating a salad like this. 

Sardine & Ceci (Garbanzo) Bean Salad

1 can of Ceci Beans (garbanzo) rinsed and drained
1/4 cup red onion, diced 
handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
1-3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
S+ fresh cracked pepper to taste
1 tin of sardines in olive oil

In a bowl combine everything except the sardines.  Mix all together well and then add sardines, folding in gently. (I do them last, as I like to have some bigger chunks.. if you'd rather camouflage the sardines, mix them with everything else.  They kinda disintegrate in.)

I start with just 1 tablespoon of vinegar and add more if needed at the end. You don't want it to overpower but have a nice acid balance to the oily fish.  

Try these optional additions...

1 small clove of garlic, minced 
tomatoes, chopped
cucumber, chopped 
baby spinach (makes a great bed for this salad.. however, I usually need to add a drizzle more of balsamic vinegar.)
Sliced Avocado, dusted with sea salt 
a squirt of yellow mustard 

The garlic is a health boost and you're already fishy already.. so why not?  The tomato.. a no-brainer and the cucumber adds some crunch.  The feta is a salty option that is amazing.  I know as a good Italian, I am never to add to cheese to pesce but here.. I think it's mediterranean Greek custom and it's good for me!  Briny olives just pair perfectly here.  And lastly, don't judge but I love mustard and sardines... so I always end up adding just a squirt on my plate to dip my fork in.  Ok, that's weird.   

ingredient round-up

at this point, it's ready to eat.
Anything more is extra.. and according to mood.

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