If you’re craving salad and want a truly healthy option, look to seafood. A major source of protein, nutrients, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids, fish is a healthy choice for most people. Not to mention, it’s a great way to add a little pizzazz to your salad.
I recently moved to an area that’s close to the water, and I’ve had a whale of a time coming up with all sorts of new recipes that incorporate our brilliant local seafood as a main ingredient. However, moving house means that I have limited access to amenities until I get more settled. Because of this, I’ve been inspired to come up with a bunch salads that don’t require much, if any, cooking.
Here are three healthy fish salads I’ve been enjoying. I guarantee you’ll love them! If you’re able to get fresh ingredients, the flavors will be amazing. But of course, you can still use canned tuna and other convenient options if that’s what you have on hand.
#1. Tuna and Chickpea Salad
Creamy tuna and chickpea salad is a great way to get a boost of omega-3s. Though this is normally served as a hot or cold appetizer, it would work for any occasion or meal.
Just keep in mind that tuna has a high mercury content, so if you’re pregnant or nursing, limit your consumption to one serving per week.
3.5 oz. canned light tuna packed in water, drained
1 cup cooked chickpeas
For a bit more flavor, consider seasoning with:
- Lemon or lime juice
- Crushed garlic
- Smoked paprika
- Ground white pepper
- For a warm salad, toss some fresh cooked cannellini or white beans with the tuna.
- For a different presentation, opt for cabbage leaves instead of lettuce.
- For more flavors and textures, add tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, and other fresh ingredients. Or, if you’re like Lidia Bastianich, try adding half a boiled egg.
When all your base ingredients are combined, the salad comes out to:
- 354 calories
- 34 grams protein
- 45 grams carbohydrates
- 5 grams fat
Grilled shrimp is good as both an appetizer and as a side of its own. Adding the creaminess of avocados and the bright citrus of oranges creates a sophisticated but fun meal. Avocados are especially good in here because they are as rich in heart-healthy omega-3s as they are in flavor. This refreshing dish is Paleo, Whole30, low-carb, and gluten-free.
10 large shrimp
1 large orange, sectioned
For a more polished flavor, throw in:
- Fresh lime
- Crushed red pepper
- Cracked black pepper
- Other seasonings of choice
With your base ingredients, this salad that comes in at:
- 297 calories
- 13 grams protein
- 30 grams carbohydrates
- 16 grams fat (15 of which are from the avocado)
#3. Wedge Salad with Smoked Salmon
This wedge salad is easy to make despite its call for smoked salmon. Luckily, the recipe doesn’t require cooking or any excess seasoning. In fact, serving the smoked salmon over a lettuce wedge saves prep time and amplifies the simplistic appeal of this dish.
3.5 oz. smoked salmon
¼ head romaine lettuce
Seasonings: Rather than use premade salad dressings, which are high in sugars, fat, and calories, go for fresh herbs and lemon wedges to add a subtle flavor. (Tip: to intensify the effect of fresh herbs, crush the leaves.)
To add more bulk and flavor to this salad, consider these options:
- Thin-sliced cucumbers
- Red peppers
- Slivers of garlic
- Black pepper
- 143 calories
- 20 grams protein
- 5 grams carbohydrates
- 5 grams fat
A note on substitutions: Healthy substitutions are especially great with seafood salads. For example, instead of using commercial vinaigrette, use fresh herbs and/or mashed berries mixed in vinegar. To get the crunch without the croutons, try slivered almonds instead. When it comes to substitutions, feel free to be creative.
The next time you’re choosing a salad at a restaurant or plan to make one on your own, look to these yummy options for inspiration. Greens and seafood not only taste fresh but also provide your daily dose of vitamins, nutrients, and omega-3s.