Yes, sardines. Really. I feel like I should say, “They’re not that bad!” but—truth be told—sardines are like many other foods—quite tasty when prepared properly, potentially emetic when not. (If you doubt this, just think about canned peas versus fresh ones.)
Anyway. I mention sardines not just because they’re an under-loved source of protein and Omega-3s. Sardines are, as far as animal protein sources go, one of the most environmentally friendly choices around. And they’re usually cheap.
You see, most ocean fisheries are being critically overharvested—many marine scientists now fear we are verging on the collapse of global fisheries. For many Americans, this means little more than righteous indignation at the price of shrimp cocktail; for much of the developing world, this means disaster.
Wild-caught Pacific sardines make the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “Super Green List,” which includes seafood choices that are low in both mercury and PCBs, high in Omega-3s, and sustainably harvested. (The Aquarium also produces handy, regional, downloadable “pocket guides” listing the best and worst seafood choices.)
So what do you do with sardines? Try this easy, simple recipe to get started:
For each serving, you’ll need:
½ bagel (go for whole-grain if you’re feeling all healthy)
1 T. cream cheese
1-2 smoked sardine filets
Thinly sliced red onion
Chopped fresh parsley
Salt & pepper
Toast the bagel. Spread the cheese. Layer on the sardines. Garnish. Et voila! A high-protein, high-calcium, lots-of-random-minerals breakfast. Just brush your teeth before you go about the rest of your day. Just sayin’.