Tag Archives: fish

Should I Eat Fish Skin?

(Yes, but be careful.

That sounds weird. Should I eat fish skin? Fortunately, it’s a relatively simple question to answer. You just need to ask yourself a few questions when that fish skin is sitting in front of you. Unfortunately, answering those questions can be quite a challenge. (I got your hopes up, didn’t I?)

(The skin is naturally good for you if it isn’t contaminated.)

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All of my friends know that I love Asian cultures, but when I went to school in South Korea I was exposed to tons of cultural quirks that I never learned about before. One time I was eating dinner in Seoul with some of my students (seems wrong, right?) and they teased me when I left the skin from my mackerel on my plate. They told me that all of the old women would always fight over the skin because it was the best part of the fish. I thought of the protein content of the meat, but they didn’t care about that.

(It is an amazing source of omega fatty acids so don’t waste it!)

It was amazing to get the feeling that the mackerel skin (or any other fish rich in omegas) was as valuable as gold or jewels. After thinking it over and not being one to waste food, I decided that I would always eat my fish skin and everyone else’s fish skin for that matter! Be cautious because even though the skin of just about any fish (especially those served in restaurants and available at fish markets) have amazing health benefits in an ideal world, the contaminants and pollutants in a lot of the heavily fished oceans/fish farms in the world, can present unwelcome health risks. In many cases, the risk outweighs the reward

(The contaminants and pollutants don’t always make it to your mouth but know they were often there!)

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You can avoid this by buying fish responsibly. Due to Alana’s eating habits, we always ask our food servers if they know the source of their fish. This usually isn’t a problem at fish markets,where they tell you if the fish is farmed or wild caught, and where its point of origin is. Once you find a respectable fish market and do the proper research, you don’t have to do it again… just get what you know!

I hope this didn’t confuse you too much and led you in the right direction. It’s not like chicken where there are almost no health benefits unless you’re looking for more fat and calories. So the final answer is yes–eat the skin–but be careful and do your research! As always, stay hungry and fit!

BONUS PUPPY PIC

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Restaurant Review: Sushi Hana (Longmont, CO)

Being fanatics of Japanese food, Chris and I are always looking for new and yummy places. We have high standards for fish, we both come from coastal cities, so don’t blame us! One day at work, my boss took me out to Sushi Hana in Longmont (where I work…about 15 miles from Boulder) for a lunch meeting to get some work done. It’s this little place that would be extremely easy to miss if you weren’t looking for it. Luckily, I wasn’t driving.

We get seated immediately, after all we were there just around 11am–an early lunch. We get a hot pot of green tea to share which was perfect for a sunless, cold day. After much mulling over the lunch menu, I decide for a “sushi box” which is basically a bento box, but with sushi instead of tempura or a teriyaki dish. Overall, the fish was good (I got tuna) and the meal as a whole was very enjoyable. I got a lot of food for just $11. There was a maki roll on top of that, pork dumplings (didn’t eat), big thing of delicious rice, salad, soup, and an orange. Like I’m saying, ridiculous amount of food. The atmosphere is delightful: quiet, cultural, and peaceful. We stayed there for a while after we finished our food, and the polite, friendly server continued to fill our green tea cups. I left very full.

My delicious lunch

My delicious lunch

Usually when we do reviews, it’s of places Chris and I have both gone to. So what did that mean? After work, one Friday, I take him to Sushi Hana. This is a good sign–means I like the place enough to go back! Similar to the last experience, we were seated right away. I took the initiative to get us some green tea. This time, I ordered the salmon teriyaki box and Chris ordered the una-don (eel over rice). The salmon was cooked very well, and again, I couldn’t finish all my food (good thing I had Hungry with me). I also got the tuna-avocado maki roll which was really delicious and I preferred it without the soy sauce, another good sign. Chris said the una-don was good, but a little small. Good thing he had to finish mine!

Aaand the salmon teriyaki

Aaand the salmon teriyaki

Overall, Sushi Hana is a good spot, at least for lunch. It isn’t our favorite (see Kho’s or Korea House), but is definitely on our good list. If you’re in Longmont, hit up this spot for a great lunch special! Eat Japanese food to stay hungry and fit!

BONUS KITTY PIC

What I wish my every day was

What I wish my every day was

Fit’s Food Review: La Vecchia (Santa Monica, CA)

La Vecchia has always been a “treat” or “very special occasion” for my family and I. Most of you know I grew up in Santa Monica, California, and that’s where this gem is located. Whether it was birthday dinner, graduation dinner, or someone special from out of town visiting. I always have fond memories of being so excited and sitting in the restaurant devouring their delicious warm perfectly-cooked bread. It’s my mum’s favorite Italian place in town.

On this day, our last day in town during Memorial Day Weekend, my mum wanted to take us somewhere special for lunch before our flight. She would take no refusal on HER paying for lunch and she decided on La Vecchia’s. So we went RIGHT at opening–11am. It was hard to even get in because tree cutters were blocking the entrance. Finally, we got seated (first ones in so we knew everything was going to be OH SO FRESH). Chris didn’t know what he was in for but I was so excited, basically drooling for what was to come. The waiter came right up to us and gave us water and…yes, you know it, BREAD. And their amazing dipping sauce. I was in heaven.

photo 1 (39)Each slice was as warm, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside as ever. Just as good as I remembered it. And that garlic-basil-olive oil dipping sauce is out of this world. Basic ingredients, but they do it right. Now another food I always remember from La Vecchia is the fried calamari. My mum really wanted to treat us so we got the calamari and a tuna salad. The calamari was just as good as I remember and the tuna was fresh. Awesome appetizers.

Calamari

Calamari

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When I was little, I would always always always order the angelhair pasta. It was the only pasta I would eat from here. With olive oil and garlic. Mmm! However, I wasn’t in the mood for that today and actually had a really tough time deciding. Eventually I landed with the margherita pizza which I of course could not finish. My mum got fish and roasted vegetables and Chris got spaghetti and meatballs (classic Italian dish–he always has to go for this or chicken parm to try new Italian places out).

My pizza

My pizza

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Spaghetti and meatball

Spaghetti and meatball

Close-up!

Close-up!

Overall, we were very happy with each of our dishes. The veggies were roasted to perfection for my mum and the fish was seasoned beautifully yet subtly. The pizza had a nice thin, crisp crust and the cheese wasn’t overwhelming. Great balance of flavors. Chris really enjoyed the spaghetti and meatballs because it was fresh, the flavors were wonderful, the tomato sauce wasn’t too heavy, and the pasta was cooked just right. The only tragic thing about this meal was that we couldn’t eat our leftovers since we were going on the plane! I’m still regretting that. If you’re in Santa Monica, stop by La Vecchia on Main St. for a bite to remember and a great way to stay hungry and fit!

You might also like…

BONUS KITTY PIC

The only way of seeing Nymeria in pictures at night is with the flash on

The only way of seeing Nymeria in pictures at night is with the flash on

Healthier Fish and Chips

I say healthier because fried fish and chips are to some degree “unhealthy” due to the oil. However, I did not use as much oil as calls for in most recipes and I did not beer-batter the fish or the fries either. So you don’t have to feel too bad eating this, it’s good fresh fish, with a light crust, and sweet potato fries instead of regular potatoes.

DELICIOUS

DELICIOUS

You may be surprised to hear that growing up (in Southern California, no less), I didn’t like seafood. With the exception of fried calamari, but what kid doesn’t like that. The only real fish I would eat were fish & chips from Jack n the Box. It was mum and I’s go-to quick meal if it were just the two of us. And not only was that the only fish I would eat, but the only way I would eat them is literally to put them in a pool of malted vinegar. I am not exaggerating, my family can testify–a pool. Completely saturated. And I would eat it. Jeez, looking back, I wonder how much malted vinegar we went through because of me.

Anyways, now that I’m a weirdatarian (only eat hunted or wild caught meat/fish), I eat lots of fish now because it’s much  more common to get wild caught fish than hunted game in a restaurant or the grocery. So here I am, cooking up some wild cod and sweet potato fries for dinner. I got the recipe from this lovely blog and altered it to fit me. Instead of tartar sauce, we used ketchup and salsa (yes, we’re strange).

  • Prep Time: 15-25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Serves: 2 people

Ingredients

  •  1/2 pound wild cod
  • 1 huge white sweet potato
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp old bay
  • salt & pepper 
  • olive oil

Directions

  • Cut sweet potato into 1/4 inch thick long pieces

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  • Put sweet potato slices into a bowl of cold water and leave them there while you work on the fish

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  • Get three plate-bowls (or pie dishes) ready. Put the flour in one, the eggs in one, and the panko in the last. Beat the eggs with a fork.

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  • Slice your fish into a few inch cuts
  • Cover all sides of fish with flour. Shake any excess flour off and move to the egg. Make sure you get it soaked on each side. Finally, completely cover and bread the fish with the panko
Ready to be cooked

Ready to be cooked

  • Lay out the fries and dry them from the water. Season with salt, pepper, and old bay.
  • Heat up oil in a deep straight-edged pot. Make sure there is 1-2 inches of oil in the pot.
  • Get the oil so it’s hot and sizzling. Drop the fries in the oil and let it fry. Cook for about 4-8 minutes, until golden brown.
  • photo 1 (9)Lay out the fries. Pick up your fish and place it in the hot oil. This only takes 4 minutes. You want to turn the fish as each side gets browned.

And that’s it! We had a beautiful salad (that Chris made) with spinach, red cabbage, carrots, feta, and more to go with the fish and chips. The longest part about this process is cutting the sweet potato and even that doesn’t take long. So grab some fresh-caught fish and fry it up! Enjoy!

DELICIOUS

DELICIOUS

Salad

Salad

 

BONUS KITTY PIC

Sajah ninja-attack

Sajah ninja-attack

Halloween Feast: Open WIDE

We live in an apartment complex where kids wouldn’t exactly walk up to. There’s plenty of college kids living here and some other sketchy folk, so we decided to not give out here. We decided that we (Chris, cousins, & co.) would go to my aunt’s house in a very much-more family-friendly area. It’s also big, spacious and lovely. The perfect spot for some Halloween fun.

As soon as I was out of work, I raced home with a huge list of things to bring on my mind. First, I made some of my guacamole (which I ended up having to make a second batch because people [CHRIS] ate all of it before the main dish was out). Then, I put the pumpkins in the car, the Halloween cookies, the laundry (yes we brought our laundry over), CANDY, red wine, and apple cider. Was that it? Oh yes, and the kittens! It was the first time they’ve been over to my aunt’s house since they’ve finally gotten their Rabies shots (yay!). So I shoved both of them in the cat carrier and headed over to my aunt’s house.

Once there, I found Megan (my cousin) already preparing her wild-caught fish tacos. It was a big project, but she used top-notch ingredients, even made her own aioli chipotle sauce.  She battered them in panko breadcrumbs, turned out absolutely fabulous. Fred, her boyfriend, and his brother made a top notch cole-slaw that would go on top. And then my guacamole on top of that. It was amazing. Seriously. Better than any taco place can give out. Just LOOK at it.

Main show of the feast, everyone put a little something in and it turned out to be excellent

We had a lovely appetizer of bread and baked brie with a chipotle cranberry sauce (might have been pomegranate, never get it right). Again, delicious. 

We put on Monsters Inc. (the most Halloween-y movie we could find) and enjoyed our dinner immensely. As soon as we were done, Chris immediately wanted to put the cookies in the oven. They’re his favorite kind of cookies. Basic sugar cookies with Halloween deco on them.

And they didn’t last too long….

 By the time these were done with, we really couldn’t move. All on the couch, kitties laying peacefully across us (why didn’t I get pics of that?!), blissfully enjoying our full bellies.

And of course, the mess in the kitchen was as usual (and as should be!) after any well-prepared feast. And Ben (my other cousin) cleaned everything up, thanks Ben!

Overall, it was a great Halloween, full of food, friends, and family (what else matters, really?). The only bummer was that we only got three batches of trick or treaters. We would get so excited when the doorbell rings I think we kind of scared them off. Anyways, it was a great time.

Nymeria didn’t like her outfit as much as we did. 

Happy Halloween!

Restaurant Review: Conor O’Reilly’s? O’Neils?

This Sunday, after feeling sick with a sore throat and congestion but still trying to do chores all day, I went to pick up Alana at work. After a shift that started at 6:30 a.m., you could imagine how tired and hungry she was. While at the grocery store picking up some staples (not actual metal staples, but staple foods), we were not looking forward to our scheduled 6-8 o’clock workout at the BRC (Boulder Rock Club). I commented that I would much rather have fish and chips than work out… and Alana agreed. So, we googled “best fish and chips in Boulder” and the results were pretty clear. Conor O’Neils. Even though its Yelp page made it look more like a bar that was mostly popular with the college kids, we decided that the menu, which boasted a $12 fish and chips (so cheap!) was worth a try.

Awaiting Consumption

We drove and walked there and boy were we surprised. It’s tucked in right in Downtown Boulder, on 13th between Pearl and Walnut. It was MUCH bigger than I imagined it would be, based off pictures and reviews. There was the bar as we entered and then there was a “dining room”… and another… and another… and another. Seriously, this place had tons of seating and not all the rooms had huge tv’s, some really seemed that they were there for dining. Since it was post-happy hour Sunday night, and post-football games (I assume), it was pretty empty. We sat in the back, in one of the many beautifully decorated rooms. The decor reminds me of a mixture between the Shire and a fishing restaurant… and a log cabin. Very interesting at the least, not to mention the unique tree in the middle of the restaurant covered in warm-lighted Christmas lights.

Skipping some steps, we got the spinach dip for an appetizer, I got fish and chips, Alana got the Boulder Salad and a side of pub chips. For dessert, I got the Brownie and Bailey’s, and Alana got the strawberry rhubarb cobbler.

The spinach dip was good, and a decent value for the serving size. Would only serve 2 though. The fish and chips were WELL WORTH 12 dollars. My fish was slightly under-cooked, and I had to get my own malt vinegar, but the pub chips were top notch and required no condiments. Alana’s salad was blah… very bland, nothing special. Wouldn’t recommend it.

Alana’s bland salad

Same with the cobbler, too much sweetness killed what we ordered it for… the bitterness of the rhubarb (Alana’s mom makes the BEST rhubarb pie, hands down). My brownie dessert was ridiculously amazing and I have wanted another every night since then. No, seriously, I bring it up at least every six hours a day. Worth every penny. So I would obviously say go and get the fish and chips and Brownies and Bailey’s. We didn’t drink that night so nothing  for that. However, their selection looked vast enough, especially if you’re in the mood for whiskey. The bill was reasonable and the service good enough to garner our usual 20 percent tip. (My water was always nearly full.)

My Brownie and Bailey’s…I want more

Now the real treat. Sunday nights at 8 p.m., there is some form of an Irish cultural event, I believe. We got to see and hear, in the room we chose to dine in, luckily, a little Irish jam group? Now it was very traditional with strings, percussion, raw vocals and all the tunes were pure and classic, but they kind of just threw everything together in a very relaxed way. It was lovely with the exception of one string that was always a little off key.

Attempted creeper shot at the Irish group playing awesome tunes

I would completely recommend this place for a nice dinner for a small party on a Sunday night, especially a date for a new or old couple, like ourselves. For a new couple, there are lots of conversation starters that might help spur some conversation and it’s not too fancy or too casual/boring.

  • Decor: 4/5
  • Service: 3/5
  • Food: 3/5
  • Value: 4/5
  • Overall: 3/5 (Good!)

Who celebrated Labor Day? We Did!

So what’s it actually mean to celebrate Labor Day?  It means to keep a tradition from 1882 alive, by recognizing the hard work and dedication of everyone in this fine country that works for nearly every other day of the year. Or that’s what it more-or-less meant when it was founded.

Now, it’s just another reason for people to “party” in whatever sense of that word they want to follow. Back home, I thought a lot more stores closed on Labor Day but I never count so it’s hard to tell. So much for not working on Labor Day… everyone in Target was working, and they have a lot of employees. Everyone in the grocery was working too. Maybe it’s that people, businesses, and the economy in general can’t really take a day off like it could have when our genera financial situations were doing better. We managed to take off because neither of us have actual jobs right now. But we did put our work in on Labor Day doing our general chores around the house. Cleaning the house, cleaning the litter boxes, changing a light bulb, you know, the little things. We did, also, decided to celebrate a little with some family.

Around 5:30 p.m., Alana made some guacamole with avocados that were 3 for $1. Good deal. She also made homemade chips, but flour tortillas do not make chips as well as corn tortillas. So remember that. On the way to Marga’s (her aunt) in North Boulder (Nobo), we stopped at the grocery store (Safeway) and bought some big-brand chips, a pineapple (for grilling), and some fish. When we got to the fishmonger’s counter, I looked for a fresh (non-frozen or thawed) and wild-caught (not farmed raised) piece of fish. The choices were salmon, sole, halibut, and swordfish. Swordfish was on sale, it’s one of the meatiest and fishiest fish, so that was an easy choice. Good for grilling. So is salmon, but I’ve had enough grilled salmon for a lifetime. We headed over to Marga’s house, and we were the first ones there.

Her new house, which as you can imagine has already seen tons of work, is looking great so far. There’s still a lot to be done, but the progress is really amazing for one person, with a handful of helpers that show up from time to time to contribute, i.e., Michael, us, Megan, Ben, Fred, who knows. When we got there it looked like there was already enough food prepared for eight people but we were just expecting everyone mentioned above, minus Michael, plus Fred’s brother who is visiting from Utah. Well, Fred and his brother had a fantasy football draft, so they couldn’t quite make it, leaving ALL that food for us! What a pity.

Our Lovely Feast

The feast, which was shared by the five (Megan, Ben (Alana’s cousins), Marga, Alana, and I) of us (a friend stopped over but was too full to eat), included: a beautifully presented salad with walnuts, avocado, mixed tomatoes, and blackberries… the chips and guacamolecorn on the cob, boiled in a pot… burgers with feta cheese stuffed into them… homemade potato salad…from Whole Foods (Marga’s would’ve been better)… grilled swordfish steaks… grilled pineapple… grilled peaches… and some pink wine, Rosé?

Marga’s Beautiful Salad

We were all stuffed, I had been eating since Alana started making the guacamole so I was pretty full. We brushed the cats (not the kittens and wow do they make ours seem like toys) and chatted about school starting, Ben’s soccer coaching, our job situation, etc. It was an awesome time and we were so glad that, despite moving to a new place, we had great family to spend our holiday with, even if we aren’t the biggest fans of Labor Day.

I hope you all enjoyed a nice holiday as well, and for all of our international viewers, I’d love to hear if you have your own version of Labor Day where you’re from. Please share!

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