(BPT) - Fish Friday is an important part of Lent, and if you honor this tradition, you’re probably looking to add something different to the menu. At the same time, you’re probably not looking forward to the extra effort of making something new.
Fortunately, there are simple ways to create wholesome Fish Friday meals and snacks for both kids and grownups, without extra time or work. Here’s how to do that:
Tip 1: Visit the freezer aisle
For Fish Friday, you don't need a complex recipe or expensive fresh fish or seafood to make a splash! Stock up on frozen options and you’ll have plenty of easily prepared meals and snacks to last through Lent and beyond.
"At the end of a long week, it's nice to have a tasty and convenient frozen seafood product on hand to make Fish Friday a stress-free meal," says Rachael Hartley, a registered dietitian and nutritionist. "I love that SeaPak has created family-friendly options, like Shrimp Scampi and Popcorn Shrimp, to make it easy to meet the recommended 2-3 servings of seafood a week."
Tip 2: Strike a balance
Even with seafood as the star of your Fish Friday meal, you’ll want to add sides and create a complete, balanced, nutritious dish. Hartley suggests adding potatoes, rice or grains, as well as steamed vegetables or a side salad. Save even more time by steaming your veggies in the microwave!
Tip 3: Create custom plates
Want to jazz up your Fish Friday entrees even more? Whip up some sauces and ingredients to create custom bowls. While one child might like a certain vegetable or sauce for their Coconut Cod, another might want another side or sauce entirely — and this doesn’t even account for the big kids: grownups! Use teriyaki, hoisin and other pre-packaged sauces as a shortcut.
Tip 4: Pack in the protein
To create satisfying meals and snacks that support each child’s growth and development, Hartley recommends including a solid source of protein. The good news is that even if one child wants Shrimp Sea Pals and the other wants Clam Strips, SeaPak frozen foods feature plenty of protein.
“With their playful shapes and great taste, Shrimp Sea Pals make it easy and fun to serve seafood to your family members, even those who may not always be open to new foods," Hartley says. “As a dietitian, I love that they are made with whole grains."
Want another kid-friendly Fish Friday idea? Try this simple recipe for Popcorn Shrimp Mac and Cheese:
Popcorn Shrimp Mac and Cheese
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
1 20-ounce package SeaPak Popcorn Shrimp
1 package macaroni and cheese
Milk and butter (if needed to prepare macaroni and cheese)
Shredded cheddar or cheese of your choice
Prepare the popcorn shrimp and macaroni and cheese according to package instructions. Pour the macaroni into a serving dish, top it with hot shrimp, and serve the mac and cheese.
Optional preparation: Add finished macaroni to small baking ramekins, top with shredded cheese, and broil for two minutes. Top with hot shrimp and serve the popcorn shrimp mac and cheese.