Fishing for a Good Meal


For eating fish, here are four commandments. For optimum health, serve it at least once or twice a week. Select the kinds of fish and seafood your family likes and that fit your budget. Avoid fish that is high in PCBs and mercury. If you are environmentally minded, pick fish that is not endangered and is raised or caught in an eco-friendly way.

For most of us, that leaves few choices. Shrimp, the seafood Americans love most, is mostly imported from Asia, where the farming practices used have been declared ecologically destructive by the Environmental Defense Fund.

Sardines are the most ecologically and heart-friendly, but good luck getting your family to eat them. Arctic char and fresh wild salmon, two other fish recommended on the informative little pocket-size guide offered by the EDF at their website (, can be challenging to serve regularly for cost reasons. Farmed salmon, rich in both health benefits and flavor, is more affordable and is popular despite the issue of poor production practices.

Tilapia, however, is both affordable and a sound ecological choice when farmed in the United States. Cooking it, though, can be challenging because it tastes bland. A fabulous way to change that is this flavorful dry rub, a blend of spices North African cooks use on fish. To complement the tilapia and create a complete dish, serving it on a bed of steamed or sautéed spinach is perfection.

Moroccan Baked Tilapia – Makes 4 servings.

2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. sweet Spanish paprika
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 lb. (about 4 pieces) tilapia
Cilantro or parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

In small bowl, whisk together cumin, paprika, coriander, salt, black pepper and cayenne until combined. Pat pieces of fish dry with paper towels. Coat fish on both sides with cooking spray, and place on the baking sheet. Sprinkle each filet liberally on both sides with spice mixture, using about one-quarter for each piece of fish.

Bake fish 12 to 15 minutes without turning, or until opaque white in center at thickest point and flakes easily. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 110 calories, 2 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 0 g carbohydrate, 23 g protein, 0 g dietary fiber, 350 mg sodium.

The Author:

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $96 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field, and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its website, AICR is part of the global network of charities that are dedicated to the prevention of cancer. The WCRF global network is led and unified by WCRF International, a membership association which operates as the umbrella organization for the network .The other charities in the WCRF network are World Cancer Research Fund in the UK (; Wereld Kanker Onderzoek Fonds in the Netherlands (; World Cancer Research Fund Hong Kong (; and Fonds Mondial de Recherche contre le Cancer in France (

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  1. Hi, we are trying to eat fish three times a week and it can be costly. I have come up with a great and easy recipe for cod fish or any other inexpensive fish.

    1 pd white fish (cod etc)
    1 pkg of frozen stouffers creamed spinach

    Spray a glass dish with oil lightly (butter flavored is great). Lay the fish on the bottom of the dish. Cook the spinach according to directions. When it is done, cut the pouch and pour over the fish. Bake until the fish is flaky. I usually bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

    Saffron rice mix goes great with this dish and any vegetable you desire. Fresh is best.


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