Eat fish for omega-3s
If you hate smelling up your kitchen, don’t let that stop you from enjoying the deliciousness of fresh or fresh-frozen fish. Just cook it on the barbecue, outside! It’s easy for every day and delicious enough for any special occasion.
Fish is full of those hard to come by but oh so important omega-3 fatty acids. They are important, first, because we can’t manufacture them in our bodies. We have to get them in food. Second, they help prevent the many chronic diseases that plague us these days.
Go easy on omega-6s in corn oil
And why do we have such high rates of heart disease, cancer, and arthritis, to name just a few? One reason is our diet provides many more of the other omega fats than it does omega-3. We aim for a ratio of 4:1 or better, for omega-6 versus omega-3 fats. But omega-6 is found in super-high amounts in the cheap vegetable oils the food industry prefers… especially corn oil. If you eat out regularly, for sure you are getting too many omega-6 fats for good health.
The only Westernized society that reaches that goal of 4:1 is the Japanese. They are one of the healthiest populations on the planet despite their incredible love of cigarettes. People in countries like the U.S. where eating out is popular consume 19 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3. This is the most likely reason we rank poorly in every measured health barometer.
What’s so good about omega-3 and so bad about omega-6? It’s simply that omega-3 prevents inflammation and omega-6 promotes it. The more inflammation, the more trouble your heart has pumping blood through your arteries, the easier it is for cancer to take a hold, and the more likely you will suffer allergies and lung problems.
The moral of this little story is eat more fish. Don’t let the smell put you off. We cook our fish on your barbecue, outside, winter and summer. Or wrap it in foil and bake it in the oven on high heat.
To get you started, here are two wonderful ways to cook salmon.
Barbecued Salmon, Wild West style
Serves 8, but can be scaled back for smaller quantity
- 4 pounds whole salmon fillet
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup rye whiskey
- 1 tablespoons maple syrup (leave this out if you’re cooking the salmon on an open fire. Sugar causes charring. If you wrap the fish in foil, then leave it in)
- Mix the ingredients together and marinate the salmon in it flesh-side down for 2-6 hours.
- Use a plastic bag, in the fridge. Don’t marinate for more than 6 hours because the salmon will toughen:
- On a covered barbecue on medium heat, cook skin-side down on lightly oiled grill until skin separates.
- Or wrap in heavy foil and place over coals.
- As per the 10-minute rule, below, cook for 10 minutes per inch at thickest point, plus 5 more minutes if cooking in foil. Turn at half way point.
Barbecued Salmon, California Style
- Salmon fillet large enough for 4 people (perhaps 2 pounds)
- 3-5 large garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (about 30 grams)
- 6 sun-dried tomatoes (about 1/3 cup or 15 grams), reconstituted in hot water
- 1/4 – ½ tsp salt, or to taste
- ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Puree the ingredients in a food processor. You can make this ahead and store in a jar in the fridge overnight.
- Place salmon skin-side down on a large piece of greased foil.
- With a sharp knife cut two long slits lengthwise along the fillet, slicing to the skin but not through it, dividing the salmon into three.
- Spread the garlic mixture over the fish and into the slits.
- Close foil and cook for 15-25 minutes, depending on size (see the 10-minute rule, below). Fish should taste moist, not dry.
Use fresh dill or parsley leaves instead of coriander if you prefer.
Some health advocates say don’t use olive oil in grilling, as the fats can be denatured at high heat. Macadamia nut oil is expensive but has lots of omega-3 compared with omega-6 and withstands heat. It is a healthful choice. So is canola oil.
Measure the fish at its thickest point and cook it for 10 minutes per inch, turning halfway through the cooking time. Add 5 minutes if you’re cooking in foil.