MyPlate depicts a dinner plate – alongside a glass of (presumably) low-fat milk – on which grains, fruits, vegetables, and proteins are apportioned in the same ratio as they should be in our diets. According to MyPlate, our diet should be roughly 50% vegetables and fruit and, as far as I can tell, the remaining 50% is split almost evenly between proteins and grains, but it’s a little bit hard to discern exactly what the percentage is intended to be.
The seafood industry is excited because the new guidelines include the advice to eat seafood twice a week, a recommendation that the government made earlier this year.
The website addresses the issue of safety regarding eating fish during pregnancy, and hasa special section on mercury in fish,as well as advisories about local fish and shellfish. (If you want to learn more about how mercury enters the food cycle, check out this video.)
Eating a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables is excellent advice, and including seafood in your diet is a good idea too. A recipe that makes the most of this dietary advice is Kakavia, a traditional Greek fisherman’s stew that contains many vegetables as well as several different kinds of fish and shellfish. I got this recipe from Father D. J. Constantelos, who enjoys it frequently and who kindly agreed to share it with us.
This recipe calls for cod. Atlantic Cod currently has either a yellow ranking (U.S. jig caught) or an orange ranking (Icelandic and U.S. bottom longline caught) or a red one (U.S. and Canada – bottom trawl), so we recommend that you select Pacific Cod instead. Pacific Ling Cod and Alaskan Walleye Pollock are excellent green-ranked choices as well, as they have the same flaky yet dense flesh that Atlantic and Pacific Cod do, although Pacific Ling Cod has a mercury/PCB warning.
There are some great ocean-friendly shrimp options available. Canadian, pink, Alaskan spot, and U.S. Farmed shrimp are all ranked green. Shrimp from the Southeastern U.S. are ranked yellow, and farmed shrimp from Asia and Latin America earn orange rankings. Imported wild shrimp are ranked red.
Bay scallops and Peruvian Calico Scallops both have green rankings, and Icelandic and Sea Scallops are ranked as earning a yellow rating.
Enjoy this fantastic – and fantastically healthy – veggie-heavy fish stew! But please, use a bowl, not a plate. – Roz Cummins
By Father D. J. Constantelos
Here is how I prepare Kakavia – rather frequently. It is a very healthy and delightful meal, depending, of course, on your taste.
2 stalks of celery, sliced
3 carrots, thick slices
10 – 12 small white onions, peeled and whole
12 small red potatoes, unpeeled and whole
2 or 3 Bay leaves
4 or 5 whole pepper corns
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, whole
A few pieces of fresh dill,
½ cup extra virgin olive oil (I recommend Kalamata)
1 lb. fish (buy thick pieces) N.B.: see recommendations above on fish that would work well in this recipe
6 to 8 shrimp
6 to 8 scallops
6 to 8 clams
10 to 12 mussels
1.) Put three to four cups of water in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Add the following celery, carrots, white onions, red potatoes, Bay leaves, whole peppercorns, garlic, dill, and olive oil.
2.) Let boil until the potatoes are nearly cooked. Add more water as needed. Stir the vegetables occasionally.
3.) Once the potatoes are nearly cooked, add the fish and continue to boil for four minutes.
4.) Four minutes after you put the fish in, add the shrimp, scallops, clams, and mussels.
5.) Cook for an additional three minutes. Remove the Bay leaves, then serve immediately.