Guest post: Rebecca Chrasta, UTSW Dietetic Intern and Graduate Student
It’s heart-health month! Now that we are past Valentine’s Day, perhaps we can start giving a little more attention to our physical hearts. As many of us know, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. The good news is that it can be prevented! Nutrition can play a significant role in protecting and strengthening our hearts against cardiovascular disease, and a great source of this nutrition is fish.
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating fish at least twice a week. Fish, especially cold-water fish like salmon are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary for heart health. Omega-3s are also important for brain health, immune health, healthy pregnancies, and healthy infants.
It’s one thing to know we are supposed to eat fish, but it is another thing to actually do it. Especially if you’re picky about the fish you eat, like me. I don’t exactly love fish, but I do love salmon; the problem is that fresh salmon can be so expensive. So while I do love to make a good teriyaki salmon when I can get fresh salmon on sale, its not always on sale and so I have to get creative to make sure I get my two servings of fish per week. Recently I went to the store and really wanted to get salmon, but when I saw it was $7.99/lb I reluctantly turned to the frozen section to see what they had. I decided on the less expensive salmon patties. Now, how to make them exciting? Make an open-faced sandwich of course!
Now, not only am I getting an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids from the fish, I am getting some whole grains and vegetables, which are also heart-healthy and full of nutrition. Not to mention that it takes less than 10 minutes to make, which is always a plus for this grad student. This is also an extremely versatile sandwich; feel free to dress it up with whatever veggies you have on hand. And it goes great with almost any side dish! I enjoy it with some sweet potatoes and cranberry-walnut-balsamic Brussels sprouts.
1 Salmon patty
1 slice whole grain bread
½ cup lettuce
1 Tbsp Salsa
- Cook salmon according to package directions. When salmon is fully cooked, cut in half
- While the salmon is cooking, toast the bread. Cut in half
- Assemble the sandwich: place lettuce, onion and any other toppings on the toast. Top with salmon patty halves and salsa.
Rebecca Chrasta is a Clinical Nutrition graduate student at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She completed her undergraduate degree in Healthcare Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas, and is excited to be pursuing nutrition at the graduate level.