This article was originally published on SheKnows.com—the #1 women's lifestyle digital media company, with a mission of women inspiring women—as "Eating More Fish Isn't Hard, I Swear — Here's How to Do It," and is reposted with permission from the author.
If you usually only eat fish at restaurants, the prospect of cooking with it at home can feel kind of daunting. But fish doesn't have to be reserved for those fancy-pants meals out. It's surprisingly easy to add fish to meals you already love, giving them extra flavor, protein and healthy fats that you might be missing out on.
Ready to take the plunge? These are the easiest ways to start adding fish to your diet.
1. Use Fish In Place Of Chicken
So many people default to baked or sautéed chicken when they're trying to come up with a healthy, protein-rich dinner, but fish works just as well in these situations (and cooks up faster too!). Plus, adding variety to your meals (like skipping the boneless, skinless chicken a few times a week) ensures that you're not missing out on any important nutrients.
Looking for easy meal ideas? Try Dijon-apricot-glazed salmon, pan-fried halibut with lemon-yogurt sauce or shrimp simply sautéed with garlic and butter, all of which take less than 20 minutes to cook up. Serve alongside your favorite veggies and a whole grain, and you've got yourself a flavorful, quick and healthy meal.
Also on Z Living: Fish For Breakfast?! You've Gotta Try This Seafood Quiche From 'The Posh Pescatarian'
2. Jazz Up Your Salads With Fish
We all know salads are an easy way to up your intake of veggies, but if you don't add protein to your leafy greens, you're going to be hungry before long. And what's the point of sticking with healthier eating if you still wind up hungry after your meal?
Instead, bulk up your salads with lean protein in the form of fish. Steamed or sautéed shrimp and leftover fish from the night before can all give your salad more heft. If you want to make it really easy, you can buy a premade salad or add a pouch of StarKist® Salmon Creations® Lemon Dill on top of some salad greens to give it that extra something that will keep you going all afternoon.
Also on Z Living: VIDEO: Make 'The Posh Pescatarian's' Lobster Avocado Cocktail
3. Add Fish To Casseroles
Casseroles can be a lifesaver when you lead a busy life, but they can also be kind of, well, boring. That's why you should think about livening up your favorite casseroles — especially creamy dishes that tend to taste bland — with fish.
Quick-cooking peeled, deveined shrimp is great with baked pastas; shellfish, like mussels and clams, can be added to rice-based casseroles in the last few minutes of cooking. Wake up one of your go-to casseroles with the addition of something with flavor, like a StarKist® Tuna Creations® Lemon Pepper pouch, or create something new, like this spring lemon tuna risotto.
Also on Z Living: 5 Key Meal Prep Tips From 'The Posh Pescatarian'
4. Switch Up Your Tacos
Ground beef tacos from a box might be what most of us mean when we say we're making tacos at home, but you can make yours healthier and more interesting by adding fish to the equation. Season your fish, whether it's white fish fillets, shrimp, scallops or salmon, with taco seasoning. Sauté until cooked through, then add to a tortilla with shredded cabbage, salsa and crumbled queso fresco. Fish tacos are so fresh and tasty compared to the heavy beef tacos so many of us grew up on, and they don't take any longer to cook.
Want to make things extra decadent? Fill your tacos with fish sticks or a fillet for a meal that'll make you feel like you're dining on a sunny beach somewhere ready to hit the waves.
Also on Z Living: RECIPE: Make 'Flip My Food's Delicious Mahi-Mahi Tacos
5. Doll Up Your Dips
If you love to entertain, chances are you serve chips and dip on a fairly regular basis. Fish can help take your party snacks to the next level, and the extra protein gives you an excuse to have "just one more" bite. Try adding cooked chopped clams to onion dip, lump crab meat to spinach and artichoke dip, and chopped shrimp to fresh salsa or whip up a batch of salmon cream cheese dip to serve with bagel chips. It's totally normal to eat that for breakfast, right?
You don’t need to fear cooking with fish! It can add flavor to your favorite dishes and liven up classic recipes to give you new ways to eat healthier meals that still taste delish. Whether you opt for a quick sauté, a pouch of tuna or salmon, or frozen filets, fish is the easiest way to add a new element of flavor to your meals.