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Divas on a Dime: Eat more fish on a budget

According to the American Heart Association, we’re supposed to eat fish at least twice a week for optimal health but it’s so expensive! It’s hard to justify salmon at $10 a pound when chicken breasts are $2 a pound. But there are less expensive alternatives with big nutritional benefits. Here are some tips.

Buy frozen. Bags of individually frozen fillets are far less expensive than fresh fish. Keep in mind the fresh fish behind the counter was frozen during transport. There’s no loss of nutrition or quality. Look for wild-caught as opposed to farm-raised because farmed fish just isn’t as healthy or sustainable but that’s another conversation.

Watch for bargains. Fish is seasonal so watch for sales when a variety is plentiful. August is usually a good time for Alaskan wild-caught silver salmon, for example.

Think outside the fillet. It’s downright cheap to buy heads and tails to make wonderful fish chowder or stock.

Open a can. Canned sardines, tuna and salmon are excellent and very affordable. The oily skin of fish like sardines is packed to the gills with fish oil, rich in omega-3’s. Make tuna or salmon cakes or soufflé as alternatives to sandwiches.

Choose cheaper varieties. Swai and tilapia can often be found for around $3 a pound. Both are mild tasting and very versatile.


This feeds a family, halve the recipe for smaller families.

What You’ll Need:

2 pounds tilapia fillets – frozen and thawed

salt and pepper

¾ cup flour

2 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons water

1 ¼ cup panko bread crumbs

¾ cups parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons green onion - finely chopped

¼ cup fresh Italian parsley - finely chopped

1 teaspoon dried dill

Here’s How:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Rinse fillets and pat dry with paper towel. Season with salt and pepper.

You will need three plates or shallow bowls to bread the fish. Into the first, pour the flour and season with salt and pepper. Into the second, the beaten eggs and water. Into the third, panko, parmesan, green onion, parsley, and dill. Mix well.

Working one filet at a time, dip each fillet into the flour, then into the egg mixture, then into the panko. Pressing the crumbs into fish. Carefully place fish onto the prepared cookie sheet. Repeat for the remaining fish pieces. Bake for 15 minutes.


The versatile sauce is divine, you’ll want to put it on everything. Salads, chicken, sandwiches or as a dip for veggies.

What You’ll Need:

1 avocado

1 (5.3 ounce) container plain Greek yogurt (I like full fat or 2 percent)

2 garlic cloves – minced

½ cup cucumber – peeled and chopped

¼ cup parsley - chopped

2 tablespoons green onion

1 teaspoon dried dill

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Here’s How:

Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until combined.

Frugal Food by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! Website - www.divasonadime.com Join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.

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