Sardines were one of the first animal foods we introduced to our diet when we went from vegan to omnivore late in 2012.
At the time, we weren’t ready to have other fish because we wanted to research mercury, toxins, etc. But, we wanted some fish. Our best bet: sardines because of their low-trophic level and superior nutrition. Some in the paleo world call them a superfood.
Did I like sardines?
Well, honestly they skeeved me out a bit. I used to love tuna fish back when I was young, but sardines were a whole new ball of wax, coming with skin, bones and all. Yeah, they were the kind of thing my step-dad ate and I used to think, “Ewww, dude, you’re gross.”
But, I’m pretty hard core when it comes to food so I wanted to give it a go.
I opened up the can and they didn’t look too bad. So, I had Greg try them first (hehe).
After I watched him have one, I tried it myself, covered in mustard, lemon juice and kraut. It wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t in love. The worst parts of it were the texture and look, because I could see the bones (healthy for you though) and feel them.
I needed to make some changes.
At the time of introducing them to my life, I wouldn’t say they were in my top 5 favorite foods; however, I looked forward to having them. They were easy, always on hand, nutritious, and fairly tasty. They graced our table 1 to 2 times a week.
But, then, I became a raving sardine fan.
I came up with some recipes, changed my mindset, and ate them more often. I’ve graduated from “sardine university” with honors. :) I like them in recipes and I like them straight-plain from the can (that’s convenient as hell!). I guess it’s true for both kids and adults. Expose yourself enough times, in the right way, and you can end up loving something. Now, if I could only do that with liver. Still working on that.
So, of course… I wrote 2 books about sardines: Sardine Solution and Recipes with Sardines.
You see, learning to love sardines is smart, and it’s easy. The first book, Sardine Solution, takes you on a sardine adventure so you can discover how to love them, because there are a lot of reasons to.
The second book, Recipes with Sardines, includes 20 delicious recipes to help you add these healthy little fish to your regular diet with excitement. Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner. These recipes will amp up your love and appreciation for this superfood fish.
You can get the books in kindle eBook format or print. They’re short reads and you’ll be up and running with sardines in no time.
I also have them in a boxed set (Kindle eBook format only) so you can save money when you buy them together.
For people who aren’t familiar with sardines (or who might have an aversion to them), they are actually fun.
You can vary the recipe based on whatever you have on hand (see recipes below to get you started). When I’m in a creative mood, I add caramelized onions (see my post on how you can make those in a slow cooker). Or, I add fresh raw onion and celery. Other times I puree red bell pepper with it (roasted peppers are nice, too)… fresh herbs are awesome, and so is roasted garlic or even avocado.
The sky is the limit so don’t be shy with sardines.
They’re cheap, easy, and nutritious. And who knows, you might find yourself grabbing one straight from the can, like Kamea, Greg, and I do, and chomp chomp.
I found a reputable company for sardines, Wild Planet, and now we stay stocked with them via Amazon.com.
Caramelized Onion Sardine Pate (Paleo)
The caramelized onions add a light sweetness along with the honey mustard. Excellent!
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon organic grass fed ghee (or coconut oil for strict paleo)
- 2 cans sardines
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey mustard
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons macadamia nut oil (or olive oil)
Sauté the sliced onion in the ghee over low (or low-medium) heat for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool a few minutes. (Or you can make these in your slow cooker, see my previous post for directions.) Place the sautéed onion and remaining ingredients in a mini food processor and purée until your desired texture is attained.
Pro Sardine Pate (Paleo)
This is named Pro Sardine Pate because when you become a pro at eating sardines, you just mash up some sardines, lemon or lime, and mustard.
Yield 2 servings
- 2 tins of sardines, any variety / flavor
- fresh lemon or lime juice, to taste
- 1 to 2 tablespoons mustard, any variety
Put the sardines in a medium sized bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients and mash with a fork and/or spoon.
Eat straight from the bowl, pro.
You’ll be glad you added sardines to your life because they’re easy, cheap, and, well, delicious! Go on your own sardine adventure!