For the Love of Beer-battered Fish

As a teenager, my favorite fast food was the infamous fish sandwich. During our school lunch break, my friends and I would walk a few blocks to the neighborhood Burger Chef. I always ordered the fish sandwich and fries, believing this choice was healthier than the burger alternative. Imagine my surprise when I learned that deep-fried fish often has more saturated fat than the red meat counterpart. 

As a result, my beloved fish sandwich became a rare treat…until now. With the help of my awesome Ninja Foodi grill and a bit of research, I was able to prepare a healthier alternative that tastes much like the deep-fried original. The cod was patted dry, dusted in flour, and then placed in a batter of beer (1/2 cup), sweetened with a tablespoon of honey, and thickened with all-purpose flour. Be sure to add the flour slowly and fold it into the batter – don’t use a whisk. After draining the excess batter from the fish, I placed each fillet in pepper-seasoned breadcrumbs (add other seasonings to taste) where they sat for several minutes. Next, I placed them in the freezer for one to two hours to allow the batter to solidify. This step also prevents the fish from cooking too fast, allowing more time for the crunchy crust to develop. Finally, I sprayed each filet with avocado oil (always use an oil with the high-smoke point, such as avocado or grapeseed) and then air-fried them for 12 to 15 minutes. 

Add bun and toppings for a delightful pub-worthy sandwich and a few sweet potatoes fries on the side (air-fried, of course).   

Fish Tacos


This is a tale of two fish – one rockfish and one red snapper.  I wondered which one my husband would choose if I broiled them for brunch.  After all, both are tasty but have very different flavor profiles. 

Several moments passed and I decided that no one should have to choose between these two delectable sea creatures. My solution? Fish tacos, of course. Both fish were sauteed in a mixture of onion, carrot, and celery, seasoned with a balsamic lime vinaigrette (Italian herbs, garlic, onion, EVOO, fresh-squeezed lime juice, and balsamic vinegar). While the mixture gently cooked, I streamed the black rice (30 minutes in the rice cooker) and blanched the kale.

The final meal was literally “built” on the plate, starting with the bed of kale, topped with black rice drizzled with the remaining vinaigrette.  The fish mixture was wrapped in a high-fiber tortilla shell. Place one lime wedge at the edge of the plate and top with salsa for a creative and delicious feast.

Wild-caught Blueberry Salmon

Moving forward in our healthy eating adventure, we decided to attempt wild salmon.  Pictured above – this was my first attempt with wild Coho salmon, shown here marinaded in blueberry sauce and paired with sauteed asparagus and sweet potato chips.

I created two versions of a blueberry sauce. The thicker sauce was created through reduction Рcooking the blueberries down in a small amount of water and then blending them for consistency using a NutriBullet. The second sauce was a lighter dressing using a small amount of the thicker sauce blended with olive oil, golden balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar, and Italian seasoning. The lighter dressing was used for the marinade and saut̩ing. The thicker sauce topped the salmon.

To create the sweet potato chips – dice the potato, lightly toss in EVOO (optional – can skip this step if you don’t use oil), add a seasoning of your choice, and cook in an air fryer. The amount of cook time varies by volume, so check the potatoes every five minutes or so. I used a combination seasoning of onion, garlic, salt, and pepper.

The Coho salmon was broiled. Everything turned out great!  If you decide to give this one a try, let us know how it turns out.  We would love to hear from you.