There are a few reasons why someone would eat a seafood-free diet. The number-one reason that you simply don’t like the taste of seafood. Some people find the taste of all sea-born foods “fishy” tasting and distasteful. These folks probably have no interest in substitute seafood dishes, like faux crab or other vegan seafood products. Then there are those with an allergy. The thing is, while a shellfish allergy is common, an allergy to all seafood is relatively rare. So before you forgo all chic…
en of the sea just because shrimp, lobster, and crab give you hives, consider taking an allergy test to confirm whether tuna and salmon are OK as long as you steer clear of shellfish or crustaceans.
Another reason someone would want to eat a diet sans any seafood is for health reasons. It’s not that seafood is unhealthy. In fact, for the most part, and in moderation, it’s very healthy. Fish contains needed omega-3 fatty acids (good fats) and is high in protein. But some fish carry large amounts of mercury, lots of fish are found to have consumed plastic in the ocean, and farmed fish can carry bacteria or live in contaminated waters. Finally, there are those who avoid all types of fish and seafood because they’re vegetarian or vegan and believe that overfishing damages the environment or that treatment of fish for human consumption is just plain cruel.
Here are some seafood-free recipe ideas for any reason that you want to eat a sans-seafood diet.
If you have an allergy to all seafood, then your diet options are pretty straightforward. Eat anything that does not contain fish, shellfish (mollusks, clams, mussels, oysters), or crustaceans (shrimp, lobster, crab). Unlike wheat, dairy, or soy, it’s rare that any food processing company will sneakily put seafood in a processed food item. So you don’t have to scrutinize food labels the way people who suffer from other allergies do.
Now, if you’re allergic to all seafood, or want to avoid all seafood just to be safe, but you like the taste of seafood, then you’re living in a pretty good time as far as recipe and food options are concerned. There are tons of faux fish and faux shellfish foods that you can purchase at grocery stores and specialty grocery stores. Here are some of the recipes you can make at home that have all the flavor and texture of the real thing, but is completely seafood free: vegetable tuna salad sandwiches, tofu fish sticks, veggie fish cakes on a bed of lettuce, crispy faux white fish with fries, fish-less ceviche starter, chickpea fillet burger and chips, vegan seafood soup. This list is just a start. There are so many different vegan or veggie “fish-less” foods that pass all the taste tests.
Vegan or Vegetarian
Vegans and vegetarians don’t necessarily dislike the taste of seafood (though some certainly do), but others opt to eat foods that have never lived. So just like those who like seafood but have an allergy, the best way to go is with soy-based or veggie-based foods that taste like seafood but have never lived in freshwater or seawater.
Fish-free fillets are great recipes to have on hand so that you can make seafood-tasting sandwiches, sliders, or fish tacos for lunch, and a main course paired with a salad, rice, and glass of Chardonnay for dinner. Some fish-less options are whitefish fillets or crab-less crab cakes, both of which pair great with tartar sauce. If you have other non-seafood allergies, be sure to always read the ingredients labels. These items are typically made using soy, wheat, or wheat flour.
Shaping your diet on your environmental beliefs is honorable. But if you still crave seafood, then will life be more difficult? It doesn’t have to be. There are a ton of seafood recipes that don’t contain any seafood at all. It just tastes that way.
And further, no fish or no fish habitats are ever disturbed. Asian food makers have found a new way to create entirely vegan/vegetarian seafood substitutes. Foods that taste like tuna (for sandwiches or no-fish sushi; shrimp, for peel-less and eat, or to make shrimp rolls, and lobster, to make lobster rolls. There are many more seafood-like items made from the starchy root of the konjac plant, which is a tuber that tastes like yams. It has other names, too like elephant yam and konnyaku potato. You can eat vegan squid, which is soy free and perfect for your gluten-free recipes. You can make squid salad with a citrus dressing or vegan ceviche with squid. Vegan crab steaks, which are soy free, taste great with fresh veggies spritzed with lemon juice, on a bed of brown rice. Or make seafood pasta with vegan scallops. These scallops can be sautéed, pan-seared, baked, or stir-fried.
The next time you have a seafood craving, discover tons of fish-like vegetarian recipes.