Start any party off with a kick from these Spicy Southwest Sardine Bites!
By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Seafood Nutrition Partnership and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
If you have never tried sardines or think you are not a fan, I’m about to blow your mind. I remember as a child, when the lunch meat and tuna fish were gone, my mom would whip out a can of sardines. I would watch her struggle with that silly key type mechanism that you had to repeatedly turn to open the can. She would slather butter on white bread and carefully place a single layer of sardines between the two slices. To be honest, not my favorite lunch. Fast forward to 2017, the sardines of today are nothing like those of my childhood. They are meaty and delicious, and soooo nutritious as one of the leanest sources of protein and a super food packed with nutrients such as omega-3s, which is essential for your good heart health.
When I was asked to develop a seafood appetizer for the “Start with Seafood” recipe contest sponsored by the Seafood Nutrition Partnership, at first, I had no idea what to make. I LOVE seafood. It’s my favorite meal and my go-to dinner order whenever we dine out. This, coming from a child who would order chicken when my parents generously took us out for lobster, I shiver even thinking about it now.
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Since sardines are so nutritious but often misunderstood, I chose to feature them in my Spicy Southwest Sardine Bites. The key to scrumptious seafood is creating a dish with complementary textures and flavors. I swear, my husband is NOT a foodie and has placed many foods on his “not so much” list. Occasionally, my recipes get the polite, “It’s good,” said with that hesitation a wife can spot instantly. Not these! He tried one bite and said enthusiastically, “I could eat 20 of these!”. And, I happened to have a client over who had never tried a sardine. She was hesitant but took a bite and loved it. My work here is done, 2 for 2.
Just in case you are not seafood savvy, there are many reasons to make sure to include it in your diet. Did you know that eating seafood twice a week reduces the risk of death from any health-related cause? Studies show it may reduce your risk of heart disease, plus it gives you more energy throughout the day. (Source) It’s so easy, too! Seafood fits with all of your favorite flavors – it can be incorporated into a spicy Latin dish, flavorful Creole recipe, light and refreshing salad, or a rich Italian pasta bowl. Check out my Balsamic Tuna Sorghum Salad or Mussels Fra Diavolo for two examples.
Enjoy these Spicy Southwest Sardine Bites as a nutrient rich appetizer for any party, especially game day. I have a few tips to make your life even easier:
-If you are short on time, simply substitute whole grain crackers for the flatbread.
-If you don’t have a perfectly ripe avocado on hand, substitute 2 teaspoons of guacamole per piece.
-If you love sardines and want more, open up a second can or package and double up the portion of seafood. Enjoy!
- 1 whole grain flatbread (about 100 calories), cut into 10 pieces
- olive oil spray
- sea salt (about 1/8 teaspoon)
- 1 4.25 ounce package of sardines packed in water
- 1/2 medium ripe avocado
- 1-2 Tablespoons lime juice
- 20 pieces sliced jalapenos from a jar (about 1/3 cup rounded)
- small handful of cilantro, chopped
- optional: Sriracha to drizzle
- Heat oven or toaster oven to 350F
- Spray flatbread with olive oil flavored nonstick spray and lightly salt.
- Cut flatbread into approximately 10 pieces and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes, taking care to allow flatbread pieces to lightly brown but not burn.
- While flatbread is baking, drain sardines and transfer to a small bowl. Add lime juice and gently combine.
- Slice avocado half into 10 thin slices.
- When flatbread is done, let cool for a minute or two.
- Assemble each bite by adding 1 slice avocado, a small piece of sardine, 2 jalapeno rings, a sprinkle of cilantro and an optional drizzle of sriracha.
- Makes 10 bite sized appetizers.
PIN FOR LATER!
For more seafood inspiration, visit the Seafood Nutrition Partnership at http://www.seafoodnutrition.org/