This recipe is easy to make and familiar – it’s essentially a makeover of frozen fish sticks! And it provides important brain-healthy nutrients for the kids and adults at your table.
When it comes to brain healthy eating and the MIND Diet, salmon is always at the top of the list, because it’s rich in brain-healthy DHA and EPA omega-3 fats. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) are long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids that our bodies need at every stage of life. Omega-3s play an important role in heart, eye, and brain health, and they are found primarily in fatty fish like salmon. DHA is particularly important for brain structure and function.
To add ease to this recipe, ask for skinless salmon at the seafood counter. To avoid soggy sticks, place an oven-safe wire cooling rack directly on top of a sheet pan or baking sheet, spray it with nonstick cooking spray (so the salmon doesn’t stick), and bake.
1ripe avocado, seeded, peeled, and cut into quarters
zest of half a lemon
juice of half a lemon, 2 tablespoons
1tbspchopped fresh dill, plus more to taste
Black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside. Spray a cooling rack with nonstick cooking spray and place on top of the baking sheet.
Place the salmon on a cutting board and slice into ¾-inch wide by 3 or 4-inch long strips.
Place the almond flour in a shallow bowl. In a second bowl, whisk together the egg and water until well combined. Place the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, and garlic in a third bowl and use a fork to mix everything together.
To bread the salmon, coat all sides with flour and shake off excess. Dip in egg, then coat evenly with bread crumb mixture. Arrange the well-coated sticks on the cooling rack and spray the top of each salmon stick lightly with nonstick spray.
Bake until the fish is cooked through and the coating is golden and crispy, 10 to 12 minutes.
To make the dipping sauce, place the avocado, lemon zest, lemon juice, dill, honey, Dijon mustard, salt, and black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste in the bowl of a mini food processor. Process until smooth, stopping a few times to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the avocado dipping sauce with the salmon sticks.
Liz is a registered dietitian nutritionist and has been passionate about healthy food and family nutrition for over 20 years. NeuroReserve is very pleased to partner with Liz to develop brain healthy recipes for Brain Table. Liz is the founder of Liz’s Healthy Table, an online platform providing countless resources centered on real food and family friendly recipes. Liz develops new innovative healthy recipes, hosts a bi-weekly foodie focused podcast and makes cooking videos that are sure to inspire the everyday cook. She also teaches hands-on and virtual cooking classes and nutrition basics to school children in and around Boston through a program called Kids Cooking Green. Liz’s mission is to help families of all ages and stripes discover the joy of wholesome and delicious food.