A Seagan Way of Life

You’ve heard of vegan surely, maybe even flexitarian, paleo or a fruitarian?   Now you can add a “seagan” to the list.  A seagan is a person who ascribes to a vegan diet, with one caveat — Seagans eat fish and to Amy Cramer (chef) and Lisa McComsey (author) a Seagan makes perfect sense.

The co-authors of 2013’s popular The Vegan Cheat Sheet are back with their newest cookbook and resource for eaters looking to adapt to a plant-based lifestyle but this time around they want Vegans to be Seagans!.    This duo is making a case for incorporating seafood into a diet otherwise free of meat or any other animal products.

Some vegans might very well shake their fist at the suggestion of eating a living thing straight from the ocean.   But, for those who find straight vegan life a little hard to shallow implementing a sustainably-fished, low-mercury seafood option might just spice up their vegan diet routine.

In Seagan Eating, Cramer and McComsey detail and set out what exactly is meant by ethical and sustainable fish eating and although it’s complicated in the end you can tell a good catch from a bad catch.

Cooking fish is made simple with straightforward recipes and tips for the fish-phobic or those who squirm at the thought of a fish eyeball!

Fish to the clean eater can be a nightmare — PCBs, DDT, dioxin, mercury, pesticides, antibiotics and for stringent, health-focused vegans, one animal fat is as bad as another.

But as the writers explain, eating a vegan diet with the addition of healthy seafood can be a good option for some, particularly if you want to up your intake of essential omega-3 fatty acids.

While most vegans contend that these essential fatty acids can be found in certain plants, the writers make the valid point that vegetarian sources of omega-3s contain ALA — a sort of pre-cursor omega-3 that needs to be converted to long-chained fatty acids like EPA and DHA in the body.

“All of this converting business requires quite a bit of metabolic elbow grease, isn’t terribly efficient, and can slow down absorption — leaving your body in want of the really good stuff, EPA and DHA,” they write.

Instead, the pair opt for eating seafood three times a week in addition to their otherwise vegan diets — but not just any seafood. The book provides a guide to the best seafood for getting optimal omega-3 — a list that includes wild Alaska salmon, Arctic char, Atlantic mackerel, rainbow trout, black cod, anchovies, herring, sardines, and mussels — and also delves into how a Seagan can choose the best sustainable seafood.

Given we know you will rush out and buy the book, we thought we might try a Seagan style dinner party option.  You can tell us whether you would come around to dinner if we served this option.

Halibut à la Vodka

 Halibut-a-la-Vodka1

Serves 4

⅓ cup raw cashews

⅓ cup water

1½ cups fat-free marinara or other pasta sauce

2 to 4 tablespoons vodka (more makes it “spicier”)

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

4 Pacific halibut steaks, about 4 ounces each

In a small blender or food processor, purée the cashews and ⅓ cup of water until smooth.

In a large frying pan, over low heat, combine the cashew cream, marinara sauce, vodka, remaining 2 tablespoons water, and nutritional yeast.

Add the halibut steaks to the pan in a single layer, skin-side down, and spoon the sauce over the fish.

Cover and cook until the fish is done, around 8 minutes.

Serve with whole-wheat pasta or over a bed of raw spinach (the heat from the sauce and fish should wilt the spinach).

See you at 8:00 pm for dinner?