Hello! I’m back from my death bed. I didn’t mean to go all MIA the last 10 days or so, but when I was traveling last week I came down with a doozy of a bug. Turns out it was strep. A really, really nasty case of strep that moved to my ears. So I’ve been spending the last week either sleeping or taking what meager drugs I can take to make the bad man stop and go back to sleep. My family has been wonderful through my convalescence. Hulk made some dutiful husband runs for chicken soup and flavored sparkling water, while our au pair did some double time with Squish, taking over bedtime and other activities I couldn’t perform over the weekend due since I was highly contagious. So I was allowed to sleep about 14 hours a day without any other worries to distract me besides getting well.

In other news, I forced myself to eat sardines for lunch. I figured part of my illness was probably due to the fact that healthy eating has taking a bit of a back seat lately. Feeling morning sickness, fatigue pushing out my normal food prep activities, and the crazy travel schedule this month meant I was grabbing more of the less-healthy convenience stuff and less of the labor-intensive good stuff. So I considered my illness a wakeup call to refocus on the important stuff. Dirty floors can wait; a dirty diet cannot!

One of the things my doctor recommended is to lighten up on my tuna intake. Whaaat?!? You don’t get it; I love tuna. I eat it almost every day, in particular I love the Wild Planet brand tuna in olive oil, because it’s delicious, focuses on sustainable practice, and has a pop-top lid so you don’t need a can opener to indulge. But in reading about fish safety and sustainability, it’s really important to watch your mercury intake while pregnant. And tuna, although not terribly bad on the “dirty” scale, still can contain high levels of mercury and should be eaten in moderation. I’m a bit heartbroken by this feedback, but I should see it as a challenge and opportunity rather than a brick wall, right? And I’ve been meaning to eat more sardines, since they are “clean“, don’t pose a mercury risk, and are highly sustainable.

The problem? My squeamish American palate. They’re yucky! All the skin and tiny bones and stuff, I can’t handle it, man. But, I need to put on my big girl pants and deal with it. I perused Pinterest for inspiration on how to incorporate sardines so I can’t tell I’m eating them, like a stepping stone. It’s how I slowly weaned myself into eating avocados and olives, too. But everything was like, “dump this sauce on them” or “put them on greens” and I’m like, I still know I’m eating sardines so this isn’t working for me.

Then I found these Wild Planet sardines in marinara sauce. That seemed promising.

Image (source)

It took me a few weeks to work out the courage to say, “I’m eating these blankety-blanks today!” Then I had to figure out how to dress them up. I’m not at the point yet where I can take a fork to a tin and go to town.

I didn’t take picture of my concoction because they looked horrendous, but I assure you it was tasty enough that I could put the whole thing down. I figured what I would normally do with marinara is put it on pasta. So I made some spaghetti, and heated up the sardines in the marinara and broke them up into a meat sauce. Then I drowned the whole thing in butter and mozzarella cheese. It was like spaghetti bolognese with fish instead of beef. Squish was around when I started eating my experiment, and he demand multiple tastes of it. So it worked.

And that is the story on how I ate a tin of sardines today.


6 thoughts on “Sardines

  1. Not good about you being sick! I hope you feel better now. I’m fighting off a cold myself at the moment and it’s no fun.

    I can’t eat sardines, blech! I think about the tiny bones and I just can’t do it

  2. Oh no, I hope you feel better. I’m happy you got a handle on sardines but I don’t think I can ever eat one.

    Where is your au pair from?

  3. Hi Emily,
    Thanks for this article! I was really concerned with the whole mercury issue during my pregnancy as well so I did some digging (and emailing) and found that while other tuna brands are extremely high in mercury, Wild Planet’s tuna has a mercury level of .17ppm (as compared to .358ppm in other tuna brands).This is well below the FDA’s recommended safety level (so much so that you can safely eat Wild Planet Tuna 6-7 times per week) . . . so glad, because I was finding it so difficult to give up tuna for 9 months. 🙂

    • Also, thanks for the tip on the sardines. I’m just picked some up from the store, did you know WP has them in water and evoo as well? I’m trying them in Olive oil…I’m not a huge pasta fan so idk what else I’d eat the marina ones with. Any ideas?

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