Everyone loves the classic clam shack with its mountains of fried shellfish and french fries, but these meals can often run counter to the beach season diet so many beachgoers are on when the mercury rises. Thankfully, there are still plenty of options available to the health-conscious beachside diner, all of which are equally or more delicious than a clam basket or platter of fried scallops. Here are four options to pick when you want to watch your diet but still enjoy the delicious bounty of the sea.
Raw oysters are becoming more and more popular around the country, especially in New England and the Northeast, and for good reason. While they are an acquired taste, the salty, buttery, meaty bivalves are the perfect healthy choice when having appetizers near the beach, especially when dressed up with some spicy cocktail sauce or a garlicky mignonette.
Boiled Crab or Lobster
The classic boiled lobster or crab is a surprisingly healthy option, just as long as you pass on the melted butter. A lobster by itself itself will often consist of less than 200 calories, leaving plenty of room for a light beer or a healthy side, as well. Another plus to enjoying a boiled crab or lobster is that you know it will be fresh; some restaurants will even let you pick your lobster live from a tank in the dining room.
As mentioned above, lobster can be a very healthy meal if you're vigilant of the added calories melted butter can bring to the table. The same goes for enjoying a lobster roll. For starters, make sure that the restaurant doesn't serve rolls covered in fatty mayonnaise or butter. If you really want to be healthy, then skip the grilled, buttered roll and just ask for the tasty lobster filling.
Poaching might be the healthiest way to prepare fish, seeing as it skips the breading of baked fish and the oils that come with a fried fish dinner. Commonly poached fishes include salmon, haddock, and lobster, all of which take very nicely to some lemon juice or a light sauce. Just make sure to check that the fish is poached in water, as butter poached lobster is a common dish that throws the "healthy" mantra right out the window.
With these four healthy options, you don't have to choose between being comfortable in your bathing suit and enjoying a fish dinner at the beachside bar. As long as you pick one of these delicious meals or something similar, you'll be satisfied and feel ready to catch a few more waves after your dinner.