Coastal Alabama Farmers & Fishermens Market


Located in Foley, Alabama

What Nutritionists from other countries have to say?

What Nutritionists from Other Countries Have to Say?


Recently an international conference of nutritionists was held in the United States.  During the conference, a writer for a magazine devoted to nutrition organized a panel of nutritionists representing seven countries, all of which are known for healthy lifestyles.  A very basic question was asked:  What recommendations do they have for better nutrition?  Their answers were fairly consistent among the seven nutritionists. 


Focus on Vegetables:  All of the nutritionists recommended eating more vegetables and to make vegetables the center of a meal.   They expressed shock that Americans ALWAYS have meat as the front-and-center focus of their plates rather than vegetables.  They also expressed surprise that Americans do not eat more all-vegetable meals.   All of the nutritionists described how freshly harvested vegetables are served in their countries routinely as the entire meal.


As I thought about this recommendation, I realized that this is so true.  Meat, front and center.  In fact, I pulled out an old etiquette book and an old style basic cookbook from 50 years ago.  In both books I found diagrams how to organize a plate based on proper etiquette.  Meat, front and center.  A few years ago, my wife and I started having one meatless day per week.  At first, it felt like a sacrifice, now it just feels normal and often we have more than one day when we have no meat.  Don’t get me wrong, we both love a good cheeseburger just as much as anyone else, but we also have found that a plate of vegetables to be extremely satisfying.  It just took some getting used to.  Of course, as frequent shoppers at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market and Forland Family Market know, finding quality vegetables is an easy task.


Eat more plant based protein:  Beans, peas, and nuts are used frequently.  These products are often the entire meal, frequently as hand food.  In addition, several of the nutritionists talked about nuts being used as flavorings in their culture.  Peanuts in season can be found at Forland Family Market as well as nuts by the pound.  In season, peas and beans are readily available and easy to freeze fresh retaining their nutritional value.


Herbs:  Each of the nutritionists in the group related that the use of fresh herbs was a part of the daily diet in their respective cultures.  In some of the cultures represented, herbs were also used to make tea; in others cultures, herbs were used for flavorings; and in some instances herbs, particularly leaves were eaten separately as a part of the meal.  Fresh herb plants are sold at the Market and most of them are easy to grow.  In the climate of Coastal Alabama, herbs can be grown outside in the ground or in pots with only a few days a year needing to be covered or brought inside.  In addition, two vendors feature microgreens some of which are made from herbs.  Also, a unique blend of tea herbs is available at the Market from Moringa Colectivo.


Spices:  Each of the nutritionists in the group talked of the importance of adding spices to foods, not just for flavor, but also for the medicinal values that species can afford.  Also, see the notes in this week’s recipe for a good source of fresh spices.


Fish:  All the nutritionists were adamant about this recommendation even the one landlocked country who was adamant about freshwater fish and freshwater mollusks.  Getting fresh seafood is easy for us living on the Coast.  Two vendors at the Market carry fresh seafood.


Naturally Sweet Treats:  The nutritionists emphasized that most cultures do not eat refined sugars such as what we have in desserts.  They said that fruit is the staple for desserts or is used as the sweetener for dessert.  Easy enough to find plenty of fruit at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market and at Forland Family Farm.


Recipe of the Week:  Trigger Fish




Trigger Fish (available from Shrimp to Go or J&K Farms)

Seafood Seasoning (I use Barrier Reef Caribbean Spice Blend that I purchase online from Savory Spice Shop in Denver, Colorado but other spice blends, such as Old Bay, work.)

1 Tablespoon scant finely chopped sweet onion (available from several vendors)

1 Tablespoon scant finely chopped sweet pepper (available from several vendors)

1 Tablespoon scant finely chopped celery (Forland Family Market)

White wine

Olive Oil

Butter (Forland Family Market)





  1. Coat fish with seasoning blend, both sides, and marinate in a non-metal container.  Let marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour.
  2. In a cast iron skillet, heat olive oil and butter.  Add fish, cooking for 7 minutes on each side (vary for thickness of fish).  I cooked this on an outdoor gas grill.
  3. Remove fish to a warmed platter.
  4. Add ½ - ¾ cup of white wine and add vegetables.  Deglaze the pan with an inverted spatula until vegetables are soft and wine is cooked down about halfway.
  5. Add fish back to the pan and turn often fully coating all surfaces of the fish.  Cook additional 1-2 minutes.  The coating is the key point.  A good fresh fish will probably break apart some, which is okay as more surface of the fish is getting coated.
  6. Remove to warm plates, cover fish with microgreens, and serve as soon as possible.


I served this fish covered in microgreens with leftover mixed grain rice (we’re frugal at my house, but the texture and flavors of rice blends are enhanced after sitting in the refrigerator overnight and most of the day), Crowder peas (Forland Family Market), green salad with Craine Creek lettuce, and chilled white wine. 


Of course, you can use any fish you prefer with this recipe. 


Enjoy and I’ll see you at the Market.


Lagniappe:  If you ever find yourself near one of the 24 Savory Spice Shop locations, do yourself a favor and go in.  They’re located in several Southeastern states, mid-West states, and Pacific Coast states.  You will need to allow yourself at least an hour to taste and smell all their spices and herbs and blends.  And, plan on blowing your budget. 


Bob Zeanah

Author of No Anchor (published November 2015)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Books a Million

Author of Work to Do (published July 2014)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Books a Million

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Magnolia Springs AL  36555

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