We’re going to give you just two words that we’re sure are going to get you drooling in mouth-watering anticipation of your next great meal: health food.
No? That didn’t do it for you? The notion of food that fulfills all your nutritional needs, that gives your body the basic building blocks of life and leaves you feeling your best isn’t enough to move the needle for you?
We get it, you’re probably one of those Southern foodies who swears by the almighty pound of butter and gets all tingly when you smell the deep fryer get to temperature. Well what if we told you there’s an entire world of Southern cuisine that not only indulges with delicate flavors, it packs a nutritional punch few other foodways can match?
It’s Southern seafood, and it’s so much more than just delicious.
Let’s start with the big one, the amino acid so good for you they sell it in a bottle and people take it even though the pills give them “fish burps:” Omega-3s. The Omega-3s found in fish are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and they work wonders in the body. They lower blood pressure, which in turn reduces the risk of sudden death, heart attack and strokes. They also aid in healthy brain function, decreasing the risk of depression, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and help reduce inflammation and arthritis.
That’s on top of the laundry list of calcium, phosphorous, and vitamins and minerals they pack, running from D and B2 (riboflavin) to iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium.
And let’s not turn up our nose at that other great Southern delight: farm-fresh pork. Packed with protein and nutrition, pork is a surprisingly health-conscious choice for Southern cuisine. Some lean cuts such as tenderloin, loin chops and sirloin roasts are even healthier than chicken. Who’s the other white meat now, chicken?
But that’s just the meat itself, the raw material that our area’s talented chefs sculpt into works of edible art. What happens next transforms it from merely health food to a transcendent dining experience that just happens to be a medical-grade superfood. Preparation techniques that leave the dish tender, delicious and perfectly balanced, with an eye toward minimizing fats, oils and complex carbohydrates, are the true miracles at work here.
Whet your appetite with a few photos here, then indulge your senses by stopping by these local restaurants and discover how good and good for you Southern food can be.
Rue de Jean
The ever-changingfish du jour at 39 Rue de Jean offers a culinary kaleidoscope of delicious and nutritious seafood dishes, and today’s catch packs what some are calling the next super food. The crispy skinned halibut you see here gets a boost of vitamins and nutrients from the roasted root vegetables and wilted watercress, but it’s the squid ink aioli that puts it over the top. Some studies suggest it could be used to fight cancer and its natural antibacterial properties help protect you against any number of illnesses. 605 W Oglethorpe Ave, , Savannah, GA, holycityhospitality.com. (912) 721-0595
Jazz'd Tapas Bar
The Omega-3 packed tuna in this mouth-watering Blackened Tuna gets a booster shot of anti-cancer power from the wasabi aioli and anti-inflammatory properties in the red onion. Wasabi packs all sorts of health benefits on top of fighting cancer. It improves digestive and cardiovascular health, and can even help fight osteoporosis. And red onion has been shown to fight everything from diabetes to tooth decay, so indulge with confidence in this succulent seafood creation. jazzdtapasbar.com
Bar • Food
Bar • food’s Ahi tuna comes with a smorgasbord of flavors that pack plenty of health benefits on the side. The seaweed salad is chock full of iodine and tyrosine, which support thyroid function, the mango in the mango salsa is good for digestion and eye health, and the gochujang in the gochujang aioli kicks up your metabolism to aid in weight loss.
Savannah River Boat
The exquisitely balanced tastes and textures in this grilled fresh Atlantic red snapper, flavor some serious nutrition courtesy of Chef Jamie Carver. To start with, as a species red snapper are high in selenium, which promotes healthy production of white blood cells. Under that, the high fiber of wild rice stimulates digestive health and the nutritional value of all those delicious roasted veggies should be self-evident. As is the fact that they taste terrific. savannahriverboat.com
Salt Island Fish & Beer
Not only is enjoying fresh, delicious local seafood healthy for you, it’s healthy for the environment. This mouth-watering cobia comes fresh from our area waters, and is prepared with side dishes that tantalize even as they provide immense nutrition. That succotash floods your tastebuds with flavor even as it fills your body with the fiber, vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy, and even the basil pesto is an antioxidant-laden treat packed with free radical-bustin phytochemicals. saltislandfishandbeer.com