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Sardines Good Source of Calcium, Riboflavin--but Heavy on Sodium

With so much talk about calcium intake and calcium supplements, it’s not surprising to find confusion among consumers. The truth is, sufficient calcium may be obtained through the foods we eat with little or no supplementation, and sardines are an excellent source.

These tiny fish are so delicate that even their bones are soft; thus, the fish is eaten whole, bones and all. Three ounces of sardines have 40% of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance for protein and 25 to 30% of the USRDA for calcium. In addition, sardines are a good source of riboflavin and niacin.

Sardines range in size from 3 1/2 to 4 3/4 inches long and are packed primarily in virgin olive oil, although some varieties may be packed in the light, natural oil from the fish itself, in soy oil or in tomato sauce or in mustard sauce. The oil pack contains about 260 calories, the tomato pack and the mustard pack, each 240.

Sardines are ideal for use whole in salads, sandwiches and as a topping for pizza, but they are also good mashed in casseroles and quiches as the following recipes demonstrate. Consider cutting our Calcium Club sandwich in half and sharing it with a friend as the caloric total is hefty. Persons on sodium-restricted diets should note the high sodium content of sardines, when adding the fish to their daily menus. Because they receive a brine bath for descaling before smoking, sardines are extremely high in sodium. CALCIUM CLUB

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1/3 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped pimiento

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped onion

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

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1/8 teaspoon black pepper

6 slices caraway rye bread

1 (3 3/4-ounce) can sardines in oil, drained

3 ounces sliced Swiss cheese

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1 medium tomato, sliced

6 slices bacon, fried crisp and drained

2 Boston lettuce leaves

Combine mayonnaise, pimiento, onion, mustard and pepper in small bowl. Spread mixture over 1 slice bread. Arrange single layer of sardines, then half of cheese over bread. Spread both sides of second slice bread with mayonnaise mixture and arrange over cheese. Layer with several tomato slices, 3 slices bacon and lettuce leaf. Spread third slice with mayonnaise mixture and top sandwich with bread. Repeat procedure with remaining ingredients. Makes 2 club sandwiches.

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PER SERVING: 924 calories; 37 gm protein; 47 gm carbohydrate; 67 gm fat; 1475 mg sodium; 752 mg potassium. USRDA

Protein 57% Riboflavin 33% Vitamin A 34% Niacin 31% Vitamin C 52% Calcium 67% Thiamine 27% Iron 32%

VIKING’S SARDINE-POTATO SALAD

1 head Boston lettuce

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1 pound small red potatoes, cooked, cooled and thickly sliced

4 hard-cooked eggs

2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges

1 medium red onion, sliced and separated into rings

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3 (3 3/4-ounce) cans sardines in oil, drained

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons prepared mustard

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1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon dill weed

Dill sprigs, optional

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Line large platter with lettuce leaves. Arrange potatoes, eggs, tomatoes, onion and 2 1/2 cans sardines on lettuce.

Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, horseradish, lemon juice and dill weed in bowl. Mash remaining 1/2 can drained sardines and mix into mixture. Serve sauce over salad and garnish with dill sprigs. Makes 4 servings.

PER SERVING: 622 calories; 28 gm protein; 28 gm carbohydrate; 44 gm fat; 694 mg sodium; 1,294 mg potassium. USRDA

Protein 43% Riboflavin 24% Vitamin A 35% Niacin 29% Vitamin C 65% Calcium 38% Thiamine 16% Iron 34%

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SARDINE PLATTER

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 tablespoon oil

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2 teaspoons prepared mustard

1/2 teaspoon dill weed

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

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2 (3 3/4-ounce) cans sardines in oil

Whisk together water, vinegar, oil, mustard and dill. Season with salt and pepper. Drain sardines and leave in cans. Pour vinegar mixture over sardines in cans and refrigerate several hours or overnight to blend flavors.

Turn sardines out of cans onto serving plate and serve as desired with sandwich makings, on crisp crackers or baguette slices. Makes 4 servings.

Note: Nutrient data does not include garnishes or accompaniments.

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PER SERVING: 198 calories; 11 gm protein; 1 gm carbohydrate; 16 gm fat; 435 mg sodium; 301 mg potassium. USRDA

Protein 17% Riboflavin 05% Vitamin A 02% Niacin 12% Vitamin C 03% Calcium 19% Thiamine 01% Iron 11%

NORDIC PIE

1/4 pound mushrooms, sliced

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1/2 cup sliced green onions

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 cup chicken broth

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1/4 cup dry white wine

1 teaspoon dill

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

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2 cups cooked rice

Pastry for 1 (9-inch) pie

2 (3 3/4-ounce) cans sardines in oil, drained

3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

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1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup prepared mustard

Saute mushrooms and onions in butter in large skillet. Stir in flour to blend. Gradually add broth, cooking until mixture begins to thicken. Add wine and cook, stirring, until thickened. Stir in dill, salt, pepper and rice and set aside.

Roll out pastry on floured surface to 12x8-inch rectangle. On half of pastry, layer sardines, chopped eggs and rice mixture, leaving 1/2-inch border. Fold pastry over to enclose filling, then tuck edges under to seal. Cut steam vents on top and brush with beaten egg. Slide baking sheet under pastry. Bake at 375 degrees 40 to 45 minutes until golden. Cool. Makes 6 servings.

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PER SERVING: 469 calories; 17 gm protein; 32 gm carbohydrate; 29 gm fat; 994 mg sodium; 427 mg potassium. USRDA

Protein 26% Riboflavin 19% Vitamin A 17% Niacin 25% Vitamin C 07% Calcium 17% Thiamine 17% Iron 22%

SARDINE PUFF PIES

1 (10-ounce) package frozen patty shells

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1/4 cup prepared mustard

2 (3 3/4-ounce) cans sardines in oil, drained

2 tablespoons chopped capers

1 large tomato, sliced

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1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1 egg, beaten

Thaw patty shells in refrigerator. Roll out each cold shell on floured surface to 6-inch circle. Brush with mustard, leaving 1/4-inch border. Layer sardines, capers, tomato slices and cheese over half of each circle.

Fold to enclose filling, crimp edges with fork to seal and brush with egg. Bake on lightly greased baking sheet at 400 degrees 15 minutes or until puffed and golden. Makes 6 servings.

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PER SERVING: 455 calories; 18 gm protein; 21 gm carbohydrate; 34 gm fat; 703 mg sodium; 319 mg potassium. USRDA

Protein 27% Riboflavin 14% Vitamin A 11% Niacin 11% Vitamin C 10% Calcium 32% Thiamine 15% Iron 16%

BAKED SARDINE SUPPER WITH ONION-CHEESE SAUCE

6 eggs, separated

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1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup butter

1 cup cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon salt

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Onion-Cheese Sauce

2 (3 3/4-ounce) cans sardines in oil, drained

Whisk egg yolks lightly and set aside. Heat milk and butter in saucepan just until butter melts. Stir in cornmeal and salt. Slowly add hot milk mixture to egg yolks, beating to blend.

In separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Fold whites into milk mixture, then pour into buttered and heated 2 1/2-quart casserole. Bake at 425 degrees 20 to 25 minutes or until set. Serve at once topped with Onion-Cheese Sauce and sardines. Makes 6 servings. Onion-Cheese Sauce

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2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 1/4 cups milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

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1/8 teaspoon white pepper or dash hot pepper sauce

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions

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Melt butter over medium heat in saucepan. Blend in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in milk. Cook, stirring, until thickened and smooth, about 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, hot pepper sauce, mustard, cheese and green onions and stir until cheese melts.

PER SERVING: 741 calories; 25 gm protein; 27 gm carbohydrate; 59 gm fat; 1,117 mg sodium; 484 mg potassium. USRDA

Protein 38% Riboflavin 33% Vitamin A 52% Niacin 13% Vitamin C 05% Calcium 44% Thiamine 15% Iron 19%


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