BELA Sardines: Sardine And Wilted Mustard Greens Salad (And A Giveaway!)

This giveaway is now closed. Renata, commenter #3, is the winner of the gift box of BELA sardines! Congratulations, Renata!

An alternative title to this post could be “How To Make A Healthy Meal in 10 Minutes Or Less.” Because truly, this meal took about 5 minutes to make. That’s it. It’s a perfect mix of nutrient-rich vegetables and quality protein, not to mention the excellent dose of omega-3 fatty acids and calcium. The fact that the colors and flavors are so vibrant certainly doesn’t hurt matters either. It’s pleasing to the eyes and the taste buds!

This dish originated from a combination of sources. One, it was late and I didn’t have much time to prepare a meal. Two, I was about to head out of town, and didn’t have much in the way of groceries, save a few veggies (These gorgeous purple mustard greens, and a tomato) I needed to use up from my CSA share before I left. Three, I was contacted several weeks back and was asked to review these BELA Sardines. So I took this as an opportunity to compose a healthy, quick meal, and it turned out to be quite the success.

I opted to cook the mustard greens slightly to temper their spice. This left them with plenty of peppery bite, which played well with the briny capers, the sweet tomato and onion, and the bright and fresh lemon and basil. Of course, the sardines truly were the star of the show. I used the ones lightly smoked in tomato sauce (in keeping with the Mediterranean-style theme), and the slightly smoky flavor was intensely satisfying! I’d definitely make this quickie meal again.

I’m sure that many of you reading this post are stuck on the whole “sardine” thing. It seems a lot of people are turned off by the little fishes in a can. I’m here to tell you – the BELA sardines are quality stuff. If you are a sardine newbie, or if you’ve previously tried them and didn’t like them, try these. They’re fresh-tasting, and they offer several flavors (like tomato sauce or lemon) that can help ease you into the world of sardines.

After all, sardines are so good for you. They’re high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, vitamin B12, calcium, and are a great lean source of protein. Since they are a smaller fish, they’re more sustainable, and they are also lower in mercury and other contaminants. They’re also much less expensive than other omega-3-rich fish such as salmon and tuna. I love to keep a few cans stashed in my pantry for quick meals like this, or for when I’m packing my lunch at the last possible second. It gives me peace of mind knowing I have something on hand when I’m rushed that nourishes my body, rather than the typical junk food that’s so easy to reach for.

Would you be interested in winning a sampler pack of BELA Sardines? Yes? Well, today is your lucky day! I’m giving away a pack of assorted flavors to one of my readers! All you have to do is leave me a comment below telling me how you’d like to enjoy your sardines.

One winner will be chosen at random at the close of the contest, which will end at 11:59PM Saturday, October 6, 2012. Winner must be at least 18 years of age.

And now, onto the “Healthy Meal In 10 Minutes or Less” recipe!


Sardine and Wilted Mustard Greens Salad (gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo)

1 t olive oil

1 bunch mustard greens (I used these purple mustard greens, which are a tad milder than regular), chopped if desired

1/4 c thinly sliced red onion

1 t capers

Salt and pepper to taste

1 small tomato, cut into wedges

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 tin BELA sardines in tomato sauce

1 T chopped fresh basil

In a large skillet, add the olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the mustard greens, onion, and capers and saute for 2-3 minutes, or just until the greens have wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from skillet and set on plate. Top with tomato and sprinkle with lemon juice. Top with sardines and garnish with basil.

Serves 1.

What are some ways you make sure you get your dairy-free calcium? Join in the conversation over at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community!


  1. Renata says

    Sardines on top of a veggie salad with tomatoes, avocado, walnuts, and mozzarella cheese would be yummy anytime!

  2. Venessa says

    These sardines sound fabulous! I’ve never heard of so many varieties of flavors. I would make a gluten free pasta dish with mine. Thank you for such a nice giveaway!

  3. Linda Doll says

    Mother Teresa died and of course went to heaven. She finally got to meet God…wow! He asked, “Are you hungry?” “I could eat.” she replied. So God produced a sleeve of saltines, a tin of sardines (could be BELA…) and a leaf of lettuce. ” You know, tonight is French night down in Hell..” “Oh really? replied Mother Teresa,” What are they having…?” “A salad compose, Boeuf Bourguignon and chocolate mousse for dessert.” “Imagine that…”…trailed off Mother Teresa, lost in thought.
    The next day, Mother Teresa runs into God again. “Are you hungry?” he asked. “I could eat.” allowed Mother Teresa. So God produced the sleeve of saltines, the tin or sardines and the leaf of lettuce again. “What are they eating down in Hell?” Mother Teresa wondered…” Porterhouse steaks, baked potato and for dessert, apple pie!” “Imagine that….” softly replied Mother Teresa, again lost in thought.
    The third day, Mother Teresa again ran into God, who again asked if she was hungry and once more produced another sleeve of saltines, another tin of sardines and a leaf of lettuce. “What in on the menu in Hell?” asked Mother Teresa. “London Broil, Yorkshire Pudding.and chocolate cake for dessert.”
    Exasperated, Mother Teresa demanded, “Why are they eating so much better than us?”
    God said, “Well, you know it isn’t worth cooking for just two….”

    This joke was told to me by Chef Tom Johnson of the Western Reserve School of Cooking. He’s my favorite chef because his food is impeccable, and his stories are the BEST!

  4. Georgiana says

    Think I’ll be creative for breakfast and whipp up a high protein meal of Eggs Benedict with sautéed Sardines on top drenched in Hollandaise Sauce! Yum!

  5. Jen says

    We love sardines on crackers and I’d like to try making some homemade crackers for them. I like the ides of greens with them too.

  6. Kirk says

    I am used to seeing sardines simply thrown between two slices of bread with the sauce in the can used as a topping, and I enjoy those just fine. Your salad, however, is making my mouth water just thinking about it!

  7. Leeann says

    Sardines – I just love those compact protein-omega-3-packed packages. I’m a simple eater, but I love strong flavor so I’d like to savor the assorted flavors on plain almond crackers with a spot of mustard. And THEN I’d have to give this recipe a try!

  8. Nancy Sperl says

    I would love to try some BELA sardines. Thanks for the recipes you share. It is lovely to create tasty food for my family that is good for their bodies and minds!

  9. Cindy Russell says

    Bela Sardines are the one and only sardine I ever eat! I have to order them by the case from PCC since they no longer carry them but do it happily. Also means I have to eat lunch outside since ours is a small office and no one else likes the fantastic aroma! So happy your Pad Thai recipe on against all grain lead me to this site. I just love following trails on the internet and finding such terrific websites!

  10. Ttrockwood says

    Usually i have them ontop of salads, or sometimes mashed with avocado as a sandwich filling- love your recipe here!

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