Very few people actually know what a pescatarian is. So few, that whenever someone offers me a hamburger my first reaction is to tell them that I'm a vegetarian—which can be more effective in getting my point across. So I'm going to teach you how to make a weeks worth of pescatarian meals for under $30. 

So What's a Pescatarian? 

A pescatarian is basically a vegetarian who eats seafood. That means that pescatarians don't eat meats such as pork, chicken, or beef. However, anything under the sea is still on the menu.

The low-fat protein that seafood provides is the perfect compliment to a plant-based diet. You get all the nutrients you need without worrying about the unhealthy saturated fats that other meats have. But still, it can be a bit intimidating to start eating pescatarian. Not to mention expensive.

To combat this problem, I went to Whole Foods with a budget of $30 to show that eating pescetarian can be both healthy and affordable.

How to Navigate Whole Foods With $30

cake
Betsy Chilcoat

It all starts with the ingredients. At Whole Foods I recommend buying:

- 1 Package of 4 oz salmon fillets—$5.49

- 1 bag of shrimp—$9.99

- 3 Sweet potatoes at $0.79 each

- 1 bag of spinach—$1.99

- Brown rice—$3.99

- 2 lemons— $0.69

- 1 clove of garlic—$1.02

- Extra-firm tofu—$1.99

- 2 onions at $0.74 each

Total: $29.70

Sunday: Lemon-Garlic Salmon with Rice Pilaf

  • Prep Time:10 mins
  • Cook Time:45 mins
  • Total Time:55 mins
  • Servings:1
  • Medium

    Ingredients

  • Salmon:
  • 4oz package salmon fillets
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Rice Pilaf:
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • Optional: Any other veggies you want to add— I threw in some old carrots and brussel sprouts that I had in my refrigerator
chicken
Elizabeth Vana
  • Step 1

    Dice the onion and garlic into fine pieces, chop the spinach, and squeeze all of the juice out of the lemon. Rinse your rice by placing it in a mesh strainer and running cool water over it until the water stops looking milky and begins to run clear. Drain rice and set aside. Preheat your oven to 450°.

    onion, garlic, vegetable
    Elizabeth Vana
  • Step 2

    Prep the salmon. Melt your butter in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Combine the melted butter, garlic, and lemon juice into one large bowl and mix it all together. Microwave another 10 seconds. Place salmon fillets to soak in bowl and let them sit.

    tuna
    Elizabeth Vana
  • Step 3

    While the salmon is soaking, warm the olive oil or butter in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion (and any other veggies) and cook about 4-5 minutes or until everything is soft. Add the rice and spinach to the pot. Stir to coat with the olive oil or butter. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the tips of the rice turn translucent and it smells toasted. Add the water (or broth if you have it) and salt to the pot and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil. As soon as the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Cook without lifting the lid for 40 to 45 minutes. Check that the rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid. If not, cover and cook another few minutes. Let the pot sit off the heat for another 5 to 10 minutes.

    egg, soup, tea
    Elizabeth Vana
  • Step 4

    Place the soaked salmon fillets into a baking dish. Pour half of the contents of the lemon-butter-garlic mixture over the fillets and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Take the fillets out and pour the remaining lemon-butter-garlic mixture over them. Make sure the juices get all over the salmon. Bake for another 10 minutes.

    sushi, rice, salmon, tuna
    Elizabeth Vana
  • Step 5

    Remove the salmon fillets from the oven and let cool. Take the lid off the pot of rice and fluff the pilaf with a fork. Serve yourself a nice helping of pilaf and salmon.

    pasta, salmon, garlic, chicken
    Elizabeth Vana

Monday: Salmon Tofu Cakes

  • Prep Time:10 mins
  • Cook Time:10 mins
  • Total Time:20 mins
  • Servings:1
  • Medium

    Ingredients

  • 2 salmon fillets pre-cooked
  • 1/2 package extra-firm tofu
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
meat, asparagus, salmon, potato, crab, seafood, vegetable, crab cakes, parsley, fish
Olivia Chadwick
  • Step 1

    Time to use up those leftovers! Take the remainder of the lemon-garlic butter salmon and give it a new spin. If you don't have any leftovers, you can quickly whip up some salmon from the recipe above. While you're doing that, prepare your ingredients. Drain the tofu by placing it on a bunch of paper towels and putting a plate and heavy object on top of it. Dice the onion and garlic. Chop the spinach. Use a fork to break up the fish into flaked pieces, removing any bones that you see.

    sweet, beancurd, butter, milk, tofu, dairy product
    Elizabeth Vana
  • Step 2

    Squeeze as much water as you can out of the tofu by pressing down on the plate, then move the tofu to a bowl. Mash it until there’s no large chunks of tofu. Add in the onion, spinach, garlic, pepper, and salt. Mix everything together until evenly combined. Add the salmon, mashing it up with your fork until you have a tuna fish-like mixture. Shape the mixture into fist-sized cakes.

    biscuits, cheddar, bread
    Olivia Chadwick
  • Step 3

    Heat a skillet over medium heat and add oil when hot. Shape the mixture into patties. If it’s not sticking together, mix an egg into the mixture and try again. If you have bread or panko crumbs, feel free to coat the patties with them. Otherwise, slide the patties onto the hot pan. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until the cakes are nicely browned. Cool before serving.

    crab cakes, cheese, meat, spinach, chicken
    Olivia Chadwick

Tuesday: Sweet Potato Chunks and Spinach Greens with Rice

  • Prep Time:10 mins
  • Cook Time:30 mins
  • Total Time:40 mins
  • Servings:1
  • Medium

    Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato/yam
  • 1/2 bag spinach
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Butter to taste
sweet, chicken, curry, sweet potato, squash, tofu, rice
Elizabeth Vana
  • Step 1

    Rinse your rice by placing it in a mesh strainer and running cool water over it until the water stops looking milky and begins to run clear. Drain rice and place inside pot. Add the water and increase the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil. As soon as the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Cook without lifting the lid for 40 to 45 minutes. At the end, check that the rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid. If not, cover and cook another few minutes. Let sit off heat for another 5 to 10 minutes.

    soup, milk, coffee
    Elizabeth Vana
  • Step 2

    Chop the sweet potato into cube-sized chunks. Heat a skillet to medium heat and add the olive oil when hot. Microwave the sweet potato chunks for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Add to pan and sauté for 4-5 minutes until the potatoes are soft. Transfer the potatoes to a different plate and return the skillet to the stove.

    sweet, cheese, sweet potato, potato
    Elizabeth Vana
  • Step 3

    Return the skillet to medium heat and add more olive oil. Add the spinach in, stirring around the pan for 5-10 minutes. Mince garlic and add in when the spinach is wilted. Cook for 1 more minute, then remove greens from heat. Add the lemon juice, and butter to taste.

    oil, salad, saute, spinach, vegetable
    Elizabeth Vana

Wednesday: Tofu Steaks and Sweet Potato Fries

  • Prep Time:10 mins
  • Cook Time:20 mins
  • Total Time:30 mins
  • Servings:1
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 1/2 package extra-firm tofu
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce optional
chocolate, chips, raisin, cookie
Elizabeth Vana
  • Step 1

    Sweet Potato Fries: Preheat oven to 450°. If desired, peel skin off the sweet potato (I like a little crunch, so I keep it on). Slice sweet potato into thin sticks and spread evenly over a baking pan. Drizzle with salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir the fries around so every side gets seasoning. Bake fries for 12-15 minutes, flipping them once when they're halfway through baking.

    potato, sweet potato, carrot, vegetable
    Elizabeth Vana
  • Step 2

    Tofu Steaks: Drain the tofu by placing it on a bunch of paper towels and putting a plate and heavy object on top of it. Mince garlic. Squeeze as much water as you can out of the tofu by pressing down on the plate, then move the tofu to a chopping block. Cut into ½ wide strips. Cut a slit in the top of the tofu and place garlic inside. If desired, soak tofu in soy sauce. Heat a pan over medium heat and add tablespoon of olive oil when hot. Fry tofu steaks for 3-5 minutes on each side until nicely seared. Serve with salt, pepper, and butter to taste.

    cheese, milk, dairy product, tofu
    Elizabeth Vana

Thursday: Sweet Potato Shrimp Boats

  • Prep Time:15 mins
  • Cook Time:15 mins
  • Total Time:30 mins
  • Servings:1
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 1 Sweet potato
  • 6 Pre-cooked shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
squash, chicken
Photo by Lauren D'Amore
  • Step 1

    Rinse and dry the sweet potato. Use a fork to poke holes all around the sweet potato. The trapped steam inside the potato could cause it to explode if you don’t add holes, so don’t forget this step! Microwave your holed sweet potato for 10 minutes, or until cooked through and soft.

    pasture, carbohydrate, tuber, vegetable, potato
    Lauren D'Amore
  • Step 2

    Heat a pan on medium heat and add olive oil. Add shrimp to the pan and cook until slightly brown, about 3-5 minutes on each side, adding salt and pepper to taste.

    vegetable, shellfish, fish, saute, prawn, seafood, shrimp
    Lauren D'Amore
  • Step 3

    Cut the cooked sweet potato down the middle and mash to make room for shrimp. Add shrimp and season with more salt, pepper, and butter to taste. Top with paprika or teriyaki sauce if desired.

    cheese, salmon, sweet potato, sweet, potato
    Lauren D'Amore

Friday: Shrimp Scampi

  • Prep Time:20 secs
  • Cook Time:10 secs
  • Total Time:30 secs
  • Servings:1
  • Medium

    Ingredients

  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
pasta, garlic, shrimp
Elizabeth Vana
  • Step 1

    Heat skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil when hot. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Add butter to skillet. When melted, add shrimp so that they lie evenly.

    soup, sauce, saute, shellfish, prawn, meat, vegetable, seafood, shrimp
    Elizabeth Vana
  • Step 2

    Cook the shrimp without moving them for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Flip shrimp and cook for two minutes more. Pour in lemon juice and stir shrimp around for 3-5 more minutes, until liquid has slightly thickened. Serve on top of pasta, if desired.

    shellfish, saute, meat, prawn, soup, seafood, vegetable, shrimp
    Elizabeth Vana

Saturday: Shrimp Salad

  • Prep Time:2 mins
  • Cook Time:2 mins
  • Total Time:4 mins
  • Servings:1
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 1/2 bag spinach
  • 1 lemon
  • 6-10 pieces shrimp scampi see recipe above
  • Handful chopped tofu
  • Anything else you have on-hand
garlic, salad, spinach, shrimp
Elizabeth Vana
  • Step 1

    This recipe is pretty self-explanatory. Take your leftover shrimp scampi from yesterday and make a salad! Use the leftovers of anything else from this week to add to the deliciousness factor and spice it up. Top with the juice of a lemon or your favorite dressing.

    spinach, salad, shrimp
    Elizabeth Vana

From Sunday through Saturday, try something a little different for dinner. A pescetarian diet lets you reap the health benefits of vegetarianism while still getting to eat a little bit of meat: sounds like a fair trade-off to me.