CHEF Recipes

"Certain foods can cause inflammation, and inflammation is linked to dry eye. We can avoid inflammatory foods, like greasy burgers and other foods high in omega-6s, to definitely see a reduction in inflammation. The main reason to take omega-3s is to try and reduce inflammation and increase the quality of meibum coming out of the meibomian glands."
Shaun MacInnis, OD
Owner of Island Eyecare in Sydney, Nova Scotia

It is important to eat foods with omega-3s. These polyunsaturated fats are called essential fatty acids because they are essential for the body, but they cannot be made by the body and so must be part of a healthy diet.

Two important omega-3 fatty acids for health are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is a precursor of EPA and DHA, and through an inefficient process, a small amount is converted into EPA and DHA in the body. 

Oily fish are good sources of the omega-3s EPA and DHA and include salmon, sardines, trout, mackerel, herring, anchovies, and oysters. Nuts and seeds are foods that are good sources of ALA and include flax seed, chia seeds, walnuts, and soybeans. Some foods are fortified with omega-3s such as eggs, milk, yogurt, and margarine.

To help inspire cooking with omega-3s, we have compiled a list of recipes that includes omega-3 food sources.
We hope you enjoy cooking with healthy eye foods!

Puttanesca Sauce with Spaghetti

Serves 2-4
Omega-3 food source: Anchovy

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup capers, drained
  • ¼ cup black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 2 anchovy fillets,* chopped
  • 1 can (16 oz) whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 lb dried spaghetti
  • Salt for pasta cooking water
  • Parsley, chopped
  • Grated parmesan, salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the spaghetti


  2. Place a large pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is golden. Add the capers, olives, and anchovies and cook.

  3. Squeeze the whole tomatoes into the pan, leaving behind most of the liquid in the can. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes have thickened somewhat, about 5 minutes.

  4. When the water in the large pot boils, salt the water and add the spaghetti. Follow spaghetti packaging instructions and cook until al dente.

  5. Drain spaghetti into a colander when cooked and transfer it to the pan with the sauce. Toss over medium heat until combined, about 2 minutes.

To serve:
Drizzle extra olive oil and sprinkle extra grated parmesan, black pepper, and parsley to taste. Serve immediately.

For a less strong anchovy flavour, try rinsing the anchovies and pat dry before using.

Homemade Caesar Salad Dressing

Serves 4-6
Omega-3 food source: Anchovy

  • 3 to 4 anchovy fillets,* minced
  • 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In bowl, place minced anchovies and crushed garlic. Use back of spoon to crush together to form a paste.
  2. Whisk in egg yolks, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice.

  3. Whisk in olive oil, starting off a drop at a time, then eventually pouring in a thin stream, continuing to mix throughout, until dressing has thickened. and is glossy.

  4. Whisk in parmesan cheese.

  5. Add Worcestershire sauce, season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve:
Drizzle this dressing over your prepared salad and toss, sprinkling with additional Parmesan and black pepper if desired. Refrigerate any unused dressing in an airtight container, but best if used within the day.

For a less strong anchovy flavour, try rinsing the anchovies and pat dry before using.

Grilled Salmon with Toasted Walnuts on a Cedar Plank

Serves 3-4
Omega-3 food source: Salmon, Walnuts

  • 1 cedar plank
  • 1 (2-3 lb) salmon fillet, skin on
  • Olive oil, enough to coat both sides of the salmon fillet
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Zest from 1 whole lime
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup Parmesan, grated
  • ½ cup walnuts, roasted* and coarsely chopped
  • Juice of ½ a lime


  1. Soak cedar plank in water for 1-2 hours.

  2. Heat the BBQ grill to medium heat.

  3. Coat both sides of salmon fillet with olive oil, being generous with skin side to facilitate smooth transition of dressed fillet to cedar plank. Place on separate cutting board or tray skin side down while dressing.

  4. Combine garlic, lime zest, dill, salt, and pepper in a separate bowl and press mixture evenly across top of salmon fillet. Evenly sprinkle roasted walnuts followed with grated parmesan over top of salmon. Squeeze lime juice over entire dressed fillet.

  5. Place cooking side of plank on grill until surface is dry, about 30-60 seconds. Flip plank over and immediately slide dressed salmon onto plank, skin side down. Do this gently so as not to disturb seasonings.

  6. Cover grill, turn heat down to medium-low and cook for 15 to 25 minutes, until salmon is uniformly pink in the centre. This will depend on size and thickness of fillet as larger or thicker fillets will take longer to cook.

  7. Once cooked remove from grill. Gently remove the salmon skin with a thin spatula and transfer to a cutting board or baking sheet. The skin should stick to the plank and separate easily from the salmon.

To serve:
Cut into portions and serve immediately.

Ensure BBQ grill is clean before cooking.

Sardines on Toast

Serves 2
Omega-3 food source: Sardines

  • 4 thick slices of crusty bread
  • 8-12 fresh sardines, cleaned and gutted
  • Flour, seasoned with salt and pepper, for coating sardines
  • 2 cloves of garlic, 1 minced and 1 halved
  • 1 tbsp olive oil for pan fry, plus 1 tbs more for sauce
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ of a shallot, minced
  • ¼ cup capers, drained
  • ¼ grape tomatoes, finely chopped
  • Fresh parsley or basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat pan on medium heat. Lightly dust sardine in seasoned flour and pan fry until crispy and golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. At the same time, toast the bread.

  2. Make sauce by combining 1 minced garlic, ½ of a minced shallot, capers, finely chopped tomatoes, lemon juice, and 1 tbs olive oil in a separate bowl.

  3. Rub halved garlic vigorously over toasted bread.

  4. Plate up the toast and place 2 to 3 fried sardines on each slice. Spoon sauce over sardines and toast. Sprinkle with chopped parsley or basil and salt and pepper to taste.
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