Orange & Mustard salmon with beetroot and lentils

orange and mustard salmon.JPGSalmon is a versatile and easy to cook fish. This simple dish provides a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamins A and C and zinc. Making this a perfect dish to give a boost to the immune system.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 large red onion sliced into wedges
  • 1tsp rapeseed oil
  • 2tbsp marmalade
  • 2tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 200g cooked beetroot
  • 1 x 250g pack ready-to-eat puy lentils ( I like Merchant Gourmet)
  • 1tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°c/gas mark 4.

In a small roasting tin, toss the onion wedges with oil and roast for 15 minutes until tender and softened.

Whilst the onions are cooking mix 1tbsp of the marmalade and 1tsp of the mustard and brush over the salmon.

Mix the remaining marmalade and mustard with the orange juice, red wine vinegar, and some black pepper. Add the puy lentils and beetroot, then stir to combine.

Add the lentil mix to the roasting tin, stirring in the onions. Then place the salmon on top.

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, until the salmon is cooked through.

Plate up and sprinkle over the fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Tarka Dahl

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Inspired by an Indian family than I had the pleasure of working with, this recipe is my take on the popular vegetarian lentil curry that is low fat, 1 of your 5 a day and packed with fibre and meat free protein.

Serves 4 as a main

Ingredients

200g red lentils

1 tsp turmeric

1 knob butter

2 tsp rapeseed oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 small onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, crushed or sliced (your choice!)

1-2 fresh green chilli, finely sliced (removed the seeds if you want to keep the heat down)

1/2 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1cm cube fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

2-3 tomatoes, chopped small

Fresh coriander, to serve

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Method

  • Place the lentils in a pan and cover with enough cold water to come to around one 3cm above their surface. Bring to the boil (skim off any scum that rises to the top), then reduce to a simmer and stir in the turmeric and the butter. Then cover and leave to cook gently for approximately 30-40 minutes.
  • Dry fry the cumin seeds for about a minute until toasted and fragrant. Set aside to use later.
  • Heat the rapeseed oil in a frying pan and gently fry the garlic, onion, chilli, ginger and tomatoes.
  • When the garlic is starting to colour, mix in the cumin seeds, garam masala and ground coriander. Remove from the heat until the lentils are completely softened.
  • Give the lentils a good stir. You will know they are cooked when they are a similar consistency to porridge. (when it is first cooked it may still look a bit runny but as it cools slightly and is dished up it will thicken).
  • Once you are happy wit the consistency of the lentils, stir through the onion and spice mix from the frying pan.
  • Season to taste, then serve topped with the fresh coriander and brown rice or a naan bread (slightly less healthy option). Enjoy!!

Why are pulses so good for you?

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With 2016 being named International year of the pulse (1). I thought I would make my first post about this wonderful food group…

What is a pulse?

A pulse is an edible seed that grows in a pod,this includes beans, lentils and peas. Some examples:

  • Lentils
  • Kidney beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Garden peas
  • Cannellini beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Butter beans
  • Broad beans
  • Baked Beans

Why they’re so good?

Weight loss

With a protein content ranging between 17-30%, pulses make a brilliantly low fat alternative to meat in the diet (2). Pulses are also high in fibre which is consistently linked with satiety and keeping us full for longer, therefore the combination of low energy densiry, high fibre and moderate protein is thought to be a winning combination for weight control (4).

Fatigue prevention

Pulses have a low glycaemic Index (GI) meaning that when eaten; beans, peas and lentils release energy to the body at a slow and steady rate. This prevents the energy surge and slump associated with simple carbohydrates such as white bread and sugary treats, thus keeping you fuller for longer and less tempted to reach for a high fat or sugar snack. Due to the low GI of this food group, it makes them a brilliant carbohydrate source for those with type 2 Diabetes, as they don’t cause sharp rises to blood glucose levels. Some studies have also found that pulses could reduce risk of developing type 2 Diabetes (3).

5 a day

Three tablespoons or 80g of pulses counts as one of your 5 a day. Having said that; no matter how much you eat, they can only ever count as one portion. This is because despite their health credentials, they don’t provide as big a variety of nutrients and minerals that fruit and vegetables do.

Vegetarian alternative

For some vegetarians it can be difficult to ensure that they are getting enough of the nutrients that are associated with eating meat. However, pulses are a great meat-free source of iron and B vitamins, which are vital for sustaining energy, kidney function and healthy hair and nails.

Cheap

In addition to all of the above nutritional benefits, pulses are cheap to buy and a lot cheaper than meat. This makes them great as meat-free alternatives in dishes such as chilli or spaghetti Bolognese, but if you’re not ready to go full veggie then they also work perfectly along side meat as a side dish or an additional ingredient to make meals go further.

For a delicious meat-free and pulse packed dish, try out my recipe for tarka dahl.

References

(1) International Year of the Pulse http://iyp2016.org/

(2) J, Curran. (2012) The nutritional value and health benefits of pulses in relation to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. British Journal of Nutrition. 108, S1, S1-S2.

(3) N, Kalogeropoulos, et al. (2010) Nutritional evaluation and bioactive microconstituents (phytosterols, tocopherols, polyphenols, triterpenic acids) in cooked dry legumes usually consumed in Mediterranean countries. Food Chemistry 121, 682690.

(4) I Albete , et al. (2010) Obesity and the metabolic syndrome: role of different dietary macronutrient distribution patterns and specific nutritional components on weight loss and maintenance. Nutrition Reviews 68, 214231.