Mackerel with Sunshine Slaw

I really like this one. It’s a super healthy plate of crunchy raw vegetables topped with a simple piece of fish.

I’ve playing around with various yoghurt dressings for the coleslaw. With the final version featuring freshly squeezed orange and lime, I can happily now call this a Sunshine Slaw. It’s bright colours and zesty taste, make it a perfect clean spring salad.

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For around 500g of coleslaw you will need:

  • 400/450g crunchy vegetables – made up of grated carrot, grated beetroot, finely chopped red onion and plenty of shredded red cabbage
  • 100ml natural yoghurt  – you may choose to add a little extra once you’ve tasted at the end
  • 1 tablespoon of oil – try safflower or olive oil
  • 1.5 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
  • juice from half a lime – just squeezed by hand
  • juice from half an orange – just squeezed by hand
  • Seasoning (be fairly generous – but taste to make sure it works for you)

The full batch contains around 300 calories – not a fraction of a regular mayonnaise coleslaw.

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To make the coleslaw:

  • Simply mix it all together and taste.
  • The seasoning and various elements of the dressing may need a little tweak at this stage because the vegetables, oil, yoghurt, vinegar we use are not all uniform. Just be guided by your palette and what tastes good to  you.

For the final plate:

For a small lunchtime salad serve around 100g of the coleslaw with around 80g mackerel per person. Simply pan fry fresh mackerel or serve cold mackerel. I tried and loved both but the cold mackerel option is definitely a quicker prep. If you buy pre-cooked fish just check the packet for any added extras. Most will contain some salt, but there’s no need for extra preservatives. You can easily buy this fish without.

The sustainability debate

Mackerel has been both on and off the recommended ‘fish to avoid’ list due to concerns about over fishing in the North East Atlantic. However since 2013 this fish has been on the ‘fish to eat’ list managed by the Marine Conservation Society. Line caught mackerel is by far the best way to source mackerel. Read more about the eco information.

The positive virtues of mackerel

As for the health benefits, mackerel is a widely recommended oily fish. It is rich in essential vitamins and minerals with both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. It also contains protein and the antioxidant Coenzyme Q10, which is associated to the elimination of cancerous elements from cells. Read more on the health benefits.

I hope you get time to try this sunny salad.

One egg wonders

I bought these lovely little pans on Monday and have spent the week making dinky dishes for the children and I. I’ve made some mini tapas style dishes and lots of mini omelettes. In fact once I started down the egg path there was no turning back. We’ve loved these hot from the pan and sometimes left to cool and eat as a tortilla.

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The great thing about eggs

Eggs are quite incredible really. Each little 70 – 80 calorie egg contains 13 essential vitamins and minerals plus antioxidants. They also contain every type of B vitamin, including choline, which is really valuable for healthy brain function. We’re supposed to have around 300ml choline a day. One egg provides a third of this in one small calorie hit.

They’re also an excellent source of high-quality protein. Importantly they contain the essential amino acids in the right ratios, so our bodies can make full use of all the protein in them.

Ultimately a single egg will fill you up more than the equivalent calorie intake in most other foods and work harder to give your body the important stuff it needs.

I am all over the goodness of eggs this week!

Making a good omelette

My technique for a great omelette is to use the hob to cook the bottom and the grill to finish the top. I use a non-stick pan on a high heat with a little oil (I used coconut oil for these recipes). For me a good omelette should be nicely crisp and brown on the bottom with a soft and fluffy (not rubbery) texture inside. Don’t underestimate the importance of mixing up the egg thoroughly before you cook it. Giving it a good whisk with a fork combines the egg yolk and white but also traps in air to give the omelette a little rise with the heat.

The great thing about these mini pans

These pans are perfect because they allow you to pack everything you need into one dish that retains its heat. You don’t suffer the consequence of an oversized omelette that won’t fold without breaking, or one that needs so many eggs to fill the pan that the omelette is over facing to eat.

Here’s the top 3 from the week:

1, Courgette, carrot and super seeds

I love grated vegetables, I sneak them in all over the place. I like the texture and the way they allow for an even distribution of flavour.

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To make these gorgeous omelettes you will need:

  • A teaspoon of coconut oil
  • 1 large free range egg
  • A generous tablespoon of grated carrot,
  • A generous tablespoon of grated courgette
  • A tablespoon of red onion (grated or chopped finely)
  • Some pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and a teaspoon of paprika for the top
  • Seasoning
  1. Mix the ingredients really well (I like to add some black pepper at this stage too).
  2. Add to your pan with hot oil when ready and allow the egg to cook for around 3 minutes.
  3. Check the bottom, once it is brown and you can see that the bottom half of the egg is cooked, transfer to a hot grill.
  4. Allow the omelette to cook for 2 – 3 minutes before sprinkling the topping ingredients.
  5. After around 5 further minutes under the grill you should see the seeds turn colour and the egg should now be firm.
  6. Serve on its own or with lambs lettuce / other soft greens.

2. Smoked salmon and greens

The classic combinations in this omelette make it fail safe. Such a lovely plate, best served with a simple soft salad.

Smoked Salmon

You will need:

  • A teaspoon of coconut oil
  • A large free range egg
  • 50g smoked salmon
  • Around 30g spinach
  • Chopped coriander and mint for the top
  • Squeeze of lime
  • Seasoning

To make a start, wilt your spinach in the pan to reduce the volume before mixing the ingredients together. Then follow the same approach as above, but don’t add the squeeze of lime and fresh herbs until the very end.

3. One for my babies – simple spanish omelette

My children adored these for tea this week. It’s a great way to get a good mix of fat, protein and carbohydrate into their plate. I don’t think the picture does justice to how good these smelt and tasted. Perhaps the empty plates would have been a more fitting way to sell these in.

spanish omelette

For 2 little omelettes you will need:

  • 2 teaspoon of coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of chopped potato (I cooked earlier in the day so it was quicker to cook)
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of roasted pepper (I roasted a whole pepper earlier in the day then peeled back the skin to use the flesh I needed)
  • 2 tablespoons of cheese grated for the top

Follow the same technique, but it’s the cheese you’ll add on at the grilling stage this time. A sprinkle of coriander would be great at the end, it’s just not something my children like to eat.

A good egg is a great egg. However a poor quality egg or a badly cooked egg can be enough to turn your stomach. I hope these 3 one pan wonders have reminded you of the glory of a simple egg done well.