After reading about the change of lifestyle and weight loss success of the Good Things team, a number of readers contacted me, asking if I would share some recipes from our eating plan and talk about the kinds of food we have been enjoying.
Baked Atlantic salmon with a side salad makes a regular appearance on the menu and has always been one of our favourite spring and summer meals. Usually, I season the fish with lime and chilli, but lately I have been marinating it in Thai sweet chilli sauce and finish it with a sprinkling of black sesame seeds.
Some older diet books suggest that salmon is a 'fatty fish' and therefore list it as a 'forbidden' food. Catherine Saxelby, leading Australian nutritionist and food commentator, notes that Atlantic salmon is a 'super fish' source of omega-3.
In her Complete Food and Nutrition Companion, she cites that 'omega-3 is so important to our health that we are urged to eat oily fish at least twice a week, particularly if we have any inkling of heart problems, blood pressure or diabetes'.
Ms Saxelby adds that omega-3s are crucial for brain function, and reminds us that fish is high in protein and contains B vitamins and a range of minerals, including zinc, iodine and potassium, as well as being a 'fountain of youth' food.
Good reasons to add salmon to your shopping list, no?! We usually buy Atlantic salmon fillets from Aldi. The fish is farmed in Tasmania, is deliciously fresh, and the pricing suits our budget.
This a simple dish and barely needs a 'recipe' per se, but I have cobbled one together you, along with a recipe for one of our favourite, thrown-together Asian-style salads made with cellophane noodles (from beans, rather than rice). As with many of my featured dishes, this was photographed a few moments before being devoured. I make no apologies for lack of styling, lighting and fussing about.
BAKED SWEET CHILLI AND SESAME SALMON
4 x fresh Atlantic salmon fillets
30mls Thai sweet chilli sauce
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
a little spray oil
Place the salmon fillets into a dish and pour over the sweet chilli sauce, turning the fish over to ensure it is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer.
Preheat your oven to 210 degrees C. Line a baking tray with parchment and spray lightly with cooking oil. Arrange the salmon on the prepared tray and bake the fish for 15-20 minutes until cooked through, and the skin is nicely browned. During the last ten minutes of baking, sprinkle with the black sesame seeds. Serves four.
ASIAN GLASS NOODLE SALAD WITH GREEN BEANS
100g green bean vermicelli (glass noodles)
100g baby green beans
200g baby cukes, sliced diagonally
100g tear drop tomatoes, sliced in half lengthways
3-4 fresh mint leaves, sliced (to finish)
1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves ) to finish)
For the dressing (combine):
1 tablespoon low salt Tamari sauce
2 teaspoons Mirin
a few drops sesame oil
1 bird's eye chilli, sliced
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped (optional)
Place the noodles into a Pyrex bowl, snip them into shorter lengths with kitchen scissors, and pour over enough boiling water to immerse them completely. Allow the noodles to stand for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. When the noodles are tender, drain them and rinse under cold running water, then drain them again and allow them to cool.
Meanwhile, top and tail the green beans, slice them into bite sized segments and blanch them briefly in boiling salted water. Drain the beans in a colander and refresh them under cold running water. Drain them again and set them aside.
Combine the cooked, cooled glass noodles with the cooked, cooled green beans, baby cucumber slices, and teardrop tomato slices in a salad or serving bowl. Mix with clean hands. Dress the salad just before serving, and finish with a sprinkle of the sliced mint leaves and coriander sprigs or leaves. Serves 4.
It's your turn now, dear readers. Do you enjoy salmon or fish in general? What's your favourite way of preparing it? Have you ever tried glass noodles?
Hello. I'm Liz, a writer, cook and traveller based in Canberra, Australia.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.