quinoa and lemon crusted fish

Quinoa crumbed fish 2 002

Quinoa truly earns its name as a top ‘super-food’ and is an important addition to any diet.  It’s nutritional profile deems it one of the richest sources of protein found in a plant food as well as being a very rich source of Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc and Iron. It is also high in fibre and all-important antioxidants.

Quinoa is officially a seed, not a grain, and is naturally gluten-free.  This is important as many people I see who follow a gluten-free diet replace wholefoods with refined starches out of caution, and miss out on the healthful benefits of a wholefood diet.

Quinoa is extremely versatile in cooking. It can be used hot and cold as well as in sweet and savoury dishes.

This dish uses the wholegrain in its rolled form and makes a wonderful replacement for traditional wheat-based breadcrumbs. It provides a rich serve of protein, combining both animal-based and plant-based sources, as well as providing a satisfying, crunchy texture.

Quinoa And Lemon Crusted Fish

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 8 small fillets firm, white fish (eg. Flathead as pictured)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup organic quinoa flakes
  • 3 generous tbsp. fresh, grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • good pinch of salt, pepper
  • 4 sprigs of finely chopped parsley leaves
  • coconut oil for cooking
  • 4 lemon wedges

Method

  1. Wash fish fillets and pat dry with paper towelling.
  2. In a shallow bowl combine quinoa flakes, lemon zest, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Place beaten egg in a second shallow bowl.
  3. Coat the fish fillets in the egg and then roll in the quinoa mixture, pressing it firmly until well coated.
  4.  Place a large frying pan on a medium heat. Melt the coconut oil and shallow-fry the fish for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towel.
  5. Serve with lemon wedges and a beautiful lemon-dressed fresh salad.

 

 

Summer Soba Salad

Michelle's photos - Jan 2015 236

Cool salads are my go-to meals during the summer months. I’m on holidays and don’t feel like spending much time hidden away in the kitchen, and besides, no one feels like eating large, heavy meals in the heat.  With smaller portion sizes it is important that each bowl is packed with health-giving nutrients.

Soba literally means “buckwheat” in Japanese and is also the name of the thin noodles made from buckwheat flour. They are versatile, nutty and make a great gluten free option, as long as they do not contain wheat flour. The health benefits of including buckwheat into your diet are numerous and you can read more over here in a previous post.

This recipe also contains Umeboshi vinegar (it can be substituted but worth the investment). Umeboshi plums are considered the king of alkaline foods, highly respected in Japan for their remarkable medicinal properties in balancing the body and helping with indigestion. It can be used in any salads, just drizzle a small amount of Umeboshi vinegar over some olive oil–  it’s salty so start with only a little and taste from there.

Seaweed is known as an ancient super food and I include some Nori in this recipe to prop up the nutritional values. Seaweed draws an abundance of minerals from the sea. It is high in iodine, calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamins C and A, protein, Vitamins B, fibre and, alpha linoleic acid, EPA, and so much more. There are many varieties and it is worth experimenting to find ways of including more sea vegetables into your diet on a regular basis.

When making this salad be sure to create a complete meal. Combine seasonal vegetables with your preferred choice of protein. Good options include pan-fried tofu, grilled fish or a poached egg. My children prefer a boiled egg on the side (not pictured).

Here is my variation….

Summer soba salad

Serves 4

  • 2 bundles organic soba noodles (if gluten is an issue check that the ingredients do not include wheat flour)
  • coconut oil for cooking
  • 2 medium carrots julienned
  • 2 cups shredded kale (remove stem first)
  • 1/4 small white shredded cabbage
  • 1 bunch chopped broccolini
  • 2 small raw Lebanese cucumbers julienned
  • 2 sheets Nori to garnish

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Umeboshi vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • pinch sea salt
  • lemon juice from 1/2 lemon

In a small jar combine salad dressing ingredients and shake to combine. Allow dressing to sit and infuse.

Cook soba noodles in boiling water according to packet directions. Drain and blanche in cold water  to avoid over cooking. Drain.

Lightly sauté cabbage, kale,  carrots and broccolini  in coconut oil until tender.

Heat a wok or non stick pan with a little coconut oil and lightly saute cabbage, kale,  carrots and broccolini.

Combine the raw cucumber, cooked vegetables and soba noodles in a bowl and drizzle with dressing.

Divide into 4 bowls and top with your choice of protein.

Use scissors to cut Nori sheets into thin strips and garnish.

 

Autumn Breakfast – apple and berry compote with spiced seed mix

spiced seeds

 

Taking care of ourselves during Autumn sets us up for good health through the winter.

Now is the time to keep warm, nourish yourself and protect your vitality in preparation for the months ahead. Adjusting our diet and lifestyle for Vata season is key to avoiding its seasonal disturbances such as anxiety, dry skin/lips, digestive issues and poor circulation to the hands and feet. We can address some of these outcomes by consuming foods that are warming, grounding, and nourishing – try mainly warm, cooked meals that incorporate more spices and oils .

Having a warm breakfast that follows these basic guidelines sets us up well for the day – rice porridge, stewed seasonal fruits, or pancakes are all great choices. Avoid raw, drying foods such as raw muesli, puffed grain cereals, dry crackers, and caffeine.

This Spiced Seed Mix is a beautiful addition to your Autumn pantry. It has a sweet, spicy flavour and offers a good dose of the oils we need at this drying time of year. Make a batch and keep it in a jar so it can be generously added to your breakfast repertoire –  sprinkle on any compote, use as a crumble topping or  generously garnish your porridge. It also makes a satisfying, low GI snack.

Spiced Seed Mix

  • pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • sesame seeds
  • sunflower seeds
  • shredded coconut
  • coconut oil
  • ground cardamom
  • ground cloves
  • powdered ginger

Heat a non-stick pan and toss in pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and shredded coconut. Stir until lightly browned.

Add small amount of coconut oil to pan to lightly coat the seed mix and then add cinnamon, ground cardamom, ground cloves and powdered ginger. When the spices begin to release their aroma, remove from the heat and turn the mix out onto a flat plate to cool immediately.

To make compote

Peel and dice seasonal organic fruits such as apples or pears (and sweet berries if they are still available).

Toss into a large pot with enough water to generously cover the bottom of the pot.

Cover and turn on to a medium heat. Once water starts to bubble turn to a low heat and continue to cook until the fruit is soft and translucent.

Serve warm over porridge or pancakes, with or without a small dollop of  organic coconut yogurt and a generous handful of the Spiced Seed Mix.