We’ve been away for a few days and then had a weekend of birthdays which has meant being away from our usual way of eating. Today I had a chance to get back in the kitchen to cook…. I really fancied fish but after a few days away we had a rather bare fridge and veggie rack. BANG goes that idea, no potatoes. So I had to get creative. Finding some wheatfree breadcrumbs in the freezer I decided to remake fish pie. If I have ends of wheat free bread left or make a rather crumbly loaf I tend to whizz it into breadcrumbs and freeze for a later date. Tonight was date night.
I used frozen fish as that’s all I had but you could use fresh.
I’ve had a poorly boy this week. He has had a very bad case of chicken pox and although the spots are all dried up and healing now he has gone back into a very itchy stage. It is affecting his sleep and his appetite. So my mummy cooking skills have been put to the test.
Today we went to the zoo. Potentially a ridiculous idea as hubby was working…. 2 tired kids and a tired mummy. Thankfully it was the tonic we needed. Distraction for the kids with so much to see and plenty of fresh air. Arriving home I quite fancied collapsing on the sofa with a cuppa, until I realised it was almost tea time! My brain jumped to fish, oily fish in particular. We often make our own fish fingers, however this means veggies are on the side and I wanted to try and encourage the J boy to eat more. Like a blast from the past I remembered fish cakes. Soft, creamy and easy finger food. A perfect family meal.
Although there was a complete meltdown during dinner from a severely over-tired boy… he ate not just 1 but 2 fishcakes with baked beans. Now that is a RESULT.
Miss K told me “Mummy can we have these tomorrow too please”.
I’m not sure we will have them tomorrow too but they are definately going to be on the menu more often.
Risotto, it’s a staple in our house. I love the way you can reinvent it each time you make it. Weaning baby 2 has also remined me how it’s completely suitable for everyone in the family. He has been loving risotto from his first taste of it at 6 months old. So if you want a meal you can cook that everyone will enjoy, try this out. This is real food and tasty food.
Today’s variation includes salmon for extra omega 3 goodness and monounsaturated fat. I always pack whatever we cook with plenty of veggies. The courgette was grated as my toddler “is not keen on courgettes mummy”…. but it also adds extra vegetables without you really noticing they are there.
Here is the 3 1/2 year olds portion… she like risotto alot.
And the husbands portion – hence all the cheese, the man is a cheese monster…
Salmon and Spring Vegetable Risotto
Packed with vegetables and omega 3's, a super healthy, tasty dinner suitable for the whole family.
Heat the oil in a large pan and sweat the onions and carrots for a few minutes.
Now add the rice and stir to coat in the oil, leave for 2 minutes.
Add the wine, and stir, bring to a simmer on a medium heat.
When most of the wine has been cooked out add the stock, about 100ml at a time. Stir frequently whilst it cooks as this helps release the starch from the rice and stops it burning on the bottom, plus it gives you a good arm workout 😉
About half way through the stock additions add in the cubed salmon and grated courgette.
When you have added all the stock, it's time to add the milk and let it cook out too.
Now add the quark and grated parmesan.
Finally stir through the spinach and allow it to wilt, and season.
We went to a BBQ on Sunday and these are what I had planned to make and then I ran out of time. The idea had been pinging around in my head for a few days, today it unravelled turning into a salsa and tasty rice too. If, like me, you are not keen on BBQ food why not try these lovelies out next time. I know I will be popping them on the BBQ this summer for sure.
Miss K “Yum Yum, more avocado please”
Hubby “Tantilising on the tastebuds” he was trying to be clever I think 😉
This came about as I was once again looking for a new way to get more fish into our meals. I used a mixture of white and oily fish in this recipe, both worked well. The salsa in this particularly made it for me. Really zingy and it just brings the whole meal together.
Make sure you cut your veggies chunkily enough so they can be threaded onto the skewers, but not so chunky that they take forever to cook. Our courgettes were undercooked, fortunately we like crunchy veggies in our house.
You can make the skewers in advance ready to cook later on, but make sure you do not throw the left over marinade away.
Most of the fat in this recipe is the heart healthy monounsaturated form, with a medium amount coming from polyunsaturated fats and just a small amount from saturated fat. The avocado and oily fish provide these heathy fats which are needed by the body and the brain.
Fish Kebabs with Scented rice and Avocado salsa
A fabulous way to encourage the family to eat more fish, omega 3's and monounsaturated fats with fresh flavours and a zing. A great heart healthy recipe.
I’m on my quest to find ways to get oily fish into the family. Today I had a play around with making a rub for the fish, which myself and the hubby loved, the children found it a little spicy… which just meant the rub got scraped off their plates onto ours. Win Win. Next time I’ll put the rub on our portions and add some yoghurt to the kids ones 😉
What I love about these type of recipes is they can be prepared in advance and then it’s just a case of turning on the oven, putting it in and making sure you keep an eye on the clock. Try preparing this the night before and it will just take 40 minutes to cook in the oven the next evening. Maximum taste with minimal effort.
The other great thing about this recipe was the chunkiness of the veggies meant the baby was able to feed himself quite happily, leading to a whole load of mess but also happiness, and a bath.
Spicy Salmon Rub With Roasted Veggies
A prepare ahead meal that is packed with omega 3's and provides 2 portions of vegetables.
Put the garlic, garam masala, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds for the rub into a large pestle and mortar. Now have fun giving it a good bash.
When it is ground into a paste add in the coriander and continue to bash.
Add the soy sauce as needed to loosen it.
Now spread onto the salmon.
Peel the carrots and onions. Chop all the vegetables into chunks and place into a roasting dish. Toss in the oil and place the salmon on the top. It can all now be covered and go into the fridge until you are going to cook it.
To cook: heat the oven to Gas Mark 5. Remove the salmon from the dish, place the vegetables only into the oven to roast for 30 minutes.
Now add the salmon on top of the vegetables and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Whilst the salmon is cooking get the kettle on and cook up some noodles to go with it.
By Priya Tew, Dietitian UK
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/
Freelance Dietitian specialising in helping those with Eating Disorders and a Media Spokesperson for the profession.