Salmon & Green Bean Salad with Tahini

Today is Good Friday, which traditionally means fish for dinner. And so that is what we had tonight. Friday, as I understand it (and I am certainly no expert) has historically been a day of fasting/abstinence in Christian faiths. For many though in current times, Good Friday is the only day the tradition is observed.

After making hot cross buns earlier in the day (recipe to come shortly), I was very glad that I had already planned on this quick and easy dish, with the added advantage of being quite a healthy one too. Which, seeing as I had to sample a few of the hot cross buns to make sure they were good, was just as well.

The whole dish took no more than 10-15 minutes to prepare and cook, making it a great week-night meal. The crisp and fresh salad, creamy tahini dressing (without any cream), lovely tartness from the apple cider vinegar and slight sweetness from the honey all complimented the salmon and each other perfectly. Healthy and tasty, yum.

Salmon and Green Bean Salad

Click here for the recipe

Meat free Monday – Snapper with spiced chickpeas

It’s  Monday again (just), so time for another meat free recipe, this time with seafood. Following on from my Meat Free Mondays post last week, I will try to post a meat free dish on Monday as often as I can.

I think this is a great week night recipe, quick and simply to make but full of great flavour. You can replace the snapper with any white fleshed fish you prefer, and adjust the amount of chilli flakes to suit your preference. I thought this was a nice way of cooking chickpeas, making them quite soft and creamy (though not mushy), with the tomatoes, thyme and chilli adding a nice flavour. The gremolata at the end adds a nice freshness to the dish. Cooking fish is another thing that people can often worry about and its only in the last few years I’ve become more confident and cooked it more regularly. Plus for a few years while I was at university I worked at an aquarium shop looking after and selling tropical and marine fish, and I have to admit that while I worked there I felt bad eating fish!IMG_2678

Click here for the recipe

Meat free Mondays – Pumpkin, spinach & ricotta filo parcels

Although I’m not vegetarian, I also don’t feel like eating meat every night. So I do cook quite a few meat free dishes. Meat can get quite expensive, especially as I prefer to buy local, free range, top quality meat. I would rather eat meat less often and buy the best I can get, than eat cheaper/mass produced and imported products.

Meat free Mondays is an international campaign aimed at encouraging us to take a day off meat and raise awareness of the personal health and environmental benefits of reducing our meat consumption. A number of Australia’s celebrity chefs and cooks are involved, including Maggie Beer and Kylie Kwong. Some of the facts quoted on the campaigns website include:

  • Australians are some of the world’s biggest meat eaters, with many consuming double the global average.
  • 9 out of 10 Australian adults aren’t eating the recommended amount of vegetables.
  • Health authorities recommend against eating large amounts of meat.
  • Australian livestock industries are responsible for approximately 10% of our total greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Livestock production accounts for 70% of all agricultural land around the world.
  • Meat production is water intensive.

While I don’t limit myself to eating meat free dishes only on Mondays, I think anything that encourages people to add meat free meals to their diet and raises awareness of the benefits of a meat free meal once a week is a great initiative. With that in mind, here is the latest meat free dish I have tried. I added in a pinch of cayenne pepper to the recipe and I think the addition of the heat from the cayenne works well with the sweet and creamy pumpkin.

I also used filo pastry from the fridge rather than the freezer section for the first time, and found this so much easier to work with than frozen filo.

Filo parcels

Click here for the recipe