My introduction to life without meat!

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nomeat2Being the beginning of the week I have decided to set myself a little challenge…I have decided to trial cutting out meat (red and white) for 7 days, essentially becoming what we dietitians like to call a “pescetarian” or in other words a vegetarian who still eats seafood. (Was it not for my boyfriend I may have trialled going totally vegetarian or even vegan but I felt this might be a bit unfair on his behalf having live off a totally plant based diet for a whole week! Eeek!)

And why am I doing this you ask? Well I figure that to be able to really connect with my clients its about time I put myself “in my clients shoes” and see what it is like to live with dietary restrictions like those of a vegetarian/pescetarian/coeliac etc. It will also help encourage me to trial new recipes and come up with some tastey concoctions of my own to share with my clients as well as my friends and family!

So, if I manage to survive without my beloved meat for 7days perhaps next week I will try becoming a Coeliac and sticking to a fully Gluten Free diet! Or maybe even a week avoiding dairy so I gain an understanding of what life is really like for those who either choose not to or are unable to eat certain foods.

So for my first dinner of the week I kept things pretty simple and made a tastey combo of spice rubbed salmon and tabbouleh salad, which turned out to be quite a hit! This recipe is SUPER healthy, with an impressive combination of omega 3 fats for good heart health, plenty of fibre and protein and lllllloads of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to keep you feeling radiant and energised! Being an oily fish, salmon has a ridiculous amount of essential omega 3 fats so is highly beneficial for your heart, through helping to lower your cholesterol levels and is also believed to be good for improving brain function and memory. So if you like salmon (or any other type of oily fish) you are already one step ahead of the game!

Having a few meat free nights a week (or at least replacing red/white meat with fish) has loads of health benefits so if you have never really given it much thought why don’t you join me and give MEAT FREE MONDAYS a go?

Spiced Salmon with quinoa tabbouleh salad

2 x 100-150g salmon fillets

1/2 cup quinoa

1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes (quartered)IMG_0550

1/2 Lebanese cucumber (roughly diced)

1 sm red onion (diced)

1/2 bunch flat leaf parsely (chopped)

juice of one lemon

1/2 tbs olive oil

1/2c fat free natural yoghurt

handful chopped corriander

big handful green beans

1/4 large avocado

handful of mixed sunflower and pumpkin seeds

200g chopped pumpkin

Spice Rub:salmon and tabbouleh

1 clove garlic (crushed)

1 tsp ground coriander, cumin, paprika, ginger

sm splash olive oil and splash of lemon juice

sm handful of coriander (finely chopped)

Salt and pepper

What to do…

Firstly make the spice rub by adding all the ingredients to a mortar and pestle and mash into a thick paste. Rub paste over the salmon fillets and place in the fridge til ready to be cooked.

For the tabbouleh – First chop up your pumpkin and add to a baking tray. Drizzle over some olive oil and a light sprinkle of paprika and pepper. Bake in a moderate oven for 20-25mins or until soft and lightly browned around the edges.

While the pumpkin is cooking,  place the quinoa in a small saucepan and add about a cup of water and bring to the boil. Leave to simmer for about 10-15mins, stirring occasionally.Next chop up all your salad vegetables (tomatoes, cucumber, onion, parsely) and add to a salad serving bowl. Once quinoa is cooked rinse under cool water, drain and add to the salad bowl. Add a drizzle of olive oil and the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Place the yoghurt into a small serving bowl and add the chopped coriander and season with salt and pepper.

When the pumpkin is getting close to being ready add a splash of olive oil to a hot saucepan and pan fry the salmon for 2-3 mins each side or until cooked to your liking. (Note: if the spice rub is starting to burn, place the salmon in a small baking dish and place in the oven (along with the pumpkin) until it is cooked through.

Remove salmon from heat and set aside for 1min while you steam some greens. (i used beans but you can use whatever combination you like of broccoli, asparagus, broccolini, beans, zucchini etc!)

Add your cooked pumpkin to the tabbouleh and sprinkle over the sunflower and pumpkin seeds and the chopped avocado.

And there you have a healthy, fresh Monday night dinner on the table in about 45mins! Deeelish!

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