FullSizeRenderOne of my favourite ingredients for salads at the moment is Lentils (usually the French Puy lentil, because they are one of the quickest to cook), and I can mix them with almost anything – fish, chicken, cheese, veggies or fruits.

The nutritional benefits of this particular dish, as well as its’ convenience to make, have made it a regular feature in my postpartum, nursing diet at the moment. Every mouthful is loaded with high quality protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and fibre, meaning it is a source of a lot of my (and my baby’s) nutritional needs. See below for more details & ingredients.

Ingredients

Serves 4.

Note: I like to store the lentil salad separately to the cooked mackerel, as I might sometimes prefer a different protein (to the mackerel) in the lentil salad on the next occasion I eat it.

  • 2 Fresh Mackerel fillets (or see below for my other toppings)
  • ½ Lemon sliced
  • I cup (dry) Puy Lentils
  • 1 ½ litres low salt vegetable stock
  • 3 shallots or ½ red onion, finely diced
  • ½ red pepper, ½ yellow pepper, diced
  • ½ fresh avocado, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Dressing: The zest & juice of ½ Red Grapefruit (or 1 Blood Orange), ½ lemon, ½ lime
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons (cold pressed) extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fresh Baby Spinach or Lambs Lettuce to serve (optional)

Note: I like to store the lentil salad separately to the cooked mackerel, as I might sometimes prefer a different protein (to the mackerel) in the lentil salad on the next occasion I eat it.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees (160 Fan), Gas 4.
  2. Rinse lentils in cold water, then place into a pot with the stock, bring to boil and then reduce to low simmer for 20-25 mins;
  3. Place the mackerel on some tinfoil parcel skin side down, top with 1-2 slices of lemon, S & P, and create a foil parcel, sealing the edges tightly; place into oven and cook for 15-20 mins. Once cooked, remove from foil, and shred the mackerel meat, watching for bones!
  4. Place the finely chopped vegetables & parsley into a bowl, mixing in the zest, juice & olive oil and stirring well.
  5. Drain off the lentils, and add into the citrus mix while warm, to help the dressing to coat and infuse them;
  6. Serve out the lentil salad, topping with desired amount of flaked mackerel – enjoy hot or cold!

Instead of mackerel, I love to throw any of the following on also!

  • 1 Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes; roast in oven 200 degree (180 fan, Gas 5), for 20 minutes;
  • Fillet of white fish like Cod or Hake (parcel steamed with a little butter, seasoned with sea salt & black pepper);
  • My guilty pleasure – 3 or 4 slices of (good quality) pan-fried, calcium building Halloumi cheese – yum yum.!

Nutritional Benefits:

Lentils – are a powerhouse of nutrition! A rich source of both complex carbohydrate, protein and fibre, makes them a great food to keep you feeling fuller for longer, and to help stabilise energy levels. Vitamins B1, B6, Vitamin K and Minerals including Iron, Potassium and Zinc, make it a great food to help healing, help energy production.

Mackerel – Oily fish are not only ‘complete protein’ foods (meaning they yield all the essential amino acids your body needs in 1 source), but they are also rich in essential fatty acids Omega 3 & Omega 6, Vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E & K and a heap of minerals, including bone building calcium.

 

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Elaine

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