Let’s be honest. We all want to eat healthily to maintain our figures, but the only way we’re going to stick to a healthy diet is by ensuring that the food we choose won’t send us back to that pack of potato chips later on. What we need is something healthful, but delicious and satisfying. So here are two recipes — one to eat and one to drink — that are light, yet gratifying and full of flavour. Now, step away from the keropok.
Salmon quinoa salad
On its own, quinoa isn’t pleasant — it has the taste and texture of minced cardboard. But this high-protein seed that’s currently the darling of the health food world has a low glycaemic index that causes a gradual rise (and not sudden spike) in blood sugar and insulin so you feel fuller and more energetic for a longer time. It isn’t exactly low in carbohydrates, but quinoa does provide all the amino acids our bodies need that other grains like rice don’t. The trick is to build lots of flavour and texture into this salad so its taste matches its benefits. Happily, quinoa is a ready sponge for flavour, so it’ll absorb the soy-sesame dressing and sweet juices of the vegetables. Plump salmon rubbed with miso and mirin adds another dimension of deliciousness to this pile of gastronomic virtues.
Serves 2 to 4
2 tbsps miso
1 tbsp mirin
2 salmon fillets (150g each)
1 cup dried quinoa
1½ cups water
½ cup sweet corn kernels (canned)
8 cherry tomatoes, diced
2 cups rocket or baby spinach leaves, chopped
For the dressing
¼ cup light soy sauce
2 tbsps rice vinegar
2 tbsps canola or olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsps sugar
1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Mix miso and mirin in a small bowl to blend and then rub this mixture all over the salmon fillets.
3. Place the salmon on a piece of foil and bake for 10 minutes on the middle rack. Remove and set aside to cool till warm.
4. To cook quinoa, place the quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and cook for about 15 minutes till the quinoa absorbs all the liquid and sprouts “tails”. The quinoa should be tender to the bite. Fluff it up with a fork.
5. When the quinoa is completely cooled, transfer to a bowl with the rest of the salad ingredients, except the fish.
6. To make dressing, place all the ingredients in a bottle, cover the bottle with a lid and shake vigorously to mix.
7. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to mix.
8. Transfer to a serving plate and top with the salmon. If you’re preparing this a day ahead, chill the salmon and other ingredients separately. When ready to eat, flake fish and mix into salad with the dressing.
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Pineapple coconut water
Think of this as a tasty tonic. It’s chock-full of anti-inflammatory properties from the ginger and hydrating electrolytes from the coconut water. Not to mention vitamins and liver-cleansing benefits of pineapple. It actually tastes like a distilled pina colada given a spicy jolt. Goes down the hatch like a dream.
Makes about 2½ cups
120g fresh chilled pineapple, sliced a thumb-sized piece of ginger
Water from 1 whole young coconut (or 1½ cups pure coconut water from a Tetra Pak), chilled
Small lime, juiced
1. Use a cold-press juicer to extract the pineapple and ginger juices. Alternatively, use a regular centrifugal juicer and then strain the juices through a fine sieve.
2. Mix the juices with the coconut water and add the juice of the lime to taste. Serve chilled.
Article: 8 Days
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