Why you shouldn’t feel guilty about snacking…

For some, snacking is a way of sailing through the day without getting overly hungry in between meals. It’s not something that requires much thought and can be as simple as recognising feelings of hunger and choosing to satisfy them.  However for others its not always that straightforward.

Snacking Photo

Grazing regularly throughout the day by having snacks here and there might be more suited to some people because it fits in better with their lifestyle. Having a busy job or taking care of children doesn’t always leave enough time to sit down and have a substantial meal, so grabbing food little and often can be much easier and more manageable.

Equally, having 3 square meals a day may suit those who need to prepare their food in advance,  who don’t particularly get hungry in between meals or for people working shifts and have set breaks.

However the reality is that some people really struggle with knowing what to snack on if they haven’t prepared something in advance, especially if there are limited “healthy” foods or many options for under 100 calories – which seems to be the golden rule for snacking. So avoiding food between meals may seem like the best thing to do in order to prevent those feelings of guilt for eating something  simply because you couldn’t wait until your next meal.

I’m telling you this is not something you should ever feel guilty about and its why “honoring your hunger” is one of the key principles of intuitive eating.

Since starting the IE process, I realised that for a long time I avoided snacking for the purpose of being “good“. I would put off eating my lunch for as long as possible until I was absolutely starving in a bid to stop me from being hungry in the afternoon and looking for “unhealthy” snacks… but the only “unhealthy” thing about that scenario is the repetitive behaviour of ignoring my hunger.

There is no right and wrong when it comes to eating as you know your body better than anyone. Only you know what satisfies you, keeps you going and what works best for you as an individual.

As we all know, life changes constantly and even the most organised people have days where everything goes wrong, you leave your lunch at home or meetings run over so you don’t get to eat what you want, when you wanted. So having a couple of biscuits mid afternoon might be the difference between becoming so ravenous that you feel hangry and consequently over eat when you get the opportunity or feeling satisfied enough until your next meal so that you can get on with more important things in the day than worrying about food.

Ignoring or wanting to suppress hunger will often lead to overeating and this may by why snacking gets a bad rep. Overeating is a completely normal thing to do if you are starving! So to avoid this, try and really listen to your body. When you start to feel a little hungry and you feel like a snack would help relieve this, then allow yourself to have one!

Diet culture and the media are to blame for why we feel so crazy about food and with appetite suppressants being promoted on the daily its no wonder why we want to avoid snacking – particularly when all the snacks targeted at women are low calorie, low fat, low sugar and taste like air.

I think when it comes to eating there is a lot more to the behaviour than the food itself, therefore the the way you eat snacks is just as important. So eating more mindfully, slowly and without distraction where possible will help you to register your fullness cues so that you are comfortably full, rather than stuffed. However if this isn’t realistic for you, just stopping midway through whatever you are eating for a few minutes can help you to tune in with how you are feeling.

If you are after a little inspiration for snack ideas, check out some of my recipes…

 

Vegan mushroom stroganoff

Since starting my nutrition course, I’ve learnt a lot about vegetarian and vegan diets and I must admit, I wasn’t aware of just how important it is to substitute certain foods that you are cutting out of your everyday diet. It made me realise how many people take the plunge (myself included) by reducing or completely avoiding meat and animal products without thinking what will replace them.

Soy beans make up a large proportion of meat and dairy free alternatives from veggie sausages to milk and cheese and they are a great source of protein and fibre which can help to reduce cholesterol. One of the benefits of eating a more plant based diet is that you naturally eat more fruit and veg (which can only be a good thing!) and it gives many people more variety in the meals they eat through trying new recipes. However don’t be afraid of making your old favourites with meat/dairy free alternatives as eating healthier should always be about what you can add to your diet, rather than take away!

Although cream is not something we buy regularly to have in our meals, sometimes coconut milk is too sweet or simply doesn’t taste right in certain recipes so I was chuffed when I found Alpro Single Soya in Asda and tried it out in one of my favourite dishes. Previously I used sour cream or crème fraîche but they both have a slight sharpness to them which I’m not massively keen on so this cream works brilliantly as a diary free substitute. I’ve not tried it poured over a desert yet so can’t comment on how it tastes on it’s own but it definitely works in this delicious stroganoff…

IMG_5476

This is a great midweek meal to rustle up in 20 minutes or so and is so full of flavour! If you wanted extra for lunch the following day you could bulk this out by adding a variety of different mushrooms, some chopped leeks or even Quorn chicken pieces for some plant based protein.

Ingredients:

  • 2 white onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 carton of dairy free cream (I used Alpro Single Soya)
  • 200ml of vegetable Stock
  • 250g or 1 punnet of chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp Soy sauce

Method – Serves 2

  1. Finely slice the onions, roughly chop the mushrooms and mince the garlic cloves
  2. Add all of the above into a pan on a medium heat with a good glug of olive oil and cook for 5 minutes until softened.
  3. Add in the paprika,  season well with salt and pepper and leave for another 5 minutes, stirring often to avoid it catching.
  4. Add the stock and turn the heat up high for a further 5 minutes until the stock starts to reduce and thicken.
  5. Finally mix in the soy cream, and a tablespoon of soy sauce and stir until fully combined.

Serve with brown rice or quinoa and a sprinkle of parsley!

 

Italian Style Stuffed Aubergines

Stuffed aubergine 1

Back in my uni days I used to make a mean stuffed butternut squash but it took sooo long to roast in the oven that I’ve slowly stopped making it ( as you can imagine I had plenty of time on my hands back then!) Aubergines on the other hand, take half the time to do and they go well with so many different flavours, thats one of the reasons I really like this recipe as the herbs are simple and most people tend to have them in their cupboard. If you are stretched for time you can cook the aubergines in the microwave and they taste just as nice. The only thing is that their skins are much softer and tear easier, see bottom of the page for how to make them this way.

stuffed aubergine 3Aubergines are one of my favourite veggies right now, they’re really versatile and absorb flavour very quickly when roasted which is great for a mid-week, meat free meal. There is nothing too fancy about this dish either – if you don’t have sun-dried tomatoes or olives don’t worry about it, they are a nice addition but aren’t essential.

Its so frustrating when you find a great recipe only to realise that there is one ingredient you don’t have in, so whenever I look for new ideas, whether its in cookery books or on Pinterest I usually end up adapting them in some way to suit me. So when sharing recipes with you I always try to think of simple meals which can be altered easily so you can make them again and again 🙂 Also I’m pretty relaxed when it comes to measurements (and creating mountains of washing up and making a general mess of the kitchen) so again if you want to chuck more couscous in or a whole jar of pesto, go right ahead, just try it as you go!

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 2 aubergines
  • handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 red pepper
  • 6-7 sun-dried tomatoes
  • olives (optional)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 red onions red onion
  • 100g plain couscous
  • 3 tbs basil pesto
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 and line a baking tray with tin foil.
  2. Slice the aubergines in half length ways and score the flesh using a knife, be careful not to cut the skin underneath.
  3. Put onto the baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.
  4. Place into the oven for 40 minutes.
  5. Whilst the aubergines are roasting, finely chop the garlic and add to a frying pan over a medium heat with some olive oil for a few minutes.
  6. Chop the red onion, courgettes and peppers into small chunks and add to the pan, sauteing until soft.
  7. Then half the cherry tomatoes and olives (if you are using) and roughly chop the sun-dried tomatoes then add these into the pan.
  8. Add the pesto to the cooked veg and add in the herbs and season well.
  9. Once the aubergines are done take them out of the oven and scoop out the flesh and add this to the pan with the pesto veggies. Be careful when you do this so as not to tear the skins.
  10. Mix all of the veg together, seasoning well and then spoon back into the aubergine skins but leave back a a couple of spoonfuls for the couscous
  11. Pop this under the grill at the same temperature for a further 10 minutes.
  12. Whilst this is cooking you can make your couscous. If you don’t have plain couscous then a sachet mix will be fine, they usually have around 125g in them so it shouldn’t make too much extra. Add the dry couscous straight into the veg and mix well until its all coated. Then add enough boiling water so that all the mixture is wet but not covered in water.
  13. Put on a lid and leave until the aubergines are done on a low-medium heat.
  14. Remove the aubergines from the grill, squeeze the lemon juice over the couscous and serve!

Microwaving your aubergine’s:

Pop both of the aubergines into the microwave whole (no pricking) for around 8 minutes until they feel soft and tender to touch. Then cut them length-ways and gently scoop out the flesh with a spoon, careful though, they are extremely hot! You can always put these skins under the grill whilst you are mixing the aubergine with the other veggies to help them crisp and firm up slightly.

Give them a try this weekend and let me know what you think! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Beetroot dip – two ways!

On Wednesdays we wear pink…

ummmmm actually, most days I wear grey and black much to my mums disapproval, “you’ve got your whole life to wear black” she used to say. I’m not entirely sure what she meant by this, so I’m going to eat pink and colourful food instead…does that count?!beetroot dip 1.JPG

Whenever we buy cooked beetroot in the vacuum packs I always end up with a few leftover, I put them in the fridge with every intention of using them and in a blink of an eye they’ve gone off. I’m trying to consciously reduce the amount of food we throw away so I thought I would create some simple recipes to use up the rest, so no excuses!

I’m also a massive fan of dips; hummus, tzatziki, guac, tahini, salsa, you name it. They’re such an easy way to make a meal taste amazing! They’re also great for when you’ve run out of ideas, especially for things like salads, just add a dollop of dip and it totally changes the dynamic of the dish.

Beetroot is an amazing source of antioxidants and vitamins such as potassium which is important for muscle contraction and it’s very high in folic acid which the body requires on a daily basis. Folate is used in the body to produce DNA and to help with cell division which is essential for you to heal and grow.

Cooked beetroot is really cheap too, I think the pack I bought to make both of these dips was around 80p. They are easy to juice or chop up in salads but one of my favourite ways to eat them is to cut them into chunks and mix with warm goats cheese  🤤

Beetroot mint and yogurt dip

Ingredients

  • 3 medium sized cooked beetroot
  • A small bunch of fresh mint
  • 200g Greek yogurt – you could use a plant based yogurt to make this suitable for vegans/dairy free.
  • 1/3 of a cucumber
  • 1 clove of Garlic

Method

Grate the beetroot into a bowl.

Slice the cucumber in half lengthways and with a teaspoon remove the watery flesh to leave 2 long “C shaped” sections. Grate these too and add to the same bowl.

Finely slice the mint and the garlic (if you have a garlic crusher use this) and add to the bowl along with the greek yoghurt. Mix really well, season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

beetroot dip 2.JPG

Beetroot Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 can of Chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp of Tahini
  • 2 cloves of Garlic crushed or finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 3 medium sized cooked beetroots

Method

Roughly chop the cooked beetroot into quarters and add to the food processor.

Drain the chickpeas and add in along with all of the other ingredients and blitz. If it’s still very thick add in small amounts of olive oil until it’s the right consistency.  Season to taste and serve!

beetroot dip 3.JPG

Both of these dips are really easy and quick to make and can be made vegan too. They go well with crackers, bread, pittas, crudités or just dolloped ontop of your meal 🙂

 

 

Iced mocha smoothie…for when you need a little more than coffee in the morning 

I’ve been dying to make this recipe for ages as we’ve been out of cacao powder for some time but after a trip to Sainsburys I am now stocked up and ready to make this dreamy smoothie!

Think iced coffee meets frappaccino but waaaaayyy healthier and only 6 ingredients so it’s an easy one to do.
Avocado gives a wonderfully creamy texture and the cacao and coffee are just an amazing combination! The sweetness comes from a little honey and some dates for some extra fibre too.

Avocado’s are a fantastic source of vitamin E which is beneficial to your immune system for fighting off infection and helps to keep your eyes and skin healthy. They are famously known for their monounsaturated good fats which contribute towards a healthy heart. One of the fatty acids found in Avocado’s is Linoelic acid which cannot be produced by the body so must be consumed in your everyday diet, so that’s good news for avo lovers!

It’s a really nice smoothie to make before work, especially when it’s a warm day as the caffeine wakes you up but it’s cold, icy and refreshing!

Ingredients
Serves 2

  • flesh of 1 avocado
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 handful of pitted dates
  • 3 tsp instant coffee
  • 1 tbsp honey – vegans could use maple syrup instead
  • 200 ml milk of choice (almond milk works well)

Method
Put the dates and the milk into a blender and blend until smooth.

Add in 3 large teaspoons of good quality instant coffee, I like to use Nescafe espresso instant which is a powder so it doesn’t need to be blended for long. If you are using granules you may have to leave it blending for slightly longer. However if you have the time and you own a cafetiere then it’s definitely worth making some fresh coffee (enough for 2 people) and pour the whole lot in. You can always add in more ice/milk/water if you want to make more too.

Add in the avocado flesh, 2 tbsp of cacao, honey, ice and top up with 300 ml water and blend until smooth and creamy! Let me know what you think 🙂

Sweet and salty peanut butter ice cream shell

Hands up if you love ice cream!

peanut icecream shell 2.JPG

If like me you love the stuff then I think you will also love this sweet and salty peanut butter sauce. It goes really well with my current favourite – Alpro Hazelnut and Chocolate “ice cream” – which is dairy free, low in sugar and it does not disappoint. Anyone out there who can’t have dairy or chooses not to then you’ve gotta try it…it’s so creamy, I don’t know how they do it but it’s delicious.

I’ve got to admit… when I first made the recipe I hadn’t planned on it going solid when it cooled, I just wanted a little something extra that was as satisfying as toffee sauce but a healthier version! I’m really chuffed that it does though, it reminds me of when we were little getting ice cream from the lakes that was dipped in hot chocolate sauce which were always so good!

peanut icecream shell 3.JPG

Anyway whether you have it drizzled over porridge or a stack of pancakes it’s equally as nice but I just love how when you pour this sauce over ice cream, it hardens and forms a shell, ready to be cracked open!

This recipe can be whipped up in less than 5 minutes, so whilst you are waiting for your ice cream to soften a little you can make a quick batch of sauce. Its so good you’ll end up eating it out of the pan before it even makes it near your dessert bowl, did I mention that it’s completely vegan too…

Give it a try next time you have a cosy night in and let me know what you think!

Ingredients

Serves 2

Method

You can make this in a little saucepan or in a bowl in the microwave.

Heat the coconut oil over a medium heat until melted, add in the rest of the ingredients, stir well and serve!

The sauce is ideal for freezing too, just reheat in the microwave when you are ready to eat!

Herby lentil and tomato salad with griddled halloumi

Halloumi and Lentil Salad

When I think of lentils, hearty winter stews, indian dahl and my favourite vegan shepherds pie spring to mind. Salads are probably the last thing I would put lentils with but they go so well! I’m always trying to come up with new salad concoctions to keep things interesting and this one is easy to do, filling and really tasty.

I never used to cook with them as the idea of pre-soaking for hours on end was a no go. Sometimes you don’t always know what you are going to fancy the following day for dinner! So luckily you can buy them cooked, canned and ready to go, so all you need to do is gently heat for a few minutes or you can drain them and serve cold.

They are a great source of soluble-fibre, plant-based protein and iron, in fact per 100g, they contain more iron than steak! Lentils are really filling too so they go well in salads to keep you feeling full and satisfied.

You can opt out of the halloumi all together for a vegan option, replacing with tofu or another meat free alternative. Or use another type of cheese, goats cheese would work really well or paneer too.

Serves 2

  • 1 pack of Halloumi
  • 1 courgette
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach/salad leaves of choice
  • 1 can of pre-cooked lentils
  • 2 cloves of garlic or 1 tsp of powdered
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes – not essential but goes really well
  • 1 large handful of baby plum or cherry tomatoes
  • juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon.
  • 2 tbsp of Balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dried or fresh parsley and thyme

Method

Cut the courgette in half length ways and then cut those halves into further strips. Drizzle a little olive oil, salt and pepper onto a chopping board and then rub the courgette slices in this so they are nicely coated and then put onto a griddle pan over a medium heat, turning after a few minutes to cook on the other side.

Whilst that’s cooking, pour the lentils and their water into a microwavable bowl and cook in the microwave according to their instructions. Once cooked add to a separate pan over a medium heat with olive oil and chopped garlic (you can use fresh or powdered) the dried herbs and the vinegar. After a few minutes add in the fresh and/or sun-dried tomatoes and season well.

Once the  courgette slices are done put them into the oven on low to keep warm whilst you cook the halloumi. Cut the halloumi into approximately 10 slices and then rub each slice in the olive oil from the courgettes and place into the griddle pan, turn after 3-4 minutes once they start to brown (the griddle pan is just to make it pretty so if you don’t have one just use a regular frying pan).

Whilst the halloumi is cooking, add the lemon juice and zest and plate up the salad leaves. You can add any of your favourite salad ingredients now such as cucumber, beetroot, radishes, spring onions etc or you can keep it simple.

When everything is done, divide the lentils between the two plates, then top with the courgette and finally the grilled halloumi.

If you don’t finish it all, it’s a great dish to have cold the next day for leftovers. On top of this salad I’ve also thrown in some crispy Cajun chickpeas as a little added extra, if you want to make them then just click here.

3 Ingredient Hazelnut Truffles

If you’ve never roasted hazelnuts at home, it’s something you need to put on your to do list this weekend because they taste so damn good and smell divine!

img_1443

I’ve made these a couple of times now and each time I have planned on them lasting all week so that I can have a little something sweet either at work or after dinner but so far they have lasted 2 days tops. And it’s not just me that loves them, everyone who has tried them (children too) have given two sticky, chocolatey thumbs up and can’t believe that they are good for you!

They are really easy to do and super fun to make, so if you have kids they are a winner!

Like I said, you can have them for a snack any time of day but I think they go really well with coffee at the end of a meal as they are rich and satisfying so you don’t need many.

img_1446

Hazelnuts are high in good fats, both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated and these can help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Fats are needed by the body for many reasons, one of which being that certain vitamins and minerals (such as A, K, D and E) are fat -soluble, so can only be absorbed and then used or stored through these types of fats. The raw cacao powder is a really high source of magnesium that is fantastic for your muscles and nervous system. It also raises serotonin levels in the body, making you feel calmer and happier…do you need anymore excuses to eat raw chocolate than that?!

The third ingredient is 100% natural maple syrup. Although is does contain sugar, it is a natural source so there are no additives or preservatives and it has been far less processed than white table sugar.
Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup (150 g) hazelnuts
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

Makes approximately 20 truffles

  1. Heat the oven to 180°c and roast the hazelnuts for 10 minutes on a baking tray, then remove from oven and allow to cool completely
  2. Put 20 Hazelnuts to one side and put the remaining nuts into a food processor
  3. If you want a really smooth paste you can rub the hazelnuts with some paper towel which will remove the dark skins before you blend them. Its a little time consuming but worth it.
  4. Blend until a fine crumb, then remove 2 tablespoons worth and place in a bowl (this will be used to coat the truffles at the end)
  5. Add the maple syrup and cacao powder to the processor and blend again for a few minutes until a smooth and creamy paste. If it’s sticking too much you can add water but do so a little at a time to prevent it becoming too runny
  6. Using a teaspoon take a small amount of the paste and encase a whole hazelnut and roll into a ball. If you don’t want to get messy you can use two teaspoons and roll the ball between them to round the truffle into a ball. Then place the truffle into the bowl with the crushed hazelnuts and roll around until evenly coated.
  7. Once all are done place into the freezer for half an hour to set. They can be kept in the freezer or in a airtight container in the fridge

 

 

Snack Idea: Crispy Cajun Chickpeas

You’ve got to try these, seriously, they are so good and super moreish. I made them on a whim to go on top of a salad when we didn’t have much in and by the time we sat down to eat there was only a handful left, so I think it’s safe to say this is an ideal recipe for snacking!

Cajun Chickpeas

If you are having a movie night at home and want something that’s healthy but still satisfies your craving for something salty and crispy then these would make a great substitute. In fact if you were to be really organised you could make these up ahead of time for when you go to the cinema…you just can’t go to the cinema without snacks, so why not make them healthy? Unlike popcorn, the fibre and protein content of chickpeas make them a really filling and satisfying snack so you are less likely to fancy something naughty afterwards.

These properties make this snack great for diabetics as they slow down the rate of glucose absorption in your blood and they are rich in selenium too which is quite rare for a legume. Selenium can help prevent cancer due to it’s anti-inflammatory properties which can help reduce tumour growth.

I always try to make sure I have chickpeas in the cupboard for recipes like this one, for hummus and falafel or just to bulk out a one pot meal. They’re a cheap, naturally gluten free staple and even better, you can get 4 cans for £1 in Morrison’s!

Ingredients

  • 1 x can of chickpeas
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder – you can decide the heat!
  • 1 tsp medium curry powder
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil

Method

  1. Turn the oven to 200° C and line a baking tray with tin foil.
  2. Pour chickpeas and their water into a bowl and microwave according to can instructions.
  3. Once cooked drain well and spread out onto the tray.
  4. Drizzle on the olive oil and stir or lightly shake the tray from side to side so that all the chickpeas are coated.
  5. Season well with salt and pepper and put into the oven
  6. After 15 minutes take them out and sprinkle with the herbs and spices and give them a good shake so they are crispy on both sides – the spices are added at this stage to prevent them from burning.
  7. Pop back into the oven for a further 15 minutes, then serve!

Serve immediately for the best flavour, they are still really nice cold if you wanted to make them for the next day but they do loose a bit of their crispness. Obviously if you don’t have all of the above spices then you could just buy a Cajun spice mix but check the label as many have additives and preservatives in, plus lots of salt! Doing it with all of the above spices ensures that you are getting only natural ingredients and you can tailor the heat, salt and intensity of flavour to your liking.

You could make these with a number of different  flavour combinations, so have a play around… if you prefer something a little sweeter to snack on you could try these with a drizzle of honey and some cinnamon instead!

Caribbean rice with Jerk Salmon and a zesty mango salad

If you love good, flavoursome food and strong fruity cocktails that are on offer almost all day every day then Turtle Bay is the place for you. There are two restaurants in Manchester one in St Peters Square and the other in the Northern Quarter and they’re both amazing!

The food is really tasty and every time I go I always think “I should definitely make this when I get home!” as the ingredients themselves aren’t hard to find it’s just the mixture of spices I have never been sure of so, if you fancy a bit of the carribbean in your life then follow the recipe below and you can’t go wrong!

There was something really satisfying about making this meal, you’ll be really chuffed with yourself when all the spices come together and develop into that wonderfully aromatic flavour that I just absolutely love. The zestyness of the lime and sweetness of the mango go really well with the jerk seasoning and it’s really simple to do.

Health Benefits

  • The brown rice is good source of fibre and protein. This won’t spike your blood sugar like white rice does so you will feel fuller for longer.
  • Salmon is full of omega 3 fatty acids which are amazing for your cardiovascular system by lowering the risk of heart disease, preventing strokes and as your mum rightly says “it’s brain food!”
  • High levels of antioxidants and vitamin C from the mango giving your skin that healthy glow. The antioxidants fight free radicals in your body so therefore reduces your risk of disease.
  • Avocado is full of healthy fats and is really high in potassium too which helps to reduce high blood pressure.

One of the best ways  to keep your meals exciting and tasty is to have a good range of herbs and spices in your cupboard. Now I know that may seem obvious but it’s so easy to get into that routine of using  3 or 4 old reliable’s that end up making all your meals taste the same and variety is key to healthy and exciting food! So rather than going out and spending a fortune getting lots of unusual herbs that you don’t know how to pronounce or what they go with, just build up your collection slowly and each time you do a food shop get one new herb or spice that takes your fancy and try it out in a new recipe. Hmm (hint hint) maybe this one?

img_0048-2

Serves 2

  • 2 salmon fillets (if you can get smoked it’s even better!)
  • 150 g of brown rice
  • 1 can of black eyed beans
  • 100 g frozen peas
  • 1/2 fresh mango – (I freeze the other half to put into smoothies)
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 bag of rocket
  • 2 limes
  • 1 small bunch of fresh coriander

Spices you will need :

  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Allspice
  • 1 tsp Chilli powder – I use mild as it’s a gentle heat. If you want it to blow your socks off then get medium/hot or just add more!
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp Curry powder – again use mild, medium or hot depending on what you like

If you haven’t got these you can cheat and buy jerk seasoning, just be wary of potential additives and preservatives. If you’ve got some of the above but not all I think it’s really worth getting the others as they are all spices that can go into so many other dishes.

  1. Put the brown rice on to boil in salted water according to the packet instructions.
  2. Put all the spices into a bowl and add in the salmon fillets, making sure they are coated all over, season well.
  3. Roughly 5 minutes after the rice has been put on, wrap the salmon fillets in tinfoil to make a parcel and put into the oven at 180 c for 15 minutes. (try to make the parcel as airtight as possible so that the salmon will steam in it’s own juice and keep moist).
  4. Whilst the salmon is cooking, finely chop the onion and coriander add in the rocket and put into a bowl.
  5. Then chop the avocado and mango into little chunks and add into the bowl with the onion and coriander, squeeze the juice of one whole lime and mix well then pop into the fridge.
  6. When the salmon is done put the black eyed beans into a bowl with their own water along with the frozen peas and microwave for the amount of time it says on the tin.
  7. When the rice is done, drain then add in the black eyed beans and peas and season well with salt and pepper. Then flake in the salmon fillets, squeeze over the juice of the other lime, mix well and then serve with the mango salad, a sprinkling of coriander and an optional wedge of lime!