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5 Easy ‘Weeknight’ Fish recipes…

Fish, soooo yummy, soooo versatile and soooo good for you!  An excellent low fat source of protein, vitamins and minerals, fish is also packed full of omega 3 fatty acids which can help prevent heart disease and also reduces your chances of a stroke or heart attack. Yet  despite the numerous health benefits people are still not getting enough fish in their diet – the American Heart Foundation actually recommends people eat 2-3 fish meals per week.

For many I think the idea of cooking fish is rather daunting and there mere thought of having a raw plain white piece of fish sat in front of them sends them running for the hills or that nearest piece of meat! It has a bit of a reputation as being bland or difficult to cook when in fact it is so easy and quick to cook!

So, by popular request, here are my top 5 EASY Fish recipes. I can’t promise you that they are gourmet meals BUT they are cost-effective and simple and tasty enough to bung in the oven on your average week night, when you are likely to be short on time and energy!

The fish ideas below serve 2 people…

Barramundi with Cumin

Coat two Barramundi fillets in a generous amount of ground cumin along with a little salt and pepper. Put a small amount of cold pressed olive oil in a frying pan and slowly fry on a medium heat, approx 5-6 mins each side. You will know when it is cooked if you cut into it gently and the flesh comes apart easily.

Make a dressing from 1 cup natural yogurt, 2 tablespoons cold pressed olive oil, a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a little salt and pepper.

Serve with your choice of green vegetables… we think english spinach works really well.

Mediterranean Trout or Salmon

Pre heat the oven to 200c. Place the trout in a piece of tin foil with a little salt and some pepper. Drizzle on a little  Balsamic vinegar, cover the top with chopped sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil and finally sprinkle on a few squares of feta cheese. Wrap the foil up into a parcel and place in the oven for around 20 mins or until the fish is cooked all the way through.

Serve with some steamed broccoli.

Asian White Fish – (have tried this with Perch, Snapper and Silver Dory but am sure most other firm white fish will do)

Pre heat the oven to around 200c. Place fish on some tin foil with a little salt and pepper. In a jug mix together 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, a little olive oil, a good amount of chopped fresh ginger, a small chopped onion, 1 tablespoon of organic tamari sauce. Mix together and pour over the fish. Wrap the foil up to form a parcel then ideally leave to marinate for about 30 mins (you don’t have to marinate but it is better if you do) Then bake the parcel in the oven for about 20 mins or until the fish is cooked through.

Serve on a bed of steamed bok choy.

Spicy White Fish- (have tried this with Snapper, Perch and Blue Eye but again am sure other firm white fish will be fine)

Pre heat the oven to around 200c. Place fish on some tin foil with a little salt and pepper. In a jug mix together the juice of half  to one lemon and a clove or two of garlic (depending on how much lemon and garlic you like, taste to see) Add a red chilli and plenty of  fresh coriander. Mix together and pour over the fish, wrap the foil up into a parcel. Place the parcel in the oven for about 20 mins until the fish is cooked through.

Julienne a courgette (zucchini) into long thin strips lengthwise and blanch for one minute in hot water. It has the consistency of spaghetti but no where near as many cals!

Salmon Burgers – (from Teresa Cutter – the healthy chef)

Combine 400g of chopped raw salmon, 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley, zest from 1 lemon, a little salt and pepper and one egg white into a food processor. Pulse until combined then remove and shape into 4 burgers. Coat in almond meal and rest in the fridge for 15 mins to help them set. Cook in a pan over a low to medium heat with a little olive oil until crisp, golden and cooked through.

Serve over lots of leafy greens and then drizzle over 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 4 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of black pepper.

Workout 1 – See the Light!

This is my gym..the great outdoors! It’s free, no gym membership, no waiting for equipment,  no room full of sweaty people and no floor length mirrors that show every lump and bump! It’s fresh, it’s real, it’s in touch with nature!

Ok, for all you cynical people I appreciate that the weather isn’t always on our side and in winter the only window of opportunity may be in the pitch black but I guarantee you if you can work around it and take the plunge you will feel wonderful afterwards!

Here is the first in a serious of great outdoor workouts that I will be posting over the coming weeks and months!  For these workouts you will need no equipment, other than yourself and a park bench, a high step or a wall that’s around chair height. They are very high intensity workouts meaning that they are quick to do and yet great for calorie burn!

For the first one I am starting with quite simple moves (which will get progressively harder in subsequent workouts) but don’t be fooled, it isn’t as easy as it looks! Especially if you really put your all into it!

Don’t forget to have a bottle of water with you and do some good warm up stretches before you begin.  Also make sure that you leave plenty of time at the end to finish with some static stretches. In case you are interested, I will be posting a stretching program in the next few weeks…

Core Exercises:  Complete ONE set of a) followed by 1 set of b) then repeat for the second set
1a) Plank – 2 sets 30-60 seconds   Make sure you keep your core muscles engaged for the duration of this exercise – in other words contract your pelvic floor and draw your navel in towards your spine. Push back with the heels and activate your thigh muscles pulling up from the knee caps. Tuck your tail bone under and keep breathing.
1b) Side Plank – 2 sets 30-60 seconds    Make sure you keep your core muscles engaged. Come up onto the elbow making sure there is a right angle at the elbow. Squeeze the bum and pull the hips up. Keep the chest up and open and keep breathing. Make sure you don’t allow all your weight to fall into your shoulder, try to distribute it evenly through the body.
2a) Crunches with raised legs – 2 sets 20 reps   Make sure you keep your core muscles engaged for the duration of this exercise. Make sure the shoulders are completely off the ground for the entire exercise as you flex the trunk up and down slowly.
2b) Bicycle crunches – 2 sets 20 reps – SLOW! Hold each rep for 3 seconds   Make sure you keep your core muscles engaged for the duration of this exercise. Make sure the shoulders are completely off the ground, bringing the elbow as close to the knee as you can. 
CIRCUIT : 45 – 60 secs for each exercise (depending on fitness level)
Complete each of the exercises below in turn and then move on to the next one with very little rest.  When you get to the end, have a short rest and then repeat the circuit 2 more times.
Side Step Ups – Do one leg for 45-60 seconds and then swap sides   FAST FAST FAST!!!! Keep your core muscles engaged (navel in towards the spine). Make sure that the heel that’s on the bench remains in contact with the bench at all times and push up through the heel and the bum. Do not let the foot on the bench leave the bench! Breathe out as you step up. Don’t let yourself bend forwards when you get tired.
Kick Ups – FAST!    Alternate legs making sure you kick nice and high! Keep your core muscles engaged at all times. Breathe out as you kick up. 
1-Leg Press Ups    Keep core muscles engaged at all times. Breathe in as you go down and out as push up contracting the chest muscles. Start with 1 leg if you can and then drop to 2 legs when it becomes too difficult. Or you can start with 2 legs or even on your knees depending on your level. 
Lunge to Balance    Keep core muscles engaged. Breathe in on the way down and out on the way up. Make sure you keep your back straight and don’t let your knee go over the end of your toe when you are in the down position. Push off from the heel as you stand up. 
Triceps Dips   Feel free to have your knees bent if too difficult with straight legs…Keep your back straight at all times and chest out. Make sure your core muscles are engaged. Breathe in as you go down and out as you come up. 
Mountain Climbers – Fast!   Keep your core muscles engaged and make sure you keep breathing! Make sure your shoulders remain above your wrists. Keep switching legs as fast as you can for the allotted time. GREAT WORKOUT!!! WELL DONE!!!

My Rave-worthy salad!

Hi guys, I am still here! Apologies for my lack of posts recently but the weeks seem to have flown past, all excuses I know but you know how it gets!

Anyway, I wanted to share a fabulous salad that I had on Saturday at a cafe in Paddo. This salad was SERIOUSLY good, so good in fact that I had to take a photo of it and then then raved on about it for hours and hours afterwards saying it was the best salad I had ever had! 

As you know I am a strong advocate of high protein, low GI eating for sustained energy and to keep you feeling fuller for longer. In other words eating in such a way that you avoid sugar spikes that are followed by subsequent dips that can lead to sluggishness and weight gain.

This monster salad is low GI, definitely high in protein (due to the cheeses, walnuts and seeds) and has plenty of good fats. Although it was totally yummy I have to admit two things… firstly it isn’t particularly low calorie (but hey we all have to have a treat sometimes!) and secondly I have adapted it slightly by adding a  few extra seeds to make it even more perfect. So, here it is:

Butternut squash (1 cup) roasted in mild curry powder and little olive oil

Spinach leaves (couple of handfuls of)

Rocket leaves (handful of)

Walnuts (a handful of)

Sunflower seeds (1 tbsp)

Pepita Seeds (1tbps)

Chia Seeds (1tbsps)

Ricotta Cheese (1 tbps)

Feta cheese (50-100g – portion is up to you!)

Balsamic Vinegar (a drizzle of)

Extra Virgin Olive oil

Enjoy! The combination of the curry powder and the feta are honestly to die for!

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