Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and cancer-fighting phytochemicals, this salmon with herbed couscous and stir-fried veggies is not only delicious but a perfectly balanced way to get the essential macronutrients and some micronutrients in one meal.
Many black people struggle to lose excess weight because they don’t fully grasp what it means to eat a healthy, balanced meal. We often think that we need to cut out food groups (usually carbohydrates) or we need to exist on just fruits and veggies. Both methods can lead to weight loss in the short-term, but they are not sustainable long-term. That is one reason why you find yourself jumping off and on the diet train. Besides that and more importantly, you run the risk of becoming deficient in crucial vitamins and minerals, which can lead to other health problems.
You need all three macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and protein) to get enough energy and nutrients to function correctly. We have a history of eating a low-fat plant-based diet (85%) with moderate quantities of seafood, poultry and minimal amounts of red meat. Once we start to veer away from this, we either start gaining weight, developing other health conditions or even both. I explain in detail how we should be eating for health in this post ‘How You Can Develop A Healthy Eating Lifestyle‘.
This meal shows how you should build your plate at every meal – 1/4 protein, 1/4 grain or starchy vegetables and 1/2 non-starchy or leafy green vegetables. If you opt to use oils, try not to use more than one teaspoon – one tablespoon per person. You can always add fat into your diet, by eating avocados, coconuts, nuts and seeds and generally eating foods in their whole form.
This firecracker salmon recipe is inspired by one of my favourite restaurants – Wagamama! They make a delicious firecracker sauce that I can never get enough of. I had to stop eating it during my vegan stint because it contains fish sauce. However, now that those days are over, I have started enjoying the original sauce. I created a vegan version of it, and while I still love the recipe, I plan to see if I can get it closer to the Wagamama version with some fish sauce.
Salmon is an oily fish. The unique attribute about oily fish is that their omega-3 fats reside in their flesh rather than in their liver (typical of white fish). This means their omega-3 fats are readily accessible. Choose wild or organic salmon where possible and keep your intake to no more than two servings per week to reduce exposure to contaminants.
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidants that promotes eye-health. It is rich in fibre, which promotes digestive health and can aid weight-loss through its high fibre content. Fibre also lowers LDL cholesterol. Carrots are a good sources of minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron and magnesium. They are also a source of silicon, a chemical that promotes hair, nail and skin health. It also improves collagen synthesis and promotes bone health.
Herbs are not just great for adding flavour to your dishes, they also pack a nutritional punch. Parsley is rich in vitamin K, which promotes bone health. It is also rich in antioxidants that protect the liver and nervous system. Parsley has anti-inflammatory funtions that are beneficial in the treatment of urinary diseases, diabetes, hypertension, digestive disorders and many other conditions.Print
Beautifully simple and perfectly balanced salmon with couscous and stir-fried mixed veggies.
For the couscous
- 60g couscous
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 150ml hot vegetable broth
For the firecracker sauce
- 100g wild salmon fillet
- 2 tbsp groundnut oil
- 5 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
- 4 tbsp sriracha
- 1 1/2 tbsp malt vinegar
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sweet soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
For the veggies
- 40g sliced carrots
- 40g baby corn
- 40g mangetout
- 40g broccoli florets
- 1 tsp sweet corn
- 1 small garlic clove, finely minced or grated
- 1 tsp coconut or olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200ºc.
Combine the ingredients for the sauce except for the salmon in a medium bowl. Split the sauce in half then pour the other half over the salmon and place in a fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, wipe off any excess sauce from the salmon then bake it in the oven 20 minutes.
While the salmon is cooking, heat a medium saucepan with a splash of water, add the excess firecracker sauce and the other half of the sauce into the pan. Cook on a simmer for 3-5 minutes until the sauce starts to bubble, then turn the heat off.
Put the couscous in a bowl then pour the vegetable broth over it. Cover the bowl with a lid or cling film and allow the couscous to absorb all of the liquid. Fluff the couscous with a fork, allow it to cool for a few minutes then stir in the parsley and set aside.
Heat a large frying pan with the oil, then stir-fry the carrots for 2 minutes before adding the rest of the veggies and the garlic. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
Serve the couscous with the baked salmon and veggies. Pour some more sauce over the salmon and sprinkle with chilli flakes and extra parsley if you desire.
Use tofu or tempeh instead of fish for a vegan alternative. Replace fish sauce with soy sauce or mushroom-flavoured soy sauce for vegan firecracker recipe.