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Fonio with Baked Salmon and Chunky Vegetable Stew

Somi Igbene PhD ANutrApril 14, 2021

Have you tried fonio? If not, you’re missing out! These small-seeded grains are gluten-free, rich in essential minerals like zinc and iron and super delicious! They make a tasty alternative to quinoa and couscous.

Fonio are small-seeded grains that look similar to couscous and quinoa that are native to Western Africa. They exist in two forms:

  • White fonio (commonly called acha, fundi or hungry rice) and
  • Black fonio (commonly called iburu).

Fonio is a B-vitamins source, antioxidant compounds and minerals including iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium and copper. However, the bioavailability of iron in fonio is minimal because of its high phytic acid content.

A study testing its glycaemic index in Nigerians with and without type II diabetes showed it’s a low glycemic-index food, with a GI index of 35 in healthy adults or 49 in those with type II diabetes.

Fonio is extremely versatile. You can enjoy it as a porridge (with milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract) or as a side dish in savoury meals. Today, I’m sharing a super simple savoury Fonio recipe that I serve with a chunky vegetable stew and baked salmon.

I purchase Fonio from Aduna, an Africa-inspired health food brand.  I love that they source their products directly and ethically from small-scale producers in rural African communities. This ensures that producers are paid a fair price for their goods.

The quality of Aduna’s Fonio is exceptional. You purchase it from Amazon or directly from their website. Use code SOMI15 to get 15% off Aduna’s fonio when you purchase directly from their website.

Before we explore the recipe, let’s explore the

Nutritional Highlights of Fonio with Baked Salmon and Chunky Vegetable stew

With a glycaemic load (GL) of 29.3, this recipe is classified as medium GL. This means that it won’t spike your blood sugars but instead provide glucose slowly without spiking your insulin.

This fonio recipe is perfect for anyone trying to maintain balanced hormones and a nutrient-dense diet. It is excellent if you have insulin resistance and struggle with hormone imbalance and inflammatory conditions like type II diabetes, fibroids, and PCOS.

This fonio recipe is an excellent source of:

  • Omega-3 fats (anti-inflammatory), providing 3.2g per serving
  • Iron (necessary for red cell production and proper oxygen delivery to your cells and tissues), providing 8mg or 57% of the recommended daily intake (RDI)
  • Zinc (immunity-boosting and important for reproductive and skin health), providing 4mg or 40% of (RDI )
  • Selenium (a potent antioxidant) providing 32.8µg or 60% of the RDI
  • Vitamin D (important for bone and immune health), providing 9.6 µg or 191% of the RDI

Promotion | Omisnutrition

Fonio baked salmon 1

Fonio baked salmon 2How to cook fonio with baked salmon and chunky vegetable stew

Ingredients

  • 60g fonio
  • 100g salmon
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ½ medium aubergine, chopped
  • 200g tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Chilli flakes
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vegetable seasoning (I use Kucharek)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley (optional)

Directions

  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and heat your oven to 200°C (400°F). Place salmon on the baking tray and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake for 18 minutes or until the salmon is pink and tender.
  • Meanwhile, combine fonio, ½ teaspoon olive oil and ½ teaspoon vegetable seasoning in a medium microwaveable bowl. Add warm water to just about 1 inch above the fonio. Cook in the microwave for 3 minutes or until the fonio fully absorbs the liquid. Set aside and keep warm.
  • Heat the remaining olive oil in a non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Fry shallots for 30 seconds or until it softens, then add chopped tomatoes. Fry for 3 minutes, then add the aubergine, green pepper, chilli, tomato puree, paprika, vegetable seasoning, balsamic vinegar and oregano.
  • Fry for 2 minutes, then add a small splash of water, and cook for around 5-6 minutes or until the vegetables are tender but firm. Season with salt and black pepper if necessary, then take the pan off the heat.
  • Serve fonio with baked salmon and chunky vegetable stew. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and toasted pumpkin seeds if you wish.
  • As always, ENJOY!
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Fonio with Baked Salmon and Chunky Vegetable Stew

  • Author: Somi Igbene PhD ANutr
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 30mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 1 1x
  • Category: Lunch/Dinner
  • Method: Bake/ Stove-top

Description

Anti-inflammatory fonio with baked salmon and chunky vegetable stew. Super simple, nutrient-dense and truly delicious!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 60g fonio
  • 100g salmon
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ½ medium aubergine, chopped
  • 200g tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Chilli flakes
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vegetable seasoning (I use Kucharek)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley (optional)

Instructions

  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and heat your oven to 200°C (400°F). Place salmon on the baking tray and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake for 18 minutes or until the salmon is pink and tender.
  • Meanwhile, combine fonio, ½ teaspoon olive oil and ½ teaspoon vegetable seasoning in a medium microwaveable bowl. Add warm water to just about 1 inch above the fonio. Cook in the microwave for 3 minutes or until the fonio fully absorbs the liquid. Set aside and keep warm.
  • Heat the remaining olive oil in a non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Fry shallots for 30 seconds or until it softens then add chopped tomatoes. Fry for 3 minutes then add the aubergine, green pepper, chilli, tomato puree, paprika, vegetable seasoning, balsamic vinegar and oregano.
  • Fry for 2 minutes then add a small splash of water, and cook for around 5-6 minutes or until the vegetables are tender but firm. Season with salt and black pepper if necessary, then take the pan off the heat.
  • Serve fonio with baked salmon and chunky vegetable stew. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and toasted pumpkin seeds if you wish.
  • As always, ENJOY!


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: Per serving
  • Calories: 539
  • Sodium: 577mg
  • Fat: 17.9g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 6.3mg
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 61g
  • Fiber: 13.7g
  • Protein: 33.8g
  • Cholesterol: 38mg

Keywords: Fonio

REFERENCES

  1. Zhu, F (2020) Fonio grains: Physiochemical properties, nutritional potential, and food applications. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, DOI: 10.1111/1541-4337.12608.

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