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3 recipes that will help show you how easy (and delicious) balanced eating can be

Cajun swordfish salad. Picture: Supplied

Cajun swordfish salad. Picture: Supplied

Published Jan 20, 2022

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With so much nutrition information floating around, it can be tough to figure out the best way to make healthier choices in the new year.

January is always a time of new year’s resolutions which often include restrictive eating regimens after festive season indulgence.

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However, cookbook author Chantal Lascaris believes balance in food (and in life) has nothing to do with extreme dieting or adding kale to every meal you consume.

Lascaris notes that instead of making big and impossible-to-stick-to changes (which feel overwhelming), starting with a few good intentions is more manageable and increases the chances of success when it comes to your balance and wellbeing.

“One example is to simply make sure you drink enough water in a day.

“Not only can upping your water intake drastically reduce your sugar intake, but it can also reduce your appetite and food intake during a meal.

“Some studies even show that drinking water regularly can be linked to improved diet quality overall.

“Completely overhauling your diet with drastic changes is a recipe for disaster.

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“Being mindful and making small, sustainable decisions can have a big impact on your relationship with food, making it more healthy and more sustainable in the long run,” she says.

To help you step into the new year with your most balanced foot forward, Lascaris has chosen three recipes from one of her cookbooks titled “The Ultimate Salad Book” that will help show you how easy (and delicious) balanced eating can be.

Cajun swordfish salad. Picture: Supplied

Cajun swordfish salad

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Ingredients

600g swordfish steak, filleted

1 tbsp olive oil

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1 large cucumber, sliced on the diagonal

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 cup roughly chopped baby spinach

½ cup roughly chopped fresh mint

Cajun rub

2 tsp salt

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp ground black pepper

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp dried origanum

1 tsp dried thyme

Dressing

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

½ cup coconut milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Mix the ingredients for the Cajun rub.

Cut the swordfish into bite-size pieces and place it into a sealable bag with olive oil and Cajun rub. Gently massage the bag to ensure the fish is well coated. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.

Toss the cucumber, celery, baby spinach, and mint in a serving bowl.

Heat a non-stick frying pan and sauté the swordfish for about 5 minutes until just cooked. Be careful not to overcook the fish, as it can become dry. Add a touch more olive oil if necessary. Allow it to cool slightly before adding the fish to the salad.

Whisk the dressing ingredients and drizzle over the salad.

Herbed cranberry and chicken salad. Picture: Supplied

Herbed cranberry and chicken salad

Ingredients

400 – 600g skinless deboned chicken thighs

1 tsp dried thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp olive oil

¼ cup water, or as needed

2 cups mixed salad leaves

½ red onion, thinly sliced

½ cup sliced chives

½ cup torn fresh parsley

½ cup torn fresh dill

¼ cup crumbled blue cheese

Dressing

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

¼ cup olive oil

¾ cup dried cranberries, plus extra for garnishing

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

3 - 4 tbsp water

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Season the chicken thighs with thyme, salt, and pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and brown the chicken thighs on all sides. Cook the chicken until done, adding the water if the pan gets dry. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before slicing the chicken.

Using a hand blender, whizz the dressing ingredients until smooth.

Combine the mixed salad leaves with half the chicken and the red onion in a serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper and pour over half the dressing. Toss to combine.

Scatter over the chives, parsley, dill, and blue cheese.

Add the remaining chicken, drizzle over the rest of the dressing and garnish with extra dried cranberries.

Tabbouleh. Picture: Supplied

Tabbouleh

Ingredients

1 x 410g can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

½ x 410g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 cup cubed cucumber

¼ red onion, diced

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 cups roughly chopped fresh parsley

2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh dill

Dressing

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup lemon juice

1 clove garlic, crushed

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Combine the salad ingredients in a bowl and toss.

Whisk the dressing ingredients, pour over the salad and toss well. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

Related Topics:

Nutrition

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