As I prepared for my latest post, I was in the middle of a flare up of both my psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, so I thought this would be a good time to start looking at something healthy and possibly anti-inflammatory. I also thought that seeing as we’re in a New Year, I should start as I mean to go on, with something light and healthy!
There is a lot of information out there about which foods are good for skin and also good as anti-inflammatories. Omega-3 and vitamin E are firm favourites, so fish was the obvious choice for this meal – the more difficult part was what to put with it!
I had a think about different foods that are either rich in Omega-3 or are known to contain antioxidants such as vitamins E and C. I have to stress that I am not a dietician, so this is based on general agreement that these foods are healthy. The list was quite long at first and because I wanted to be able to produce something easy, I narrowed this down to a few ingredients and created grilled stuffed mackerel fillets with an orange, walnut and fennel salad.
This recipe should feed two for a light snack and only takes about 20-30 minutes to prepare.
- 4 mackerel fillets (Omega-3)
- 4 sun dried tomatoes (Selenium)
- 6 pitted green olives (Omega-3)
- One fennel bulb (thought to be anti-inflammatory)
- 2 oranges (Vitamin E & C)
- Handful of walnuts (Vitamin E)
- Rapeseed oil (Omega-3)
Start by putting the grill on high and then prepare the salad.
Halve one orange and squeeze the juice through a sieve into a large bowl. Peel and segment the other orange over the sieve so the additional juice adds to the bowl and then add the segments to the bowl. Throw in a handful of walnuts. Trim the top of the fennel, halve it lengthways and slice thinly. Add the fennel to the bowl and mix well. Leave the salad aside.
For the mackerel, dab with rapeseed oil and score the skin and season with salt and pepper. Roughly chop the olives and sun-dried tomatoes and mix together. Place part of the mixture on two of the mackerel fillets and place the remaining fillets on top. You could use whole mackerel if you like and stuff the cavity. Tie the two fillets together with cooks string and place on a baking tray.
Put the fillets under the hot grill for just 2-3 minutes each side. Keep an eye on them and as soon as the skin goes crispy, turn over and grill the other side. When the fillets are cooked, remove them from the grill and start to plate up by piling the salad in the middle of the plate. Place the grilled fillets on top and add some of the juice from the salad if you want more dressing.
It is the first time I’ve cooked this myself and I was dubious about what it would taste like. It works so well, especially the freshness of the orange cutting through the oily fish. It’s refreshing and packed full of flavour.
You don’t have to use mackerel; you could replace it with herrings or even fresh or tinned sardines. Tinned sardines still retain a lot of their natural goodness so they’re one to have as a staple item in your cupboard.
I made this as a quick lunchtime snack. If you wanted to make it more substantial, I would suggest adding new potatoes or soda bread as a good accompaniment. I hope you enjoy this healthy and very tasty dish.
UK/IE 2013b/00058h; Date of preparation: November 2015