Nourish your whole body (+recipes)

By Amanda Laird

1 comment

What you eat affects how you look and feel.

Baked salmon with shaved fennel, ricotta and toasted cashews. Photo / Babiche Martens
Baked salmon with shaved fennel, ricotta and toasted cashews. Photo / Babiche Martens

Beauty starts on the inside. No matter how much we spend on amazing products promising the earth, if you don't eat well to provide nourishment for your whole body, you will look - and more importantly, feel - sluggish and dull.

A balance of vegetables, fruit, fish and meat is the obvious answer but many vegetarians and vegans eat exciting and delicious meals and are healthier for doing so. I have created salads today that take advantage of some seasonal ingredients but for the most part can be made at any time of the year for a tasty and nourishing meal.

When I make a salad I think about the flavours and the textures. You can sit down to a plate of gorgeous looking ingredients but they have to be interesting enough to want to create the dish again. Adding nuts, cheeses and crunch with flavoursome dressings is the key.

Salmon is full of goodies such as omega 3, fatty acids, vitamins B6, B12, niacin and selenium and has no cholesterol. It also has the benefit of tasting rich so it can turn a simple salad into a satisfying meal.

I have added shaved raw fennel bulb and spoonfuls of ricotta. A sprinkle of lightly toasted cashew nuts provide protein, magnesium, zinc and copper. Cashews are lower in fat than almonds, walnuts, peanuts and pecans.

The shredded chicken salad is one of those salads so full of flavour that leftovers never ensue. Poaching the chicken results in lovely moist meat but cold roasted chicken is also good.

Chilli, ginger and garlic are all excellent immune boosters and the raw vegetables will have you skipping around full of energy.

Use lean beef for the third salad - eye fillet, rump or sirloin are all good, especially if you need an iron top-up. I have roasted small tomatoes with curry leaves for a delicious, almost smoky flavour. The beef is seared, keeping it rare and juicy. Edamame beans and watercress add texture and nutrients while tamari is a healthier alternative to soy sauce, without wheat and lower in salt.

Chef's tip

Edamame beans are also known as soy beans. They have a chewy texture and are good eaten in a salad or by themselves as a snack. Curry leaves are sold at Indian and Asian produce stores and are a handy ingredient to freeze and add to dishes for a unique savoury flavour. I prefer to use buffalo ricotta which has a slight caramel flavour and a firmer texture.

- NZ Herald

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