Nuts and Seeds

While I continue my studies at Bauman College (from afar) I keep finding so many tidbits about nutrition that I want to share on the blog. Most of it is head-smackingly simple stuff: eat less sugar, drink less alcohol, etc. But sometimes, you know what you should be eating, but how to incorporate it? The underlying philosophy behind Bauman College is what's called "eating for health". It was originally designed as an alternative to the USDA food pyramid (or in England, the eatwell plate). It adds in extra special nutrients called "booster foods" that will provide that extra dose of health in your daily meals. Some might consider nuts and seeds to be an added extra in their diet - but Bauman believes they should be a basic staple. Booster foods include things like spices, algae, nutritional yeast, and seaweed. Flaxseed, sesame seeds, almonds - these are perfect for snacking and sprinkling onto almost any meal of the day.

For example, the other night Phil and I had fish with rice. Of course, it was a bit more complex than that - the fish was beautiful organic salmon simply fried with olive oil, salt and pepper, and the rice was brown basmati with chopped apricots, chopped walnuts, toasted mixed seeds, and a mixture of spices. All of a sudden, our seemingly bland dinner turned into an omega-3 party!

Seared Salmon with Brown Rice Pilaf

Recipe adapted from waitrose magazine - serves 2

The particulars:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely diced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 90g brown basmati rice
  • 30g dried apricots, chopped
  • 450ml vegetable stock, hot
  • 30g walnuts, chopped
  • 30g mixed seeds
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  1. Over a medium-low heat, warm some of the oil in a pan and cook the onion for 8 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin and coriander and cook for another minute.
  2. Add the rice, apricots, and stock. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat, cover, and cook for 20-25 minutes (until the stock has been absorbed by the rice). Stir occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, warm a frying pan over a medium heat and dry-fry the nuts and seeds for 2 minutes until they are just fragrant.
  4. A few minutes before the rice is done, warm 1 tsp oil in the same frying pan used for the nuts and seeds over a medium-high heat. Season the fish and fry for 3 minutes skin-side down, then for 2 minutes on the other side.
  5. Stir the nuts, seeds, and parsley into the rice. Serve with the salmon on top and the lemon wedges.