Healthy Food to Cook at Home – the Mindful Chef Red Pesto Fish Skewers:
I love the idea of recipe boxes as a way of inspiring people to cook new dishes. There are various bits of research which suggest most of us never cook more than 9 recipes on a regular basis. Think about it. What do you generally cook at home? Spaghetti Bolognese, a few casseroles and roasts, perhaps some pasta bakes? We all have our favourites – and once we know we like something we tend to make it again and again. As a food blogger, I do find myself constantly challenged to cook with new ingredients. The Black Cod I was using a few weeks ago is an excellent example – it’s expensive and I might have never tried cooking it at home other than because I was asked to write about Alaskan Seafood. Once I know that a recipe works, I’ll make it again and again – but, sometimes buying the basic ingredients to try just seems too complicated for something I might not like. Something like these fish skewers with red pesto are a good example.
As a food blogger, I do find myself constantly challenged to cook with new ingredients. The Black Cod I was using a few weeks ago is an excellent example – it’s expensive and I might have never tried cooking it at home other than because I was asked to write about Alaskan Seafood. Once I know that a recipe works, I’ll make it again and again – but, sometimes buying the basic ingredients to try just seems too complicated for something I might not like. Something like these fish skewers with red pesto are a good example.
The advantage of a recipe box is that everything comes so that you can try at home. And, if you like the recipe you have the choice of ordering it again or going out and buying all the store cupboard ingredients you might need to make it when ever you fancy. However, many recipe boxes don’t have a ‘one person’ option and I think that misses a huge number of potential customers like me – people who DO cook at home but generally only for themselves. The Mindful Chef offers their meals in various portion sizes – from one person up to four and you can order up to five of their meals each week. Their recipes are notably healthy – and each one comes with a calorie count and a macro analysis. So, if you are on a weight loss programme, you can pick the meals that fit the diet you are following.
My first Mindful Chef meal was Red Pesto Fish Skewers with tomato cucumber and olive salad. It weighs in at 546 calories and is a relatively high carb dish because it comes with a generous portion of brown rice. In the interest of research and because I wasn’t on a 5:2 fast day, I made the recipe up exactly as described on the accompanying card. I might have used cauli rice if I hadn’t been reviewing, just to keep the calories down under 500 calories. But, this is exactly the sort of dish that I can see myself making again, with different variations – perhaps using a green pesto or even a fresh herb and chilli paste on the fish skewers and using all sorts of different fish – salmon, pollock and monkfish for example.
But, the Mindful Chef version was delicious so I’m sharing the recipe below.
A Mindful Chef recipe for Fish Skewers with Red Pesto served with brown rice and a tomato, olive and cucumber salad.
- 150 grams Ling fillet skin off
- 15 grams Pitted black olives
- 60 grams Cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 Cucumber
- 1/2 Red Pepper
- 1/2 Lemon
- 1 tbsp Red Pesto
- 40 grams Brown rice
- 1 handful Flat-Leaf Parsley
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
Rinse the brown rice and place in a pan with 200ml of boiling water and a pinch of salt. Simmer for 25 minutes until cooked, then drain
Cut the pepper into bite-size squares. Cut the ling into similar sized pieces. Thread two skewers with alternate pieces of ling and pepper, ideally ending with a piece of pepper.
Mix the pesto with half the oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread over the fish skewers and set to one side
Chop the cucumber into 1cm cubes. Quarter the cherry tomatoes and half the black olives. Remove the stalks from the parsley and chop the leaves roughly. Mix all the salad ingredients together and dress with the remaining olive oil and half the lemon juice.
Pre-heat a griddle or heavy based frying pan and cook the skewers for 8-12 minutes. Turn occasionally and remove from the heat once the fish is cooked through and the peppers are soft.
Drain the rice. Put the rice on the plate with the skewers and salad. Dress the skewers with the remaining lemon juice. Enjoy!
The second recipe and set of ingredients was for this burger with a portobello mushroom and caramelised red onion served with carrot fries and rocket salad. Again, it’s a healthy recipe with around 538 calories. The macro analysis is slightly lower carb (36g carb, 28g fat and 38g protein) . I’ve made recipes like this before and was impressed by the use of carrot fries rather than potato to improve the nutritional balance of the dish. And of course, it was delicious. The chopped rosemary garnish worked well to soften the sweetness of the carrot fries.
So far I’m very impressed. The ingredients were all excellent quality, the recipes were healthy, gluten free and well balanced. And, nothing too complicated to make! Next, we will be reviewing some of the extensive range of vegan meals offered by the Mindful Chef.
If you’d like to try these recipes at home you can order meal boxes from The Mindful Chef online
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Disclosure: I have been provided with The Mindful Chef recipe boxes to review. This post contains affiliate links.