This is one of my favourite go to meals. It is quick, easy, tasty and healthy – so it ticks all boxes! The coconut oil gives it a delicious coconutty flavour. I love making this on the weekend for us for lunch, or it makes the perfect lazy dinner. I love it with quinoa, but it is delicious with brown rice too …
Coconutty Salmon, Quinoa and Spinach
(serves 2 – but easily halved/multiplied depending on how many you are feeding)
What you will need:
1 cup cooked quinoa (or cooked brown rice if you prefer) *
2 fillets of fresh salmon
1 tablespoon coconut oil
a couple of big handfuls baby spinach leaves or rocket (arugula), or baby kale works well too
Fresh lemon juice (to taste)
Salt and pepper (and chilli flakes or sambal to taste)
How to cook your quinoa:
In a saucepan add in a ratio of 1:2 quinoa and liquid. (I.e. 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water). Bring to the boil and reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 15 minutes. You should end up with fluffy perfectly cooked quinoa. (You can cook with a squeeze of lemon juice, some grated lemon zest, or in chicken stock for extra flavour if you like.)
I like using both white and red quinoa, but whatever you can get your hands on is fine.
How to pull it together:
Steam the salmon fillets for 5 minutes or until cooked to your liking. You could also poach in boiling water for 5 minutes. When done, chop it up or pull apart into flakes with a knife and fork.
In a large pan heat the coconut oil. Add the quinoa (or brown rice) and toss until well coated. Toss through the flaked salmon, greens and lemon juice and stir until the spinach has slightly wilted.
Divide into bowls and serve with more lemon juice and chilli (if desired).
I really don’t need to say much about this recipe – the simplicity of these amazing and nutritious ingredients really speak for themselves. It’s a great one to serve at a BBQ or to make up at the beginning of the week for lunches. It’s seriously tasty!
Quinoa, Kale and Haloumi Salad – serves 4
What you will need:
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa – I have used both white and red with this recipe – it depends what kind of mood you’re in really …
1/2 – 1 bag of baby kale
500 grams haloumi (thinly sliced)
1/2 cup flat parsley leaves (optional)
For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sweet, smokey paprika
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
In a jar shake up the lemon juice, paprika and olive oil with some sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. (you may wish to play around with this according to your taste)
How to pull it together:
Cook up your quinoa by bringing 1 1/2 cups of quinoa and 3 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling turn the heat down to a simmer, cover the pot and let simmer for 15 minutes. To add flavour you could add some lemon zest or a squeeze of lemon juice if you like. You might also like to cook your quinoa in chicken stock rather than water – I haven’t tried this but it sounds delicious!
While the quinoa is cooking, brush the haloumi with a little olive oil and cook in a hot pan until golden.
Once the quinoa is cooked, toss through the baby kale and parsley with the dressing until well combined. Top with the golden slices of haloumi and serve.
Hands up if you have had a great time this festive season? Lots of barbeques, parties, cocktails??? Andrew and I certainly have had a lot of fun and obviously the diversion from our routine of clean eating has had a negative effect on our bodies. This is the perfect time of year to implement a short detox (7 days) to give your body a rest from the toxins and stresses that it has been exposed to during the festive season and to reset it for a happy and healthy year ahead!
When we give our livers a break from dealing with the toxins we expose our bodies to daily (such as sugar, caffeine and alcohol) our bodies become much more efficient at working to eliminate body fat which results in a happier and healthier you.
A detox can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it but basically by eliminating toxins you should find yourselves feeling energised, reinvigorated, less bloated and best of all you should definitely notice a positive effect on the scales.
You only need to implement this for 7 days to see and feel the results – it’s a fantastic way to start the year on a high. You may experience fatigue and headaches for the first couple of days but PUSH THROUGH as this is a sign that the toxins are leaving your body – and this is what you want!!
Things to AVOID on a detox:
- Caffeine (Green tea is acceptable)
- Red Meat
- Wheat – try swapping wheat for spelt if you struggle to avoid bread etc
- Anything artificial/processed
Things to INCLUDE on a detox:
- A glass of room temperature water (filtered if possible) with a squeeze of lemon each morning on rising
- At least 2 litres of filtered (if possible) water per day
- Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
- Organic Chicken
- Fish (e.g. salmon, cod, mackerel, herring)
- Healthy oils e.g. olive oil, flaxseed oil, coconut oil
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Apple Cider vinegar (delicious mixed with olive oil as a salad dressing)
- Free range organic eggs
- Tofu/ tempeh
- Herbal tea – many brands have a detox range
There are so many yummy and healthy options to ensure that you will not go hungry.
An example of a great day on this detox would be as follows:
Upon rising: Room temperature filtered water with a squeeze of lemon
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs (2/3 whites and 1 yolk) whisked up and cooked with 1 1/2 cups of spinach OR a piece of spelt toast spread with almond butter or hummus and a cup of green tea
Snack: 1/4 cup raw nuts and a piece of fruit (the summer fruit is so delicious at the moment) OR 100 grams of chicken breast and 1/4 cucumber
Lunch – Healthy chicken and quinoa dish that I posted HERE OR a chicken and salad wrap (spelt wrap) that I posted HERE and a green tea;
Afternoon snack – A smoothie made by blending 1 frozen banana, 1 cup water and 1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves OR a cup of carrot sticks with hummus (homemade or all natural ingredients) or almond butter;
Dinner – BBQ fillet of salmon served with pesto (homemade or all natural) and a big green salad dressed with apple cider vinegar/olive oil dressing OR the lentil and green bean salad (without the haloumi) posted HERE OR the almond meal schnitzel I posted HERE or my chicken and eggplant bake (without the mozzarella) that I posted HERE;
As you can see there is plenty of variety allowed and you will feel so much better for it. I always find that a detox is the best way to kickstart weight loss or break a plateau.
Good luck and enjoy
If you’ve been following The Shrinking Hubby for a while now, you may have realised how much I LOVE quinoa! This salad is absolutely delicious on its own, or as an accompaniment to fish, chicken or beef. Try it with my delicious healthy BBQ Chook!
The first time I made it, I enjoyed the left overs with a tin of tuna for the next couple of days for lunch – it was really good.
This salad was inspired by food blogger Phoodie, but I have tweaked it a little bit to suit our own tastes.
Quinoa and Chickpea Salad
What you need:
1 cup quinoa
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1 punnet grape/cherry or roma tomatoes – quartered
1 bunch parsley leaves chopped
1/2 red onion finely diced
1 cucumber diced
1 red capsicum diced
1 cup of pinenuts or slivered almonds (whichever you prefer) – toasted. (I dry roast them in a pan until they become aromatic)
2 tins organic chickpeas rinsed well and drained
150 – 200 grams of goats cheese or feta (whichever you prefer)
Whisk together (or shake in a jar) juice of 1 lemon, salt and pepper, 1 teaspoon sumac, and olive oil (to taste)
How to pull it together:
Bring 1 cup quinoa, 2 1/2 cups water, zest and juice of 1/2 lemon to a boil and simmer (covered) for about 10-15 minutes or until cooked. If it gets too dry you may need more water.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the onion, diced capsicum, cucumber, parsley, chickpeas and tomatoes. Add half the toasted nuts (almonds or pinenuts) and half the cheese (crumbled).
Add the quinoa to the bowl and pour the dressing over and mix well.
Decant into your serving dish and top with remaining nuts and cheese to serve.
Such a healthy and delicious salad – enjoy!
I discussed some healthy snack options for our kids (here) a few weeks ago, but I thought it would be helpful to talk about some food ideas for us too! If you want to lose weight the worst thing you can do is stop eating. Our bodies need to be constantly fuelled to keep our metabolism going. A healthy day of eating would ideally involve lemon water upon waking followed by a hearty breakfast, mid morning snack, lunch, mid afternoon snack and dinner. Don’t forget to keep drinking water – at least 2-3 litres a day – often your body mistakes thirst for hunger making you eat more …
I often get asked what Andrew and I eat so I thought I’d give you a brief overview. It seems like a lot of food but keep portion sizes small. Also keep in mind that we exercise almost every day so we need to replenish our bodies. It’s long but I thought it was important to get the full day in.
Starting your day with a big glass of filtered water with a squeeze of lemon in it is such a great way to flush out and detox your body. I must admit until I recently started drinking my lemon water I was sceptical. However I have definitely noticed higher energy levels since I have been doing this.
Breakfast is SO important. If you tell your body (by not eating when you wake up in the morning) that it needs to go into famine mode you will start the day feeling sluggish and tired as your metabolism slows right down leaving the path open for unhealthy food choices during the day as you try to eat some energy back. Much better to start with a hearty and healthy breakfast to get your energy levels going from the beginning of your day. You will feel satisfied which will make you less tempted to make unhealthy choices.
I’ve already given you some delicious suggestions for breakfast e.g. a toasted mountain bread wrap (see here), quinoa porridge (see here), or healthy pancakes (see here). Another great breakfast is an omelette (with 2 eggs plus 2 egg whites) or poached eggs with mushrooms, tomato, avocado and spinach.
You don’t have to make a big deal about breakfast though. A good quality muesli (preferably without dried fruit) topped with some greek yogurt and berries, or some rye or spelt toast with avocado, hummus or a healthy nut butter (check out your health food section in the supermarket) are also tasty and easy options.
Mid Morning and Mid afternoon Snacks
These snacks are great! Always try to incorporate protein in your snacks to help satisfy you for longer.
Here are my favourite snacks (note that they all contain some form of protein):
- 2 Brown rice cakes with avocado and cottage cheese or hummus and avocado. (choose the rice cakes that contain puffed brown rice only. NOT the flavoured ones that are full of artificial junk.
- A couple of hard boiled eggs.
- Some greek yoghurt and berries (fruit best consumed in the morning because of its sugar content)
- A good quality protein bar – I love the protein bars from 180 nutrition as they are made only from superfoods rather than artificial junk.
- Protein shake – again I try to avoid the protein powders that have chemicals in them. 180 nutrition has a great protein powder but I love the sunwarrior one – have 2 scoops of chocolate with a banana, a tablespoon of macca powder (another superfood) and water. (Sometimes I have this shake for breakfast)
- An apple and 10 almonds
- 100 grams of chicken or turkey breast or smoked salmon
- Carrot sticks and hummus
- A small tin of flavoured tuna (again make sure you choose the naturally flavoured ones – i.e. the chilli, lemon and cracked pepper and zesty vinegrette are all healthy options)
Here are some suggestions of things I like to eat for lunch:
- Chicken or tuna and salad
- Mountain bread wraps either my toasted chicken wrap (here) or tuna and salad
- My yummy chicken quinoa recipe (here)
- Tuna with ½ cup brown rice or quinoa and spinach, lemon and chilli
- Homemade soup
We try not to eat starchy carbohydrates for dinner most nights of the week – e.g. pasta, potatoes, rice etc. Once in a while we allow ourselves a treat such as my healthy lamb pizza (here) but most of the time dinner is protein and vegetables – think delicious marinades for your meat and big healthy salads, stir fries, soups, bakes. I have already shared some yummy dinners such as my spicy lamb mince (here), salmon with haloumi and lentil salad (here), and the delicious piri piri roast lamb (here). I have so many more yummy recipes to come – so stay tuned!!!
If you got through all of that – well done!!! Feel free to comment or ask any questions – I love hearing from you!