Pan-fried mackerel with golden beetroot and orange salsa & Basmati & wild rice with chickpeas, currants & herbs

Nice snappy title! fish, salad and rice probably would have done.

We rarely have fish. In fairness before lockdown we barely had meat either. But doing the vegetarian and vegan thing is a harder work when you struggle for availability of items and also need to keep them ‘alive’ and fresh for 2-3 weeks.

So for lockdown we aren’t trying too hard to be vegetarian. There are bigger things to worry about; so meat and fish are back on the table. This is the first fish dish I’ve cooked this year (I think).

Both dishes (the rice dish is a completely separate dish) are from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem cookbook. This is a great book indeed and I never tire of cooking from it.

The mackerel is marinated in harissa, cumin and salt. I used rose harissa as we seem to have 3 jars of it. While it infuses into the fish, boil some beetroots (golden ones), then when the are cold, dice them with oranges, lemons, olives, herbs and chilli flakes – and a good glug of oil.

When the salad is ready, get a pan REALLY hot and add the mackerel for less than a minute (it says longer but I disagree), take the pan off the heat, then serve it with the salad. We added the rice as it didn’t feel like a complete meal.

The rice is pretty epic. Just rice is never a good side. This rice has Wild rice (which takes forever to cook) basmati rice, and chickpeas, as well as curry powder, onions and lots of herbs. Oh and currants – the currants make this dish. The recipe asks you to cook the wild rice first then the basmati separately, but I cheated somewhat, guessed when the wild rice had 12 mins to go and chucked the basmati in with it. Obviously this could have been a fail but it worked out fine.

This rice would be perfect for any dish I think – or BBQ if we ever get outside with friends again!

Freya wasn’t a fan of the beetroot and citrus salad. I lapped it up – thought the two things went really well together. The mackerel was a triumph too. The rice I will make over and over!

We still have many meals on the list before our 10th May Ocado delivery. Watch this space for more yummy stuff!

Superfood Fish Pie with a Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato topping


I’m not particular keen on fish pies. People often have fish at work and it stinks the place out; in a confined space like a boat it is even worse. That said, I had some fish kicking about in the freezer so decided to get it out and have a try of another Gurpareet Bains’ recipe from The Superfood Diet.

I changed the recipe a little as I don’t think boiling Butternut Squash or Sweet Potato in a pan is the best way of preparing it. I prefer to roast it and then mash it. Much tastier.

The mash is then mixed with some toasted cumin and mustard seed and a little turmeric – and finally some peas.

In hindsight I would have put the peas in the base with the fish. The peas looked a little worse for wear after being baked in the oven for 40 minutes.

The base was a made up of the mixed fish pieces (I used Salmon, Smoked Haddock and Cod) which was seasoned with Smoked Paprika, Dill and Black Pepper.

Finally you assemble the pie by mixing the fish with spinach, grated carrot and grated celery, and then topping with the mash.

This was very low in calories and very tasty. It was however a bit dry as there was no sauce surrounding the fish.

Very tasty, very filling but if I make it again I’ll need to find a sauce solution. I was stuffed after finishing it but I think it was just hard going eating it.