The new year brings a time of reflection though. For me it is the ever present thoughts about my weight and fitness. I'm not hugely overweight but I don't feel good when I look at new clothes to buy and I don't feel great when I look in the mirror nowadays. Also it's important to me to ensure I'm keeping fit not only for my own benefit but because I now have a really big responsibility and I want to do everything I can to ensure I'm there and I'm healthy to look after my son for as long as I can.
So in this vein, the recipes might get a little healthier, especially when they're recipes for the whole family. I always know when I'm looking to South East Asia for inspiration, I want to lose weight! Last night was Vietnamese Chicken Salad night for example!
These were inspired by the fried starters you can get in Thai takeaways but as they're baked, it means it is far less effort (you can prepare them in advance, put them in the fridge then bake them when ready), safer (I hate frying when my son is around) and also ensures your house does not smell like frying fish. Using salmon helps up the Omega 3 content which is great for heart health and some people think it's good for intelligence. I think the evidence is split but most experts agree eating oily fish is a good thing.
I've suggested this as a toddler recipe rather than a baby one due to the salt content. Note also that this recipe isn't sugar free. If you're happy with giving your baby sugar, you could cut down or leave out the fish sauce.
Baked Thai Salmon Fishcakes - Makes approx 8, serves 1 adult, 1 toddler or 2 adults as a starter
2 salmon fillets, approx 100g each (thawed if frozen)
2 tsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tsp fish sauce (Thai fish sauce is sometimes called Nam Pla). Most UK supermarkets sell this.
Approx 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves and stalks (cilantro)
Juice of half a lime
Skin the salmon if it has a skin (just grab the tail or side of the fillet with the least meat and cut down towards the skin, don't worry, unless your knife is super sharp, you won't cut through the skin, then cut the fish off the skin by angling the knife towards the skin and moving back and forth cutting it away.)
Cut the salmon into approx 1cm (a scant half inch) cubes. Mix in the remaining ingredients in a jug with the salmon and then using a stick blender pulse it until some of the salmon is blended and some is still slightly chunky.
Spray a mini muffin tray or a cupcake tin with spray oil or brush with oil. Put the mix into the holes, cover and chill until ready to cook.
Preheat the oven to 200oC. Cook for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through. (Err on the side of caution if cooking for a little one, cook for less time if just making for adults.)
I would suggest serving these with a salad but because it's such a miserable day outside we had some nice hot boiled rice, cucumber and extra chilli sauce for mummy. Older kids might like ketchup or some chilli sauce (or maybe even a mix of the two.)
My son ate three of these then said "more"! You can't get him to eat salmon on its own so this was a hit. That said, he was also eating a piece of chalk earlier without my noticing (it was only when he said "nice" I realised what he was doing) so he's perhaps not the little gourmand I thought he was. Ah whatever, at least he's getting some calcium!
So the diet is started. Maybe. Ok, perhaps one more slice of Christmas cake...