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Delicious Black Sesame Hummus and Fragrant Mackerel Recipe

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Black Sesame Hummus

Homemade hummus makes a perfectly nutritious snack or starter. Packed with protein, it’s super easy to throw together, lasts for up to four days in the fridge and it’s also incredible versatile flavour-wise. Sundried tomato is my personal favourite, but you can make it virtually any vegetable – beetroot, avocado, red peppers etc.

Traditionally made with white or hulled sesame seeds, this recipe gives an interesting twist on the conventional hummus, using avocado oil for some extra good fats and some chili to help boost your metabolism.

Black sesame seeds are famous in Chinese medicine for their anti-aging benefits and they possess much more magnesium, zinc and calcium than the white, hulled seeds. They help regulate blood pressure, and have also been shown to regulate sleep patterns, especially in women suffering from menopause-induced sleep disturbances. Black sesame seeds also contribute to lowering cholesterol and boost cardio-vascular health, due to their two unique fibers called sesamin and sesamolin. They also have the highest phytosterol content of all nuts and seeds. Phytosterols are plant compounds that have a similar chemical structure to cholesterol, and studies have shown that consuming more dietary phytosterols on a daily basis can reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Isn’t nature amazing?!

Makes approx. 1.5 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup black sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 1 x 400g can of chick peas in water, drained & rinsed
  • 3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp light tahini paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground chili
  • pinch of ground black pepper

Method:

  1. First pre-heat your oven to 180C. Spread the sesame seeds on a lined baking tray and place in the oven. Toast for a maximum of 5 minutes, as the oven is heating up, and until they start to smell fragrant – not burnt!
  2. Remove from the oven and place in a food processor.
  3. Next add the avocado oil and tahini paste and then blend for about 4 minutes until the mixture has almost a liquid consistency.
  4. Now that you have your black tahini ready, add the remaining ingredients, starting with about 2 tbsp lemon juice and blend again until completely smooth.
  5. Serve with chopped raw carrots or cucumber, or simply dollop on top of toast or salad.
  6. NB. Be sure to add an extra drizzle of oil on the top surface of the hummus if storing in the fridge – as this will help retain the moisture.
Fragrant Mackerel Fillets with Spring Greens

We all have those moments when we get home from work and just don’t have the energy to make a healthy supper. But this is a simple, inexpensive, extremely healthy supper that you can rustle up in less than 10 minutes.

May is a bountiful month of delicious green veggies. Spring greens are the first cabbages of the year, and as they packed full of antioxidants they are as much of a superfood as kale, yet they are extra special due to their only being in season between April and June. They make a fabulous accompaniment to any dish and go beautifully with fish; best steamed or stir-fried, take care not to overcook them, and this will taste very bitter.

Mackerel also comes into season in May in the UK. Like other oily fish, it is a delicious source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and, of course, lean protein. According to the NHS, it helps prevent cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, age-related vision loss and dementia. And just when you thought it couldn’t be any better for you, it’s also rich in minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and selenium. Selenium in particular contributes to a deep sleep and regulates thyroid function.

Seasoned with garlic, chili, ginger, lime and coriander, you’ll have to stop yourself from eating it this delectable dish straight out of the pan!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp of coconut or avocado oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 mackerel fillets
  • a few stalks of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 x packet of mixed peas or beans (I like to use the broad bean, pea and edamame mix from M&S)
  • 400g of spring green, stalks removed and shredded

Method:

1.Heat a large frying pan over a moderate heat and add the oil, garlic, chili and ginger and stir so that the oil soaks up the flavours.

2.Add the mackerel fillets, lying them skin down in the pan. Cook gently for 3-4 minutes on each side.

3.Then add the chopped coriander and the juice of 1 lime into the pan. Allow the sauce to bubble for a few seconds and then spoon over and around the mackerel. Take off the heat and place to one side while you make the greens.

4.Next is to steam the spring greens and mixed peas and beans. If you don’t have a steamer, then put a few drops of water in a saucepan – filling it about 1cm full – and then add the bean mix first, then place the greens over them. Put a lid on the saucepan and bring to the boil.

5.Boil for about 2 minutes and then drain off the water and serve up.

6.Serve the mackerel fillets on top of the greens, drizzle with a spoon of oil and season with some salt, pepper, a squeeze of lime juice, a sprinkle of coriander and extra chili if you like it spicy!

www.cookfirst.co.uk

 

*Cover photo courtesy of http://portugalresident.com/preserved-mackerel-and-garbanzo-bean-hummus