low carb, salad
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Tinned Salmon Niçoise

For all those wondering how the low carb thing is going: it’s going. I was pretty strict with it for a couple of weeks, lost about half the weight I was looking to lose, and now I’ve chilled out on it a little (as planned). I’m keeping most meals low in carbs, but indulging in fancy doughnuts on a Saturday or gourmet burgers on a Wednesday if that’s where I’m at. I’ve found – as I always do with little personal challenges like this – that thinking from a low carb mind set has upped my creativity in the kitchen. The best way to keep up with this is to follow my Instagram stories, where I religiously publish almost everything that I cook.

I’m sharing this recipe with you because it’s delicious, of course, but I do have another agenda. An agenda that I was reminded of when I found tinned wild alaskan salmon in the ALDI special buys section (AKA my second home) last week.

Tinned Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon

The fresh, pink, succulent salmon that we all know and love can only ever be gross to me now, cause I foolishly read up on it (thanks, brain). If you want to keep knowing and loving salmon as you already do, then you should probably sidle out of this blog post and come back tomorrow when I’ll have a new cheap dates in Brighton post for you.

Turns out, the way salmon is farmed (yeah, I’d always naively presumed they were just catching it out of the sea too) is pretty grim. Not just for the wellbeing of the fish – as you all know, that does come high on my list of concerns too – but it’s absolutely hammering the environment. Joanna Blythman, one of my favourite food writers, is well known for her exposure of really dodgy shit that goes on in the food industry. Her book, Swallow This, went into frightening but excellent detail about how retailers treat fresh products to make them last longer in the chiller (among other horrors) that stayed with me ever since.

So, when she went after salmon, I sat up and paid attention. Turns out, farmed salmon have a parasite problem. A big one. It’s affecting all the wildlife around the sites and the fish themselves. I’ll let Joanna take it from here:

“No technical fix can control Scotland’s now endemic lice, not even dosing every tonne of fish with 42 litres of hydrogen peroxide. The Thermolicer, a machine that immerses fish briefly in warm water, was presented as a solution until last year, when it cooked to death 95,000 fish in one incident. And no wonder lice are having a field day. These caged fish are already weakened by endemic amoebic gill disease, which generous doses of antibiotics barely contain.”

Put me right off. So, the moment I saw a tin of line-caught, wild alaskan salmon for a couple of quid in ALDI, I jumped at the chance to get my dose of oily fish in a lice-free zone. And this recipe was born.

Salmon Nicoise

To boil the eggs: I’ve mucked about with getting the perfect soft boil, and for me, gently lowering the eggs into already boiling water and simmering for 6 minutes gets the job done.

To cook the green beans: you want the beans to still be crisp, so just boil for about three minutes in salty water. Then drain and fill the pan with cold water to ensure they don’t keep cooking.

Serves 2

1 mixed salad leaf bag (preferably unwashed)
1 tin wild salmon
2 medium eggs
200g green beans
handful olives, chopped in half
juice of one lemon
3-4 tbsps good extra virgin olive oil

  1. Wash the salad leaves thoroughly and spin or pat dry.
  2. Mix the lemon juice and olive oil together.
  3. Assemble the leaves, green beans, olives and salmon in a salad bowl or on their separate serving plates and dress with the lemon and oil.
  4. Top with boiled eggs, sliced in half, and serve.

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