Monday, 10 February 2014

LSA Crusted Fish with Salad, Crispy Potatoes and Steamed Mussels

Saturday night is generally takeaway night in this house, but last Saturday we decided to do something a little different and took the kids out for a meal instead. They LOVE going out for dinner, and it is so nice that they are now at an age where we can take them out and know that is not all going to end in tears (theirs AND ours!!). The challenge is finding somewhere that is affordable, kid friendly, and has a good selection of food that is a close fit to how we eat - i.e. gluten/dairy free options.

Part of the fun of going out is to try new things though, so we do aim to be a little flexible when we are out - although we aim to ensure that each of us does not come away from any meal with any of the various reactions we get, we also believe that the kids should be given the chance to experience new things, and we don't want them to feel that their lives are overly restricted. We want them to feel that life is for living and we don't want their dietary restrictions to rule their lives.

In saying that, The Food Truck Garage was a fantastic place to take the family for dinner. It ticked all the boxes - affordable, kid friendly, and they were more than happy to adapt the menu to suit. The kids and hubby all had the fish burger which had an LSA crust - it was delicious! So obviously this got me to thinking that we could easily make something similar at home. In the mood for a light seafood meal, we got some fish fillets, fresh mussels and made a big salad and some crispy potato chips to accompany the meal - kind of a deconstructed Nicoise of sorts!

Oh, just realized when writing the recipe that there may be some of you out there that are wondering what on earth LSA is! LSA is a 'flour' or meal type of product (similar in consistency to almond flour) made from Linseeds, Sunflower Seeds and Almonds. It is a really great product to have in the fridge as it can be added to all sorts of dishes. You can buy it from the supermarket (Ceres do a really good one which is in the health food or baking section of most supermarkets) or you could easily make it yourself. Simply blend linseeds (flaxseeds), sunflower seeds and raw almonds until they make a rough flour.

LSA Crusted Fish with Salad and Crispy Potatoes

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free, sugar-free

4 small or 2 large fish fillets (I used Gurnard, but any white fish will do)
1 egg
1/2 cup LSA (you can buy from the shop or make your own)
1tsp turmeric
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to season

1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with baking paper
2. In a bowl, whisk the egg. On a plate or in a large bowl, combine the LSA, turmeric, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
3. Cut the fish into little nuggets (about 3cmx3cm).
4. Dunk each piece of fish into the egg then into the LSA mix then place on the baking tray.
5. Bake fish for 10-12 minutes until golden brown and just cooked through.

If you prefer, you can pan-fry the fish instead of oven baking it. I already had the oven on so chose to bake it. If you want to pan-fry, heat a tbsp or so of coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Pan fry the fish for a minute or 2 on each side until golden and cooked through.

To serve:
We had this meal with crispy potato chips, a large salad and a big bowl of steamed mussels.

For the chips, I thinly sliced some precooked leftover potatoes (about 1 cups worth), added a tbsp of coconut oil, 1/2 tsp turmeric, salt and pepper, coated the chips well, added a thinly sliced onion then oven baked for about 25 minutes until crispy and golden. The addition of the onion gave another crispy, sweet element to the chips.

For the salad, I used the usual array of vegetables (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, radish, and sliced red onion) then threw in a handful of olives and some hardboiled eggs cut into quarters. I dressed it with a little homemade mayonnaise blended with the juice of one lemon, 1 tsp dijon mustard, salt and pepper.

The mussels were steamed in a simple mix of 1 cup water, 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1/2 red chilli, and a squeeze of lemon juice.