Google+ Forget dieting forever: March 2016

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Sunday, 6 March 2016


Salmon en croute insieCreamy salmon en croute is possibly something of an unlikely choice for a diet but there are ways to enjoy this without depriving yourself.
We found the preparation a little time consuming but not at all difficult. The result was an attractive dish that would adorn any dinner party table.
A quick search of shop bought varieties gave us an indication of just how much (or little) salmon is used in this dish; salmon content was around 25-30% of the total dish.
Salmon is approximately 2 calories per gram and quite filling and we opted for 90g of salmon per person (180 calories each).
We lowered calories in two ways:
1. Use one pastry shell to cover two portions of salmon rather than wrap individual portions with pastry. Sharing one large dish saves calories.
2. Roll the pastry thinly.
We used just one quarter of the puff pastry pack (125g) which was ample for two servings.
Most recipes suggest using a 500g block of puff pastry for 6 individual servings (that's 83g of pastry per portion). We used 62.5g of pastry per serving - a saving of 75 calories each.
Give your salmon en croute a bit of a kick if you like by marinating the salmon in chilli pesto mixed with a little lemon juice and olive oil.
The pastry puffed up quite nicely and had a lovely flaky texture and not a soggy bottom in sight. Each portion of salmon en croute finally worked out somewhere around 500 calories, with more salmon (protein is filling) and less pastry than shop bought. This is what we prefer. Serve the dish with salad at little extra cost in calories.

Serves 2
180g salmon fillet
50g frozen spinach (or double the amount fresh and wilted down)
60g cream cheese
just a spoonful of breadcrumbs (to help soak up the liquid and help stop soggy base)
125g puff pastry
beaten egg
Chilli pesto (or your preferred pesto - there are many varieties)
Olive oil 
Lemon juice
Greaseproof paper
Heat the oven to 200ÂșC.
Put the baking tray into the oven while heating. Ideally use two baking trays together to hold the heat. The reason for this is to cook the pastry base as quickly as possible to avoid it going soggy.

Slice the salmon fillet horizontally and (OPTIONAL) marinate in your chosen pesto mixed with olive oil and lemon juice. You don't have to marinate but do season with salt and pepper before placing in parcel.

Mix the cream cheese with defrosted spinach. Just remember to squeeze as much liquid out of the spinach. Add pepper. Put in the fridge to allow the flavours to develop and the cream cheese to firm up again.

Roll pastry base about an inch bigger than the salmon. 

Place the pastry base onto a sheet of greaseproof paper.

Place the first half of the seasoned salmon onto the pastry base. 

Spoon over half the spinach mixture.

Top with salmon and cover with rest of spinach mix. 

Roll out pastry topping. Brush base of pastry edges with beaten egg. Press pastry together. Make a couple of slits in the top to allow steam to escape then brush with beaten egg.

Carefully transfer the greaseproof paper and contents onto the HOT baking tray.

Bake for  15 - 20 minutes. We checked after 15 minutes and found the pastry was not browned enough so went the full 20 minutes. The salmon was still very moist and not overcooked.


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