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Smokey Cajun hake & kale with tomato pesto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was in a hurry last week and came up with this. Its super-fast on a weekday, provided you’ve already made up the Cajun spice mix (which only takes a couple of minutes). I’ve posted this mix already on the blog but its so good it deserves a reminder. I use it (when I remember) for grilling chicken fillets, salmon darnes and sometimes even lamb chops.

2 hake fillets or darnes, about 150-160g each
Smoked paprika
Large bag of black kale (Cavolo nero) or curly kale
Sundried tomato paste, dairy-free red pesto (or if you are not dairy-free or on SC diet any good quality tomato pesto will do)
Fresh lemon juice (you will need about a teaspoon for the fish)
Extra virgin olive oil

Cajun spice mix:
You will need tinfoil and a roasting tin or dish
For the Cajun spice mix (store in an airtight glass jar away from heat and light)
½ level tsp chilli powder (omit or just use a pinch if you don’t like much heat)
1 level tsp Himalayan (pink) salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 rounded tsp dried thyme
1 tbs each of:
Coarsely ground black pepper
Dried basil
Dried oregano
Ground coriander

Optional extra:
Cauliflower mash (see post) to serve

1. Turn on the oven to 200C.
2. Prepare the kale – wash, destalk and slice thinly. Boil your kettle and put the kale in your steamer over at least 2cm of boiling water. It can take quite a while to become tender.
3. While the kale is steaming, put the fish skin side down in an roasting dish with deep sides, rub the fish fillets with some lemon juice.  Sprinkle Cajun mix and a good pinch of smoked paprika on each fillet until well coated.
4. Cover with tinfoil and give it 10 minutes in the preheated oven. After 10 minutes, test with a skewer to see if it is tender (this depends on the thickness of the fish). If not, give it another 5 minutes, covered again with the foil to stop the fish drying out.
5. Meanwhile, warm a vegetable dish for the kale. Into the dish put a generous heaped teaspoon of the pesto or paste, a dessertspoon of extra virgin olive oil and a good twist of black pepper if you have some. As soon as the kale is done to your liking toss with the pesto/paste to coat and keep warm.
6. Serve the fish on top of a pile of kale.

Optional extras:
Cauliflower mash (see blog post).  This freezes well.  I like to make a big batch then freeze leftovers in single portions.  Reheat in a saucepan, stirring from time to time.

Why this is good for you
Herbs and spices are a powerhouse of vitality-boosting qualities.  They protect the food during cooking from generating toxic inflammatory compounds (e.g. amines) while also protecting ourselves and our brains from accelerated ageing.  Herbs and spices have hundreds of times stronger antioxidant properties than fruit and veg, weight for weight.  Kale is a dark green leafy veg so its rich in magnesium and folic acid.  We need both of these for making us more resilient to stress as well as for a healthy digestive system and good skin.