This week Celebrity Chef & Fellow Master Chef Steven Saunders, proprietor of The Little Geranium cooks Asian style salmon in paper using superfood ingredients.
What are superfoods? They seem to be everywhere these days.
They’re said to ward off cancer, help with weight loss, extend your life, and even whiten your teeth. But do these ‘miracle’ foods really live up to all the hype? I investigated and have come up with a list of positives, a list of maybes and a list of myths.
First, though let’s look at some of the myths. Some of my super fit friends live and die by some of these so-called superfoods like coconut oil and apple cider vinegar. So I explored, read everything there is to read, spoke with a few specialists and came up with these conclusions!
Coconut oil the hype: Almost three-quarters of people in a recent survey said they thought coconut oil was healthy. No doubt that’s because of claims that it protects against heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and diabetes, while also helping you lose weight, thanks to a particular kind of fat that your body may metabolize differently than others.
The reality: The American Heart Association (AHA) issued a recent statement that recommended against using coconut oil. Why? Because it contains a high level (82 per cent) of bad for you saturated fat. Multiple studies confirm that coconut oil actually raises ‘bad’ cholesterol. The AHA says, if you do go for coconut oil (we know it tastes good), practise extreme moderation!
Apple Cider Vinegar the hype: Claims that apple cider vinegar can whiten your teeth, lower blood sugar, fight infection, keeps heart disease and cancer at bay and more.
The reality: Apple cider vinegar may lower blood sugar, but so do other kinds of vinegar. It’s not clear if apple cider vinegar has any use against cancer and heart disease as none of the experiments are conclusive. As for your teeth, not only will vinegar not lead to pearly whites, it can also erode the enamel! Apple cider vinegar is a good addition to use as a dressing or in a sauce, but don’t consider it a potential cure for health woes.
Butter: It´s confusing… It has been on the bad list then the good list for some time. So what is it, healthy or unhealthy?
The hype: Is that butter is actually good for you and we should eat more.
The reality: It is like saying that eating pure saturated fat is good for your health! You may as well eat all Mary Berry´s cakes. You wish!
The current science tells us to replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats (think olive oil). If butter has a role, it may be just to make things taste better and as a chef I love butter, so I don’t want to avoid it, but eat it in moderation.
Six of the Best Superfoods!
- Leafy greens like Bok Choy, Broccoli and kale. A small amount of this type of veggie contains more than half your day’s vitamin C and vitamin A
- Salmon is packed with omega-3 and vitamin B12 in addition to an antioxidant called selenium which strengthens the immune system selenium. All linked to neurological health.
- Mushrooms are my special superfood…They’re fat-free, low-sodium, low-calorie, and cholesterol-free. …they contain vitamin B C and D and selenium.
- Garlic contains vitamins C and B6, selenium and other antioxidants. More recent research suggests garlic may be effective against high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cholesterol and some cancers.
5. Tomatoes are a superfood because they’re very high in lycopene, and lycopene is a mineral that’s been proven to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
6. Citrus fruits & berries are superfoods especially lemons…they have large amounts of vitamin C, nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and very few calories.
Aromatic Asian Salmon en Papillote
Ingredients (serves two)
En papillote is French and means ‘in paper’ but we are doing it in tin foil because we are cooking it on the barbeque! This way of cooking is easy and effective as the fish is literally steamed in all the juices in the parcel
2 good quality Norwegian salmon fillets (approximately 120g each)
1 tomato sliced so that you have four slices
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
1 spring onion finely sliced
50ml of sake or dry white wine
A little olive oil
1 lemon zested (you need to keep the zest)
1 pak or bok choy
Maldon salt & freshly milled black pepper
2 tablespoons natural soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
A sprinkling of toasted peanuts or cashews crushed
1 teaspoon of chopped red chilli (seeds removed)
125g of mushrooms washed and fried to give them a little colour
Fresh coriander sprigs (or parsley) to finish
- Mix the sake (or wine), chilli, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil and the juice of one lemon together with a little olive oil
- Make two 30 cm squares with the tin foil. Place the slices of tomato in the centre and top with sliced mushrooms. Add the onion sliced.
- Now top with one salmon fillet and season it well. Repeat for the other parcel.
- Finally top the salmon with the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper and pour the wine/ chilli mix in step 1, over each salmon fillet equally.
- Fold up the tin foil parcel so that the juices do not escape (see photo)
- Steam the parcels on a metal tray on a hot barbeque for 10 minutes. Open the bags carefully to check that the salmon is cooked. Serve with lightly cooked or steamed pak choy or broccoli on the side
- Finish with crushed peanuts and sprigs of coriander or parsley optional.
- Enjoy your meal knowing that you have just eaten the world’s finest superfoods…. all in one go!
Watch the Video on Youtube and please subscribe and like! J
Follow Steven on Instagram ….saunderschef
The Little Geranium, Winner of Best International Restaurant Spain…2020