This is an extra blog post this week to give you some wonderful ideas for Christmas and keep you from reaching for a packet salmon. I am not entirely sure why but in the last few weeks it has been bought to my attention how much salmon is being consumed these days.This led me to look into why people are eating salmon and how it is farmed. Alarmingly salmon is grown with very few ethics and in my opinion eating a piece of salmon is no different from eating caged eggs. Many people are under the illusion that salmon grown in Tasmania is ecologically sound and free of antibiotics but a few studies show that this is often not the case.  You can check out some information in the following article.

Not only can farmed salmon be harmful to your health it is definitely not kind to the fish themselves. One fact that astounds me is that for each kilo of salmon up to 4 kg's of wild fish need to be caught to feed the salmon, hard to believe when people are stating that our seas are over fished.

Rather than waffle on about how bad factory farmed slamon is I want to offer you a few tasty alternatives. The reason why salmon has been promoted as a health food is that it is a good source of protein and this is correct as 100 g of salmon contains 20 g  of protein- so enough protein for a single meal. However there are plenty of vegetarian proteins that can give you the same amount of protein in one meal. I often also hear people say that they eat salmon to get iron. Iin reality salmon doesn't rank very high in the iron content stakes, containing 0.3 mg per 100g of salmon, when the daily intake of iron needs to be up around the 9 to 27 mg level depending on your age, sex and whether you are pregnant or not.

Salmon's main health benefit is that it is a good source of omega 3. So below is a list of vegetarian foods rich in omega 3 and a few recipes with christmas ideas in mind that are packed with omega 3 and contain some iron and protein. I hope you enjoy them.

Vegetarian sources of omega 3

hemp seeds and oil

flax seeds and oil



leafy greens  broccoli and cabbage contain small amounts of omega 3

pumpkin and pumpkin seeds (contain a small amount)

Recipes rich in Omega 3 and great christmas ideas

(Note even though each recipe contains protein, still more is needed to bring the meal up to the required dietary intake.  So add some tempeh, cooked adzuki or cannelini beans, an egg or some fetta to each recipe. The recipes go very well together but are wonderful  eaten separately.

Walnut Filled Mushrooms

Walnuts are high in omega 3 and thyme is a good source of iron, the squeezes of lemon juice help absorb the iron.

300 g button or Swiss brown mushrooms- stalks removed and reserved

1/2 cup of walnuts

2 splashes gluten free tamari

2 big squeezes lemon juice

4 sprigs thyme, leaves removed and finely chopped

In a food processor  pulse the mushroom stalks, walnuts and thyme, add the tamari and lemon juice and then stuff each mushroom.  Bake in the oven at 180°C  for 10 to 20 minutes.

Rocket Beetroot Walnut Salad with Hemp Seed Dressing

The lemon and orange juice will help you absorb the iron from the rocket. The walnuts provide good omega 3 and are a great source of protein- however adding fetta or tempeh will give you a more protein balanced meal

6 baby beetroots boiled in water with skin on until nice and soft or to your liking

a good handful of freshly picked rocket

1/2 cup walnuts

juice of 2 oranges

juice of 1 lemon

a good slug of hemp seed or flax oil

2 full tablespoons of hemp seeds

In a food processor or blender place the hemp seeds, oil, lemon and orange juice and blend until creamy. On a platter or in a salad bowl place the rocket then peel and cut the beetroot into whatever shape you want.  Arrange beetroot and walnuts on the rocket and drizzle on the dressing.

Roast Pumpkin with Seed and Dulse sprinkle

The addition of sunflower seeds add more protein, are high in vitamin E and are a good source of potassium. Dulse contains omega 3 and is also a great source of iron.

1/2 butternut pumpkin (cut into 2 to 3 cm pieces)

oil for roasting

2 tbsp hemp seeds

2 tbsp dulse flakes

2 tbsp pepitas (dried pumpkin seeds)

2 tbsp sunflower seeds

Roast the pumpkin in a baking tray for up to 40 minutes- turn once during this time. When cooked place on a serving plate.  Mix the seeds and seaweed together and then sprinkle over the pumpkin.

Millet Tabbouleh with broccoli and seed sprinkle

The millet and seeds provide protein but I would eat a boiled or fried egg with this dish for more balance or for vegans some cannelini or adzuki beans would be wonderful.

2 cups of cooked millet (I will write a blog on millet very soon- it rocks)

1 large bunch of parsley roughly chopped small

1 big head of brocoli

2 tomatoes or red capsicums or both, diced small

2 Lebanese cucumbers diced small

3 or 4 sprigs of mint roughly chopped small

juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon

2 tbsp flax seeds

2 tbsp hemp seeds

2 tbsp pepitas (dried pumpkin seeds)

Steam the broccoli to your liking and mix with all of the other ingredients (except the seeds). Sprinkle the seeds on top of the tabboouleh.

Categories:Sauce/Dips Mains Salads Snacks/Sides

Tags:mushrooms beetroot omega 3 broccoli

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