Lemon Fishcakes With Barley Salad


Women's Health |

Photograph: Claire Gunn

This meal, created in association with The Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA) and well-renowned SA chef Vanessa Marx, ticks all the right boxes! It’s high in fibre, packed with omega-3 fatty acids, heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, an array of vitamins and minerals and contains a great balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat…

“Mackerel and sardines are very good sources of omega-3 fatty acids,” says ADSA spokesperson and dietician, Maryke Gallagher. “They play a crucial role in brain function, as well as normal growth and development. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis.”

Oats are also a good source of soluble fibre. “Research suggests that the soluble fibre in oats may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by reducing cholesterol levels, specifically LDL cholesterol,” explains Gallagher.

If you don’t feel like the fishcakes, you could just make the barley salad and the dressing, toss them together and pack it for a great desk lunch.

For The Fishcakes

What You Need
Serves 4
1 x tin (400g) of mackerel
1/4 cup oat bran
1/2 cup grated carrot
1 free-range egg
Zest of 1 lemon
10g chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, dill or parsley
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
2 tbsp avocado oil

Method
1/ Drain the mackerel of any liquid and place it in a large mixing bowl.
2/ Using a fork, shred the fish up until it’s fine and there are no large chunks.
3/ Add the oat bran, carrot, egg, lemon zest and chopped herbs and mix well. Leave the mixture to stand for about 30 minutes in the fridge, so the oat bran soaks up excess liquid in the mixture.
4/ Separate the mixture into eight equal size balls and shape them into patties.
5/ Season the fishcakes with salt and pepper.
6/ Place a large non-stick frying pan onto a medium heat and drizzle the oil into the pan.
7/ Once the pan is hot add the fishcakes and fry on the first side for around two minutes until golden brown. Turn them over and repeat on the other side.

Barley Salad

What You Need
1/2 medium cucumber
100g cherry tomatoes, cut in half
10g basil
10g fennel
1 avocado
1 cup cooked pearl barley, cold
50g almonds, raw and chopped
50g mixed bean sprouts
50g sliced red onion
100g feta
40g watercress
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

Method
1/ Wash the cucumber, tomatoes and herbs. Using a peeler, shave the cucumber into ribbons.
2/ Cut the avocado in half, remove the skin and pips and slice into chunks, then set aside.
3/ In a large bowl, mix together the barley, cucumber ribbons, tomatoes, almonds, bean sprouts and onion. Tear the fennel and basil up and add to the salad.
4/ Assemble the salad on a platter. Spread the barley mixture on the bottom of the platter. Add the chunks of avo and crumble the feta over the top of the salad. Sprinkle the watercress on top of the salad and season.

Lemon Drizzle

What You Need
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp smooth Dijon mustard
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp chopped chives
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

Method
1/ Whisk together the lemon juice, zest and mustard.
2/ Drizzle the olive oil into the lemon mixture while whisking.
3/ Mix in the chopped chives and season.
4/ Drizzle dressing over salad and fish cakes then serve!­

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