This dish really is delicious, satisfying and super easy. You’ll find yourself making it again and again, and it may even become one of your go to dishes on a night your not sure what to cook. We’ve all heard about the health benefits of a mediterranean diet, and this dish epitomizes it . It is a heartwarming dish that is packed with handfuls of leafy greens such as kale, swiss chard and spinach, to ensure your daily intake of folate, fibre, protein and lots of other vitamins and minerals.
You may have read the recent article in BBC news about the amazing significance of what a mum-to-be eats. It discusses the findings from data collected over 70 years in Kenaba, The Gambia, where a micro climate allows food and diet to be closely controlled according to what’s growing during that time of year. This research revealed the huge impact that diet has on a baby’s development and throughout its lifetime. Babies born to mothers that were conceived during the dry season, where they ate a more carbohydrate rich diet consisting of rice and cous cous, were 7 times more likely to die in any given year than those babies who were conceived during the wet season, where mums ate a diet rich in leafy greens. It really demonstrates the importance of eating a diet rich in vegetables for the future health of the developing baby. By eating healthily, you now know for sure that you really are giving your child not only the best start in life, but also the best possible chance of maintaining good health throughout their lifetime. Not only that, but the effects of diet have been shown to pass down to up to 2 generations!
The article has also been incorporated into the program ‘Countdown to Life‘, a fascinating series about the development of a fetus in utero.
So being inspired by this article, I thought I’d share a recipe that packs lots of leafy greens so you can enjoy this dish knowing how good it is for you and your baby!
This serves as a main dish, but you can accompany it with a simple salad if you want to add something fresh to the table.
RECIPE Serves 2 Total time: 50 minutes (includes 30 minutes bake time)
1 large jacked potato
1-2 large bunches (around 300g) of greens (spinach, swiss chard, kale, beet greens- your choice)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic- chopped
1 small handful of pine nuts
1 medium onion- chopped
300g chopped tomatoes (fresh/canned in tetra brick)
2 Bay leaves
2 white fish fillets (cod, haddock, coley, pollack…)
Salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat your oven to 180°C and place a pot of water to boil. Start by slicing the potato thinly into 1/2cm slices, and layer them into a baking dish. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt, and place in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. Meanwhile, wash the greens, removing any very fibrous stems such as the thick kale stems. You can chop the greens lightly or leave whole. Place in the boiling water for about 5 minutes if its kale or swiss chard stems, and 2-3 minutes for other softer greens. Drain and squeeze out the water. Chop one of the garlic cloves, place in a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil, onto medium heat, for about 1 minute. Add the pine nuts and the cooked greens, mix, and remove from the pan. Chop the onion, add to the pre-used pan with a tablespoon of olive oil and place on a medium heat. Allow it to cook until soft and transparent (about 5 minutes), then add the remaining garlic cloves, as well as the tomatoes and bay leaves. Allow to cook for another 5 minutes, uncovered, until the sauce has thickened a little. Remove the baking dish from the oven, and layer with the greens, fish, and finally the tomato sauce. Place in the oven once again and bake for about 30 minutes until the fish is cooked. Season to taste and serve.