The Easter weekend is upon us and I am reminded of how, growing up, we would always eat fish on a Friday, not just on Good Friday. And before the chocolate frenzy begins, there is still time to eat simply. We’re starting our day with a Hot Smoked Mackerel Omelette, for a quick and easy omega-3 boost.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been roughly following a plan and a challenge called Healthy Happy Hearts, encouraging us to eat two portions of fish a week. It isn’t a big change for us, as we already try and eat fish once a week, but upping our intake to two portions means that I’ve enjoyed experimenting a little more with fish at different mealtimes. I’ve written about the Fish is the Dish campaign before and was lucky to have had one of my recipes featured in their free family cookbook along with lots of other bloggers.
This time, Fish is the Dish have been working with one family specifically to help them to eat two portions of fish a week, encouraging us all along with extra hints, tips, menus and recipes. There is research to show that eating fish twice a week will help to raise levels of omega-3 in the body. As a ’good’ fat that is essential to our diets, Omega-3 helps with brain development, joint function, healthy skin and eyes as well as better mental health.
The hardest part of any cooking-based challenge is to find ways of getting the children to eat more healthily, so I came up with this quick and easy recipe, which the kids, to my surprise, devoured. I did think that smoked mackerel would be too strong a flavour for them, but then, they do like smoked salmon and actually tolerate ‘big’ flavours, such as fresh olives, better than I do. So sometimes, kids will surprise us. Mine were even picking the mackerel out of the bowl before we got it in the pan!
Getting them involved in the cooking or preparation process also helps, too and I find that my kids are more likely to try something new if they’ve helped to make it. I came across this infographic this week whilst writing about Cooking with Kids for Great British Chefs, backing up my theory. A survey showed that 84% of parents said that cooking with their children made them more likely to try new food types. Since the Easter holidays are now upon us, we’ll definitely be spending plenty of time cooking together in the kitchen – we’ll have lots of chocolate Easter eggs to use up (great for crispy cakes or fridge cakes) but we’ll also be making some healthy fishy dishes together, too!
Cooking with Kids - find the full infographic here
How to make a Smoked Mackerel Omelette
Making this omelette is quick and simple. We used some ‘responsibly sourced’ Smoked Mackerel fillets, on offer at the supermarket, too. They were in a vacuum sealed packet. Start with one, or even half a fillet if mackerel is a new flavour for your family. Using your fingers, pull the mackerel away from the skin (it will flake up) and put it in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk up two eggs, add an (optional) little swirl of fresh double cream for a little extra decadence. Next, grate up some cheese, Parmesan or Gruyere work well. Switch on the grill and leave it to heat up. Add a small drizzle of olive oil or rapseed oil (extra omega-3) into a small frying pan, pour in the eggs and put the pan on a medium heat on the hob. The egg will start to set, you can give it a little stir at the beginning, then leave it to start setting on a low heat. After a minute or two, add the flakes of mackerel to the pan and sprinkle over some of the cheese. Cook for one minute and then put the frying pan under the hot grill so that the top of the omelette cooks and puffs up a bit. Once it looks golden on the top, take it out and add an extra sprinkle of cheese. Serve and eat straight away.
I hope you have time to try this over the long and lazy Easter weekend. I’ll be back tomorrow with an Easter sweet treat!
With many thanks to Fish is the Dish for sending my family some fish to try as part of the Healthy Happy Hearts challenge. No additional payment was received.
Follow @FishistheDish on Twitter for extra hints and tips or search for the #HealthyHappyHearts challenge.