Today’s blog post is for a complete summer meal that’s easy to prepare when you have a lot on your plate. Including whizzing together a batch of Macadamia Oil Mayo (I always keep a jar of this at-the-ready in my fridge), everything can be brought together in less than half an hour. It’s healthy, its quick, it’s delish! This year, when the first Jersey Royal potatoes came into season, I couldn’t resist making a real potato salad (cold, pre-cooked potatoes are an excellent source of resistant starch) and it actually took me longer to scrape the papery skins off the potatoes than it takes to make this entire meal! Henceforth, I shall live without pesky potatoes!
It’s the labour intensive ‘potato-peeling’ type of cooking chore that’s been fully exploited by food corporations and made their marketing hype so successful. They’ve convinced society that ’fast’ food and ready meals are quicker, cheaper and easier to get on the table. However, I disagree. You can make Grilled Mackerel with Creamy Keto ‘Potato’ Salad & Watercress in less time than it takes to order a takeaway and have it delivered. It’s probably cheaper too. And obviously, better for your health.
Actually, food corporations don’t cook; they process deadly ingredients sourced from the cheapest, most consistently available form of food, namely genetically engineered crops, grown with toxic chemicals. Do you really believe pesticide laden, genetically engineered, processed food - food that could never be created by nature - isn’t disastrous for human health? Whilst most people crave these edible abominations and see them as desirable ‘convenience’ foods, I can’t think of many things more inconvenient than being dependant on fake food contaminated with toxic chemicals. Processed food is chock-full of refined sugar, chemically altered fats, refined carbohydrates and other processed ingredients poisonous to humans that are a root cause of many food-related diseases including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s.
It’s not just biotech giants, industrial farming, food corporations and other toxic chemical food polluters that assault your body. Doctors have been delivering terrible advice for decades. Instead of focusing on the prevention and reversal of obesity and disease by tackling its underlying cause, which is eating modern foods incompatible with our genes, doctors respond to the body’s cries for help by intervening with drugs or surgery to suppress symptoms. Why the medical establishment hasn’t been sued for actually causing bodily harm beats me!
Of course, they are reluctant to admit their mistake, so it could be a very long time before doctors get behind public health advice telling its citizens to return to eating the natural, unprocessed food that was consumed before obesity and diabetes reached epidemic proportions. The fact that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree was highlighted in a recent BBC1 programme called The Big Crash Diet Experiment. The ‘experiment’ presented itself as an hitherto unknown (at least to doctors), revolutionary treatment for the obesity and diabetes crisis and, if you believe everything you see on TV, the spectacularly successful results really took the doctors by surprise. After all, who knew that a very low calorie diet triggers ketosis, which accelerates weight loss, lowers blood sugar levels and reverses the symptoms of diabetes? Awww, c’mon guys! That would just be me and an entire Primal Health community then!
But still they can’t help themselves. In sharp contrast to the natural, LCHF (ketogenic) whole food diet promoted by Primal Plate, the doctors’ solution was to by-pass any requirement for cooking skills and feed four grossly overweight volunteers highly processed, low-calorie, meal replacement products (a.k.a. The Cambridge Diet)…naturally, under strict medical supervision! They then pronounced themselves the successful innovators of a drug-free advance in modern medicine that could save the NHS millions of pounds. Stop right there! I have never seen a more miserable group of people than the programme’s volunteers, who were made to suffer deprivation and hunger in a ludicrous attempt to limit calorie intake by eating synthetic packaged meal replacements soups and shakes cobbled together in a science lab. This is not my idea of healthcare, nor is it sustainable.
However, if your long-term goal is to get fat and sick, go for it! Last time I looked, products like SlimFast are loaded with chemical thickeners, sugar, artificial sweeteners (e.g. aspartame, maltodextrin and ace-sulfame K), inflammatory vegetable oils (soy and sunflower), carageenan (linked to cancer of the gut), modified maize and soy proteins (genetically modified) and cheap vitamins that are poorly absorbed.
Here’s a piece of ancestral wisdom based on your genes and human evolution: Cooking nutritionally dense food is where it’s at! If you want to eat well, lose weight and feel great for the rest of your life, you’re going to have to reclaim control over what you’re eating, which means prioritising some time to cooking real, fresh foods. So why has home cooking got such a bad rap since the 1970’s? Because clever advertising duped people into believing that cooking is too hard, too complicated and too time consuming. You can see its effect in society at large (pun intended), there’s an obvious correlation between a preference for eating high carbohydrate, processed food and increasing rates of obesity and chronic diseases.
Notwithstanding the profits-before-people economy at the heart of agriculture, restaurants and fast food industries, we recently decided to eat out and were reminded just how unsatisfying and expensive it can be. In exchange for some promotional photos she’d supplied to a local restaurant, Sarah had been given a £50 voucher that had to be redeemed before the end of June 2018, so it was simply a case of use it or lose it. We each selected a main course off the Early Bird menu, took our Üllo wine purifier to filter our non-organic wine at the table, decided not to negotiate the chorizo part of the dish for something more to our taste, and came home hungry! Total ‘early bird’ price £72.50 + gratuity. That doesn’t seem like good value to me.
Let me compare. Fresh, mackerel fillets, rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, take no longer than 4-5 minutes to cook under a hot grill. Make-ahead, keto ‘potato' salad, can be assembled several hours before you want to eat it and takes about 15-20 minutes to make, including boiling the eggs and making a batch of mayo. Opening a packet of watercress adds 30 seconds. Finito!
Using premium-priced, organic ingredients (you can buy these cheaper at most supermarkets), Grilled Mackerel Fillets with Creamy Keto ‘Potato’ Salad & Watercress, will feed three people, including a good bottle of organic, low sulphite wine for just £24.70 or £8.23 per person. Say what?
How can home cooked food be “too expensive” or “too time consuming” when there are literally dozens of healthy, delicious meals that can be prepared within half an hour for less than the £8 or so it costs to buy a single gin and tonic or decent glass of wine at your local? This is even before you factor-in the future cost of disability and ill-health because you neglected to eat right. The question is whether you think the rewards of sourcing fresh, preferably organic food and preparing your entire meal is worth the effort. If you’re willing to invest the time and money you’re going to be a lot healthier. Being taught how to cook nutritious food that supports your body is what true healthcare is about. It’s people that don’t cook that get into trouble with diseased states.
Whilst ever public health is stuck in the past and resistant to change, you’ll need to pick a team. Food as medicine is not exactly a revolutionary idea, even to doctors, but you will need to decide whether you’re willing to continue on with the botched up, calamitous, health strategies that allopathic medicine, pharmaceutical companies and food industries have subjugated us all to, or whether to take a more do-it-yourself approach by respecting your hunter gatherer genes and choosing food consistent with your biology. Namely, a higher fat diet that doesn’t include poisonous modern foods such as refined sugar, grains and chemically altered fats and dairy.
I’d like to start a cooking rebellion. The only way to safely stop obesity and other diet-related disease in its tracks is to remove people’s addiction for highly processed food and to replace it with more pleasurable alternatives. In the case of food, nothing is more delicious than a nutrient-dense, primally aligned, high-fat, moderate-protein and properly prepared, low-carbohydrate diet.
Grilled Mackerel With Creamy Keto ‘Potato’ Salad and Watercress is a good place to start.
Grilled Mackerel With Creamy Keto ‘Potato’ Salad & Watercress (Serves 4)
Ingredients - for Creamy Keto ‘Potato’ Salad
1 medium-large organic cauliflower
75 g organic sour cream or organic crème fraîche
120 g Macadamia Oil Mayo (see recipe in Notes below)
Himalayan pink salt, to taste
freshly ground organic black pepper, to taste
4 large organic eggs, hard-boiled (see Notes below)
2 large organic celery stalks, any outer stringy parts trimmed off with a peeler, then finely diced
2 tbsp fresh organic dill, finely chopped
fresh organic chives, finely chopped - optional
Instructions - to make Creamy Keto ‘Potato’ Salad
Boil a kettle of water. Put the boiling water into the bottom of a steamer.
Prepare the cauliflower by cutting the head (you don't need any stalk) into small bite-size florets.
Place the florets into the steamer basket and steam until the cauliflower is only slightly tender, about 4-6 minutes. Plunge into ice cold water, drain well and set aside.
Peel the eggs and reserve two yolks; dice the remainder and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, make the dressing by whisking together the sour cream and mayonnaise.
Mash the two reserved egg yolks well with the back of a fork, then add to the cream mixture and whisk together until smooth.
Add the cooled cauliflower, diced eggs, celery, and dill to the dressing. Stir to coat. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if you think it needs it.
Garnish with chopped chives immediately before serving cold or at room temperature.
Ingredients - for Grilled Mackerel & Watercress
600g sustainably caught, skin-on, fresh mackerel fillets (you need 2 mackerel fillets per person, if there’s any leftover, they freeze well)
Himalayan pink salt
Olive oil, for greasing
100g organic watercress, washed, thick stalks removed
Instructions - for Grilled Mackerel
Preheat the grill to Medium-High.
Line a baking sheet or grill pan with parchment paper or non-stick foil and brush the surface with olive oil.
Dry the mackerel fillets with kitchen paper and season the flesh side with salt.
Lay the mackerel fillets skin side up on the lined baking tray, brush the skin with olive oil and season with salt.
Grill the fillets for 4 minutes, then if the skin is not already golden brown and crispy, switch the grill to its highest setting and cook for a further 1-2 minutes until it is.
Serve hot with Creamy Keto ‘Potato’ Salad and a large handful of watercress sprigs.
Because your health is under attack from every direction - environmental toxins, ultra-processed foods and GMOs as well as a host of other threats - Primal Plate always features organic ingredients in its recipes. If you can’t find fresh, organic produce, or really can’t afford to buy it, you can still reduce your exposure to pesticides by checking out EWG’s 2018 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce. It’s recommended that you avoid the Dirty Dozen (virtually impossible when you’re eating out) and only eat non-organic if it’s listed under these Clean-15
To make Macadamia Oil Mayo:
2½-3 tbsp organic lemon (or lime) juice, freshly squeezed
1 tsp organic Dijon mustard
½ tsp Himalayan pink salt
freshly ground organic black pepper
1-2 drops organic liquid stevia
Place all the ingredients into a tall, narrow container.
Using a hand-held stick blender, blend everything together until it emulsifies into a pale, creamy mayonnaise. Takes about 30 seconds!
Taste and add a little more lemon/lime juice and seasoning, if liked. N.B. Don’t worry if the mayonnaise seems a little on the runny side when it’s first made. It thickens up to the perfect consistency, when chilled down in a refrigerator.
Transfer to a glass container and seal with an airtight lid.
Store in a refrigerator and use within 7 days.
To steam-boil eggs - boil a kettle of water. Pour about 2.5cm (1 inch) of the boiling water straight from the kettle into a saucepan.
Place a steaming basket inside the pan and place the eggs into the steamer-basket (I find a collapsible steamer most useful because one-size fits all pans).
Put the lid on the pan and steam/boil the eggs for 10-12 minutes until hard-boiled.
Fat 56g Protein 18g Carbohydrates 8g - per serving
Fat 30g Protein 2g Carbohydrate 0g - per stand-alone serving of Macadamia Oil Mayo