Healthy lifestyle – Baked salmon with broccoli pesto crust and spinach salad

Following on from yesterday’s post about adjusting my diet to maintain blood sugar levels, I came up with this dish for baked salmon. It’s full of flavour, is massively satisfying and has a low GI index (which means that it has a low impact on blood sugar levels).


Here’s why it’s good:

Salmon – salmon is not only rich in omega 3s but also contain a healthy fat and protein combination that slows the body’s absorption of carbohydrates, keeping blood sugars on an even keel.


Broccoli – a high-quality carb with minimal impact on your blood sugars.

Olive oil – olive oil helps insulin resistance by raising HDL-cholesterol, lowering triglycerides, and ensuring better blood sugar level control and lower blood pressure.

Spinach – spinach has a relatively low sugar content, so it will not cause blood sugar spikes like processed carbohydrates.

Green beans – these are high in fibre and low in carbs. Fibre in your diet will reduce an after-meal blood sugar surge.

Vinegar – acetic acid in vinegar inhibits carbohydrate-digesting enzymes. As a result, vinegar helps sugars and starches temporarily pass through without being digested, so they have less of an impact on blood sugar.

Right here we go with the recipe:

Baked salmon with a broccoli pesto crust, served with a spinach salad
Serves 2



For the pesto crust
- A small head of broccoli, cut into florets
– Small handful of basil leaves
– 2 garlic cloves
– 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– juice and zest of 1 lemon
– 50g pine nuts
– A large handful of parmesan

– small handful of white breadcrumbs
– 2 skinless salmon fillets

For the salad
- Medium bag of baby leaf spinach, washed
– 100g green beans, trimmed
– 1 red pepper, chopped into chunks
– 1 dessert spoon vinegar (I used balsamic)
– 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 1 tsp Dijon mustard

1. Preheat over to 180C. Put the salmon onto a baking tray lined with tin foil and season with salt and pepper.
2. Put the broccoli over a pan of boiling water in a steamer, and green beans in another layer on the steam. Allow both to steam for 5 minutes until it’s obscenely green. Immediately take both off the heat and keeping them separate, run under very cold water until they veg are cold. This will mean the veg retain a maximum about of their nutrients as they won’t be overcooked. Put the green beans to one side
3. Put the broccoli and all other pesto ingredients into a blender and blitz until you have a thick sauce.
4. Combine half the pesto mixture with the breadcrumbs (put the rest of the pesto in tupperware and use another time – it’ll keep in the fridge for 3-4 days).
5. Spread the pesto mixture over top of the salmon fillets. Pop in the oven for 10 minutes.
6. While the salmon is cooking, put the spinach, steamed beans and red pepper in a large bowl. Whisk together the vinegar, olive oil and mustard together and pour over the salad veg. Toss until all the salad is nicely coated then divide between two plates.
7. Remove the salmon from the oven and put atop the salad. Serve immediately.

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